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Staff Sergeant John Rushing Miller is buried in section N, site 1582 of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
John R. Miller was born in Center, Texas on August 17th, 1922 to William O. and Margie Miller. He was best known as “Tut” and played football for the Center Roughriders graduating with the class of 1941.
He joined the US Army on October 21st, 1942 from Tyler, Texas and received training at Fort Lewis, Washington and Camp White, Oregon. Sergeant Miller was then assigned to the 383 Infantry Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division nicknamed the “Deadeye Division”. The division trained in Hawaiian Islands from July to September 1944 before entering combat in an assault landing in Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, between Tanauan and Dulag on October 20th, 1944. Enemy resistance in the beachhead area was quickly broken and the division had advanced to and secured the Tanauan-Dagami-Tabontabon sector by November 9th after heavy fighting. The division continued to wipe out resistance on the island, engaging in small unit actions, patrolling, probing, and wiping out pockets of Japanese. Chalk Ridge was taken December 12th, 1944, and major organized resistance was at an end by Christmas Day. The next three months were spent in mopping up, security duty, training, and loading for the coming invasion of Okinawa.
The Division left the Philippines on March 27th, 1945, for Okinawa, making an assault landing on the island, April 1st, 1945. The landing was unopposed and a beachhead was established near Sunabe, April 1st – 3rd.. Resistance stiffened considerably as the Division advanced to Gakazu Ridge where fighting was fierce, 7th - 16th April, 1945.
The battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II. It also resulted in the largest losses with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies.
At the age of 22, Staff Sergeant John Miller Rushing of Shelby County, Texas was one of the casualties. He was killed in action on April 9th, 1945 and buried in the Okinawa 96th Division Cemetery. Four years later on March 2nd, 1949 his remains were moved to the National Memorial Cemetery in Honolulu. The Champion Newspaper at the time of his death listed survivors as his father, William O. Rushing; brother, W. F. Miller of Center; sister, Mrs. J. G. McGahee of Shreveport; and Mrs. C. F. Tinsley of Pineland.
Sources: Champion Newspaper; Shelby County Historical Society; Ancestry.com; US Army History.com (6/30/2014); Historynet.com (6/30/2014); Wikipedia.org (6/30/2014); Jeff Hall