Dear Genforum members,
It is with great sadness yet great pride that I say goodbye to one of the finest of the Millard family. I hope you will enjoy reading his obituary with the historical information which includes information about my dad's service with the 8th air force, 381st, 534th squardron while he was stationed in Ridgewell, England.He flew 34 combat missions and kept a wonderful war diary. This obituary appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Pasadena Star News on Feb. 23, 2005. All the best to you from Anna Millard Rogers
Everett Ray Millard, Sr., Distinguished World War II Combat Veteran
Ten days before his 88th birthday, Everett R. Millard Sr., a native son of Pasadena and 50 year resident of Monrovia, passed away at his home after a long and valiant battle with congestive heart failure. Everett was born at home on Mary Street in Pasadena on February 28, 1917, the only child of Daisy Creed and Lester Ray Millard. His mother was a gifted businesswoman and devoted homemaker and his father was a skilled craftsman who undertook many challenging construction and sheet metal projects.
He is the grandson of Edward Everett Millard, one of the early councilmen of Pasadena, and the great grandson of pioneers Elisha and Jeanette Hoffner Millard who traveled by wagon train with the Indiana Colony, arriving in Pasadena in 1875. The old Millard Avenue and Millard Court were named in their honor. The street sign marking Millard Avenue still hangs on Everett’s bedroom wall.
Of historic interest is that he is the 10th great grandson of Mayflower Pilgrims Francis Cooke and Hester LeMahieu, 9th great grandson of Pilgrims John Cooke and Sarah Warren, and 10th great grandson of Pilgrims Richard and Elizabeth Warren. He is also the 5th great grandson of Revolutionary War surgeon and soldier Dr. John L. Dunsmoor and Ruth Fisher Dunsmoor.
His early residence was on Pasadena Avenue where he attended Wilson Elementary school up to the 3rd grade. His stories of trips to the old Raymond theater and the Barnam and Bailey Circus setting up tents across the street from his family’s duplex entertained everyone. His description of one of the first radio broadcasts in a Pasadena park in 1925 with his parents was delightful as he conveyed the amazement of people who“watched music come out of wires.”
Later, his family moved to Yarmouth Avenue in Reseda where he and his parents kept a chicken ranch during the Great Depression. He excelled academically, athletically, and socially at Canoga Park High School where he played football in both his junior and senior year, graduating in 1936. One of his favorite stories during that time includes racing Mr. Clark Gable’s 1935 Duesenberg Convertible Coupe with his own 1937 gray Chevrolet at the corner of Ventura and Van Nuys Boulevards. Mr.Gable gunned his motor and lost Everett “after only one half block.“
He attended the Frank Wiggins Trade School, now L.A. Trade Tech College, for two years, earning his journeyman’s license in sheet metal, and receiving certification from the city of Beverly Hills as a plumber and gas fitter in 1938. He also became a journeyman carpeter and cabinet maker. Working alongside
his father in downtown Los Angeles at a gravity furnace company, his family returned to Pasadena to take up residence on Highland Avenue. Everett’s hard-working but very happy life which included outings to Newport Beach and the Angeles Crest Forest with family and friends, dancing to the Big Bands at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and traveling in his 1940 red Chevrolet Convertible was suddenly interrupted on July 6, 1944 when he received his draft notice. He reported to the recruiting office on Raymond Street, then completed boot camp at Fort Mac Arthur in San Pedro, received additional combat and pre-flight training at Sheppard Field in Texas, Maxwell Field in Alabama, Bowman Field in Kentucky and Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi. Toward the end of 1943 he joined the 328th H.Q. at Kingman Air Field in Arizona, then was briefly stationed in Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined the 95th Combat Crew Training School in Ardmore,Oklahoma, and was stationed at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey before boarding a transport ship as part of a large convoy headed for Ridgewell, England. On May 25, 1944, he was assigned to duty with the Joseph Gallagher crew. His first mission was D-Day, and after completing his first four missions with a different crew as ball turret gunner, he joined the Gallagher crew of the B-17 “Green Hornet 2nd” as a waist gunner.During one battle when the plane encountered heavy flack, the bombs would not drop. Thinking only of his crew and his duty, Everett crawled out onto a narrow walkway over the open bomb bay, held his oxygen mask to his face, and pushed the bombs out one by one. The target--the oil and munitions depot near Mersberg Germany--was destroyed. Staff Sergeant Everett Millard of the 8th Army Air Force, 381st Heavy Bomb Group, 534th Squadron,completed a total of 34 combat missions, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, 1 Air Medal, 2 Bronze Stars and 1 Presidental Citation.
He returned to the United States at the end of 1944 and continued in service to his country as a gunnery instructor at Yuma Army Air Field in Arizona and Laredo Army Air Base in Texas. In the Fall of 1945 he received his honorable discharge and married the girl of his dreams, June Marian Karelius of Altadena. The couple married in a candlelight ceremony at her family home on November 3, 1945, and together enjoyed 59 years of marriage with two children, three grandchildren, and many delightful Beagles.
Everett was a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Union #105, the Santa Anita Church (where he sang in the choir and performed many volunteer activities during the 1960s,) the 381st Bomb Group (Heavy) Memorial Association & Triangle-L Society, the Air Force Gunners Association and the 8th Air Force Historial Society, General Curtis E. Lemay Chapter. He always enjoyed reunions with his army air force groups, and had the joy of re-newing friendships with two former crew members: Louis Goc, radioman on the Green Hornet 2nd,and most recently received a delightful telephone call from his co-pilot, Stan Palmer.
He is survived by his cherished wife June Marian Karelius Millard, his son E. Ray Millad, Jr., beloved daughter Anna Millard Rogers and son-in-law David Wayne Rogers of Santa Monica, treasured grandchildren David Millard Rogers of San Francisco, Thomas Everett Rogers and Julia Margaret Rogers of Santa Monica, lifelong friends and cousins Warren and Bill Morton, Mary Mann, Laurie Donovan, Roger Creed, Marilyn Harris, Nick Twiford, Glenn Millard, and the entire Cabot family. Everett is also survived by his favorite in-law Helen Baylor Rogers of Bakersfield, & many beloved nieces and nephews including the Rev. Bradford Karelius, and John and Jim Karelius. Other precious friends include Ken and Joyce Gandy and their lovely daughters,the Chef’s Kitchen & Moffett’s families, Rita Hutter, Hank Ayers, Betty Kirschner, Lloyd Eggstaff, the Hardy, Rood, Daley,Wilson, Lockhart, Oppenheim&Turbin families.
A service celebrating Everett’s life will be held this Saturday, February 26th at Cabot & Sons Chapel, 27 Chestnut Street, Pasadena. A patriotic graveside service will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, culminating in a reception at the Millard home in Monrovia. In lieu of flowers,donations may be made to the American Heart Association, the National Parkinson Foundation, or the 381st Bomb Group (Heavy) Memorial Association, Inc.
And now, this young soldier, weary from battle yet steadfast in duty to family and the responsibilities of his long and demanding life, this gentle brother of the Greatest Generation, has found his way home.
May God bless this most gracious and loving husband, father and grandfather.