Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas


1923 - 2006




8th Air Force


305th Bomb Group



Patriot, Chapter 1919

 Air Force, WWII, Europe


Abram A. Millar was born in Eden, Texas (Concho County) in 1923.  He passed away in September 2006, at age 83, in San Angelo and was buried on the Millar Ranch in Eden in the ranch cemetery.  He served in the Army Air Forces during WWII, received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the air over Germany during a bombing mission and was also decorated for gallantry in action, receiving the Silver Star for having saved his badly damaged aircraft from destruction on that same mission. This is his story.


Abe was the son of Abraham Millar and Cora Tisdale Millar and he grew up in Eden, going through Live Oak School there and then graduating from High School in Eldorado (Sleicher County).  He was on the Eldorado High School football team and described that as a glorious time for him.  Abe was a college student when America entered the war and he enlisted in October 1942.  He entered active duty in the Induction Station in Dallas, Texas, being sworn in on February 23, 1943.  Assigned to the Army Air Forces, he was trained as an Armorer, qualified for his Air Crew Member Badge October 1, 1944 and then deployed to Europe, arriving on October 19th.


On January 10, 1945, the 365th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group based in Chelveston, England participated in Mission Number 269, the bombing of the airfield at Gymnich, about ten miles southwest of Cologne, Germany.  Sergeant Abram Millar was in the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress, aircraft 638, “Our Cherry,” of the 365th Squadron.  Next following is an excerpt of the citation for Abe’s actions that day.  Abe also wrote a detailed narrative about that mission and you can read that by opening this link:



Compiled by Abe Millar




“citation issued on orders of Major General Kepner, Eighth Air Forces, read:”



The Silver Star

Date of action: 10 January 1945

Abram A Millar, Staff Sergeant (then Sergeant), Army Air Forces, United States Army.  For gallantry in action while serving as Togglier of a Flying Fortress over Germany, 10 January 1945.  On the bomb-run, intense and accurate flak was encountered and Sergeant Millar was severely wounded.  Simultaneously two (2) engines were knocked out and the plane went into a steep dive, throwing him to the floor.  Although dazed and bleeding, Sergeant Millar, with great presence of mind, tripped the toggle switch with his foot, releasing the bombs and enabling the pilot to right the plane.  He then assisted the navigator, refusing proffered first aid until they were safely out of enemy territory….”


The damaged aircraft struggled to a safe landing at an emergency airfield, B-53, at Meriville, France and Abe was taken by ambulance about 30 kilometers into Lille where the 30th British General Hospital had set up in a French hospital.  A Polish doctor attended by three British nurses operated on his leg and afterward Abe woke up in the hospital’s “Sergeant’s Ward,” and Abe later wrote, “I learned that the rank of Sergeant in the British Army was treated quite differently than the rank of Sergeant in the American Army.”  After two weeks in Lille, he was flown back to England in a C-47 “Dakota” and transferred to the U.S. Army 188th General Hospital near Cirnceste.  It would take another two months there before he had recovered sufficiently to be returned to duty with the 305th Bomb Group at Chelveston.


The war in Europe ended shortly after that, but Abe did not get to return home until November.  He arrived back in the United States on Armistice Day, November 11, 1945. He was discharged a week later, on November 18, 1945 from the Separation Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and returned home to Eden, Texas; having been decorated with awards of the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, EAME Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, and the Good Conduct Medal.


Abram Millar first earned a BS degree and then graduated from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas with a Masters degree in Economics.  He married Zelma Alice Jarvis on March 5, 1948 at the little chapel in the woods on the Texas Women’s University Campus in Denton.  Zelma also graduated from Texas Women’s University and was a Dietician.  Abe worked thirty years in Federal Civil Service and retired from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the Deputy Regional Commissioner for State Programs (GS-15).


Abe was a Life Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and had been affiliated with Texas Capital Chapter 1919 for nearly ten years at the time of his death. He was predeceased by his wife, Zelma and his sister Mary Ella Millar Cocke. He was survived by his children Corinne (Cokey) Millar, Mary A. Millar and Frank J. Millar and Nephews Dan and Bill Cocke.





1997 Photo

Plaque Dedicated to 305th Bomb Group

August 24, 1984

B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber

 with "triangle G" tail marking that
identified the 305th Bomb Group




1943 - Shortly after going into the service

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