CLEAVELAND D. MILLER, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Cleaveland Miller '29

Date of birth: July 22, 1907

Date of death: August 9, 1942

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

From the 1929 Lucky Bag:

1929 Miller, C F LB.jpg

CLEAVELAND FENNER MILLER

Providence, Rhode Island

"Gus" "Cousin August"

GET "Gus," get "Cousin August," get "Quack-Quack."

Instead of this being a summons to battle on even terms, it is the signal that the hunt's over and boisterous, bubbling, bouncing Gus is being "got." Since entering the Academy, Quack has been one of the "characters" of the class. He can talk louder, get run more, gripe more, have a better disposition, and smoke more different kinds of pipes than any other one of us.

From early morning he gripes at reveille, through the afternoon he cusses the weak squad, and into the night he damns tomorrow's Steam; his nasal New England twang and broad "a" is heard throughout the corridors.

Plebes is Plebes with Gus, but a classmate is even more than the full significance of the word, and this accounts for his popularity.

Socially, Gus laid aside "The Little Blue Book" theory Youngster year to take up practical work in Second and First Class year. "Rickety ac—quack, quack, Gus, Gus, Gus—Don't crowd boys. There's enough ear—don't use the big broom; ouch!—" and Gus is "got" again.

Class Baseball 4, 3, 2. Class Soccer 4, 3, 2. Manager Water Polo. 2 P.O.

1929 Miller, C F LB.jpg

CLEAVELAND FENNER MILLER

Providence, Rhode Island

"Gus" "Cousin August"

GET "Gus," get "Cousin August," get "Quack-Quack."

Instead of this being a summons to battle on even terms, it is the signal that the hunt's over and boisterous, bubbling, bouncing Gus is being "got." Since entering the Academy, Quack has been one of the "characters" of the class. He can talk louder, get run more, gripe more, have a better disposition, and smoke more different kinds of pipes than any other one of us.

From early morning he gripes at reveille, through the afternoon he cusses the weak squad, and into the night he damns tomorrow's Steam; his nasal New England twang and broad "a" is heard throughout the corridors.

Plebes is Plebes with Gus, but a classmate is even more than the full significance of the word, and this accounts for his popularity.

Socially, Gus laid aside "The Little Blue Book" theory Youngster year to take up practical work in Second and First Class year. "Rickety ac—quack, quack, Gus, Gus, Gus—Don't crowd boys. There's enough ear—don't use the big broom; ouch!—" and Gus is "got" again.

Class Baseball 4, 3, 2. Class Soccer 4, 3, 2. Manager Water Polo. 2 P.O.

Loss

Cleaveland was lost when USS Vincennes (CA 44) was sunk early in the morning of August 9, 1942 by Japanese surface forces at the Battle of Savo Island.

His wife was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by a son, Cleveland Dale Miller.

Biography

From A Log of the Vincennes:

Cleaveland Dale Miller was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 22, 1907, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Cleaveland Miller. After attending the Moses Brown School, of Providence, and the Marion Institute, of Marion, Alabama, he entered the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1929. He served as Ensign on the Florida, Pennsylvania, and Concord until late in 1931, when he was detached for instruction at the Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut.

On July 18, 1932, Ensign Miller was commissioned Lieutenant (jg) and subsequently served on board the S-17, the R-2, the Eagle (commanding this patrol vessel for a time), and as Instructor of the Naval Reserve of the Seventh Battalion at Jersey City, New Jersey. He was commissioned Lieutenant on September 1, 1937, to rank from June 30 of that year. In January 1938, Lieutenant Miller served as Instructor of Naval Reserve, Thirtieth Fleet Division, at Garfield, New Jersey, and for the last half of July 1938 he was the executive officer of Hamilton. On August 4, 1939 he reported for duty on Vincennes, and after the Battle of Midway was commissioned Lieutenant Commander to rank from June 15, 1942. Surviving Lieutenant Commander Miller are his mother, his wife, Mrs. Mary Norris Miller, and son, Cleaveland Dale Miller, Jr., who was born November 13, 1938, and lives with his mother in Baltimore, Maryland.

Middle Names

Cleaveland appears in all Registers of the Naval Academy as Cleaveland Fenner Miller; this is also how he is identified in the Lucky Bag. However, in all Registers of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, in the biography above, and in the next of kin listings, he is Cleaveland Dale Miller. This is also what appears on the killed in action panel in Memorial Hall. When his son was married in 1962, his mother was identified as "Mrs. Cleaveland Dale Miller."

The Class of 1929 panel in Memorial Hall, however, has Cleaveland F. D. Miller. The only other documentation of both middle names being used is this Find A Grave entry. Seems most likely that Cleaveland Dale Fenner was correct at the time of his loss; the class panel in Memorial Hall should be corrected.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1929
Ensign, USS Florida

Others at this command:
October 1929
Ensign, USS Florida

Others at this command:
January 1930
Ensign, USS Florida

Others at this command:
April 1930
Ensign, USS Florida

Others at this command:
October 1930
Ensign, USS Florida

Others at this command:
January 1931
Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command:
April 1931
Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command:
July 1931
Ensign, USS Concord

Others at or embarked at this command:
ENS William Pye, Jr. '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 7S)
October 1931
Ensign, USS Concord
January 1932
Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command:
April 1932
Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command:
October 1932
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
January 1933
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
April 1933
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
July 1933
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
October 1933
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
April 1934
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
July 1934
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
October 1934
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-13
January 1935
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-17
April 1935
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
October 1935
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
January 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
April 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
July 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), 3rd Naval District
January 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Eagle 55
April 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Eagle 55
September 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Eagle 55
January 1938
Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Eagle 55
July 1938
Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Hamilton
January 1939
Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Hamilton
June 1940
Lieutenant, USS Vincennes


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Richard McGowan '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7)
November 1940
Lieutenant, USS Vincennes


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Richard McGowan '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7)
April 1941
Lieutenant, USS Vincennes


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Richard McGowan '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7)


Class of 1929

Cleaveland is one of 29 members of the Class of 1929 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.