My father's WWII service

Katy, TX

My father, Roy Frederick Miller, enlisted in the Navy shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He became a corpsman for the Marine Corps and was assigned to the 1st Marine Division just in time for the invasion of Guadalcanal Island. After a couple of months on the island, he was the last man standing in his medical unit. Shortly afterward, he took a wounded patient to Henderson Field for air evacuation. One of the pilots on a DC-3 yelled at him and said the patients on the plane needed someone to take care of them. So his “new job” started, and he continued flying for about a year. He thought he was on flight orders, but apparently he had also been reported AWOL and MIA on different occasions. His parents even sold his civilian clothes. He flew to almost all the islands in the South Pacific that had airfields, including New Zealand and Australia. The planes usually left the islands with patients and returned with supplies.
Sometime in November 1943, a naval officer who was new to the islands (my dad knew this because he was sunburned, overweight and sweated profusely) questioned him about his year in absence. My dad thought the meeting was about getting his back pay because he had not been paid for the year, but it turned out to be about something else. In a New England accent, the officer asked him about his German heritage and if he was trying to damage the war effort by being absent from his unit. He was also asked about any involvement with the German Bund, the Nazi Party and other organizations, including the Communist Party. The officer also deeply questioned his patriotism and loyalty just because of his last name and the area he came from. To be honest, I was told my dad’s grandparents did not speak English, only German, and they came to the United States at the turn of the century.
My dad came from a small farming community in Michigan; his trip to enlist in the Navy was only the fifth or sixth time he had ever left that small community, and he was never involved in any of the organizations the officer asked about. He said at that time he had not even heard of 90% of them. He was never paid. He was told later that the flight logs from the planes he served on, and the citation awarding him the Bronze Star, saved him from any further negative action. He also earned a Purple Heart.
He was a founding member and served as chaplain for Jonathan D. Rozier Post 164. He also founded a local nonprofit clinic for area indigent patients.

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