Millar, Charles Patrick

Name: Charles Patrick Millar, SGT, USA

Local address: 188 Greenwood Ave, Cliffwood Beach, NJ

Charles was the second child of Carl J. Millar (1904-1955), a chauffeur, and Kathleen McCormack (1905-1969). His birthdate is of interest in this matter – military and Social Security data indicated he was born March 25, 1931 in Long Island City, NY, which appears accurate – he was NOT listed in the 1930 census with his parents and older sister May (1928-2010) when they were enumerated that year in Queens, providing an address of 31-53 34th Street (fun fact: this was the address of famous Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford in 1950).

Charles was apparently born to be a soldier. When the New York National Guard was federalized and sent off the fight in World War II, the state created the “New York Guard” to fill the void. Using a birthdate of March 28, 1928, he enlisted in this organization on October 25, 1945 at 14 years of age and was assigned to Company “K” of the 69th Regiment. (Note: while doing unrelated probate work, I discovered another young man who joined this unit when he was 16. They apparently didn’t verify – or care – about an enlistee’s age.) He separated from the outfit on January 14, 1946.

Using a different 1928 birthday, he registered for the draft June 27, 1946. In August of that year he reported to Parris Island, SC, for Marine Corps bootcamp – at 15 years of age. I am assuming the USMC relied on his State Guard and claimed draft registration to verify his age. Regardless of this fact, he completed this grueling training at, again, fifteen (15). (I know it was extremely difficult training because my father was attending boot camp at Parris Island the exact same time as Charles and he described it to me in detail – you can’t make this stuff up.)

Millar-ArticleHe was deployed to Tsingtao, China, in July of 1947. According to the Marine Corps Historical Reverence Pamphlet, The United States Marines in North China 1945 – 1949, the Marines protected US interests in China, and indirectly assisted the Nationalist Chinese in their efforts against the Chinese communists. As it became apparent that the Nationalist efforts were doomed, the Marines gradually withdrew. His unit – Company “E” of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Fleet Marine Force, comprised only around 200 Marines and was one of the last to withdraw. They occasionally skirmished with communist guerrillas. He was back at Quantico, VA in July of 1948, awaiting discharge.

On September 9, 1948, he enlisted in the United States Army and was eventually assigned to Company “A”, 179th Regiment, 45th Division. The 179th was the federalized Oklahoma National Guard, and for some reason numerous men from New Jersey wound up in this unit. After deployments to France and Germany, the regiment was sent to Korea and directly engaged the Chinese in the famous “Old Baldy” series of battles prior to Charles arrival in September of 1952. Two months later Charles, who had reached the rank of sergeant and was an experienced soldier, was killed in combat, presumably by the Chinese.

I could not determine the exact battle during which he was killed on November 10, 1952, but hospital records indicated he’d been fatally shot in the throat and the leg.

His family was in Cliffwood Beach per the 1950 census, so presumably a telegram was brought to them by a military representative at their Greenwood Avenue address. Charles is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Matawan Journal reported on June 19, 1958, that the Millar’s neighbor at 186 Greenwood Avenue, Frank Tiemann, visited Charles’ grave while on a nine-day motor tour.

He is not mentioned as being married in his obituary; however, on his National Cemetery Internment Control Form it indicates the plot next to his at Arlington, #116, was reserved for his spouse, and the next of kin listed on the document was Mrs. Helen Millar, 8 3rd Street, Tupper Lake, NY. No record could be located for this individual, and that space was given to another soldier in 1962.

Note: The WWII Victory Medal was awarded to all in the service as of October 1946.

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Mark Chidichimo
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