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William “Bud” Miley

Gen. Miley was born 26 Dec., 1897 at Fort McArthur, California, the youngest child of Brevet Lt. Col. John D. Miley and Sara M. Miley. He was one of five generations of U.S. Army: both grandfathers being West Point graduates as were his father, brother, uncle, and son.


General Miley graduated from West Point in June, 1918. While a cadet, he was a national intercollegiate champion as a tumbler, on the rings, and on the parallel bars. Immediately upon graduation, he joined the First Division in France. There followed a succession of military assignments, one of which was PMS & T at Mississippi State College, Starkville Miss., where he met and married Miss Julia A. Sudduth. He also had duty at Langley Field, VA and returned to West Point as Director of Athletics. Infantry duty followed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and in Panama and the Philippine Islands.


In 1940, the then Major Miley was ordered to organize and command the first U.S. Army parachute unit, the 501st Parachute Battalion. After being promoted to Lt. Col. shortly thereafter, he organized and commanded the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was the first airborne regiment. Gen. Miley was then ordered to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, to be Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, which was being organized at that time.


Early in 1943, Gen. Miley coordinated the activation of the 17th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall, N.C., and commanded it throughout training and combat in World War II.


After the war, he commanded the 11th Airborne Division in Japan and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He organized and was Director of the Joint Airborne / Troop Board that formulated future airborne/parachute plans, techniques, organizations, equipment, and doctrine. He was Commander, U.S. Army, Alaska, and retired in 1955 while Chief of Staff, Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, VA.


After retirement he joined the brokerage concern of Merrilll Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Beane. After a second retirement in 1976, he moved to Starkville, Mississippi.


The members of the 17th Airborne Division Association are proud to salute our Commander, Major General William M. Miley.

Gen William M. Miley

Commander 17th Airborne


Lt Colonel Stanley Johnson

Commander 139th AEB


Lt Colonel John W Paddock

155th AAAB


Col Maurice G Stubbs

Commander 193rd GIR


Col James R Pierce

Commander 194th GIR


Maj James J Kenny

Commander 224th AMC


Captain Cecil D. Land

Commander 411th Quartermaster Co


Lt Colonel Edward S Branigan

Commander 464th PFAB


Lt Colonel Kenneth L Booth

Commander 466th PFAB


Colonel George V. Millett Jr.

Colonel Edson Raff

Commanders 507th PIR


Colonel James W Coutts

Commander 513th PIR


Major Frank T. Hancock

Commander 517th Signal Co


Lt Col Paul F Oswald

Commander 680th GFAB


Lt Colonel Joseph W Keating

Commander 681st GFAB


1st Lieutenant Woodrow W. Mackey

Commander 717th Ordnance Co

Official website of the veterans and descendants of the 17th Airborne Division.  World War II US Army paratroopers
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