Miles, William Thomas, Jr., Sgt

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1745-Light Weapons Infantry Leader
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1951-1953, POW/MIA
Service Years
1950 - 1951


One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Philadelphia, PA
Last Address
Philadelphia, PA

Casualty Date
Jul 08, 1951
Hostile, Died while Missing
Unknown, Not Reported
Korea, North
Korean War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section MI, Site 434

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

Ranger Hall Of Fame

 Military Association Memberships
Korean War Fallen
  2015, Korean War Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Basic Parachutist (2 Combat Jumps)

 Unit Assignments
3rd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne)Korea Military Advisory Group (KMAG)POW/MIA
  1950-1951, 4745, 3rd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne)
  1951-1951, Korean War Ranger Companies
  1951-1951, Korea Military Advisory Group (KMAG)
  1951-1953, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1951-1951 Korean War/First UN Counteroffensive (1951)
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Spring Offensive (1951)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

This is to Certify that
The President of the United States of America
Takes Pleasure in Presenting


William Thomas Miles, Jr.



The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant William Thomas Miles, Jr. (ASN: RA-13266703), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations as a member of the 4th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne), serving with the 8086th Army Unit Special Troops, Korean Military Assistance Group (KMAG), in action on 6 July 1951, in North Korea. On that date, Sergeant Miles participated in a classified mission, code named SPITFIRE, behind enemy lines in the vicinity of Karyoju-ri, North Korea, was, along with two other special operations soldiers, attempting to retrieve supply bundles dropped earlier that morning on the wrong drop zone when his group came under fire from a Chinese company advancing toward SPITFIRE's main base of operations. Sergeant Miles could have broken contact and evaded but elected to engage in a delaying action to give SPITFIRE's main body time to escape and evade despite knowing he and the other two were facing impossible odds and this decision would likely result in his own death, which it did. Surviving SPITFIRE members reported the ensuing firefight lasted thirty or so minutes, giving them time to clear the area and evade, eventually reaching friendly lines after a twenty-one day odyssey. Sergeant Miles' actions saved his fellow team members from death or capture and are well above and beyond the call of duty. His heroism, valor, and leadership characteristics are in the finest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon him and the military service.




Ranger William T. Miles, Jr. distinguished himself in combat as a member of the 4th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in Korea. At the start of the Korean War, Ranger Miles answered the call for volunteers, and received his Ranger training with the 3rd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne), and was reassigned to the 4th Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in Korea.

With his training as a radio and demolition infantryman. Ranger Miles volunteered and was selected by the G3 Miscellaneous Division as a member of the Operation Virginia I Mission team. On 15 March 1951, Ranger Miles parachuted into North Korea 65 miles behind enemy lines to destroy a vital railroad tunnel southwest of Hyon-ni to disrupt communications and supply lines. He was seriously wounded during evacuation as he was being hoisted by cable into a helicopter. Ranger Miles was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star for his actions during this mission.

Volunteering for another mission. Operation Spitfire, Ranger Miles was transferred to the Miscellaneous Division, Baker Section, receiving partisan training. Ranger Miles, as one member of the advance pathfinder party, jumped into the mountains near Karyoju-ri on 18 June 1951 on reconnaissance duty. While scouting out sites for a base camp and prior to the arrival of the other team members. Ranger Miles located two camouflaged shelters used by Chinese troops. He radioed air units and coordinated strikes, destroying the sites and enemy troops. Later, moving ahead of the Operation Spitfire team. Ranger Miles warned of an ambush set up by enemy troops and volunteered, along with a South Korean lieutenant, to hold off the enemy, allowing the rest of the team to escape. With reports of heavy machine-gun and mortar action against the two men. Ranger Miles was presumed wounded and taken prisoner. He was listed as an MIA on 8 July 1951. During this second mission, he earned a second Silver Star (Subsequently upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross) and Purple Heart.

Ranger Miles demonstrated exceptional valor under enemy fire placing the lives of his fellow Rangers above that of his own. Ranger Miles was a credit to the Rangers, the United States Army, and the United States of America.

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