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Hometown Hero: Dr. Clint Miller
November 5, 2011
Submitted photos: Dr. Clint Miller examines Scott Wright at the downtown Lee's Summit Clinic, which he established after returning home from the war. Miller enlisted in the Army Medical Corps in 1942 and served overseas, helping tend for those wounded during the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Paris.
By Kathy Smith
These days lots of folks claim to be patriots. They have their pictures taken in front of the American flag, but true patriots are those who quietly go about doing good works for their country, asking no recognition. They are happy to do what they can to help keep our country free.
One such “patriot” was Dr. Clint Miller, an esteemed family physician in Lee’s Summit.
Miller was born in Gerton, Mo., and attended school in Deepwater, Mo. He earned his pre-med and medical degrees at the University of Missouri and Northwestern University. He interned at Research Hospital and began private practice in 1932. People described Miller as a grave, serious man with a keen insight and a quiet sense of humor.
In October 1942, Miller enlisted in the Army Medical Corps. He wanted to make a difference by tending to the sick and wounded in the military. Dr. Miller had no idea that with his enlistment began his date with destiny. Dr. Miller served during D-Day, June 6, 1944. Over 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion.
In time, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy. Allied causalities and wounded amounted to 9,000. Nine battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers and 71 large landing crafts as well as troop transports, mine sweepers and Merchant Marine vessels participated in the attack. Miller tended the many wounded that fell in this enormous effort.
Miller was eventually assigned to the 391st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. His was involved the Liberation of Paris, Aug. 19-25, 1944. The Liberation of Paris occurred because the allies had smashed the German 7th Army. Paris had been occupied for four years.
Most Americans associated German occupation with a romanticized picture of Parisians struggling against the Germans. In reality, the government helped the Germans send thousands of Jews to concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of laborers to Germany to work in war production as slave labor. By 1945, most slave laborers were French. The Polish Jews had virtually been eliminated.
After the Normandy invasion, Paris waited for the day the Allies would arrive. Eventually, Hitler ordered Paris to be destroyed. The French Resistance and the advancing Americans wiped out all of the German collaborators. The Liberation of Paris was a big morale booster for the people of France. To the Allies, it was all in a day’s work. They were after Hitler and his staff of murderers. Eventually, the Nazis were hunted down, arrested and put in prison in Luxemburg to await trial in Nuremburg.
Miller was assigned to be the attending physician to Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, Commander of the German Luftwaffe. He was also responsible for Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 to 1945; and Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Goering became a drug addict during WWI when he was wounded in the leg. He developed an addiction to paracodein. When he was first assigned to Miller, he was taking 40 tablets a day. One of Miller’s duties was to help Goering kick his drug habit. Miller commented that Goering was not liked by the German prisoners. They felt that he was an inept leader. He also said the Goering was shrewd and intelligent.
The Nazis stood trial and were convicted of war crimes. A few Nazis committed suicide; the others were executed. Miller was with the prisoners until late in September, then transferred home.
He went into private practice. He founded the Lee’s Summit Clinic with Dr. Lyle Knight in downtown Lee’s Summit. He eventually built a freestanding building on the west side of the downtown. The clinic eventually welcomed Dr. Bill Bell, Dr. Shockley, Dr. Durnell, Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Suarez. Dr Miller was a member of the Lee’s Summit Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the R-7 School District Board.
Dr. Miller was named “Physician of the Year” in 1969 by the American Academy of Family Physicians. He retired after 50 years of service to his community. He passed away in 1987, leaving his wife, Louise; son, Clint Jr.; and daughters, Nancy and Dr. Susan Miller.
Nancy Miller said her father was very quiet and unassuming regarding his time in the service. He never talked or bragged about his time in the military. He lived his civilian life the same way he lived his military life ... with quiet dignity.
Lee's Summit R-7 schools are Cancelled