Capt. Richards T. Miller Papers

1945-1994
Manuscript Collection #875
Creator(s)
Miller, Richards Thorn, Capt., USN [Ret.]
Physical description
0.014 Cubic Feet, 2 items; 37 p.
Preferred Citation
Capt. Richards T. Miller Papers (#875), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

Papers (1945, 1994) of a US naval officer including an autobiographical sketch entitled Trains, Planes and Boats: A Memoir [and Genealogy of Richards Thorn Miller], 1918 - 1994, by Capt. Richards Thorn Miller, USN (Ret.) (1945); also an historical account of his World War II service in the Office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USNR Annapolis, Maryland, prepared by LCDR Richards T. Miller, USNR, November 1945. Photocopy carbon typescript Typescript.


Biographical/historical information

Capt. Richards Thorn Miller was born 31 January 1918, in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. His father, Herman Geistweit Miller (1894 – 1941), was a chemical engineer, who became the Washington, D.C., manager of the Warren – Ehret Roofing Company and won many government contracts during the New Deal era. His mother was Helen Thorn Miller.

Miller spent his early life in Jenkintown and Washington, D.C., where he graduated from high school in 1935. He then attended the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, graduating in 1940, with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In 1951, he earned a masters in naval engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Upon graduation from Webb Institute, Miller was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve and called to active duty in September 1940. During WWII he served as assistant hull superintendent, on the battleships IOWA and MISSOURI during their construction at the New York Naval Shipyard in 1940 - 1941. From 1941 through the conclusion of the war, Miller served as assistant supervisor of shipbuilding, in Annapolis. It was his job to inspect construction work on submarine chasers, patrol torpedo boats, and various small boats being built in ten shipyard yards in the vicinity. It was this work he described in Office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding (1945).

Miller transferred to the regular Navy US after World War II, rising to the rank of captain in 1960, and served until he retired in 1968. He was a member (honorary) of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1941. Miller rose to the rank of captain in 1960. During his career, Miller served in both design and engineering departments. He specialized in designing oceanographic research ships, mine sweepers, torpedo boats, and destroyers. He continued to work as a naval engineer after his retirement in 1968, working for Oceanic Division of Westinghouse Electrical Corporation. He also provided consulting services.

In 1965, Miller published Sailing Yacht Design which he wrote with R. G. [Robert Goldsborough] Henry, Jr. In 1968, the US Navy awarded him the Legion of Merit for his ship design work. He was the co-founder of the Chesapeake Bay Sailing Yacht Symposia in 1974.

Miller was married twice. He was married to Jean Corbat Spear from 13 September 1941 until her death in 1983. They had two children: Patricia (Mrs. Charles G. Fishburn), and Linda (Mrs. John X. Carrier). Following Jean's death, Miller married Alice Johnson Houghton, on 19 May 1984, who survived him.

Miller died 7 December 2013, in Annapolis, Maryland. He was 95 years old.

Sources:

Capt. Richards T. Miller Obituary. Tributes website. https://www.tributes.com/obituary/show/Richards-T.-Miller-97306915

Captain Richards T. Miller Collection (MS 86) Guide to the Manuscript Collection Contents, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland website: http://www.cbmm.org/pdf/CBMM%20Manuscript%20Collections%20Listing.pdf


Scope and arrangement

Capt. Richards T. Miller Papers consists of two documents, arranged in two series:

Series I: Trains, Planes, and Boats: A Memoir, 1918-1994 [1994] by Capt. Richards T. Miller, U.S.N. [Ret.] Typescript. This document is a brief typescript providing genealogical accounts of Miller's ancestry. It was written at the request of his daughter and includes a short paragraph describing the genesis of the memoir and the passions that inspired him.

Series II: Office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USN [United States Navy] Annapolis, Maryland, History Prepared by LCDR [Lieutenant Commander]. Richards T. Miller, USNR [United States Naval Reserve] November 1945. This document consists of a photocopy of a carbon typescript written by Miller to provide an historical account of his activities and responsibilities in the Office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, in the Annapolis region during World War II. It includes photocopies of photographic prints of the various ship types built under his supervision. It also includes lists of officers, enlisted, and civilian personnel who served in the office, including their ranks and dates of service. It also includes lists of British and Soviet naval personnel who visited Annapolis to take possession of ships constructed there.


Administrative information
Custodial History

July 3, 2002, 2 items, 0.014 cubic feet, 37 pages; Writings (1945, ca. 1994) including "Trains, Planes and Boats: A Memoir [and Genealogy of Richards Thorn Miller], 1918 - 1994," by Capt. Richards T. Miller, USN (Ret.) (Manuscript Typescript, 7 p.), ca. 1994; and "Office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USN Annapolis, Maryland History," prepared by LCmdr. Richards T. Miller, USNR, November 1945. Donor: Capt. Richards T. Miller (US Navy Ret.).

Source of acquisition

Gift of Capt. Richards T. Miller (US Navy ret.)

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services, March 2002; Preliminary inventory by intern Thomas Hall, 7/3/2018; Processing completed by Jonathan Dembo, 5/17/2019

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Related material

Captain Richards T. Miller Collection (MS 86) Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland USA

Richards T. Miller Oral History Interview (#OH0159), 20 June 1997 East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA