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Captain James Ely Miller

Distinguished Flying Cross

On June 14, 2017,  Captain Miller was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Captain Miller is the first and only DFC recipient from WWI.

Captain Miller, the first American aviator killed in action during World War I, received the DFC posthumously and is now the first and only recipient to have received it for its intended purpose. This achievement resulted in a change to the history of both the DFC and the Purple Heart. Captain James Ely Miller, by his sacrifice, became the first U.S. airman eligible for the Purple Heart to die in air-to-air combat against an enemy, while serving in an armed force of the United States.

Please click on the medals to view the award ceremony where Byron Derringer, Captain Miller's great-grand son, receives the Distinguished Flying Cross for the Miller Family.


On January 5, 2023, Captain James Ely Miller was honored by being added to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Wall of Honor.

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