WWII Revisited, Oxford Historical Society's newest book.
Like many Americans, Oxford families sacrificed much during World War
II. One such family was that of J. Edward Miles on Chestnut Tree Hill
Road. During the war years, the family bid farewell to five of their
sons and a son-in-law as they left to serve their country. One son, the
eldest of the five sons to serve, Sgt. David Sheldon Miles, died aboard
the SS Dorchester on February 3, 1943 as the result of enemy action
when a German submarine torpedoed the transport ship in the North
Atlantic while carrying some 903 men to Greenland.
In a letter dated June 1, 1943, to a niece after confirmation of her
son’s death, Susannah Williams Miles lamented, “We all feel terrible
but there isn’t anything we can do about it. It is the first break in
my family so it is pretty hard to bear. We must think it is all for the
best and we are not alone in our troubles.”
Two other sons served abroad, Sgt. Robert Newsome Miles on the Aleutian
Islands in the Bering Sea, and Sgt. H. Wilson Miles in Germany. Both
Sgt. Edward Upson Miles and Sgt. Franklyn Russell Miles served at Armed
Forces bases in this country. Franklyn went on to serve his country in
the US Air Force for a total of twenty years.
Son-in-law Benjamin V. Samoker married Frances Miles, a sister of the
five servicemen, in 1941, and had a new baby girl when he answered his
country’s call to duty by joining the US Navy and serving in Panama for
almost two years.
On the cover of a new book is a photo of the five service men at the
Miles family homestead on Chestnut Tree Hill Road. Standing proudly in
uniform, left to right are: Benjamin Samoker, Robert, Franklyn, Edward,
and H. Wilson Miles in 1945.
The book, World War II Revisited, by Oxford native, Audrey Cable Linke,
will be on sale for the first on Sunday at the Oxford Historical
Society's Twitchell-Rowland Homestead, 60 Towner Lane, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Thanks to Jane Hulbert and Marcia Wrogg for the photo and the family background used on the cover of this new book.