Harrison Edwin McMilln, also spelled McMillen, was born in 1923 in Tennessee, the son of the son of Oscar H. McMillan and Carrie Ruth Milliken. His father died in 1927. His mother remarried in 1940 with Robert Cleburne (R.C.) Cate. His brother Pvt. James Elbert McMillan was killed on Iwo Jima in 1945.

Served on the U.S.S. Sims (409)

Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines

Mother: Mrs. Carrie Ruth Cate, Rt 5, Athens, TN

The Chattanooga Times, June 16, 1943:
Seaman First Class Harrison Edwin McMillan, son of Mrs. Carrie Ruth Cate, Hixon, Route 2, who was reported “missing in action” by the Navy more than a year ago, has been declared deceased. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, in a letter to Mrs. Cate, said he was “reluctantly forced to the conclusion that your son*** is deceased.”
McMillan enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18 after attending Central High School. He enlisted Oct. 16, 1940, and returned to Chattanooga on furlough at Easter, 1941. He is the brother of Eugene and James McMillan of Chattanooga and Sgt. G.W. McMillan and Pvt. Raymond Marshall McMillan, both in the Army.
Secretary Knox’ s letter to Mrs. Cate follows:
My Dear Mrs. Cate,
Asfter a full review of all available information, I am reluntantly forced to the conclusion that your son, Harrison Edwin McMillan, seaman first class, U.S. Navy, is deceased, having been reported “missing in action” on May 7, 1942, being a member of the crew and serving aboard the U.S.S. Sims when that vessel was sunk as a result of enemy action in the Coral Sea. In accordance with Section 5 of Public Law 490, Seventy-seventh Congress, as amended, your son’s death is presumed to have occurred on May 8, 1943, which is the day following the day of expiration of an absence of 12 months. I extend to you my sincere sympathy in your great loss and hope you may find comfort in the knowledge that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy. The Navy shares in your sense of bereavement and will feel the loss of his service.
Sincerely yours,
Frank Knox

  • Rank: Seaman First Class
  • Date of death: 8 May 1943
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Athens
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Sims (409)
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Coral Sea
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Middle Panel
  • Sponsored by: John B. Romeiser

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