Images from The Castaway's War

Hugh Barr Miller Jr. was born in 1910 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and by the time he reached 14 he was an expert outdoorsman and outstanding athlete. In high school he played on each of the organized sports teams, but his first love was football. His gridiron skills helped win him a spot on the University of Alabama’s varsity team despite his relatively slight stature. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)

Hugh Barr Miller Jr. was born in 1910 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and by the time he reached 14 he was an expert outdoorsman and outstanding athlete. In high school he played on each of the organized sports teams, but his first love was football. His gridiron skills helped win him a spot on the University of Alabama’s varsity team despite his relatively slight stature. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)

Seen here just after his September 29, 1941 commissioning as an ensign in the Naval Reserve, Hugh Miller was initially assigned as an aide to the assistant commandant of the Seventh Naval District in Key West. In the spring of 1942, a chance meeting with a senior officer set in motion a chain of events that would ultimately help “the lawyer” go to sea. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)<

Seen here just after his September 29, 1941 commissioning as an ensign in the Naval Reserve, Hugh Miller was initially assigned as an aide to the assistant commandant of the Seventh Naval District in Key West. In the spring of 1942, a chance meeting with a senior officer set in motion a chain of events that would ultimately help “the lawyer” go to sea. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)

Strong delivers mail to Honolulu via highline just days before the destroyer’s July 1943 sinking in Kula Gulf. Note that the ship's 5-inch/.38 mounts are pointed skyward in air-defense mode. Also visible is the raised platform built out from the rounded front section of the ship's bridge to house an additional 20mm cannon, as well as the 20mm mount added to the flying bridge just forward of the Mark 37 director. Hugh Miller is standing immediately to the right of the gun on the flying bridge. (National Archives)

Strong delivers mail to Honolulu via highline just days before the destroyer’s July 1943 sinking in Kula Gulf. Note that the ship’s 5-inch/.38 mounts are pointed skyward in air-defense mode. Also visible is the raised platform built out from the rounded front section of the ship’s bridge to house an additional 20mm cannon, as well as the 20mm mount added to the flying bridge just forward of the Mark 37 director. Hugh Miller is standing immediately to the right of the gun on the flying bridge. (National Archives)

Major Vernon A. Peterson, Major Goodwin R. Luck, and Master Technical Sergeant John J. Happer pose for a photo next to the J2F Duck in which they carried out the rescue of Hugh Miller. Years later all three men would be surprise guests on the episode of

Major Vernon A. Peterson, Major Goodwin R. Luck, and Master Technical Sergeant John J. Happer pose for a photo next to the J2F Duck in which they carried out the rescue of Hugh Miller. Years later, all three men would be surprise guests on the episode of “This Is Your Life&” honoring the “Castaway of Arundel Island.” (National Archives)

Following his rescue, Hugh Miller displays the hinomaru yosegaki flag he took from the body of one of the first enemy troops he killed on Arundel Island. Carried by the majority of Japanese military personnel in World War II, these flags were symbols of good luck given to men before they deployed. Inscribed with patriotic slogans, religious sayings and good wishes for health and success in battle, the flags were often worn wrapped around the body. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)

Following his rescue, Hugh Miller displays the hinomaru yosegaki flag he took from the body of one of the first enemy troops he killed on Arundel Island. Carried by the majority of Japanese military personnel in World War II, these flags were symbols of good luck given to men before they deployed. Inscribed with patriotic slogans, religious sayings, and good wishes for health and success in battle, the flags were often worn wrapped around the body. (Courtesy Fitzhugh Miller)

Wearing the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart with Gold Star that Eleanor Roosevelt has just pinned to his newly issued khaki uniform, Hugh Miller shakes hands with the First Lady as Admiral William Halsey (to Hugh’s immediate right) looks on. The ceremony—held at the naval hospital in Nouméa, New Caledonia, on September 15, 1943—was conducted at the foot of the bed occupied by Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Willard G. Langley, the sole known survivor of Strong’s forward engine room. (National Archives)

Wearing the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart with Gold Star that Eleanor Roosevelt has just pinned to his newly issued khaki uniform, Hugh Miller shakes hands with the First Lady as Admiral William Halsey (to Hugh’s immediate right) looks on. The ceremony—held at the naval hospital in Nouméa, New Caledonia, on September 15, 1943—was conducted at the foot of the bed occupied by Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Willard G. Langley, the sole known survivor of Strong’s forward engine room. (National Archives)