Mrs. Miller Writes Song, 'My Daddy of Bataan'

 

S.S. CLOVIS!  Clovis will have another vital stake in the coming victory drive when one of the powerful new Victory Ships sails bearing the city's name. The S. S. CLOVIS will be launched in July. She will carry arms, food, and other invasion necessities at a speed of 17 knots an hour, to help make the slogan “New Mexico Avenge Bataan!” a reality. The Victory ship above is the first of the new Victory fleet. The S. S. CLOVIS will look exactly like her.

 

 
Major Henry Max Miller
 
Foy E. Pribble & New Mexico's Victory Ships

On May 3, 1944, it was announced that the city of Clovis, New Mexico would be honored with a new Victory Ship to be named for her. The SS Clovis Victory was dedicated at the California Shipbuilding yards on July 13, 1944 with the wife of the 200th Coast Artillery's Major Henry Max Miller, as her sponsor, chosen by the citizens of Clovis.

 

At the end of October 1944, with the battle for the liberation of the Philippines underway, Mrs. Miller presented her song, “My Daddy of Bataan,” to the public for the first time at a U.S.O. open house. The words written as if coming from her son, Mrs. Miller remembered, “I was driving home from Carlsbad when the song came to me, and Max Edwin was asleep on my lap. I woke him up to sing it to him and he just groaned and went back to sleep. With that kind of encouragement, can you blame me for being hesitant about presenting the song?”

 

Mrs. Miller felt that with MacArthur in the Philippines, her efforts would be rewarded if New Mexicans were given additional encouragement from her song.

 

Four months later, Mrs. Miller received a letter from the War Department which read in part:

“The War Department has now received the official list of prisoners of war on the Japanese freighter, which you were previously informed was sunk on September 7, 1944. It is with deep regret that I must now inform you that your husband is among those listed as lost when that sinking occurred.”

In May 1945, Mrs. Miller was recognized for having contributed 4,000 hours to the U.S.O. since its birth in 1941. In October, she was named “First Lady of Clovis.” That same month, she received her husband's Purple Heart, awarded Posthumously.

My Daddy of Bataan

 

In a prison camp yonder,
Far beyond the sea,
Is the dearest daddy,
And he's all the world to me.

 

On Bataan they fought and bled,
My daddy and his men,
But someday they'll be free once more
And Old Glory raised again.

 

Now three years have passed and gone
Since daddy went away,
But we pray to God in Heaven
That He'll bring him home someday.

Chorus:

 

He is there because he loves us,
He is there because he's true
To his Uncle Sammie
And the old Red, White, and Blue.

 

He is there because he promised
He would keep our country free.
But someday he's coming home again,
Back to mother and to me.