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.
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.
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
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.
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.