Col Lewis L. Millett died Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. He was an Idyllwild resident and Medal of Honor recipient.
Col. Millett will be interned at Riverside National Cemetery. Plans are still being arranged. He was born in Mechanic Falls, Maine, Dec. 15, 1920
His military career spanned three decades and three wars — WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
President Harry Truman bestorwed the Medal of Honor on Col. Millett for his heroic action during the Korean War. At that time he was a captain.
His citation reads, “Capt. Millett distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While personally leading his company in an attack against a strongly held position … Capt. Millett ordered the 3d Platoon forward, placed himself at the head of the 2 platoons, and, with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire-swept hill. In the fierce charge … his dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder. During this fierce onslaught Capt. Millett was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the objective was taken and firmly secured. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Capt. Millett were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and reflect the highest credit on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service.”
Upon learning of Col. Millett’s death, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today issued the following statement on his passing:
"COL Millett went far above and beyond the call of duty both in his military career and in life, putting the needs and lives of others before his own.… COL Millett stood tall as a man of character and strength, and while he will be sorely missed by us all, his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of a grateful nation."