William T. Miller

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Bureau of Air Commerce employee selected to head colonization of Jarvis, Baker, and Howland Island (the American Equatorial Islands).[1]

Miller helped to coordinate Earhart's first round-the-world attempt.

William T. Miller Papers

PDF files of William T. Miller’s correspondence and messages relating to the preparation of Amelia Earhart’s first World Flight attempt once were available on line, courtesy of John W. Davison, Jr. and family.

These PDF files contain scans of the original duplicates (carbon flimsies) compiled when William T. Miller was CAA Superintendent of Airways. The correspondence is between Miller, George Palmer Putnam, and government agencies involved in the coordination and preparation for Earhart's first World Flight attempt. Also included is correspondence following her disappearance during the second World Flight attempt. The original carbon flimsies have been donated to the Smithsonian Institution. There are two file versions, one is sorted chronologically, the second is in the order in which the documents were found. TIGHAR has prepared an index for the chronological file.

The William T. Miller papers reveal many intricacies of the World Flight preparation and illustrate the burden placed upon the Roosevelt administration by the Earhart Project.

  • Probably the most significant document in the file is the Chater Report, requested by Miller following Earhart’s disappearance. It provided comprehensive details of the Earhart departure from Lae, New Guinea, including the aircraft configuration, fuel load and take-off time (#237-244, July 29, 1937).
  • A revealing personal letter to Miller from LtCmdr Frank Kenner, describes first-hand the events on USCGC Itasca, and, in this unredacted copy, he expresses unbridled criticism of the Navy’s role in the search effort (#231-233, July 17, 1937).
  • The correspondence file also includes a letter to Miller from George Putnam requesting confidential arrangements for Pan American’s best navigator to work with Captain Harry Manning, who, in Putnam's view, seemed to be inexperienced in this type of work (#164, March 1, 1937).


  1. Ric Gillespie, Finding Amelia, p. 3.

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