Name: F.K. "BUD" MILLS

Entry Date: 43

Exit Date: 45

Rating: AOCM

Squad: 111

Status: K


Born, 1924 at Anaheim Landing, California, just South of Seal Beach to Bud and Maggie Mills. Attended schools in East Hollywood, California, known as Los Feliz District. The “ back-lots” and “sound stages” of several motion picture studios were my playgrounds as a child. Friendships developed in those early days remain to this day.

I joined the Navy in November, 1941 hoping to be in submarines. Attended Ordnance School in San Diego specializing in torpedoes. My first assignment was to the Receiving Ship at Breezy Point, Norfolk, Va. Then Assigned to T.T.S.A.

Assigned to Lt. Com. M. H. Tuttle’s crew upon commissioning of VP- 201, at Norfolk Naval Air Station as Bow Gunner and Bombardier, flying PBM 3’s. Primary duty of VP- 201 was A.S.W. In the Bermuda Triangle, based at Banana River, Norfolk and Bermuda. Also, escorting ship convoys from the States to England.

August, 1943, V. B. 111 was commissioned at Norfolk, Naval Air Station, operating Navy PB4Y- l’s, (B-24’s). Again I remained on Lt. Com. Tuttle’s crew, #5. Our first pilot was Lt.(j.g.) H. H. Ashton. Duty Assignment of VB-111, was A.S.W., out of St. Eval, England, then to Port Lyautey, French Morocco. Biggest excitement was keeping those former Army Air Corp. B 24’s flying. However, searching over North Africa for spare parts gave our crew lots of great liberty stops.

Relieved from duty in North Africa we returned to the States for additional training and new aircraft. Squadron designation was changed to VPB-111 as we were assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Our bases included: Hawaii, Tinian, Moritai, Leyte, Mindoro, Peleliu and Palawan. Now a strike squadron, our targets were shipping and island installations, not A. S. W.

Our Crew was relieved from the squadron at the end of May 1945, I was returning home as a Chief Petty Officer and not yet twenty one years old. Being on Tuttle’s crew we were the first to leave the States heading for England, now on Lt. Ashton’s Crew, we were the “last” to leave the Pacific from the original 111 squadron. Received my discharge where I started, Naval Training Station, San Diego, California, November, 1945.

First Assignment: Enjoy being home at Mom’s in Hollywood, and Beach Duty at Santa Monica enjoying days with buddies soaking up the sun.

First Job: Contract actor at 20th Century Fox Studio. Did “stand in” for actors namely: Caesar Romero and Victor Mature. “Walk- ons” in several movies. Finding this all very unsuitable for me and boring at the time, this part of my life ended.

Marriage: A year after leaving the Navy, 1946, I married Colleen, my first wife. Moving to the San Fernando Valley, our son was born in July 1955. In 1963 Colleen passed away and left Kevin and I. Grieving we and moved to Australia. After a year there and a brief time in Tahiti, we came back to the U. S. San Fernando Valley our home.

Second Job: After the Movie Business, bought a “Flying A” Station on Melrose and Vine, Hollywood, Ca. This was followed by over ten years with Anheuser Busch.

After the loss of my Mother in 1950, and the birth of Kevin, changes brought me wanting more for my family. A taste in the decorating business through a part ownership in a drapery manufacturing business I became interested and obtained my Real Estate Sales License in California. In 1960 I became a Real Estate Broker and remained in the business until I retired in 1987.

Marriage: 1969, my lovely wife, Barbara and I were married on Valentine’s Day, giving Kevin and I a whole new family to love and be a part of. After our first years in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach, Ca. Area, in 1973 we moved from Newport Beach, Ca. To Lake Tahoe. Due to health reasons we relocated and now live in a lovely foothill town of Placerville, Ca., in the Sierras. It does snow sometimes, but nothing like Lake Tahoe, and it is only fifty miles to the ski hill.
We traveled from 1988 til 1997 across these beautiful United States, seeing all 48 contiguous and Hawaii. Making several trips, we visited Norfolk, Banana River Florida, and even Presque Isle, Maine, where the 111 had left for St. Eval, England. During the traveling it was always important to return for snow fall in the Sierras and be ready for skiing.

Other Interests: Down Hill Skiing already a sport that I participated in, became a big part of my life. My wife and I became members of the National Ski Patrol in 1947 and I remained active, serving until1987.
In 1958-1960, I was a member of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games as a Patrol Leader, and Avalanche Control Team, along with being selected Captain of the Honor Guard for/during Opening Ceremony held at Squaw Valley, Ca.

Motto: The Golden Rule. Family/ Friends/ Faith ….a blend and a balance in my life is what I have been fortunate to have throughout my days so far.

Thanks to my Barbara and her discovery of the web site, first finding and contacting James Bell, and then regaining contact with my buddies/my friends of long ago the CAC 12, members of 111. Being able to talk to PPC Ashton, Plane Captain, Sam Leonetti, Radioman, James Gibson, Radarman, Ed Trybala, Tail Gunner James Bell and Norwood Speary. HOW GOOD IT IS!

Bud Mills
30 June 2003 18:50:18