Keller meets with Middleton's daughter
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa. 12) met this week with the surviving members of Merrill’s Marauders, a group of World War II heroes who made up the top-secret, long-range penetration unit of Army volunteers fighting behind enemy lines in Burma.
In order to complete their final objective of seizing northern-Burma’s all-weather Myitkyina airfield, Merrill’s Marauders walked almost 1,000 miles in under five months facing nearly uninterrupted jungle fighting, defeating the larger and elite Japanese 18th Division over the course of five major battles and 30 minor engagements.
Milton native Pvt. Horace Middleton was one of Merrill’s Marauders killed in action. His remains were only recently identified on Oct. 31, and they are set to be finally interred April 18, in Milton.
In order to properly recognize the service and sacrifice of every Merrill’s Marauders member, Keller has co-sponsored H.R. 906 – the Merrill’s Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Merrill’s Marauders “in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service.”
On Merrill’s Marauders, Keller made the following statement:
“It was a great honor to meet with the surviving members of Merrill’s Marauders and family members today to talk to them about their service, sacrifice, and the heroic bravery they displayed in action. Our country certainly owes a debt of gratitude to these soldiers, their families, and all our active duty military and veterans.
“I am proud to co-sponsor H.R. 906 to provide tangible recognition for the brave actions of Merrill’s Marauders. It is a long-overdue recognition for a group that contributed so much to the cause of freedom.
“I am glad to see that the remains of local hero Pvt. Horace Middleton will be returning home for interment. By finally being identified through the hard work of The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Pvt. Middleton’s family can rest easy knowing he died a hero and his legacy and contribution will not be forgotten by a grateful nation.”