In Memorium: James W. Miles

Date

04/14/11

Dr. James W. Miles - SAVANNAH - James W. Miles was born in Henderson, Kentucky on September 19, 1918, son of James W. Miles and Isabel Teresa Miles. After graduating from Madisonville High School he attended Western Kentucky University where he received a BS degree in chemistry and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army reserve in 1940. Called to active duty in 1942, he served as a platoon leader in the 327th Glider Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. He landed in Normandy at Utah Beach on D-day 1944, landed in a glider in the invasion of Holland, and participated in the Battle of Bastogne, Belgium. He was promoted to Captain following the death of his company commander. During his service in Europe he was awarded the European Theatre Medal with bronze arrowhead and 5 battle stars, the WWII Victory Medal, the German Occupation Medal, the Orange Order of Wilhelm (Dutch Orange Lanyard), the Belgian Fourragere, a Distinguished Unit Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Combat Infantryman Badge. After discharge from the regular army in 1946 he served in the 100th Airborne Division (Reserve) and with the G-3 Section of Headquarters, Third Army where he was promoted to Lt. Col. He retired from military service in 1962.

Dr. Miles received his PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry in 1953 from the University of Illinois. He was a professor of Chemistry with the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy from 1953 - 1958 and eventually served as head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In 1958 he moved to Savannah where he worked as a research chemist with the Centers for Disease Control. He was promoted to Chief of the Chemistry Section in 1965 and was later promoted to Chief, Control Technology Branch. During his tenure at CDC he also served a two-year assignment with the World Health Organization's Biology and Vector Control Division in Geneva, Switzerland. He later served on the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Vector Biology and Control and the WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee on Onchocerciasis Control in West Africa.

Dr. Miles was a frequent contributor to scientific literature and author or co-author of 68 scientific papers, two books and several patents, primarily on pesticides, anti-malarial drugs and drugs for treatment of AIDS. In 1978 he received a Superior Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service for "Outstanding accomplishments in the chemistry of public health pesticides" and in 1986 he received an award for his work related to AIDS. Dr. Miles was a 63-year member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a charter member and twice past president of the Coastal Empire Section of the ACS, and a member of Sigma Xi and the Research and Engineering Society of America. He is cited in American Men and Women of Science. He was a past member of the board of directors of the Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity and was honored as Volunteer Member of the Year in 1997. As a member of the First Baptist Church of Savannah, Dr. Miles served as a member of the Diaconate and on several church committees.

Surviving are his wife, Evalyn Willey Miles, of 59 years; a daughter and son-in-law, Jo Ann Miles Miller and Gary Miller, a granddaughter, Laura, and grandson, James, of Philadelphia, PA; a sister, Mrs. Dorothy Grant of Owensboro, KY and two nieces, Mrs. Sandra Westerfield and Ms. Diane Lawless of Lexington, KY.

 

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