David Bruce Miller, 55, a Beech Aircraft Corp. official who was a retired Navy captain and a decorated combat flyer, died May 29 in a plane crash at Mildenhall, England.
The Associated Press reported that Capt. Miller and Robert Buettgenbach, 59, of Augusta, Kan., who both worked for Beech Aircraft, died when the plane they were flying, a T34-C Mentor trainer, crashed during a demonstration at the International Air Fete at the RAF base at Mildenhall. The accident is under investigation.
Capt. Miller began his Navy career in 1946, and earned his wings two years later. Over the years, he flew both fighters and attack aircraft from carriers and air bases. Between 1965 and 1968, he served two combat tours in Vietnam, the first as commander of an attack squadron and the second as commander of a carrier air wing aboard the Bonhomme Richard. He flew A4 Skyhawks and F8 Crusader aircraft and participated in 240 combat missions.
In 1968, he was promoted to captain and came to Washington as head of the budget and legislative branch in the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. He accompanied the Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flying team, as director of their 1974 tour of Europe. He also served as chief of staff to the commander of Strike Force, Southern Europe, and as executive director of the Chief of Naval Operations' Aircrew Survivability Enhancement Program.
He retired from active duty in 1979 and joined Beechcraft later that year. At the time of his death, he was manager of the company's aerospace aircraft marketing division in Washington.
His decorations included the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 22 Air Medals.
Capt. Miller, who lived in McLean, was a native of Galesburg, Ill. He was a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and earned masters' degrees in international affairs and administration at George Washington University. He was a graduate of the Naval War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He was a member of Walker Chapel United Methodist Church in Arlington, where he served on the finance committee and had been president of the Methodist Men's Club. He was a Mason.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Aimee, and four children, Linda Louise, Claude Harold, Monique Josette, and Eric Christopher Miller, all of McLean; his mother, Vera Milehem Miller of Camp Point, Ill.; a brother, Richard Neale Miller of Southfield, Mich., and a sister, Catherine Louise Anzelc of Joliet, Ill.