William M. "Bud" Miley, 99, a retired Army major general who was a pioneer in the development of the Army's airborne forces, died Sept. 25 at his home in Starkville, Miss. The cause of death was not reported.
In 1940, Gen. Miley organized and commanded the first parachute unit activated by the Army -- the 501st Parachute Battalion at Fort Benning, Ga. During that period, he was credited with leading in the development of doctrines, equipment and tactics of jumping and landing.
With the activation of airborne divisions, he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to the newly reorganized 82nd Airborne Division as assistant division commander. As additional airborne divisions were activated, he was promoted to major general. In 1943, he was assigned to command the 17th Airborne Division at Camp McCall, N.C.
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