Biography of Edward Millward

Edward was born in poverty in Plano, Idaho, the 6th of 7 children, in August 1923. Learning at a very early age that hard work was putting food on the table, his father still lost the farm in 1934, during the depths of the great depression. Moving to Rexberg, Idaho, Edward finished High School in 1941 and hitchhiked to California looking for work with $5.00 in his pocket. He then obtained jobs as a machinist at McDonald Douglas in Santa Monica manufacturing P-38 Lightning’s and then as a welder, building Liberty ships in San Pedro California. Eventually, Edward’s parents and siblings all moved to California for the same reasons. He made more money in one day in California, then he made in a full week in Idaho.  

Like his 3 brothers, he was eventually drafted and was the only Millward to enter the Army Air Corp. No room for pilots, he became a rear gunner. Transferred from Texas back to Edwards Air Force Base in California he became part of a flight crew that left for the Pacific Theater in 1943.

Upon arriving at his South Pacific base, he was notified his mother was in the hospital and in very bad shape. Edward obtained leave and flew back to Hawaii, which took 3 days. Upon arriving in Hawaii, he was again contacted but his mother was recovering and he was ordered to return to his unit.

He flew back to base, which was another 3 day process and found out his original crew had been shot down in his absence with no survivors. The trip to Hawaii had saved his life.

He was transferred to another crew and flew with them for the duration of his deployment, ultimately flying 45 combat missions, which does not count milk runs. They bombed the Philippines, Borneo and other high profile gasoline and oil reserves, of the Japanese. They were also called upon to bomb airways, ships and strafe enemy soldiers occupying Islands that were being taken by the Americans.  He would comment, “Hell son, I was just one of millions that served our nation when we needed it… glad to have helped.”

 

An excellent boxer while in high school, Edward boxed while serving overseas with the 90th Bomb group, The Jolly Rogers. Edward won 2 round robin double elimination tournaments with hundreds of entries while stationed overseas. He was awarded liberty for a 2 week period each time in Sidney Australia.  He stated, “It was one hell of a time.”

 

With his deployment finally ended, he sailed home in a converted transport, which took 6 weeks, instead of the 5 days flying to get there from the states. He was then assigned the post of Provost Marshall of Santa Monica; taking care of notable Generals and high profile military personnel for another year as the war slowly ground down. He also was able to reunite with his 3 combat tested brothers, who also resided in Santa Monica.  

After the surrender of Japan because of the Atomic Bomb, which saved Edward from being again sent overseas; he went to school at UCLA on the GI bill. Bored, he quit after a year and started working for Liberty Mutual insurance company selling personal lines policies in downtown Los Angeles. Some of his clients were Jack Palance and Kate Smith.

In 1964, Edward purchased the Jackson Agency in downtown Watts; a year later the city was aflame with the riots of 1965, but his small office survived, unhurt.

Only having 2 markets, which made future growth questionable, Edward then merged with Arco Insurance in 1967, which was located where the current Staples Sports Arena parking lot now is.

With this cluster of 4 agencies, his associates, Gordon Biles, Gus Shubert and Red Moore played golf, obtained many carrier appointments and flourished together until 1978.

One night, while working later than his son, Weston, Edward was surprised by 3 robbers, one armed with a 1911 Colt 45 ACP. Edward was tied up, not beaten, and left after they had ransacked the office and stole his 1976 Lincoln Continental. He was able to untie himself and call the policy before the next morning.

Soon thereafter, Edward broke away from the cluster and moved to Orange County California with his son Weston. 3 short years later, in 1981, Edward suffered a massive heart attack, although surviving it, it forced him to be away from the office for over 9 months. Fully recovered, Edward concentrated on new carrier appointments and keeping track of the finances. In 1987, after 40 long years in the insurance business, Edward retired and was paid in full for his agency by his son by 1998.

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