Decorated war hero passes away in Palm Desert

General Ken Miles died after long battle with prostate cancer

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A local general with the United States Air Force, who was honored as Veteran of the Year in 2013, has passed away at the age of 86 at his home in Palm Desert.

According to his family, General Ken Miles died after a long battle with prostate cancer.

General Miles was a combat pilot who flew many missions over Korea, Japan and Vietnam. After he retired, he was a key figure in raising money for the Palm Springs Air Museum and for the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts in Palm Desert.

He was also on the McCallum Theatre's board of trustees and contributed to the Buddy Rodgers Youth Symphony in Indian Wells.

"I am saddened to learn of the passing of General Ken Miles," said Assemblyman Brian Nestande. "General Miles was one of our nation's most decorated war heroes. He bravely served as a United States Air Force fighter pilot during times of war."

"I was deeply honored to recognize General Miles for his distinguished valor, as Veteran of the Year in 2013. His contributions to our community, in particular the Palm Springs Air Museum and the McCallum Theatre will benefit generations to come," said Nestande. "Our nation has lost one of its most respected and treasured heroes. My heartfelt prayers are with his family, especially his beloved wife Karen."

A memorial service will be held for General Miles on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Palm Springs Air Museum, located at 745 N. Gene Autry Trail.

He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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