Miles Henry Blankenship was born on 14 August 1914 in Page, Virginia, to Thomas and Millie Ann (Blankenship) Blankenship. His parents were first cousins once removed, and it is likely that his mother was Native American. His father was a farmer. By 1920 the family lived in Garden, Virginia, on a rented farm.
Some time before 1930 the family moved to Sandy River, West Virginia, Thomas, Miles' father worked as a coal loader for one of the many mines in McDowell County and Miles and his younger brother, Wallace worked on the family farm, which was rented.
I have been unable to find Miles in the 1940 census but sometime before 1941, he married or began a relationship with Mary Inez Muir. They had four sons together between 1941 and 1946.
During World War II, Miles served in the U.S. Navy I do not know when he enlisted or when he was discharged. The one Navy muster roll I have been able to find indicated he transferred aboard USS Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L) No. 16 on 5 September 1944 from the LCI(L) Flotilla 18. He was a replacement sailor and was classified as a Seaman 2nd Class, which would be a Seaman Apprentice in today's Navy. He didn't stay on the ship long. On 20 September 1944 he was transferred back to Flotilla 18's Vicarage Barracks in Portsmouth, England.
LCI(L) craft were seagoing amphibious assault ships used to land large numbers of infantry soldiers directly onto beaches. They could carry up to 200 men and travel at speeds up to 15 knots.
According to her granddaughter, sometime after 1946 Mary left Miles, she took one son to her mother. She kept the two oldest sons and left their youngest son with Miles. Supposedly, Miles abandoned his son, who was raised by his paternal grandparents, Thomas and Millie and an aunt, Linda Blankenship.
Miles never married again. He died on 29 September 1983 at the Lee County Community Hospital in Pennington Gap, Virginia, of cardio-pulmonary arrest. He worked as a coal miner and lived in Oakwood, Virginia, at the time of his death. He was buired in Green Hills Memory Gardens in Claypool Hill, Virginia.
1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Garden, Buchanan, Virginia; Roll: T625_1882; Page: 33A; Enumeration District: 14; Image 662
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Sandy River, McDowell, West Virginia; Roll: 2543; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0047; Image: 968.0; FHL microfilm: 2342277
Email Messages with Linda Blankenship
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 1983 Blankenship, Miles H.
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 236-28-8504; Issue State: West Virginia
US, Virginia Death Records, 1912-2014, State File Number 83-033540
US, Virginia, Find A Grave Index, 1607-2012, 1983 Blankenship, Miles H.
US, World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Serial Number; 928-97-35