Doris Miller, an African-American man born in Waco, Texas, was raised on his dad’s farm. After graduating high school, Miller enlisted in the United States Navy in 1939. The history of Miller is directly associated with the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It was his brave, deliberate actions that got him recognized as a war hero.
Miller was serving as a mess hall attendant on the USS West Virginia, stationed at Pearl Harbor. When the ship came under attack by the Japanese, Miller went above and beyond his assigned military duties. He ran to the top deck of the ship that was on fire and went to work. Historians and U.S. Navy officials say Miller had no training at all in manning the anti-aircraft machine gun that was mounted on the deck of the ship. He took hold of the machine gun and began firing at the incoming Japanese aircraft. His actions are responsible for shooting down one aircraft, and he is credited with keeping other aircraft away, thus saving the lives of fellow sailors.
Miller’s bravery and courage during the attack earned him widespread recognition. He was the first Black American to be awarded the honorable Navy Cross. Miller was killed on assignment to the USS Liscome Bay, which was sunk by a Japanese submarine torpedo in early November 1943 at the Battle of Makin.
Doris Miller’s story is a testament to the bravery and selflessness of the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. His actions on that fateful day at Pearl Harbor will always be remembered as a shining example of heroism and courage in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, Doris Miller’s story is a reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces throughout history. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations to serve their country with honor and distinction.