Navy To Name Aircraft Carrier After Pearl Harbor Hero Born In Waco

January 21, 2020
Navy, Aircraft Carrier, Crew, Planes

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When the attacks were first levied against Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller immediately leapt into action.

Miller manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returned fire against the Japanese bombers. Doreen Ravenscroft, a team leader for the Doris Miller Memorial, said, “I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the call of what’s expected.”

At the time, the Navy did not allow African Americans to man machine guns.  Miller was not trained on the weapon, and was collecting laundry when the attacks began.  Ravenscroft continued, “Without him really knowing, he actually was a part of the Civil Rights movement because he changed the thinking in the Navy.”

Miller was also recognized for venturing out on deck and carrying wounded soldiers to safety before receiving orders to aid the mortally wounded captain on the bridge.

In honor of his bravery, the U.S. Navy announced they will be naming a new aircraft carrier after Miller.  It will be the first time an aircraft carrier will be named after an African American.

He was the first African America to receive the Navy Cross for valor, which was awarded to him by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, in 1942.  

Miller passed November 1943, while serving on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.