African-American Pearl Harbor Hero Doris Miller Remembered

African-American Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller via WikiMedia Commons

In a time of segregation, an African-American Pearl Harbor hero emerged as an inspiration to all Americans. That fateful day, no one expected what was to come. Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris (Dorie) Miller certainly couldn’t have anticipated what happened that morning. Working mess duty on the USS West Virginia with no gunnery training, Dorie seemed an unlikely hero. When the attack began, however, he acted without hesitation.

As Japanese warplanes carried out their attack, Miller placed himself in the middle of the fight. Taking control of one of the unmanned Brownings, he fired on enemy planes saving countless lives. He was later awarded the Navy Cross Medal for his heroics. He made history as the first African-American to receive this honor. In 2020, he was honored once again as a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier was named for him. Sadly, this honor was posthumous as he gave his life in service nearly two years after the Pearl Harbor attack.

It is important to remember heroes like Doris Miller not only for their brave actions but for the impact of their sacrifices on future generations. We owe so much to the great men and women who have spent their lives in service of our nation. Take a look at what we are doing to give back here. Also, please take a minute to share on Facebook and Twitter.