June 30


June 30, 1973 The USS Miller was commissioned in honor of Doris “Dorie” Miller. Miller was born October 12, 1919 in Waco, Texas and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1939. On December 7, 1941, Miller was serving as a Messman Third Class on the USS West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by the Japanese. Although he had no anti-aircraft training, Miller took control of one and fired until the gun ran out of ammunition. On May 27, 1942, he was awarded the Navy Cross, the first African American to receive the decoration, for his extraordinary courage in battle. The Navy Cross is the third highest decoration bestowed by the Department of the Navy after the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.. Miller died November 24, 1943 while serving on the USS Liscome Bay which was hit by a Japanese torpedo and sank during the Battle of Makin. There are many schools, streets, and parks named in Miller’s honor and his story was told in “A Man Named Doris,” published in 2003.


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