Doris “Dorie” Miller, a black mess attendant on the USS West Virginia when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While carrying out an order of loading the ship with weapons, Miller took over a machine gun aboard and was officially credited with downing two Japanese planes. He was honored as one of the first heroes of World War II, and given the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Dorie MIller, a messman in the U.S. Navy was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic deeds at Pearl Harbor (1st African American to be awarded the Navy Cross). ALL HE DID The Morning of Pearl Harbor Bombing was carry wounded sailors to safer locations, move his injured Captain (the Captain refused to leave his post & remained until his death), load machine guns, take control of one & began firing at Japanese planes (He HAD NO TRAINING IN OPERATING ONE). He fired until he ran out of ammunition.
"This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I’m sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts." — Admiral Chester W. Nimitz http://www.greatblackheroes.com/government/doris-miller/
Seaman Doris Miller was serving as a mess attendant aboard the battleship on that fateful morning but helped carry his mortally wounded captain to temporary safety and manned a machine gun, firing at the low-flying attackers.
Honoring Pearl Harbor hero Dorie Miller. A black messman who was untrained in machine gun use due to rigid Naval segregation policies, Miller took over a machine gun aboard the USS West Virginia and was officially credited with downing two Japanese planes. Miller was honored as one of the first heroes of World War II, and six months after the attack was given the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester Nimitz. Picture from http://www.greatblackheroes.com/government/doris-miller/