AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – The U-S Navy is honoring a sailor who overcame racism to become a hero during the Pearl Harbor attacks.
On December 7th 19-41 Dorris Miller was collecting laundry on the battleship West Virginia when they were attacked from Japanese forces.
Despite his lack of training and Jim Crow laws that prevented him from carrying a gun, Miller risked his life to defend his ship and crewmen.
Because of his act of service, he is being honored as the first African American in U-S history to receive the Navy Cross for Valor. And the first African American to have an aircraft carrier named in his honor.
Doreen Ravenscroft, team leader for the Doris Miller Memorial:
“Dorie Miller’s actions contradicted the popular belief that whites and blacks could not serve together, that blacks could not serve in combat.”
Miller died in 19-43 aboard U-S-S Liscome Bay.
The ship was hit by a torpedo and sank in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Ocean.