Doris Miller - Waco, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 31° 34.313 W 097° 07.309
14R E 678238 N 3494514
Quick Description: A 1993 Texas Historical Marker honoring Doris Miller stands in front of the Doris Miller Family YMCA at 1020 Elm Ave, Building #900-I, Waco, TX, providing a narrative for how this hero's efforts helped to break down the Navy's color barrier.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2021 10:16:50 AM
Waymark Code: WM14G12
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
This is a standard-issue steel historical marker in the form of a shield, produced by the Southwell Company in San Antonio and standing in front of the YMCA bearing Doris Miller's name. It reads:

(October 12, 1919 - November 25, 1943)

Doris (Dorie) Miller was reared on a farm in McLennan County, Texas, and attended Waco's A.J. Moore High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the battleship "USS West Virginia" in 1940. The "West Virginia" was docked in Pearl Harbor when it was struck by a Japanese torpedo on December 7, 1941.

Moments after the torpedo hit, an explosion on a nearby ship showered the "West Virginia's" deck with burning debris and flaming oil. Miller helped move his wounded captain to safety, then maneuvered through the flame-swept deck and took over a machine gun position. Though never trained as an aerial gunner, he confidently shot down four enemy aircraft.

Miller reacted with such extraordinary skill and bravery in the defense of his ship that he became the first African American to receive the Navy Cross. Fellow Texan Admiral Chester Nimitz awarded him the Navy Cross on May 7, 1942. Miller died when his ship, the "USS Linscombe Bay," was torpedoed in 1943. The destroyer "USS Miller" was named in his honor in 1973.

Miller, posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and honored by associations, cemeteries, parks, naval bases, and other organizations across the nation, is credited with helping break down the color barrier in the Navy.

----------

The ship was actually the "USS Liscome Bay", and interestingly, Doris Miller was previously attached to the ill-fated USS Indianapolis, whose story was told by Quint in "Jaws." His Wikipedia page notes that -- no surprise -- the NAACP had to do some prodding to elevate Miller from being an "unnamed black man" when the Navy released its list of Pearl Harbor commendations in 1942. Although efforts to award him the Medal of Honor were unsuccessful, more recognition did follow after he received the Navy Cross.

Civil Right Type: Class Equality

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