Miller, Dorie 1919-1943
Dorie Miller was born near Waco, Texas. He joined the U.S. Navy at nineteen, at a time when a black man could not hope for a higher rank than messman. He served valiantly during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when his ship, the Arizona, was bombed by Japanese planes. He moved the ship’s wounded captain to a safer location, and, although he had never been trained to fire a gun, was credited with shooting down four Japanese planes. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his valor and promoted to mess attendant first class.