Doris Miller

Doris Miller (HMN5L)

Location: Waco, TX 76704 McLennan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 34.313', W 97° 7.31'

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October 12, 1919 - November 25, 1943

Doris (Dorie) Miller was reared on a farm in McClennan 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" 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 Liscombe 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.
HM NumberHMN5L
Marker Number1255
Year Placed1993
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 11:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14R E 678236 N 3494513
Decimal Degrees31.57188333, -97.12183333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 34.313', W 97° 7.31'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 34' 18.78" N, 97° 7' 18.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)817, 254
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1020 Elm St, Waco TX 76704, US
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