18 May 2008

Entry for February 09, 2007

Doris Miller

During World War II, racial restriction and segregation were facts of life in the U.S. military. Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority of African Americans participated wholeheartedly in the fight against the Axis powers. Doris Miller is credited with shooting down several Japanese planes with a machine gun from the deck of the U.S.S. West Virginia during the attack on Pearl Harbor. When news of his actions reached the public, the African-American community saw him as their symbol of patriotism and pride. They wanted him to give speeches, named Boys Clubs after him, and started a write-in campaign to have President Roosevelt admit him to the Naval Academy. Although he did not attend the Naval Academy, Miller was decorated for bravery and continued to serve on active duty. Miller lost his life in the explosions and subsequent sinking of the Liscome Bay early on the morning of November 24, 1943. (From http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/a_people_at_war/war_in_the_pacific/doris_miller.html)
(Originally posted on my Yahoo 360 blog)

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