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CHIPS Articles: Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller

Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller
Valiant Recipient of Navy Cross
By CHIPS Magazine - February 19, 2015
Doris ("Dorie") Miller was born in Waco, Texas, on Oct. 12, 1919. He enlisted in the Navy in September 1939 as a Mess Attendant Third Class.

On Dec. 7, 1941, while serving aboard USS West Virginia (BB-48), he distinguished himself by courageous conduct and devotion to duty during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on this occasion.

Miller then served aboard USS Indianapolis (CA-35) from December 1941 to May 1943. He was next assigned to the escort carrier Liscome Bay (CVE-56). He was lost with that ship when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on Nov. 24, 1943, during the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.

On Nov. 25, 1944, Miller was presumed dead by the Secretary of the Navy a year and a day after being carried as missing in action since the Nov. 24, 1943 attack on the Liscome Bay.

USS Miller (DE-1091) was named in honor of Cook Third Class Doris Miller.

NAVY CROSS MEDAL TO MESS ATTENDANT SECOND CLASS DORIS MILLER UNITED STATES NAVY for services as set forth in the following:

CITATION: "For distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. While at the side of his Captain on the bridge, Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of a serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain, who had been mortally wounded, to a place of greater safety, and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge."

On Dec. 18, 2014, President Obama signed a measure to rename the Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center in honor of the World War II hero:

H.R. 4199, which designates the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Waco, Texas, as the Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The ceremony is slated for Feb. 19.

The medical center moved a red granite monument to Miller to a prominent position near flags at the entrance to the complex, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

To learn more about U.S. Navy history, please go to the Naval History and Heritage Command website: www.history.navy.mil/.

Doris Miller, Mess Attendant Second Class, USN, just after being presented with the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, on board USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942. The medal was awarded for heroism on board USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-408456
Doris Miller, Mess Attendant Second Class, USN, just after being presented with the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, on board USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942. The medal was awarded for heroism on board USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-408456

Doris Miller, Mess Attendant Second Class, USN, receives the Navy Cross from Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, at an awards ceremony held on the flight deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942. The medal was awarded for heroism on board USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-23588
Doris Miller, Mess Attendant Second Class, USN, receives the Navy Cross from Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, at an awards ceremony held on the flight deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942. The medal was awarded for heroism on board USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog #: 80-G-23588

The Navy Cross. Naval History and Heritage Command photo.
The Navy Cross. Naval History and Heritage Command photo.
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