Navy to name new 13Bn aircraft to the first African American pearl harbor hero

The US Navy is expected to honor Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller (pictured), naming a new aircraft carrier after him
  • The US Navy is to name new aircraft carrier after a World War II hero 
  • Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valour in 1942
  • The $13billion aircraft carrier will be the fourth of the new Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers and is scheduled to launch in 2027, and enter service in 2030 
  • Miller manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returning fire against Japanese planes during the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Miller, then 22, was collecting laundry when the attack alarm sounded
  • His normal battle station was destroyed by a torpedo so he went on deck and carried wounded soldiers to safety before manning a machine gun 
  • At the time an African American was not allowed to man a gun in the Navy 
  • The announcement is expected to be made at Pearl Harbor Monday, on Martin Luther King Junior Day
  • Miller died on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1943 
The destroyer USS Shaw explodes after being hit by bombs during the Japanese attack on December 7 1941

The US Navy is expected to honour a World War II hero when a new aircraft carrier is named for Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller.

The announcement is expected to be made at Pearl Harbor Monday, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.

Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valour.

Miller was recognized for manning a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returning fire against Japanese planes during the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

The attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii, was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the US

‘I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the call of what´s expected,’ said Doreen Ravenscroft, a team leader for the Doris Miller Memorial.

An African American was not allowed to man a gun in the Navy in 1941, Ravenscroft said.

‘Without him really knowing, he actually was a part of the Civil Rights movement because he changed the thinking in the Navy,’ Ravenscroft said.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet (left) presents the Navy Cross to Miller (right) in Pearl Harbor in May 1942. Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor

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