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First aircraft carrier to be named in honor of African-American serviceman, announced on MLK Day

3 years 1 week 1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 January 20, 2020 9:07 AM January 20, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

For the first time in history, a future aircraft carrier will be named in honor of an African American serviceman. 

ABC News reports that the ship will be named in honor of Doris Miller, a ship's cook who displayed tremendous bravery during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Navy is expected to officially announce the news, Monday, which coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

This will be the second vessel named in honor of Miller for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On that infamous day, Miller was collecting laundry on a West Virginia battleship when the attack began. He quickly headed to his battle station, only to find it destroyed by torpedo damage. Miller sprang into action by moving injured sailors to safety. He was then ordered to help the captain of the ship, who was mortally wounded. 

After assisting the captain, Miller took control of an anti-aircraft machine gun, which was a weapon he hadn't been trained to operate, and used it to defend his unit until it was out of ammunition.  

When the ship was ordered to be abandoned because of fires and flaming oil from another destroyed ship, Miller again helped move injured sailors. 

His actions not only earned a commendation from the secretary of the Navy, but a frigate called the USS Miller was named in honor of Miller. He also received a Purple Heart Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Miller lost his life in 1943 when a torpedo hit the ship he was aboard in the Gilbert Islands. 

Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, is expected to officially announce the naming of the future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier at a ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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