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Pearl Harbor Attack Facts – Doris Miller, Hero At Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Attack Facts – Doris Miller, Hero At Pearl Harbor

Much bravery—in the midst of immense tragedy—took place on December 7, 1941. One of those stories stems from the courage of Doris “Dorie” Miller, who was serving a noncombat role in the U.S. Navy at the time of the attack. This is one of the most intriguing Pearl Harbor attack facts, and a true American story of heroism.

Pearl Harbor Attack Facts: The Story of Doris “Dorie” Miller

Doris Miller couldn’t take a combat position in the Navy for the simple fact that he was African-American. Instead, he enlisted as a kitchen worker for the Navy.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Miller—a former football player and boxer—saw the Japanese fighters overhead and immediately took action. He carried injured Americans to a safer location, and then did something even more remarkable—making this one of the most incredible Pearl Harbor attack facts you’ll ever hear.

Miller saw the Japanese continuously dive-bombing the United States Naval Fleet when he returned from rescuing his fellow Navymen. Without a second thought, he then grabbed a 50-caliber Browning antiaircraft machine gun and began shooting at the enemy planes. Without any weaponry training whatsoever (due to segregation), Miller still managed to shoot down three or four Japanese aircraft.

Forever hailed a hero, Miller was also the first African-American to be awarded the U.S. Navy Cross. He received the honor in 1942.

The kitchen worker-turned-WWII hero endured a heartbreaking end, but once again representing his country. In the spring of 1943, Miller was called back to serve on the USS Liscome Bay, which was operating in the Pacific near the Gilbert Islands.  On November 24, 1943, a Japanese submarine fired a torpedo at the ship, which exploded its bomb magazine. The carrier sank in a matter of minutes.

His Legacy

Doris Miller’s legacy lives on for his achievements as a minority, as an American and as a war hero. In 2010, he was commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp—and several structures around the country bear his name. One such tribute, Doris Miller Park, is a military housing community in Honolulu.

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Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawai‘i flight adventure tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Furthermore, you can fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawai‘i, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best O‘ahu attractions.

Experience an immersive two-hour adventure that allows you to relive history as a Naval Aviator and fly Pearl Harbor like it was on December 10th, 1941. Learn more about the Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.

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