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Doris Miller

Doris Miller (October 12, 1919-November 24, 1944) was an early American war hero in World War II. He was portrayed by actor Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie Pearl Harbor.

A native of Waco, Texas, Miller enlisted in the United States Navy in September 1939. Originally assigned to the USS Pyro, he transferred to the battleship USS West Virginia in January 1940. He became the ship's heavyweight boxing champion.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor began, Miller was collecting laundry. His battle station damaged beyond use, he was told to carry wounded sailors to safety. Among the men he aided was the captain of the ship. He later manned a 50-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition.

The ship sank as a result of the attack. Of the 1,541 men on board, 130 were killed and 52 wounded.

Miller reported to the USS Indianapolis on December 13, 1941, and returned to the United States 11 months later. In the spring of 1943, Miller was assigned to the escort carrier USS Liscombe Bay[?]. On the morning of November 24, it was struck by a torpedo from Japanese submarine I-175, detonating the bomb magazine and sinking the carrier within minutes. Miller was officially pronounced dead one year and one day later. There were 646 members of the ship's crew killed in the attack. There were only 272 survivors.

On April 1, 1942, Miller received commendations from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and on May 27, 1942, he received the Navy Cross from Admiral Chester Nimitz for extraordinary courage in battle. In addition to the Navy Cross, Miller received the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal - Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

In 1973, the U.S. Navy commissioned a Knox-class frigate named the USS Miller, after Doris Miller.

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