Doris Miller Biography
Birthday: October 12, 1919 (Libra)
Born In: Waco, Texas, United States
One of the earliest American war heroes of World War II, Doris Miller served in the US Navy during a time when segregation in the military and racial discrimination in the country were the norm. He joined the Navy as a messman primarily because that was the only position reserved for Americans of African descent in the Navy. Working in the ‘hole’ of USS West Virginia, he performed the most menial of tasks without questions or reservations. Big and strong, he earned the respect of his shipmates by becoming the heavyweight champion onboard the battleship. He first saw action during the Japanese raid of Pearl Harbour in 1941; one he served with utmost valour and distinction. For someone who was never trained to operate an anti-aircraft gun, he excelled at it when the occasion demanded it from him. For his heroics, he was awarded the Navy Cross, and yet he was never promoted or trained to serve in a combat role. Nevertheless, Doris Miller paved the way for reforms in the US Military, which by the late 1960s had completely integrated African-American servicemen into all walks of combat service.