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Passage of Legislation to Award Doris (Dorie) Miller Medal of Honor

WHEREAS, Doris Miller, known as "Dorie" to shipmates and friends, was born in Waco, Texas, on 12 October 1919, to Henrietta and Conery Miller; and

WHEREAS, following training at the Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia, Miller was assigned to the ammunition ship USS Pyro (AE-1) where he served as a Mess Attendant, and on 2 January 1940 was transferred to USS West Virginia (BB-48), where he became the ship's heavyweight boxing champion; and

WHEREAS, in July 1940 he had temporary duty aboard USS Nevada (BB-36) at Secondary Battery Gunnery School and returned to USS West Virginia and on 3 August, and was serving in that battleship when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941; and

WHEREAS, Miller had arisen at 6 a.m., and was collecting laundry when the alarm for general quarters sounded; and

WHEREAS, during the attack, Japanese aircraft dropped two armored piercing bombs through the deck of the battleship and launched five 18-inch aircraft torpedoes into her port side; and

WHEREAS, he headed for his battle station, the antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it, so he went on deck; and

WHEREAS, because of his physical prowess, he was assigned to carry wounded fellow Sailors to places of greater safety. Then an officer ordered him to the bridge to aid the mortally wounded Captain of the ship; and

WHEREAS, he subsequently manned a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship, reportedly shooting down three enemy aircrafts. Miller described firing the machine gun during the battle, a weapon which he had not been trained to operate: "It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes. I think I got one of those Jap (Japanese) planes. They were diving pretty close to us"; and

WHEREAS, Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on 1 April 1942; and

WHEREAS, on 27 May 1942 he was presented the Navy Cross, by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet onboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) for his extraordinary courage in battle. Speaking of Miller, Nimitz remarked: "This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I'm sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourages the Congress to initiate a thorough review of the facts supporting the heroic feats of Doris Miller at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 to determine if legislation should be enacted that will allow a Medal of Honor to be awarded despite the fact that the statutory time limit has been exceeded; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Doris Miller, whose extraordinary action at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, showed tremendous disregard for self and were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflected the utmost credit on him, his family and the United States Navy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports and encourages all people to write and call their congressional representative seeking their support for Doris Miller to be awarded the Medal of Honor; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP encourages all people to write and call the President of the United States seeking his support for Doris Miller to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

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