Doris Miller

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Doris Miller as born in Waco, Texas (Ms. Kathy, you should know this one), back in 1919 to Connery and Henrietta. He attended A.J. Moore High School in Waco, but dropped out in the 8th grade. Just before his 20th birthday he enlisted in the United States Navy, taking his training at the Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia.

He was assigned to the Battleship West Virginia in 1940, where he started competition boxing, becoming the ship’s heavyweight champion. Of course, he was on duty on December 7th, 1941. when the Battle Stations alarm went off he went to his battle station, where he served with distinction. For his actions, he was awarded the Navy Cross. As far as I can find he was the only African-American recognized for his actions during the attack. He was featured on a 1943 Navy recruiting poster. On November 24, 1943, he was killed in action during the Battle of Makin Island while aboard the escort carrier Liscome Bay, he was 24.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray I'm not familiar with that Navy man.... no wonder he was the ship's heavyweight champion, if HIS name was Doris!! he needed to defend himself....

Oct 06, 2019 02:51 AM #1
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

James, as an African American he was relegated to non-combat duties and lived in segregated quarters because of  an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson (Democrat, New Jersey) that would actually ban the recruitment of black sailors in the interwar period up to 1932.   The US Navy, unlike the Army,  had a proud tradition of men serving together with some restrictions on what percentage could serve. 

Doris Miller showed great courage when he manned a vacated anti-aircraft gun to return fire to attacking Japanese planes.  The West Virginia was hit by seven Japanese torpedoes and sank into the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor.  He was a hero who stepped up and showed how wrong Wilson was to segregate blacks in the Navy (and the entire federal workforce) and that blacks could fight as well or better than whites.  President Harry Truman (Democrat, Missouri) would later reverse Wilson's segregation policies in the Navy and rest of the Armed Forces in 1947.

Oct 06, 2019 04:16 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi James... you had me fooled there for a minute. I thought you were writing about a woman! Brought to mind Johnny Cash's song about a boy named Sue! All that being said, Doris Miller showed great courage in defending our nation and so deserved the Navy Cross.

Oct 06, 2019 04:20 AM #3
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

A man who lived as a fellow human being and assisted those less fortunate around him.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Oct 06, 2019 04:30 AM #4
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

He was a true Patriot and it was to bad he lived such a short life.

Oct 06, 2019 05:26 AM #5
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi James - thank you for this information about Mr. Miller and thanks to Bruce Walter for the additional info.  

Oct 06, 2019 05:55 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I was caught off guard too, as I thought Doris was a gal.  I have never known a man named Doris, but this guy sounds like he was quite a talent.

Oct 06, 2019 06:07 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

OMG James- I have to admit that I did not know about Doris Miller. And, I just saw Bruce Walter  response to Barbara Todaro comment so I'll have to read more about him and maybe watch the movie again. 

Oct 06, 2019 07:30 AM #8
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Interesting,  sure he learn to fight with a name like Doris Miller.  I do recall the movie.

Oct 06, 2019 07:53 AM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. What a beautiful yet sad story of a brave guy gone too soon.

Oct 06, 2019 09:05 AM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a short life he had, and what an accomplishment.  Wishing you a wonderful Sunday.  A

Oct 06, 2019 09:26 AM #11
Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
I help clients resolve IRS tax matters


Thanks for sharing such a great story. So sad to hear Miller had such a short life but he made the best of it and made such an impact.

Oct 06, 2019 11:04 AM #12
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon James Dray - he sure made an impact on the country in his short life.

Oct 06, 2019 01:53 PM #13
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing the story of Doris Miller - a courageous young man - a hero - sad he was taken from us so young.

Oct 06, 2019 06:38 PM #14
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Well, now that I know the rest of the story...and that Doris was not a woman...I must watch the movie again too! Thanks for the fascinating lessons in history, James & Bruce Walter

Oct 07, 2019 03:03 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

Well I knew none of this. What a hero, but sad that his life was cut so short!


Oct 07, 2019 11:13 AM #16
Michelle Cherie CarrCrowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for sharing about Doris Miller, the only African-American recognized for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Oct 07, 2019 02:20 PM #17
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

An American hero, and more African-Americans should be recognized for valor.  Thank you, James

Nov 04, 2019 09:02 AM #18
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