A future Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier will be named in honour of World War II hero Ship’s Cook Third Class Doris Miller, say the US Navy.

This will be the second ship named in honour of Miller, and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American according to a US Navy news release.  This will also be the first aircraft carrier to be named in honour of a Sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks.

“In selecting this name, we honor the contributions of all our enlisted ranks, past and present, men and women, of every race, religion and background,” said Acting Secretary of the US Navy Thomas B. Modly.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed, ‘Everybody can be great – because anybody can serve’. No one understands the importance and true meaning of service than those who have volunteered to put the needs of others above themselves.”

File photo.

According to an official US Navy statement:

“On December the 7th, 1941, Miller was collecting laundry on the battleship West Virginia (BB-48), when the attack from Japanese forces commenced. When the alarm for general quarters sounded he headed for his battle station, an anti-aircraft battery magazine, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it. Miller was ordered to the ship’s bridge to aid the mortally wounded commanding officer, and subsequently manned a .50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition. Miller then helped move many other injured Sailors as the ship was ordered abandoned due to her own fires and flaming oil floating down from the destroyed Arizona (BB-33). West Virginia lost 150 of its 1,500 person crew.

Miller’s actions during the attack earned him a commendation from then Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and the Navy Cross, which was presented to him personally by Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time. Nimitz stated: 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 the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts.”

The US Navy say that the future USS Doris Miller and other Ford-class carriers “will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief, and early decisive striking power in a major combat operations”.

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branaboy
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branaboy

It seems to me that the Pentagon is bent on not naming a carrier after a Democrat President from the post 1960s. They’ve named two after Republicans from the post 1960s era, the Ronald Reagan (named immediately he retired as president in his successor’s term), and George H.W Bush (named only 2 presidencies from when the man was kicked out of office). They reluctantly named a submarine after James Carter but we see no Lyndon B. Johnson (named a Destroyer after him instead) Jefferson Clinton (is it because he was impeached) or Barack H. Obama (might be too soon). Is… Read more »

Helions
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Helions

President Carter was a submariner which is why the USS Jimmy Carter is named after him. It’s a Seawolf class extended hull boat and I ASSURE you it there is nothing second class about it. When was the last time a carrier crew was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for (classified) accomplishment?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Jimmy_Carter_(SSN-23)

Cheers

andy reeves
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andy reeves

a who jemmy where my what now? is that like a red badge in swimming?

TopBoy
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TopBoy

In short, yes

pkcasimir
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pkcasimir

Gerald Ford served as Vice President and President. He saw combat in WW2 as a member of the USS Monterey.

Lyndon Johnson, a protégé of FDR, was awarded a Silver Star, the US’s third highest award for valor in combat, simply as a means to advance his political career. It is the most undeserved combat medal ever awarded by the United States. There is no way the US Navy could have gotten away with naming an aircraft carrier after Johnson.

Dern
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Dern

1 George H W was not kicked out of Office, 2 Clinton wasn’t impeached.

Ron
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Ron

If someone said that a future assualt ship was to be named after Dorris Miller I could understand but a CVN. Those should be named after the most important people in the history of the US not someone who was doing his duty above and beyond the call. Just because you won the VC does not mean that you have a ship named after you.

Alan
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Alan

It’s a great woke decision. Because that’s what it is. That’s the driver. They wanted to be inclusive. Right call? You tell me. Seems like overkill.

Rokuth
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Rokuth

Sorry Ron, but by your definition, those most important people were also doing their duty, above and beyond. Why should ships be exclusively be named after them? Besides, you are talking about the USN, not the RN. They have their own traditions and can name a ship after someone who, in their eyes, while serving in a segregated Navy, where African-Americans were discriminated against, went way beyond what was expected of him. Maybe in the UK he may not be considered someone important, but in the USA and in the USN he is deserving of the honor. Plus, there is… Read more »

Ron
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Ron

Rokuth, please don’t think that I am saying that Dorris Miller does not deserve a ship named after him, God I am still actually trying to get my head around the segregation issue in the US armend forces in that period. As for Dorris Miller, I know of him and his history, the issues he faced and what he did and yes he did stand up when it mattered. Its just that I am questioning the type of ship, an Assault ship I can understand, a DDG I can understand but a CVN. That is my issue, because where then… Read more »

Rokuth
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Rokuth

Ron, I appreciate your response and I understand what you mean. I do agree with you on your points. Still, if those in power think that a CVN is worthy of his name…

Mark B
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Mark B

Moving away from politicians I wonder why?

Spyinthesky
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Spyinthesky

Well the Elephant in the Room I guess for one does wonder if there will be a Donny Trump at some time in the future. Much depends no doubt on what happens in both the short and longer term towards the end of his term if he servives it. Would have thought a draft dodger getting such an honour would be unthinkable but that was real sane world thinking and we are far from being in any sort of sane world at the moment. And one can guess who would be at the forefront of demanding it down the line,… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

A USS Franklin Roosevelt and USS Calvin Coolidge might also be good carrier names with partisan balance. Clinton and Obama might be a bit soon. We’ve already had a Franklin D. Roosevelt. Even a Woodrow Wilson might be in order. I think honoring Seaman Miller was a good move. He certainly distinguished himself in combat in extreme conditions. He was without a doubt a hero.

Herodotus
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A sailor called Doris…..well, I’ve met a Betty and a Gladys, but never a Doris!

pkcasimir
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pkcasimir

None of the commentators, I feel, really understand the rationale for this decision to name a CVN after Doris Miller. It is totally cynical politics. Not reported by the British press or the MSM in the United States is the tremendous progress Donald Trump has made into gaining support in the African-American community in the United States. African-American unemployment is an all time low and wages are rising. Kayne West has endorsed Trump. Significantly, Trump, who received 8% of the African American vote in 2016, now has poll approval ratings of around 35% amongst African Americans. Given the electoral system… Read more »

Helions
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Helions

Mr. Casimir has an undeniable point there. I was thinking the same. Whether you love him or hate him, President Trump has made major inroads into the African American community. I can attest that for a fact living in a majority black area of the Deep South. There is a good deal of support for his policies among here among traditionally Democratic voters.

Cheers

Helions
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Helions

Sorry for the redundant “among”. Wish we had the edit function back…

andy reeves
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andy reeves

fact is, nobody is interested in what ‘wiggy’ trump’ says he’s done or not, the man is the single most dangerous prawn on the planet. i hope one day he’ll fall off his wallet, and e’ll be rid of him.

pkcasimir
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pkcasimir

You may not be interested in what Trump does but the rest of us who live on this planet know that what he does affects the planet’s future. So, crawl back under your rock and stop annoying the rest of us.

David Flandry
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David Flandry

Ditto

Herodotus
Guest

I agree Andy…what a retard!

Herodotus
Guest

Well, that is the very best thing I have ever heard about Trump….a smart electoral move I would say!

HMS Monarch
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HMS Monarch

Another big point in play here is this naming protects the carrier from budget cuts by ‘woke’ dove politicians. Cancelling the order of carrier named after an african-american hero would be career suicide in today’s political climate

Joseph R
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Joseph R

This guy deserves to be remembered. A minor omission from the above historical anecdote, was that he was actually ordered to man that gun. That being said, to stand up and shoot back at the enemy whilst being shot at by him, especially considering the wider cultural context around racial segregation, and the fact he wouldn’t even have been trained to shoot, is the absolute highest valour. Yes it’s a new precedent naming a CVN after a fighting sailor and not a politician, but does anybody actually care? Personally I respect servicemen more than politicians and I would hazard that… Read more »

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Hi Joseph,

Really nice and interesting post. Thanks.

Helions
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Helions

Great post! A bit more on the “Revenge of the Pearl Harbor Battlewagons”

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_surigao_strait.html

Cheers

HF
Guest
HF

Next one after Doris Day ? Seriously, the spelling should be corrected to Dorris.