Oh, December 7, 2011 is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii! We do remember those who lost their lives that day. There were many heroic actions that took down our attackers and saved many American lives. One such hero was Dorie Miller depicted in the 2001 movie, Pearl Harbor that starred Ben Affleck. Cuba Gooding Jr. played Dorie (Doris) Miller.
I am not that surprised by those who thought that Mr. Gooding gunning down Japanese aircraft in the movie was unrealistic fodder to pad the Pearl Harbor movie. Back in 2001, a letter in the editorial section of the Philadelphia Daily News questioned why such a scene was in the movie, because the person said he had never read such in any history book (I did). I think the person wrote with sarcasm. It is true that you many not find most of the individual heroism of Dorie Miller or other sailors and soldiers in the history books. The newspaper added a photo of Mr. Miller to the many responses about his heroism.
I saw a few, ” So that really did happen!” comments today on Face Book. Dorie Miller a black Navy cook who had not been trained to use anti-aircraft machine guns, did so and shot down Japanese aircraft. He was awarded the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Dorie Miller died in 1943 while serving on an escort ship in the Battle of Tarawa which the Japanese torpedoed. In Miller’s honor, the Navy named a Knox-class escort ship, USS Miller FF-1091. Read more here.
Dorie Miller mentioned among the heroic Bluejackets of the Navy