Texas Liberal

All People Matter

War Hero Dorie Miller

The above poster is of Dorie Miller.

Here is what it says about Mr. Miller in Portrait of a Nation–Men and Women Who Have Shaped America

” At the outbreak of World War II, the armed services practiced a rigid discrimination against African Americans that included a stubborn reluctance to acknowledge black capabilities, no matter how obvious. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Miller was stationed there on the West Virginia. ….By the time he abandoned ship, he had braved enemy fire to carry his wounded commanding officer to safety and, thought not trained for combat, had manned an antiaircraft gun, possibly downing at least one enemy plane. His bravery initially went unrecognized, however, and only after much pressure from the nation’s black press did Miller finally receive the Navy Cross. But once acknowledged, Miller’s heroism became a means, through posters such as this one, for rallying African-Americans to the war effort.”

Mr. Miller was killed when the ship he serving on was sunk in 1943. This was in the Battle of Tarawa.

Mr. Miller grew up in Waco, Texas.

A navy ship was named after Mr. Miller in 1973.

Here is additional information on Cook Third Class Miller from the the Navy Department’s Naval Historical Center .

The artist of the poster above was David Stone Martin who lived 1913-1992.

Mr. Martin drew posters, magazine covers and album covers. This link to the blog LP Cover Lover is of many creative covers Mr. Stone drew for jazz albums.

The Portrait of a Nation book is first-rate. It was produced by the National Portrait Gallery.

May 18, 2008 - Posted by | History | , , , , , , ,


  1. Thanks for sharing this Neil. It’s hard for me to contemplate the bravery of men like this who were fighting to defend a country that treated them like second-class citizens, and that continued to mistreat those who made it back for years after they returned.

    Comment by Big Tex | May 19, 2008

  2. Just like how Reconstruction failed after all the blood of the Civil War.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | May 19, 2008

  3. Hey Neil, another good post, and thanks for bringing Dorie Miller to life for many who’ve likely never heard of him. He is represented in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora.

    The hundreds of thousands of Black soldiers who fought overseas during the second world war were the vanguard of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. We owe a lot to those vets, but most are passing away quietly without any national recognizance of their sacrifices.

    My Father was one of them. A Red Ball Express truck driver who saw action in the N.African and European Theater of Operations.

    Comment by DP | May 19, 2008

  4. DP–Thanks for the nice comment. Nothing I can add.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | May 20, 2008

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