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Topic: Dorrie Miller< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Tom Leonard Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2001,6:40  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When this movie is released in May, a lot is going to be said about Dorrie Miller.  Most of what the media will carry will be inaccurate as they will not take the time to reseach anything but grab at the first available information.  He is noted for two actions.  One was aiding his wounded commander from the bridge and two manning a machinegun.  My questions are:  Was he "ordered" along with others as stretcher bearers to help the captain or was this a spontaneous act on his part and What type of machinegun did he man and for how long could he ramain at that post?  Is he personally credited with any hits?  
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2001,8:16 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Tom,
A detailed bio of Doris Miller (Dorie was a typo) is in the "Historical Accounts" section. As to your questions, Miller was ordered for all actions for which he was awarded. The machine gun was 50 cal. He said he was at the post for 15 minutes, but probably much less.
HTH,
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Rod Dickson Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 19 2001,2:25 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

May 27, 1942 USS ENTERPRISE (according to NHC site)

I can't think of anyone who had been stationed on more hard luck ships then Dorie Miller - WEST VIRGINIA, INDIANAPOLIS and finally LISCOMBE BAY.

(Edited by Rod Dickson at 2:28 am on April 19, 2001)

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Band22 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 19 2001,8:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Doris Miller was ordered to his actions-all were. Lieutenant Commander D.C. Johnson of the W.V.picked Miller because he was a"very powerfully built individual". He had in mind carrying the mortally wounded Capt. Bennion(awarded MOH) down from the bridge. Bennion had been dis-emboweled by shrapnel from a bomb hit on the nearby Tennessee. When his removal proved un-workable,Miller manned the 50 cal. machinegun outside the bridge.Some claimed he hit one,although he was never credited.No one knows for sure.
Where his heroism comes forward is when he went to the side of the ship (now almost level with the harbor), and scooped dazed sailors from the harbor with his powerful arms while under fire. No one can order you to do that-well...they can, but good luck finding someone willing to do it!
There are two thoughts about how his name was "changed" to Dorie. some believed a simple "typo" was resposible; changing the s to e. Others think the Navy was ashamed to have a hero named Doris(old Jonny Cash songs aside) and concocted the story to cover for their "machismo".
Miller became a symbol of patriotism for many americans. He traveled with war-bond tours and had boys clubs named after him. A letter writing campaign to FDR was started-asking for his admission to Annapolis.For a black mess attendant, this was extraordinary.He was awarded the Navy Cross.
Typical of this generation, he desired to get "back in the fight". His new assignment- the carrier Liscombe Bay.This ship was torpedoed off Tarawa and over 900 died, including Doris Miller.
Today, it's hard to imagine how this man, a product of "jim Crowe" Waco Texas would risk all for a segregated country.Maybe patriotism is "color-blind".To the Navy's credit, he was decorated for fearless conduct and will always be respected by my father(also on the West Virginia) and the dwindling number of survivors left. He saved many lives that day. It's too bad he is remembered as the "fleet heavywieght boxer who grinned as he shot a machinegun" rather than the life-saver he was.
 In 1973, the frigate U.S.S. Miller was launched. The Navys top honor to a fallen hero, a ships name-sake, was bestowed on the memory of Doris Miller.
Remember him for the hero he was, not as the poor "step-and-fetch-it" bossed around that day. The real story is good enough.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 22 2001,12:56 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic.    QUOTE

From my reading I have always "assumed" (a dangerous thing in the study of history)that Dorie was used rather than the more formal Doris, as Tommy is used for Thomas.
As to his being ordered, yes he was, but one must remember that the way things were "back then" were not as now.  Heck, things in that light changed in the mere twenty years that I was active duty.  I don't believe that he was formally ordered, but more of a "Miller, come with me and give me a hand.". It is indeed an order, but then again simply a request for assistance.  With the exception of the fact that they were very much under attack, nothing was "black and white" that day.
Concerning his downing any aircraft, Doris was quoted in saying that he "may have got one", and was unofficially credited with one.   But he did not shoot down six as one website that I've found says, nor was he on the ARIZONA as another presents.  (I hate it when people bend history to support their cause.)
Doris Miller was most definately a hero that day, without any embellishments to the story.

Best Regards,
Brian


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GM3cUSSMaryland Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2001,2:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It was more of a "come and give me a hand".  He was actually supposed to load while someone else shot, but he grabbed the machine gun and started firing.  It is highly doubtful that he hit anything.  The movie, made in our politically correct times, shows Miller as the big hero of the day when it is really just a glorified story.  And though he was credited with a possible kill, it is more likely that the new 1.1" heavy machine gun mount on the port side of the Maryland, manned by very experienced gunners shot down that dive-bomber, rather than by a cook.
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USSBOWFINSS287 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2001,8:36 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Really appreciate the previous few posts, y'all!!  Perhaps I am an idealist....but as for whether or not some things were or weren't "black and white" and whether or not Mr. Miller was "ordered" to do any specific task....I believe he risked his life to aid his commander, the boys at the side of the ship and I know I would have wanted to man a gun and shoot back at those planes!!!
I tend to agree that Doris Miller WAS a hero!!  And red, yellow, black or white, he was an AMERICAN  HERO!!!  No doubt there were many HEROES that day whose deeds will never be known or rewarded...but I am thankful that "here" we have a group of people working to insure that those brave men and women are not forgotten!!!

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Dan Perrine Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2001,3:26 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have enjoyed reading this thread and the previous one by David which was closed.  I am a Texan and proud that Doris Miller represented our state so honorably on December 7, 1941.  
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mmarland Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 19 2003,10:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In the photo with Doris Miller recieving his Medal Of Honor, does anyone have the names of the other officers in line and what ship they served on. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mike Marland
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 19 2003,1:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Mike,
Doris Miller did NOT receive a MEDAL OF HONOR....he got the Navy Cross.

The others with him...hummmm...
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