New carrier to be named in honor of Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller, first black recipient of Navy Cross

A new U.S. Navy aircraft carrier will be named in honor of Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller, the first African American recipient of the Navy Cross, during a ceremony in Pearl Harbor Monday.

That is according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Naval history records show that on Dec. 7, 1941, Miller was on the West Virginia when the Japanese launched their attack. Miller went to the deck and used a weapon he had never used before (a 50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun) to respond.

"It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes," Miller said later, according to Naval history records.

After the run ran out of ammunition, he helped get wounded sailors to safety.

Miller received the Navy Cross on May 27, 1942. He was killed in action in November 1943.

U.S. Naval Institute News reports that Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly settled on naming the aircraft carrier after Miller after speaking with other Navy leaders.