The US Navy is expected to honor a World War II hero when a new aircraft carrier is named for Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller.
The announcement is expected to be made at Pearl Harbor Monday, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.
Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor.
Miller was recognized for manning a machine gun on the USS West Virginia and returning fire against Japanese planes during the December 7 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii, was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the US
The destroyer USS Shaw explodes after being hit by bombs during the Japanese attack on December 7 1941
USS Miller, a destroyer escort, was previously named in his honor.
‘I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the call of what´s expected,’ said Doreen Ravenscroft, a team leader for the Doris Miller Memorial.
An African American was not allowed to man a gun in the Navy in 1941, Ravenscroft said.
‘Without him really knowing, he actually was a part of the Civil Rights movement because he changed the thinking in the Navy,’ Ravenscroft said.
The US Navy is expected to honor Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller (pictured), naming a new aircraft carrier after him
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet (left) presents the Navy Cross to Miller (right) in Pearl Harbor in May 1942. Miller was the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor
American hero: Miller is credited for going ‘beyond the call of what’s expected’. An African American was not allowed to man a gun in the Navy in 1941 so Miller had received no training when he manned the machine gun to defend troops during the Pearl Harbor attack
Two of Miller´s nieces are expected to be at Pearl Harbor for the announcement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The $13billion aircraft carrier will be the fourth of the new Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers, and is scheduled to launch in 2027, and enter service in 2030.
The carriers are the largest world, and will eventually replace the existing Nimitz-class.
Two of the class have already been built – the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS John F. Kennedy, while a third – the USS Enterprise – is under construction and scheduled to be launched in 2025.
The USS Doris Miller will be the fourth of the Gerald Ford-class supercarriers, after the USS Gerald R. Ford (pictured), the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Enterprise
Naming the newest addition after a sailor is uncommon, with the more recent carriers typically honoring former US presidents, such as aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (pictured)
Naming the newest addition after a sailor is uncommon, with the more recent carriers typically honoring former US presidents. Meanwhile, the Enterprise will be the ninth US Navy ship to bear the name.
During the attack on Pearl Harbor Miller, then 22, was collecting laundry when the alarm sounded.
His normal battle station in an antiaircraft battery magazine was destroyed by a torpedo. He went on deck and carried wounded soldiers to safety before receiving orders to aid the mortally wounded captain on the bridge.
‘He subsequently manned a 50-cal. Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship,’ the Navy said, noting Miller was not trained to operate the gun.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, presented the Navy Cross to Miller in Pearl Harbor in May 1942.
Miller died while serving on a ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in November 1943.
Aerial image of Pearl Harbor taken from a Japanese plane during the attack. Miller, then 22, was collecting laundry when the attack alarm sounded. His normal battle station was destroyed by a torpedo so he went on deck and carried wounded soldiers to safety before manning a machine gun
Sailors among the wreckage of the 1941 attack. More than 2,300 US troops died that day, with eight US Navy battleships being damaged
Pearl Harbor: The facts
The Pearl Harbor attack on the naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii, was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the US that took place just before 8 am on Sunday December 7 1941.
The attack, which the Japanese referred to as the Hawaii Operation, led to the US formally entering into World War II on December 8 1941.
More than 2,300 US troops died that day, with 19 Navy ships destroyed or damaged, including eight battleships.
1,177 of the casualties were Marines and sailors serving on the USS Arizona, a battleship moored in the harbor.
USS Arizona sank within nine minutes of being hit.
USS West Virginia was damaged and sunk by six Japanese torpedoes and two bombs, killing 106 crew members.
It was later rebuilt and returned to service.
Japan declared war on the US later that day, though the declaration was not delivered until the following day, December 8, when the US declared war on Japan.
On December 11, Germany and Italy also declared war on the US.
The Pearl Harbor attack was later judged a war crime because it took place without warning or a prior declaration of war.