Doris Miller is born. He would later become the first Black navy cross recipient.
1919 (Oct 12)
Doris (aka Dorie) Miller was born on a small farm near Waco, Texas, to sharecropper parents. He enlisted in the navy when he was nineteen and was assigned to sea duty. On December 7, 1941, Miller was aboard the battleship Arizona when it was anchored at Pearl Harbor. This ship suffered tremendous damage when the Japanese attacked; Miller was knocked down by the blast. Unlike many crew members, however, Miller stayed aboard the ship and figured out how to fire a gun, a skill he had never been taught. After moving the mortally wounded captain to safety, Miller successfully fired at four Japanese planes. Three months later, he was awarded the navy cross and advanced to mess attendant first class. Miller died while serving aboard the Liscome Bay when it was sunk by a Japanese submarine on November 24, 1943.