Recreating History

A Tribute To Doris Miller

DORIS MILLER (12 Oct.1919- 24 Nov.1943)
Doris (Dorie) Miller, African-American hero of World War II, was born Doris Miller in Waco, Texas, on October 12, 1919, the son of sharecroppers Connery and Henrietta Miller. Miller entered A. J. Moore High School in Waco and became the school’s star fullback. As the third of four sons in a family engaged in subsistence farming, he was forced to drop out of school. He supplemented the family income by working as a cook in a small restaurant in Waco during the Great Depression.

This will be the memorial when completed

Less than a month before his twentieth birthday, Miller enlisted in the United States Navy at its Dallas recruiting station. Following boot camp training in Norfolk, Virginia, he was assigned to the USS West Virginia as a messman.

On December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant Second Class Doris Miller was collecting soiled laundry just before 8:00 A.M. When the first bombs blasted his ship at anchor in Pearl Harbor, Miller went to the main deck where he assisted in moving the mortally wounded captain.

He then raced to an unattended deck gun and fired at the attacking planes until forced to abandon ship. It was Miller’s first experience firing such a weapon because black sailors serving in the segregated steward’s branch

Admiral Chester Nimitz awarded the Navy Cross

of the navy were not given the gunnery training received by white sailors. Although news stories have credited Miller with downing from two to five airplanes, these accounts have never been verified and are almost certainly apocryphal. Miller himself told Navy officials he thought he hit one of the planes. Navy officials conferred the Navy Cross upon Miller on May 27, 1942, in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

Following a Christmas leave in 1942, when he saw his home and family in Waco for the last time, Miller reported to duty aboard the aircraft carrier Liscome Bay (or Liscomb Bay) as a mess attendant, first class. During the battle of the Gilbert Islands, on November 24, 1943, his ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Pacific Ocean, and Miller perished. At that time, he had been promoted to cook, third class, and probably worked in the ship’s galley. In addition to conferring upon him the Navy Cross, the navy honored Doris Miller by naming a dining hall, a barracks, and a destroyer escort for him. The USS Miller is the third naval ship to be named after a black navy man.

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The crew of the USS Doris Miller came to honor Doris Miller.

The crew of the USS Miller had the honor to unveil the monument

A salute to a hero

Taps was played in remembrance of Doris Miller and all of those who lost their lives defending our country. Freedom is not free…it comes with a price

Proud loved ones touch the statue of their fallen hero

History must be taught from one generation to another

Chuck Toney and Denny Hair as General Patton were honored to be invited to pay their respects.

Artist Eddie Dixon designed and created the statue

Doreen Ravenscroft, a Cultural Arts of Waco official who has spearheaded the memorial effort.She is quite a lady and a treasure to the nation and Waco Texas.

Miller’s service in the Navy and Patton’s in the Army connect through more than a time in history, said Doreen Ravenscroft, a Cultural Arts of Waco official who has spearheaded the memorial effort.

The estate of an Army private who served under Patton in Europe presented the largest donation for the Miller memorial, Ravenscroft said.

The estate of William Travis Clarke Jr., who was honorably discharged in 1946 and served as the pharmacist for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Waco until he retired, donated $200,000 in 2015 for the memorial, she said.

William Travis Clarke Jr in later years, A private in Patton’s Third Army who loved to tell the story that he help steal gas for Patton’s tanks so they could move forward

The Third Army Historical Society set up General Patton’s mobile HQ and his communications tent for the public to see

Patton’s 1943 Ford Jeep

Ready for the swing dance

Fun was had by all as the swing dance moved into Patton’s tent due to cold weather

Inside Patton’s HQ van

As General Patton would have had on his desk inside his mobile HQ

William L. White as Col. Elton Hammond explains to visitors how the communication room worked

Pigeons were still being used to send messages in WWII in the 3rd Army

Here is the story of a pigeon who was wounded and recieved the Purple Heart

On Friday and Saturday visitors saw the living historians of WWII and Patton’s Third Army explain and teach history

Jamie Cooley a living historians help put this event on in the park and is part of a local reenactment group.

The 36th Recon Living Histiory Group were well represented

The 36th Recon Living Histiory Group brought their half track

Victoria Owens was there and had a very well recieved medical display

Among the displays Saturday, Victoria Owens, of College Station, educated guests on the often overlooked role that women played during past wars. Owens, part of the 139th Field Hospital Living Historians, has portrayed women in the armed forces over the past year

Chuck Toney and Denny Hair as Patton headed for the war room briefing

Caleb Nolan and McCain prepare for the War room

Dema Mccann, Tate Mowrey, and Mike Maloney as Gen Gay get ready for War Room

Chuck Toney talks with crowd on what they are about to see

Chuck Toney portrays Sgt Mims, Patton’s driver and helps educate the crowd on what they are about to see and hear in the war room

Chuck Toney prepares lunch for 3rd Army HQ

David W. Weakley and General Patton arrive for War Room

War Room Briefing

Sgt Tate Mowrey give message to General

Mike Maloney as General Gay explains German Generals profile that Patton as ordered to be attacked

William L. White as Col Hammond gives briefing to the General

General Patton gives briefing in War Room

Alan Jones Chief of Staff stands to Patton’s left during briefing

Local news media interview Major Al Stiller who is portrayed by Charles Wallace

Its not often you make the front page of a newspaper. We are honored it was for teaching history.
The Third Army Historical Society doing what it likes to do

Remember Freedom is not free it comes with a cost.

We salute you Doris Miller.

We would like to thank Jamie Key and his outstanding care in delivering our Patton Mobile Van to and from its destination. We recommend you check them out for crane and hauling needs.