Texans continue fight for Doris 'Dorie' Miller's Medal of Honor - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Texans continue fight for Doris 'Dorie' Miller's Medal of Honor

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

On this somber day in American history, a Central Texas woman and a Texas congresswoman said they're trying to make sure a Pearl Harbor hero receives the honor he deserves.

Doris "Dorie" Miller served as a cook in the United States Navy during World War II. However, on Dec. 7, 1941, the man who should have only been a cook onboard the Battleship USS West Virginia, became a legend.

According to a historical account from the day the Japanese attacked the West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, Miller took control of a machine gun and began to shot at Japanese airplanes that were attacking the West Virginia. The historical narrative also said that he is responsible for saving the lives of other sailors who were aboard the ship as it went down.

More than 1500 men were on the ship when the attack started, and of those men, 130 were killed, and 52 suffered injuries.

Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery on that day, but many people still feel like the hero should be given a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Eddie Bernice Johnson is a Texas congresswoman who represents Dallas. She said the fight to get Miller a Medal of Honor has been going on for years.

"I strongly feel that he deserves to have the medal of honor," Johnson said. "When you think about the importance of his actions... by shooting down those planes. I don’t know if there is a higher way of performing."

Johnson said there are many people working on making sure Miller gets a Medal of Honor.

"We have now a committee of historians, we have a committee of college presidents, we have a committee of organizational leadership and many memberships within those organizations we have posts – [we have] Dorie Miller posts around the country that continue to ask for this honor," she said. "Many of the people who got me involved in his memory and making sure that it was never forgotten are now gone. As long as I’m around, I’ll try to make sure that this memory lives on."

Bettie Beard is a Central Texan who said she's going straight to the President Barack Obama's desk -- by writing the president a letter to help Miller get his medal.

"I doubt he'll ever hear about it but I'll still feel better knowing that I tried to reach out and help him understand my disappointment," Beard said. "He represented our country. He showed the Japanese that no matter that they had totally destroyed our fleet, he was still going to stand and fight."

Miller died in a separate WWII attack on Nov. 24, 1943.

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