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VA Hospital to be named after Pearl Harbor Hero

A Waco native whose actions during the sneak attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor will be honored when a Waco VA hospital is named after him.

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, a Republican from Bryan, introduced a bill last week that, if approved, will name the facility the Doris Miller Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn also introduced a related bill in the Senate co-sponsored by fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Miller was a cook aboard the USS West Virginia when the ship was attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He initially helped carry wounded sailors and his captain to safety, then took command of a .50  machine gun, shooting at Japanese aircraft.

He became the first black person to receive the Navy Cross. After being awarded the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Miller toured the United States in support of War Bond campaigns.

Returning to active duty,  Miller was killed two years later when his ship was torpedoed in the South Pacific. In the movie “Pearl Harbor”, Miller’s actions are portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr.

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