By: White (Senate Sponsor - West) H.C.R. No. 45
         (In the Senate - Received from the House May 1, 2017;
  May 5, 2017, read first time and referred to Committee on Veteran
  Affairs & Border Security; May 15, 2017, reported favorably by the
  following vote:  Yeas 6, Nays 0; May 15, 2017, sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
  WHEREAS, During the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7,
  1941, Petty Officer Doris Miller of the U.S. Navy demonstrated
  valor above and beyond the call of duty, and he is long past due for
  full recognition of his extraordinary courage and initiative on
  that day; and
         WHEREAS, A native of Texas, Doris "Dorie" Miller was born in
  Waco on October 12, 1919, to Henrietta and Conery Miller; he was a
  fullback on the football team at Moore High School in Waco, and he
  went on to work on his father's farm; and
         WHEREAS, In September 1939, Mr. Miller enlisted in the U.S.
  Navy as a way to see the world and earn money for his family; at that
  time, African Americans were only permitted to perform menial tasks
  in the Navy, so Mr. Miller was trained as a mess attendant at the
  Naval Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia; after a brief
  assignment on the ammunition ship USS Pyro, he was transferred in
  January 1940 to the battleship USS West Virginia, where he won
  distinction among the crew as the ship's heavyweight boxing
  champion; his rank at the time was mess attendant, second class; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Miller rose at 6 a.m. on the morning of December
  7, 1941, and he was collecting laundry when the Japanese attack
  began and the alarm for general quarters was sounded; even mess
  attendants had a battle station, but Mr. Miller's, an antiaircraft
  battery magazine, had already been destroyed by a torpedo, so he
  went up on deck where, as the ship began to sink, he hauled wounded
  shipmates through oil and water to safety on the quarterdeck; he was
  then ordered to the bridge, where he picked up the ship's mortally
  wounded captain and carried him to an aid station; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Miller then returned to the bridge, and on his
  own initiative, he began firing a .50-caliber Browning antiaircraft
  machine gun at the attacking Japanese planes; he had never trained
  on the weapon, but, as he reported later, "It wasn't hard, I just
  pulled the trigger and she worked fine"; with no concern for his own
  safety, he continued firing until the gun's ammunition ran out,
  possibly bringing down one of the enemy aircraft; in the meantime,
  the West Virginia had been hit by five enemy torpedoes, and
  Mr. Miller was finally forced to abandon ship with his surviving
  crewmates; and
         WHEREAS, In the aftermath of the attack, Mr. Miller was
  commended by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and on May 27, 1942,
  he became the first African American to receive the Navy Cross, the
  service's second-highest honor, which was personally presented to
  him by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander of the Pacific
  Fleet; he went on to serve on the USS Indianapolis and then the USS
  Liscome Bay; that ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine on November
  24, 1943, and though his body was never recovered, Mr. Miller was
  eventually listed among the 646 sailors who died that day; at the
  time of his death, his rank was cook, third class; and
         WHEREAS, In the years since, Mr. Miller's actions have become
  an important part of the legacy of Pearl Harbor; during the war, a
  poster from the U.S. Office of War Information featured his image
  and urged African Americans to join the war effort, and in 1973, a
  Knox-class frigate was christened the USS Miller in his honor; in
  1991, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority dedicated a bronze plaque to him at
  the U.S. Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, and in 2001, he was portrayed
  by the actor Cuba Gooding Jr. in the blockbuster film, Pearl Harbor;
  more recently, his story has been featured prominently in the
  National Museum of African American History and Culture in
  Washington, D.C.; in addition to the Navy Cross, he was also
  entitled to the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service Medal,
  Fleet Clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War
  II Victory Medal; and
         WHEREAS, In 1939, when the clouds of world war were gathering
  in Europe and Asia, Dorie Miller chose to enlist in a Navy that did
  not trust black men to serve in combat, and at a moment of direst
  need, he picked up a weapon he had never used before and fought back
  against a savage enemy, performing brilliantly and courageously
  under fire in defense of his ship, his crewmates, and his nation;
  his valiant service on that day, and afterwards, warrants the
  highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the armed forces
  of the United States; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby urge the United States Congress to bestow on Doris "Dorie"
  Miller the Congressional Medal of Honor; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the secretary of state forward official copies
  of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the
  secretary of the Navy, to the speaker of the House of
  Representatives and the president of the Senate of the United
  States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to
  Congress with the request that this resolution be officially
  entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of
  the United States of America.
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