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Miller was a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia as a Messman Third Class during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was awarded the Navy Cross--the third highest navy award for gallantry during combat--for "distinguished devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety during the attack. Miller, despite enemy strafing and bombing and in the face of serious fire, assisted in moving his Captain who had been mortally wounded to a place of greater safety and later manned and operated a machine gun directed at enemy Japanese attacking aircraft until ordered to leave the bridge."Miller was personally awarded the medal by Admiral Chester Nimitz. He was the first African-American to be awarded the honor.
Smoke billows from the U.S.S. West Virginia, which is pictured in the back and center of the photograph. The ship eventually sank.Floating on the left is the U.S.S. Maryland. On the right is a capsized U.S.S. Oklahoma.
Smoke rises from the sinking battleship, which was hit by seven torpedoes and two bombs.
An official U.S. Navy photograph. From left to right is the U.S.S. West Virginia, U.S.S. Tennessee, and the U.S.S. Arizona.
The photograph was taken at the beginning of the attack. The explosion seen in the center of the photograph is a torpedo that struck the U.S.S. West Virginia.
Crew members during a salvage and repair operation work port side of the battered battleship. The U.S.S. West Virginia was hit by seven torpedoes and two bombs during the December 7th attack.
The U.S.S. West Virginia looks battered and wounded while docked at the naval shipyard. The "Wee Vee" was hit by nine bombs and torpedoes by the Japanese warplanes during the December 7th attack.
Men on boats attempt to extinguish the fire on the U.S.S. West Virginia.
On the left, only the top deck and caged masts of the U.S.S. West Virginia can be seen. The U.S.S. West Virginia was hit with nine bombs and torpedoes total. In the center is the U.S.S. Arizona and on the right is the U.S.S. Tennessee. All ships are on fire.
The Japanese hit the "Wee Vee" with nine bombs and torpedoes during the attack. The U.S.S. Tennessee is moored on the right.
Photograph comes from a U.S.S. West Virginia scrapbook.
A fleet of U.S. bomber airplanes fly across the sky. The photograph comes from a U.S.S. West Virginia Scrapbook.
Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
The photo was taken from the deck of the U.S.S. West Virginia. Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Wright, left, is pictured with an unidentified woman on his lap. Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
The two men in the photo are sitting on top of or near one of the gun turrets on the ship.  Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Two sailors pose together for a photo. The man on the right is likely named Al. Photos are from an album belonging to a member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
A man likely named Al is pictured on the ship. Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia. William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
On the photo is a message reading, "All my love, Bill." Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Photos are from an album belonging to a crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  William Wright, Radio Technician 2C, was on the ship from 1944-45 and saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Another battleship is visible in the background.