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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.