By Arise Rejoice News Service
A former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and a retired member of the United States Congress from New York are among those assiduously working to secure the Medal of Honor for Naval hero Dorie Miller who received the Navy Cross for his heroic acts at Pearl Harbor during the surprise Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941.
Clarence Davis, a veteran of the U.S. Navy expressed belief that evidence contained in an eyewitness battle report demonstrated conclusively that Miller’s deeds during the attack surpassed the valor of any other sailor aboard the ship, including those who were awarded the Medal of Honor.
“The ship’s after-action report clearly demonstrates that Dorie Miller should have received the Medal of Honor,” said Davis, a national leader of Black veterans and a board member of the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust.
Former Congressman Joseph DioGuardi, the first CPA to win a congressional seat, also believed the visual evidence irrefutably supported Miller receiving the medal.
“It is crucial that Dorie Miller be recognized as one of our nation’s great heroes,” DioGuardi said. “Like many African American members of the military, he did not receive what he earned.”
Both DioGuardi and Davis are members of a Congressional task force established a number of years ago by Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who, like Miller, is a native of Waco.
The Black Press has also insisted that the Navy Cross be upgraded to the nation’s highest honor for Miller.
Congressional efforts to have Miller awarded the Medal of Honor began shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the 1940s, Michigan Congressman John D. Dingell introduced the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to Ron Tarburton, one of the nation’s foremost Medal of Honor historians.
“There is not a single doubt in my mind that Miller should have received the Medal of Honor,” Tarburton said. “His not receiving it was a grave historical wrong that must be corrected.”
Furthermore, Davis indicated that the medal would also bring recognition to the bravery and bloodshed of African Americans during the nation’s history of domestic and foreign wars that was often denied to Black soldiers.
“To honor Dorie Miller by presenting him with the Medal of Honor would be further recognition of the historical role that Black military men and women have played in the promotion and guardianship of American Democracy,” Davis said.