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, December 7, 1941.
Clarence Davis, a veteran of the U. S. Navy and Joseph DioGuardi, the first CPA to win a congressional seat, believe that evidence contained in an eye witness battle report demonstrates 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 battle report clearly demonstrates that Dorie Miller should have received the Medal of Honor,” said Davis, a leader in a Black military veterans organization, and a board member of the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust.
“It is crucial that Dorie Miller be recognized as one of our nation’s great heroes,” said former Congressman DioGuardi. “Like many African American members of the military he did not receive what he earned.”
Both DioGuardi and Davis are members of a Congressional Dorie Miller Medal of Honor task force established a number of years ago by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) who, like Dorie Miller, is a native of Waco, Texas.
The effort to have Miller awarded the Medal of Honor began shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Black Press insisted that Miller should receive the nation’s highest honor. Congressional efforts to upgrade Miller’s award to the Medal of Honor began in the 1940s when Michigan Congressman John D. Dingell introduced 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 .”
“To honor Dorie Miller by pre- senting 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.