In the heat of battle, you see it…
…two grenades landing at the feet of your fellow Marines.
There’s no time to think.
In a blink, you’re on top of both of them to save others.
Your time on earth is surely over…
…or is it?
This is just a snapshot of the many heroes whose stories are collected in this book.
Men who go above and beyond the call of duty and somehow manage the impossible.
Listen to a Sample Here about Doris Miller, and read along below:
Doris “Dorie” Miller
On December 7, 1941, what should have been an ordinary
day at Pearl Harbor for the crew aboard the anchored USS
West Virginia became a day the world would never forget.
Up at 6 a.m., Cook Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller, a
22-year-old African American, had finished serving
breakfast to the crew and was in the middle of collecting
laundry, one of the very few jobs available to African
Americans at the time.
At 7:57 a.m., a torpedo struck his ship bringing him
straight to his knees. The alarm started blaring
throughout the ship notifying the entire crew to head to
their battle stations. This was not a drill nor an ordinary
day. The USS West Virginia was under attack and the
laundry would have to wait.
Within minutes, the ship was in flames as the Japanese
attack continued. Miller headed straight to his battle
station, a gun battery magazine amidship, ready to take
names and help turn some Japanese pilots into swiss
cheese. His job was to pass ammunition from within the
magazine up to the gunners. Unfortunately, Miller found
his battle station flooded from a torpedo which had
destroyed it beyond use.
Surrounded by fires and walls of burning oil as the USS
West Virginia continued to take enemy strafes and
bombs, Miller was ready for a fight. Having been raised
working with his father and three brothers on a farm,
along with being the star halfback on his high school
football team, his athleticism and 6’3’’, 225 lbs build
prepared him for what was to come next.
He headed straight for the bridge where he dragged
several crew members to safety including Captain
Bennion, who was mortally wounded but refused to leave
his station. In the face of an onslaught of enemy strafing,
bombing, fire, and choking black smoke, he insisted on
moving the captain to a safer location.
By then the ship had been hit by two bombs and 6
torpedoes causing the ship to tilt drastically. Miller
went with Lt Frederic White to station two which was
unmanned with Browning .50-caliber anti-aircraft
machine guns. White ordered Miller to start feeding
ammo while White fired at incoming Japanese planes.
Miller, who was stood on deck covered in oil and water
and surrounded by flames, grabbed the second gun,
a weapon he had zero training on nor was he allowed to
operate as an African American, pulled the trigger, and
shot bullets of freedom at the enemy for fifteen minutes
before he finally ran out of ammo and was ordered to
The ole girl was sinking. Of course, a ship going down
did not stop Miller from continuing to help pull sailors
from the burning water. Miller was one of the last three
men to abandon the ship as he and his shipmates swam
over 300 yards to shore while avoiding more strafing
from Japanese planes and patches of flaming oil from
the neighboring battleship Arizona. Once on land, Miller
continued to help sailors get to safety. He just never
Word spread weeks later in newspapers and radio reports
about an unnamed African American hero aboard the
ship before Miller was identified on March 14, 1942. Soon,
he was celebrated across the country and things got
busy for Miller. He was promoted to mess attendant first
class, traveled the country promoting war bonds for the
military, and his face later appeared on Navy recruiting
posters with the caption, “above and beyond the call of
On May 11, 1942, President Roosevelt approved the Navy
Cross for Miller, and 16 days later, Admiral Chester Nimitz,
Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet presented the
Navy Cross to Miller aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise
in Pearl Harbor, currently the Navy’s highest honor. Miller
was the first African American in history to ever receive
He was later reassigned in 1943 aboard the escort carrier
USS Liscome Bay. The escort carrier took part in the Battle
of Makin which began on November 20th, 1943. Four days
in, a Japanese submarine sent a torpedo straight to the
stern of the Liscome Bay. She sank into the depths of the
ocean within twenty-three minutes taking two-thirds of
the crew, nearly 650 crewmen, including Miller, with her. His
unmarked grave lies somewhere off the shores of Gilbert
Islands, though his legend lives on. As time has passed,
Miller’s acts of heroic bravery have been recognized and
honored by the naming of schools, parks, and roads
along with postage stamps displaying his image.
In 1973, a small and fast warship called a frigate, the
USS Miller, was named in his honor. His mother was in
• Miller was the USS West Virginia’s heavyweight
boxing champion, gaining the nickname “Raging
• Before enlisting in the Navy, Miller wanted to
become a taxidermist.
• Miller’s actions have been portrayed in the 2001
film Pearl Harbor by actor Cuba Gooding Jr.
• All of Miller’s brothers served in WWII
In 1935, a British engineer was working on a “Death Ray” that would use radio waves to obliterate enemy aircraft. His dooms day weapon later evolved into RADAR
Check the book out here, and watch for the release of the audiobook now in production!