Doris Miller Memorial - Atlas Obscura

Doris Miller Memorial

Dedicated to the first Black recipient of the Navy Cross.  


Doris Miller joined the United States Navy when segregation forced Black soldiers into non-combat roles, Miller was a cook. Miller was on board the battleship West Virginia on December 7, 1941, when the attack on Pearl Harbor began. 

Despite no prior training, Miller stepped up to an anti-aircraft gun and used it on the enemy, officially taking down two Japanese planes. During the same attack, Miller helped carry wounded sailors to safety.

Miller was awarded the Navy Cross in 1942 but was denied the Medal of Honor many believe due to the color of his skin. Miller was finally honored in his hometown of Waco, Texas with this memorial, completed in 2017. Located within Doris D Miller Park on the northern banks of the Brazos River, the monument consists of a boat-shaped space, a shallow reflecting pool, a nine-foot bronze statue of Miller, and bronze relief panels depicting scenes from his life.

Know Before You Go

Free parking is available at the north-west end of the park, and it's a very easy walk over to the memorial. The park is open to the public and has no gate.

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January 24, 2024

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