Dorie Miller: A Damn Fine Name for a Ship

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Much better than being named for a politician who was never POTUS* and who never served in the military and did anything of note.

    *I’m not a fan of naming ships after a former POTUS unless they served, but I can understand why POTUS is an acceptable politician, especially if they were POTUS during a declared war.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, as others were discussing on Twitter at least so far for the Ford class they have done a great job naming them. Ford (POTUS, WW2 vet) JFK (same plus previous carrier) Enterprise (long name lineage back to revolution, WW2 Enterprise most decorated carrier of WW2, nuke Enterprise longest serving carrier) and now Miller (WW2, first AA Navy Cross, previous ship name) are all strong with long histories and traditions to carry on.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
        Ignored
        says:

        It struck me as a bit odd that he was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, as seventeen African American sailors had earlier been awarded the Medal of Honor, including a cook, for actions from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, etc. [1]

        Suspecting some sloppy journalism, I tried to research it further but just managed to confuse myself. For example, the Navy Cross was reportedly created in 1919, but somehow about 1,300 were awarded in World War One. Nurse Lenah Higbee got the award for her actions in that conflict, along with having a ship named after her (retired in 1979), and with the new Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee under construction and set to enter sevice in 2024.

        The Navy Cross also wasn’t the second highest award for sailors and Marines until the summer of 1942. Prior to that it was below the Distinguished Service Medal, which further confuses what the earlier awards may have meant. A lot of African American sailors won the Medal of Honor between the wars for jumping in and saving sailors who’d fallen overboard, so what would an award that is two levels below that signify, and how common would they be?

        Hopefully some really focused military history geeks can clear all this up for me.

        1. List of African American Medal of Honor recipientsReport

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Andrew Donaldson
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m still irked they named a ship after Gabby Giffords. Not because I think she’s a bad person or anything, she’s just never done anything worth having a ship named after her.Report

  2. Avatar Jay L Gischer
    Ignored
    says:

    I heartily approve. I just read about Doris Miller’s Navy cross last Pearl Harbor Day. Was it you that wrote about him, Andrew?Report

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