'Autobiography of a Hero: The Story of Dorie Miller'
A radio drama of the remarkable story of the first African American to receive the Navy Cross.
Dorie Miller joined the Navy in 1939 with dreams of becoming a gunner. The U.S. military's long-standing policy of denying blacks leadership roles and skilled training stood firm — many in the military believed that African Americans inherently lacked the qualifications for combat duty. As a result, Miller was relegated to the mess hall, assigned to work as a dish washer.
Miller was on board the "USS West Virginia" when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Initially ordered to help carry the wounded to safety, he saw how desperate the fighting had become and took command of a 50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun. He fired on attacking Japanese aircraft until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship.
Miller was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the Navy's second highest honor. Further recognizing his courage and unflinching valor, the "USS Miller" was named in his honor. During his tour with the escort carrier "Liscome Bay," Cook Third Class Miller went down with that ship on November 24, 1943, when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
In "Autobiography of a Hero: The Story of Dorrie Miller," producer and host donnie l. betts uses radio drama to share the remarkable story of a remarkable sailor.