This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Navy Names Future Aircraft Carrier Doris Miller During MLK, Jr. Day Ceremony


Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly named a future aircraft carrier USS Doris Miller (CVN 81) during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ceremony honouring African Americans of the Greatest Generation in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Jan. 20.


Navy Names Future Aircraft Carrier Doris Miller During MLK Jr. Day Ceremony 925 001 Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly delivers remarks during the unveiling of the new Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Doris "Dorie" Miller (CVN 81) at a Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration event at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


The backdrop for the day’s ceremony paid homage to the beginning and ending of America’s role in World War II and the scene where Doris Miller’s heroic actions cemented him into books of American history.

But we were not perfect in our own pursuits of these values here at home,” Modly continued. “That contradiction is an undeniable part of our history, one that cannot be glossed over or forgotten.”

Secretary Modly noted that throughout the history of our nation, the finest of every generation have stepped forward to serve the cause of freedom around the world even if they were denied those same freedoms at home simply because of the color of their skin.

On December 7, 1941, Doris Miller did not let the prejudice of others define him, he said.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. Representative for the 30th Congressional District of Texas, delivered an emotional and moving speech about the influence Miller’s legacy had on her life.

Johnson said naming CVN 81 in honor of Doris Miller has done so much to recognize and highlight that no matter the color of a person’s skin, they can achieve anything.

Congressman Bill Flores, U.S. Representative for Texas's 17th Congressional District, which includes Doris Miller’s hometown of Waco, said it was an honor to pay tribute to one of America’s heroes from the greatest generation.

For the members of Miller’s family present at the ceremony, it was a moment to reflect on the legacy their family lives to honor with every generation.

This will be the second ship named in honor of Miller, and the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American. This will also be the first aircraft carrier to be named in honor of a Sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks.

The future USS Doris Miller and other Ford-class carriers will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief, and early decisive striking power in major combat operations. The aircraft carrier and the carrier strike group will provide forward presence, rapid response, endurance on station, and multi-mission capability throughout its 50-year service life.