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GhostSwordsman

CVN-81 to be named after Pearl Harbor Hero

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CVN-80 will become the new Enterprise. CVN-81 will become the first aircraft carrier to not be named after a president/political figure since that naming convention began.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/next-u-s-navy-aircraft-carrier-to-be-named-after-african-american-pearl-harbor-hero-doris-miller/#

 

Saw this on the local news first tonight, then CBS's story which was a bit more in-depth than the local station's story. 

Edited by GhostSwordsman
Fixed typo in title
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This is a big break from tradition. Normally they would name a DD after him.

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There is an enormous amount of politics involved in ship naming.  Doris Miller's actions were heroic by any standard, but over 6,300 Navy Cross's have been earned in the US Navy.  Only 5 of them are namesakes for US Navy ships.  All of those have been DDs.  For him to have a Capital ship named after him and only awarded a Navy Cross is not highly unusual.  It stinks of politics.

Don't take me the wrong way. I'd be proud to serve aboard the USS Doris Miller CVN 81.  I'd much rather a ship be named for a real combat hero than a 2 bit politician or president.

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52 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

This is a big break from tradition. Normally they would name a DD after him.

Yeah,  I appreciate the thought but they should have stayed with tradition.

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1 hour ago, Warped_1 said:

Yeah,  I appreciate the thought but they should have stayed with tradition.

It would have been nice if they did cvn-80 Enterprise. CVN 81 Yorktown. CVN 82 Hornet. 

but it is atlest nice to see them use Arizona .

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I hope they break normal naming traditions of naming CVs after Presidents...

Heroes are those who dont seek fame or any recognition  for their  acts of valor... Out of all the heroes I think more deserving of a ship named after them,

Cpt Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is derserving of that honer then any slimy politician.

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Is it me, or is he a dead ringer for the late actor Michael Clarke Duncan from The Green Mile?

Edited by Eisennagel

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:55 PM, SeaborneSumo said:

There is an enormous amount of politics involved in ship naming.  Doris Miller's actions were heroic by any standard, but over 6,300 Navy Cross's have been earned in the US Navy.  Only 5 of them are namesakes for US Navy ships.  All of those have been DDs.  For him to have a Capital ship named after him and only awarded a Navy Cross is not highly unusual.  It stinks of politics.

Don't take me the wrong way. I'd be proud to serve aboard the USS Doris Miller CVN 81.  I'd much rather a ship be named for a real combat hero than a 2 bit politician or president.

I think it can be fairly argued that Miller had been white, he would've been awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, so that also needs to be taken into account.

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14 hours ago, Navynuke99 said:

I think it can be fairly argued that Miller had been white, he would've been awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, so that also needs to be taken into account.

In the service, I had the honor of writing up many of my sailors and marines for commendations.  I also served on many review boards.  This was in the 80’s and 90’s and aside from my own people, I never knew or paid attention to someone’s race, background etc.  Only the actions for which they were being recommended for commendation.

From what I can gather, these are the actions of Doris Miller on Dec 7th for which he as recommended for commendation.

Under constant enemy strafing and bombing he:

  1. Manned an AA Gun, for which he was not trained, and engaged enemy planes.

  2. Assisted with the evacuation of many wounded sailors, including a ships captain, to safety.

These acts should earn anyone a commendation, but which one.  These actions were also performed by hundreds of other sailors and marines that day to varying degrees.

How many sailors did he help rescue -  5? 10? 20?  100?  From what I can tell, there is no record.

Did he shoot down any enemy planes?  

The number 4 or 5 is thrown around a lot, but even Doris Miller could not confirm how many, if any, planes he hit that day.   Having fired this type of weapon before I can tell you the odds of shooting down a single enemy plane with this gun alone is astronomical.  Besides, with thousands of other guns firing skyward from other ships and land based AA guns how could anyone 'absolutely' state Miller shot them down alone.

Also, in the 2 waves of attacks, 29 Japanese planes were shot down.  9 in the first wave and 20 in the second.  Miller’s heroic actions took place during the first wave.  To attribute half of the enemy planes shot down in this wave to a single .50 caliber gun mount from the West Virginia is completely unrealistic.

This is how I would evaluate a commendation.  Based on the evidence, what did this person do?

The Navy Cross is the very highest I would have conferred upon him.

I see many articles and opinion pieces from various individuals and organizations stating he should be awarded the MOH because of the racial injustice he had to endure in a segregated military.  Or people stating exactly what @Navynuke99 said: “if he were white,,,,, etc etc. ‘    Like I said, there were hundreds of other sailors and marines, predominantly white, who performed the same or similar actions and were never recommended for commendation. 

As part of my masters thesis, I interviewed dozens of Pearl Harbor survivors and poured through hundreds of survivor accounts.  I was stationed in Pearl Harbor for 3 years and studied and learned as much as I could about the people there and the attack.  These types of actions were not uncommon.

Was he a hero?  He was a brave sailor, who in the face of death fought to protect his ship and shipmates.  So YES, he was.  But to award someone a medal based upon factors other than the actions they performed such as background or race, lessons the award. 

Were minority sailors excluded from being recommended for any commendation based solely on their race?  The record indicates they were, and I can only hope it never happens again.  I would also hope any heroic action overlooked, ignored or blatantly disregarded based on race is identified and the proper action taken.

Were/Are awards bestowed upon someone who is not deserving?  ABSOUTELY!!  West Virginia's captain was awarded the MOH for getting hit with shrapnel and dying.  Sorry,,, I don't see that as deserving.  Admiral Daniel J Callaghan was awarded the MOH for sailing his task force in the middle of a Japanese formation and getting killed.  Yes, it was a tactical victory in the end, but the victory was NOT from his actions or training and came at an incredible cost in ships and lives.  All of which happened after he died.  I saw an officer once get a Navy Commendation Medal for throwing the Desron a party.  It was nauseating.

For actions at Pearl Harbor - 51 Navy Crosses were awarded along with 15 MOH's and 53 Silver Stars.  I've not researched the specifics of these before, but I think I will now after thinking about this post.  I'm curious.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 7:55 PM, SeaborneSumo said:

There is an enormous amount of politics involved in ship naming.  Doris Miller's actions were heroic by any standard, but over 6,300 Navy Cross's have been earned in the US Navy.  Only 5 of them are namesakes for US Navy ships.  All of those have been DDs.  For him to have a Capital ship named after him and only awarded a Navy Cross is not highly unusual.  It stinks of politics.

Don't take me the wrong way. I'd be proud to serve aboard the USS Doris Miller CVN 81.  I'd much rather a ship be named for a real combat hero than a 2 bit politician or president.

It might have something to do with him being killed in action when the escort carrier he was on was sunk

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On 1/23/2020 at 1:04 PM, SeaborneSumo said:

the service, I had the honor of writing up many of my sailors and marines for commendations

First off: thank you for your service. And for writing and proclaiming your duty on a public forum, I'm certain you performed your duty without bias of any kind. However, your disposition is relatively out of co text. Because the mans deeds  took place under a different era, under different practices that were under a different law. At the time African Americans or "Negros" as they were called were still considered 3/5ths human out of both practice and clause. The award wasn't so much for gallantry,  more so for breaking a science; the science of discrimination and dehumanization. A feature not at you discretion to review. Because by that time it was already established that Negros, Blacks, African-Americans or what ever you call them are just as American as anyone else. And contrary to popular believe, and God willing we are here to stay; just like anyone else.

Therefore, your assessment of the naming of CVN-81 is out of perspective. Because the perspective is about bypassing standards. 

Because make no mistake, Dorris Miller is no William Carney. But you don't have to be a super hero to contribute to the advancement of society...

Edited by Crokodone
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Better late than never, in my view, to start naming capital ships after exceptional servicemen in the history the USN. I don't mind naming ships after presidents (especially those who were in the service themselves), but I do think it should be far less of an occurrence relative to naming ships after places or important figures within the USN. And I think it's also a good way to start honoring those who likely had their achievements wiped away because of historical prejudices.

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On 8/10/2020 at 10:30 AM, Crokodone said:

First off: thank you for your service. And for writing and proclaiming your duty on a public forum, I'm certain you performed your duty without bias of any kind. However, your disposition is relatively out of co text. Because the mans deeds  took place under a different era, under different practices that were under a different law. At the time African Americans or "Negros" as they were called were still considered 3/5ths human out of both practice and clause. The award wasn't so much for gallantry,  more so for breaking a science; the science of discrimination and dehumanization. A feature not at you discretion to review. Because by that time it was already established that Negros, Blacks, African-Americans or what ever you call them are just as American as anyone else. And contrary to popular believe, and God willing we are here to stay; just like anyone else.

Therefore, your assessment of the naming of CVN-81 is out of perspective. Because the perspective is about bypassing standards. 

Because make no mistake, Dorris Miller is no William Carney. But you don't have to be a super hero to contribute to the advancement of society...

I posted this on this thread as well.   And I'd like for you to cite me the 'different law' in place at the time.  There wasn't one that I'm aware of.  Also, not aware of any military policy or law stating blacks were 3/5ths human in 1941.  If you can cite those for me I'd appreciate it.  

My prior post:

There is an enormous amount of politics involved in ship naming.  Doris Miller's actions were heroic by any standard, but over 6,300 Navy Cross's have been earned in the US Navy.  Only 5 of them are namesakes for US Navy ships.  All of those have been DDs.  For him to have a Capital ship named after him and only awarded a Navy Cross is not highly unusual.  It stinks of politics.

Don't take me the wrong way. I'd be proud to serve aboard the USS Doris Miller CVN 81.  I'd much rather a ship be named for a real combat hero than a 2 bit politician or president.

Update: Guess Crokodone can't come up with any examples so he marked this post boring. 

Edited by SeaborneSumo
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He may have been a hero, no debating it. Most who served then were.

What's wrong with sticking to convention and naming something like a DDG after him?

Having anything named after you, never mind a warship is an amazing honor.

Dispensing with tradition for no other reason than "current year" is frustrating to see and sets a bad precedent for everything that follows, and IMO, dishonors all those who weren't accorded the same treatment.

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4 hours ago, MajesticTwelve said:

dishonors all those who weren't accorded the same treatment.

Actually it doesn't, and hasn't for the past century. USS Forestall CV59 (not even named for a veterain. When the practice was famouse battles. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (annother civilian, albeit a clever and heroic one.) USS Thomas S. Gates (Another Civilian) when battles were the standard (the U.S has no shortage of them.) 

Lets not stop there! 

USS Seawolf (after a fish when the policy was cities)

USS Connecticut (states were reserved for SSBNs, maybe still are.)

USS Jimmy Carter (a submersible aircraft carrier? O wait!)

USS Winston Churchill (He's not even American and a civilianat that. This is a violation of the Logan's Act!, send that anglophile to jail! :Smile_izmena:.

I am sure i missed quite a few, but the last 70yrs of naval history has been anything but traditional...

I look forward to USS Dorris Miller.

 

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On 1/22/2020 at 4:36 PM, Navynuke99 said:

I think it can be fairly argued that Miller had been white, he would've been awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, so that also needs to be taken into account.

I respect Miller for his actions. However, we must remember that every aspect of society today has been contaminated by the disease of wokeism. Hence the ludicrous push to achieve 50/50 parity between the sexes in everything as well as the push for diversity solely for the sake of diversity and nothing else.

All this insanity has now poisoned the corporate world as well thanks to HR departments serving as the vectors.

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41 minutes ago, TheGreatBlasto said:

Hence the ludicrous push to achieve 50/50 parity between the sexes in everything

You might want to recall whom outnumbers whom there...count your blessings.

Edited by Charon2018
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They named a CV USS Shangri-La, don't overthink it.

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Before carriers, the tradition was capital ships (BBs at the time) were named after states. Personally, I don't like the idea of having any capital ship being named after one person. I was extremely disappointed when the next generation aircraft carrier was called the Gerald R. Ford-Class and not the America class because three years prior to the construction, CV-66 (USS America; Kitty Hawk Class) was sunk as a target. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:03 PM, BrushWolf said:

This is a big break from tradition. Normally they would name a DD after him.

The tradition of naming ships is always broken. Submarines now are named after states for example and Carriers after presidents and key politician. So, the tradition is short lived to be honest. 

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On 9/10/2020 at 11:05 PM, Sventex said:

They named a CV USS Shangri-La, don't overthink it.

They were running out of names for the fleet CV's at that point and there was no tradition for the CV's anyway.

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52 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

They were running out of names for the fleet CV's at that point and there was no tradition for the CV's anyway.

Carriers were mostly battles and names the navy has had floating around since the age of sail.

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12 hours ago, SgtBeltfed said:

Carriers were mostly battles and names the navy has had floating around since the age of sail.

True but there was no set standard which is how you get a USS Shangri-La . There were a lot of Civil War battles they could have tapped but that could have pissed of varying parts of the country depending on which battles were chosen.

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4 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

True but there was no set standard which is how you get a USS Shangri-La . There were a lot of Civil War battles they could have tapped but that could have pissed of varying parts of the country depending on which battles were chosen.

Like any type of ships, there's exceptions.

Battleships have Kearsarge.

CV's have Langley, Wright, and Shangri-La, then the naming convention went out the window and politics took over with FDR.

One interesting thing if you go through an old copy of Jane's and look at the Essex's, I don't think the plan was to ever actually build a ship called Shangri-La. The name was a placeholder and a reference to a comment by FDR. When the USN would lose a carrier, they would rename the ships under construction to reuse the name of the ship that had been lost as soon as possible, and Shangri-La would get pushed back.

Then the USN stopped losing CV's, so they eventually built down the schedule far enough to get to her.

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