Mess Man Turned Pearl Harbor Hero Finally Gets Statue In Waco

Dec 6, 2017

Doris Miller is one of Waco’s often-overlooked WWII heroes. He was an African American mess man on the U.S.S West Virginia during Pearl Harbor. Fittingly on Pearl Harbor day, Miller’s finally getting a memorial in his honor.


During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Doris Miller commandeered a machine gun and helped save the crew of his ship.

“One of the comments we have had actually is why there isn’t more about Doris Miller in Waco.” Said Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft’s with the Waco Cultural Arts Organization.

“When you go to pearl harbor, or you go to the Fredericksburg museum in the pacific and also the WWII museum in New Orleans how much he is a feature of the history in the navy.” -Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft’s organization has spearheaded the project to honor Miller since 2011. At a ceremony, they’ll unveil the first stage of his memorial: A bronze statue. The statue’s home is temporary. A permanent monument on the Brazos River is still under construction. Organizers hope the statue will help generate more funding to complete the project.

At least 6 crew of the USS. Miller will be in attendance for the unveiling. Ravenscroft says meeting them was illuminating

“It kind of took us back. We didn’t really realize the impact we were making out of Waco..”-Ravenscroft

Much of the story of Doris Miller is lost in Waco. The school he went to was demolished, and the plaque dedicated to him can’t be found. The cite of his original home...is now beneath lake Waco. Ravenscroft says that’s why this memorial is so important to her and the Waco Cultural Arts Organization.

I think we’re building on what was done and retrieving what was lost.”-Ravenscroft

The ceremony will include music, speakers, and remembrance of WWII.