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WWII's First Black Hero Commemorated On Stamp



WASHINGTON,  -- The following is being released by the U.S. Postal Service:


First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony of the Distinguished Sailors 44-cent Commemorative First-Class stamps. The event is free and open to the public.



10:30 a.m., Thurs., Feb. 4, 2010




The Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater

United States Navy Memorial

701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

Washington, DC  20004-2608

The Washington, D.C. Metro's Green and Yellow Lines stop at Archives-Navy Memorial, 50 ft. from the front entrance. Paid parking is available underneath the Navy Memorial Building on D St. between 7th and 8th St. with elevator access to the facility.




Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Juan M. Garcia, III

Vice Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III, Director, Navy Staff

Retired Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker Jr., Supply Corps. USN, President U.S. Navy Memorial

Rep. Chet Edwards, (D-TX, 17th Dist.)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, (D-TX, 30th Dist.)

Postmaster General John E. Potter

Relatives of some of the sailors will be available for advance phone interviews and be on-site at the event.




The stamps commemorate four Sailors who served with bravery and distinction during the 20th century:  Doris Miller, William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke and John McCloy.

Doris Miller

Waco, TX, native "Dorie" Miller (1919-1943) became an inspiration to generations of African Americans for his actions on Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the battleship West Virginia.As a mess attendant, the only job rating open to blacks at the time, Miller

  • helped rescue scores of shipmates wounded or trapped in wreckage;
  • helped move the ship's mortally wounded captain; and,
  • never trained in its operation, manned an unattended 50-caliber machine gun to fire on Japanese aircraft until ordered to abandon the bridge as fires raged out of control.

Awarded the Navy Cross, Miller was killed in action a year later when the escort aircraft carrier Liscome Bay was torpedoed and sank during the Gilbert Islands invasion. His body was among 600 lost at sea. Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., portrayed Miller in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbor.

William S. Sims

Commander of U.S. naval forces in European waters during World War I, William S. Sims (1858-1936) was an outspoken reformer and innovator who helped shape the Navy into a modern fighting force.

Arleigh A. Burke

After serving as one of the top destroyer squadron commanders of World War II, Arleigh A. Burke (1901-1996) had an equally distinguished postwar career in which he played a major role in modernizing the Navy and guiding its response to the Cold War.

John McCloy

Described by a shipmate as "like a bull" who couldn't be stopped, John McCloy (1876-1945) holds the distinction of being one of the few men in the nation's history to earn two Medals of Honor for separate acts of heroism.



SOURCE U.S. Postal Service


STORY TAGS: navy, memorial, center, veteran, history, heritage, black, african, american service, servicemen, veterans, hero, honored, stamp, black news, black history month, african american history, black radio network, minority news, american history, minority history, ethnic history, america

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