Austin
12:39 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Hero Played By Cuba Gooding Jr. Was From Waco

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and one of the celebrated American sailors who fought the surprise Japanese attack on the US Naval Base was from the Central Texas town of Waco.

War historians will have to pardon the pop culture training wheels, but many people may know Doris Miller best from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s portrayal of the Pearl Harbor hero in the 2001 film about the attack.

The cook who manned that 50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft gun was born in Waco on October 12, 1919.  He attended Moore High School (later consolidated into Waco High), and was a fullback on the football team, according to a Navy biography.

Miller has several buildings named after him across Texas, including an auditorium here in Austin. The Doris Miller Auditorium in Rosewood Park was commemorated on April 10, 1944, just a couple weeks before a memorial ceremony was held for Miller in Waco.

Update at 3:04 pm: KUT News freelancer Gretch Sanders filed this report today on a Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony in nearby Fredricksburg. The Hill Country town is the birthplace of one World War II hero Chester W. Nimitz, one of the last five-star admirals in the United States Navy. Fredricksburg is also home to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Listen to Gretch's report here.

Tags: