PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – In a ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly announced the fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier (CVN 81) will be named after Doris Miller, an African-American sailor whose actions during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack here earned him a Navy Cross for valor in combat.
The naming of CVN 81 in Doris Miller’s honor recognizes he is a hero from “the Greatest Generation.”
“[Miller] was a man who exemplified the hearts of our sailors and the spirit of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who we also recognize today,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, of Texas, Representative for Texas’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Doris Miller’s hometown of Waco. “Dr. King once said ‘the time is always right to do something right,’ and that is what Petty Officer Miller did. His story of bravery is a testament to his courage and commitment to serve both his fellow Sailors and his country.”
CVN 81 will be the second ship named in honor of Miller. It will be the first aircraft carrier to be named after an African American and the first aircraft carrier to honor a sailor for their actions while serving in the enlisted ranks.
The future Doris Miller (CVN 81) will join other Ford-class carriers as the premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief and early decisive striking power in major combat operations.
Like other aircraft carriers, the construction of CVN 81 will have a significant positive impact on the industrial base and congressional districts across the United States. The construction and maintenance of aircraft carriers utilize over 2,000 businesses across 46 states, contributes nearly $4.1 billion to the U.S. economy annually and provides thousands of jobs across the country.