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 WACO, Texas (AP) – The Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center will get a new name to honor World War II hero Doris Miller.

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Ceremonies are planned Thursday to rename the VA complex in memory of Miller. The Waco native was the first black American to receive the Navy Cross.

The renaming proposal was approved last year by the U.S. Senate and the House. President Barack Obama signed the measure in December.

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Petty Officer “Dorie” Miller in 1941 was a mess attendant and boxing champion aboard the USS West Virginia. He jumped into combat action when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Miller took over an unattended machine gun and also helped rescue wounded shipmates.

Miller died in action in 1943.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. portrayed Miller in the 2001 movie “Pearl Harbor.”

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