The “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” poster was used during World War 2 to recruit African Americans to the US army. The main protagonist, Dorie Miller was the first African American to receive a Navy Cross. He received this honour for his acts of bravery during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941. Millers bravery has been immortalised in the movie “Pearl Harbour” where he is played by Cuba Gooding Junior.
During the attack Miller who was a mess hand aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia helped move injured shipmates and cleared many away from danger. He then loaded and began to fire an unmanned machine gun even though he had no prior training in operating machines guns. He took down a number of Japanese planes whilst on the gun and later was ordered to abandon ship as it sunk.
Miller was the ships heavy weight boxing champion and later worked with the army recruiters of the country. He was killed in action on the USS Liscombe Bay in 1943. The “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” poster remains a popular poster today and reminds the world of Dorie Miller’s bravery during the battle and the role he played in establishing African Americans in the U.S. military.