Dorie Got a Medal

My post on USO #2, the tuneful downtown club for black soldiers during World War Two, focused on the visit of Dorie Miller and his remarkable, bittersweet story.  The Tacoma connection to the brave sailor is locally fascinating but the larger importance of Dorie Miller’s heroics reached America in the newspapers, magazines and popular media as courage and selflessness contended with racial prejudice and politics. The master radio storyteller Norman Corwin used  his April 25, 1944 broadcast of Columbia Presents Corwin to tell the Dorie Miller story in music and jazz. The legendary actor Canada Lee played Dorie along with the jazz and blues singer Josh White and a company of black artists. The program was called Dorie Got a Medal and here it is as broadcast that Tuesday night with the war in the Pacific still nearby, D-Day just over a month in the future and the U.S. military still segregated.

doris music
Dorie Miller with the band at USO#2, Tacoma

dorie buddy

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