Tora Tora Tora--American gunner?

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,846
Navan, Ireland
#1
Hi,

watching Tora Tora Tora ,while not specifically named, and African American Navy cook takes over and fires an AA machine gun. In the Movie Pearl Harbour I believe he is actually named when shown and is Doris Miller who was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery.

In the film another gunner is shown bravely manning a AA machine gun at the airfield (or rather flying boat station) just wondering for those who know the details of the battle is this based on a real person?
 
Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#3
Hi,



In the film another gunner is shown bravely manning a AA machine gun at the airfield (or rather flying boat station) just wondering for those who know the details of the battle is this based on a real person?
John William Finn, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on the 7th December 1941.

Finn died in 2010 aged 100.

wiki:

Finn's men were trying to fight back by using the machine guns mounted in the PBYs, either by firing from inside the flaming planes or by detaching the guns and mounting them on improvised stands. Finn later explained that one of the first things he did was to take control of a machine gun from his squadron's painter. "I said, 'Alex, let me take that gun' ... knew that I had more experience firing a machine gun than a painter."
Finding a movable tripod platform used for gunnery training, Finn attached the .50 caliber machine gun and pushed the platform into an open area, from which he had a clear view of the attacking aircraft. He fired on the Japanese planes for the next two hours, even after being seriously wounded, until the attack had ended. In total, he received 21 distinct wounds, including a bullet through his right foot and an injury to his left shoulder, which caused him to lose feeling in his left arm.
"I got that gun and I started shooting at Jap planes," Finn said in a 2009 interview. "I was out there shooting the Jap planes and just every so often I was a target for some," he said, "In some cases, I could see their [the Japanese pilots'] faces."
 
#4

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
#5
Quite correct. He was from Waco, Texas and he earned the Navy Cross. Sadly, he was killed doing the same act-off Guadalcanal. Also sad is, there is only a gym named after him as far as I am aware of? I fully believe that he deserves a Medal of Honor.
Today there is a Dorie Miller park in Hawaii and a good number of schools and buildings throughout the U.S. are named in his honor.
 
Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#6
Tadao Fuchikaml.

I thought this scene was just a cinematic device to show racial tension after the attack, but it turns out Tadao Fuchikami was the messenger who delivered the telegram to General Short's headquarters on 7th December.

It's in Gordon Prange's book At Dawn We Slept. Prange's work forming much of the basis for Tora, Tora, Tora.
 

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