- Associated Press - Thursday, August 10, 2017

CORONADO, California (AP) — The Navy is recognizing a 102-year-old World War II veteran by naming new barracks after him, a rare honor for a living recipient.

Former Chief Steward Andy Mills said Thursday he was overjoyed by the ceremony at the Naval base in Coronado, California, near San Diego.

Mills was one of the maritime branch’s first black chiefs.

Navy officials say Mills risked his life despite facing discrimination in a then-segregated Navy.

In 1942, Mills volunteered to board the USS Yorktown after it was attacked by the Japanese. He cracked open a safe containing documents and bills as the ship was sinking. He and a paymaster stuffed them in a suitcase and got them off the ship before the Japanese attacked again, destroying the Yorktown and the USS Hammann next to it.

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