By CHIEF PETTY OFFICER JOSHUA WAHL Navy Talent Acquisition Group New England Sailors from Navy Talent Acquisition Group New England honored World War II Navy veteran Donald Mellor during a birthday celebration drive-by on Feb. 20. Mellor joined the Navy
Navy Talent Acquisition Group New England
Sailors from Navy Talent Acquisition Group New England honored World War II Navy veteran Donald Mellor during a birthday celebration drive-by on Feb. 20.
Mellor joined the Navy in 1943 as fire controlman attached to the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Hopewell (DD 681). His ship was hit by enemy fire and lost 17 sailors during the war.
“In combat, you will realize how important it is to respect your leaders,” Mellor said. “You become extremely close … even closer than my friends I grew up with.”
Naval Station Newport was once the homeport for Cruiser Destroyer Force Atlantic near Mellor's home, a source of inspiration for Mellor.
“I had seen pictures of destroyers and thought it would be interesting to join the Navy and see the world,” Mellor said. “I made lifelong friends and continued to see them for many years after our service. I’d sign up tomorrow if I could pass the physical.”
Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) Scott Dixon, from New Bedford, Massachusetts, said he had a deep appreciation for Mellor’s service, having served on a destroyer and following a family history of military service himself.
“Meeting him was great,” Dixon said. “His generation sacrificed everything to make our lives better today. They don’t make them like they used to.”
NTAG New England covers over 93,500 square miles encompassing Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the eastern half of New York. Headquartered out of Boston, the command has more than 35 recruiting stations, eight Navy Operation Support Centers, four Military Entrance Processing Stations, and maintains two stations overseas at Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Naples, Italy, covering the entire territory of Europe, Southwest Asia and the Middle East.