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LETTERS – OBITUARY FOR DR. DONALD MILLER

The enclosed obituary of Donald Miller outlines some of his work related to submarines. His primary lifetime efforts were submarine related. As a senior engineer at NUSC and then NUWC, his interest in his work took place not only at the laboratory but included being at sea on submarines to perform tests first hand. His leadership and administrative skills frequently took him to Washington where he contributed and had the respect of those with whom he came in contact at the Navy Crystal City offices and the Pentagon.

If it would be possible to mention Don’s passing in The Submarine Review, it would be greatly appreciated. My association with him began in 1967. After he came to NUSC in 1973, we were colleagues. He was a gifted and talented person who gave broadly and effectively to all.

Sincerely,
John Merrill

Donald August Miller, 75 passed on Saturday, February 11, 2006 at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, after a sudden and brief illness.

He attended University of Illinois at Navy Pier, majoring in chemistry. In 1950 he volunteered for the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict.

He resumed his college career at Northwestern University, earning a bachelor, a masters, and a doctorate in electrical engineering in 1964. He joined the former New London Sound Laboratory, the Naval Undersea Systems Center in New London in 1973, retiring in 1994. While at the lab, he was the program manager responsible for leading the development, test, and deployment of the operational ELF Communications System, a position he held for 21 years. He spent numerous periods underway on submarines, including runs on USS ARCHERFISH (SSN 678), USS TREPANG (SSN 674), and USS VON STEUBAN (SSBN 632), testing and demonstrating strategic communications systems. He and a team assisted the Navy by installing a communications system for use at speed and depth that allowed then President Jimmy Carter to ride the submerged USS LOS ANGELES (SSN 688) and remain in control of the nation’s strategic posture. He also served at the submarine communications technology block manager with responsibilities for the Exploratory Development Programs. He was awarded the NUSC Excellence in Management Award in 1978, the NUSC Commander/Technical Director Award in 1986, and the U.S. Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1987. In 1994, he was awarded the NUWC Submarine Communications Department Submarine Sail Award for significant leadership and contributions in the research and development efforts to support submarine communications into the 2111 century and the NUWC Decibel award for significant, internationally recognized expertise in submarine communications

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