Navy Veteran achieves another milestone

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Willee (author)

Topic(s): Naval Heritage and History

Leading Seaman Steward Melville 'Mel' Roy McMillan tries a Petty Officer’s hat on during his 100th birthday celebrations. (photo: Unknown)
Leading Seaman Steward Melville 'Mel' Roy McMillan tries a Petty Officer’s hat on during his 100th birthday celebrations.

Former Leading Seaman Steward Melville Roy McMillan was visited at his Victorian nursing home by a delegation of current Navy Stewards to celebrate his 100th birthday this month.

Melville was a leading Seaman Steward who served in HMA Ships Vampire (I) and Stuart (I), right through the battles fought in the Mediterranean in 1940 and 1941 by the Scrap Iron Flotilla, under legendary Royal Australian Navy Captain Hec Waller.

He signed up to the Navy in 1937, maintaining an unbroken record of very good conduct throughout the war.

Leading Seaman Steward Melville 'Mel' Roy McMillan, centre, celebrates his 100th birthday with Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Support Operations (POML-S) Chris McLarty, standing left, POML-S Belinda Badger, standing right, and HMAS Cerberus Trainees Seaman ML-S Kayleen Small, left, and SMN ML-S Ellis Deakin.

Leading Seaman Steward Melville 'Mel' Roy McMillan, centre, celebrates his 100th birthday with Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Support Operations (POML-S) Chris McLarty, standing left, POML-S Belinda Badger, standing right, and HMAS Cerberus Trainees Seaman ML-S Kayleen Small, left, and SMN ML-S Ellis Deakin.

Former Leading Seaman Steward McMillan was delighted to get a surprise from the delegation.

“It was fantastic to get a visit from my Navy.

“It’s great they are here on my birthday. Navy for life,” Melville said.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan wrote a letter to Mr McMillan on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy.

“The “never say die” traditions that you and your shipmates forged in keeping those ships at sea and fit to fight are the ones we honour and hold dear in today’s modem Navy,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“I wish you good health and happiness and thank you for your service to the Nation and to our Royal Australian Navy,” the letter said.

Petty Officer Maritime Logistics Support Operations Belinda Badger was part of the team who visited Mr McMillan for his birthday.

“For me it was a great experience and sometimes difficult to explain in words.

“He has an excellent memory and I was amazed by the stories former Leading Seaman Steward McMillan told us,” she said.