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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1958-1960, Navy Recruiting District Omaha, NE, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
Service Years
1929 - 1964
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember ELLER, Donald (Navy Cross), RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Born in Washington DC and raised in Petersburg VA
Last Address
DATE OF BIRTH: 06/28/1906
DATE OF DEATH: 10/30/1994

Date of Passing
Oct 30, 1994
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity

Donald Temple Eller
Rear Admiral, United States Navy


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Donald Temple Eller, Commander [then Commander], U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of this profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. BURNS (DD-588), during a War Patrol of that vessel in enemy Japanese-controlled waters. Skillfully maneuvering his vessel to strike at enemy shipping, Captain Eller launched a bold, aggressive attack in the face of heavy and persistent hostile countermeasures, to sink an entire Japanese convoy including one tanker, one supply ship and two smaller craft. His inspiring leadership and devotion to the fulfillment of his hazardous mission were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Other Comments:

Rear Admiral Donald Temple Eller was born on 28 June 1906 in Sibley Hospital, Washington, D.C.. He died on 30 October 1994 in Florida, and was buried on 7 November 1994 in Arlington National Cemetery.

Donald Eller grew up in Petersburg, Virginia, where he attended public schools. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929. Donald had a distinguished Naval career. The USS Burns, a destroyer commanded by Commander Donald T. Eller, sank an entire convoy of four enemy ships in the Marshall Islands area on January 31 (West Longitude Date).

The Burns was attached to a carrier task force and was sent to rescue Navy fliers forced down at sea. Returning toward the task force, she en­countered a tanker, a medium cargo vessel, and two smaller craft, and sank all with gunfire. He participated in, and holds campaign ribbons for service in: Nicaragua, on the Yangtze patrol, in the North African invasion, at Wake Island, the invasion of the Gilbert Islands and opertions on the Marshall and Marianias Islands. At the time of his retirement, he had been promoted to Rear Admiral.  


Upon his death, Donald's ashes were burried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Later, some ashes were also buried at Pohick Church, next to the body of his first wife.

He was married to Dorothy Elizabeth Wood on 31 May 1930 in Baltimore, Maryland. Dorothy Elizabeth WOOD was born on 2 Mar 1908. She died on 8 May 1985. She was buried in Pohick Church, Fairfax County, Virginia. Dot's Grandfather Kearney worked for the railroad in St. Paul, Minnesota

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 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)USS Cavalier (APA-37)Navy Recruiting District Omaha, NE, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
  1930-1930, Commander Yangtze Patrol (ComYangPat), Commander In Chief Asiatic Fleet
  1932-1933, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1941-1942, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1943-1944, USS Burns (DD-588)
  1952-1953, USS Cavalier (APA-37)
  1958-1960, Navy Recruiting District Omaha, NE, Commander Naval Recruiting Command (CNRC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1926-1933 US Occupation of Nicaragua
  1941-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
  1942-1942 Algeria-French Morocco Campaign (1942)/Operation Torch
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1943-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1925-1929, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 31, 1944, BATTLE REPORT
  Mar 16, 1949, History of the USS Burns DD-588
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