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DDG 69 Milius

Construction on the Milius began in August in 1993 and it was commissioned in November 1996.

In May 1998 the Milius deployed on her maiden deployment that took her to the Arabian Gulf. She returned to port in November 1998.

In June 2000, DDG 69 departed for her second WESTPAC deployment. She returned in December 2000.

In June 2001 the Milius took part in an excercise against the Carl Vinson Battle Group and on Sept 15 2001 the Milius began providing support to Operation Noble Eagle.

The Milius is also taking part in an Optimal Manning Project that reduces the numer of billets authorized from 289 to 231. Aboard Milius, the installation of a new self-service mess line has allowed the ship to reduce the number of food service attendants (FSA) on the ship. Greater use of video cameras for remote monitoring will reduce the need aboard Milius for 24-hour manning of certain watches and distance support software will give Sailors an increased capability to access technicians ashore.

Aboard Milius, some procedural changes have also helped the ship to reduce billets. The boatswain's mate of the watch, quartermaster of the watch and signalman of the watch have been consolidated into a new position called the bridge specialist. Electronics technicians and information systems technicians are learning each other's jobs and the ship is adopting a more flexible, rapid-response approach to damage control, using one robust repair locker instead of three to fight a main-space fire.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom the Milius station in the Arabian Gulf as the flagship for Commander, Maritime Interception Forces. The crew conducted more than 300 boat launches and recoveries, and accumulated more than 200 helicopter landings in one month. Soon after arriving on station in the Gulf in mid-December 2002, Milius rescued nine Iranian fishermen whose vessel had capsized.

Paul L. Milius

DDG 69 is named in honor of the Navy pilot Captain Paul L. Milius. He was born 11 February, 1928, the youngest of four children, in Denver, Iowa, a small, rural community in Bremer County in the northeastern part of the state. He and the fifteen other members of the senior class graduated from Readlyn High School in May of 1946. In April of 1946, just weeks before graduation, Captain Milius received his selective service notification and reported to his pre-induction physical examination at the local examining board on the second floor of the Waverly Savings Bank building in Waverly, Iowa. By 21 May of that year, the eighteen year old son of C.H. and Christina Milius was in "boot camp" at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California, serving on active duty in the United States Navy.

Captain Milius was discharged from active duty in March of 1948. His enlisted naval experience in the aviation community had only enhanced his lifelong intrigue with aircraft and his desire to fly. Knowing the route to the cockpit begins with a college degree, he enrolled in Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls. Captain Milius continued to serve in the Naval Reserve throughout his time in college. In 1950, after attaining a two year degree, he applied for and was accepted into the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) Program. In August 1950, he was back on active duty at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, attending the U.S. Naval School, Pre-Flight course. He successfully completed this course on 16 December 1950 and was sent to advanced training at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas. On 16 December 1951, Aviation Cadet Milius was awarded the naval aviators wings of gold. On 21 December, he accepted the appointment and took the oath of office as an Ensign in the United States Naval Reserve with the naval aviators designator of 1325. On 30 December, he married his high school sweetheart (and class valedictorian), Darlene Meyerhoff.

Captain Milius' early duty assignments as a naval aviator trained him in the Airborne Early Warning community. He spent the first three years of his career, from 1952 through 1955, attached to Airborne Early Squadron TWO (VW-2) at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland, where he gained extensive experience flying the multiengine Lockheed Constellation (WV-1) aircraft. He was subsequently posted to the Naval Air Station at Hutchinson, Kansas, where he served as a flight instructor for the P-2V patrol aircraft until 1957. His daughter Annette, and son, David, were born during these years.

Following two years as a student at the General Line School in Monterey, California, then Lieutenant Milius was assigned to Air Antisubmarine Squadron TWENTY-THREE in San Francisco flying the S-2 aircraft. He served briefly with Air Antisubmarine Squadron TWENTY-FIVE in Long Beach, California, before he was reassigned to ships company onboard the aircraft carrier USS KEARSARGE (CVS-33). There he served in a variety of duties including Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer from November 1960 through November 1962. While onboard KEARSARGE, Captain Milius participated in the mission to retrieve Walter Schirra's Mercury "Sigma 7" space capsule in 1962 and made two Western Pacific deployments. In 1962, now Lieutenant Commander Milius was assigned to Naval Air Station, Miramar, California, where he served with Air Antisubmarine Squadron FORTY-ONE (VS-41), filling a variety of squadron billets specifically related to antisubmarine warfare and S-2 aircraft tactics.

Following an assignment as Airborne ASW training officer at the Fleet Air Electronic Training Unit Pacific, in Alameda, California, then Commander Milius volunteered for duty in the newly established Observation Squadron SIXTY-SEVEN (VO-67). The new unit utilized converted P-2V aircraft, now known as the OP-2E, heavily armored and fitted with advanced land detection systems, for ground reconnaissance missions. The squadron deployed to Khno Phnom Airport in Thailand in 1967 and immediately began flying surveillance missions in the vicinity of the Ho Chi Min Trail. At 1157 local time on February 27, 1968, Commander Milius and the crew of his OP-2E aircraft were on an operational surveillance mission over Laos when the aircraft was hit in the radar well by a large explosive projectile, presumed a 37MM antiaircraft fire. One crew member was mortally wounded by the initial blast and fire broke out in the aircraft. As it became clear that the aircraft could not be saved, Captain Milius took the controls from the pilot, Lieutenant Bernie Walsh, and gave the crew the order to bail out. Captain Milius continued to control the aircraft to enable his crew to escape. Of eight surviving crew members of the initial blast, all but Captain Milius were safely rescued on the ground by the 37th Air Rescue Recovery Squadron Jolly Green Giants. Although Captain Milius was seen exiting the burning aircraft, heavy enemy fire in that area led to search efforts being discontinued before he could be recovered. He was subsequently declared Missing In Action in Southeast Asia in 1968. Captain Milius' status was changed to Presumed Killed In Action ten years later. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross in 1978.

Warship Milius's motto, ALii Prae Me, or "Others Before Myself," was chosen to reflect the personal ethic held throughout Captain Milius' military career and his selfless act under fire.



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