Cranston, RI (Jan. 21,2023) WWII Navy veteran Don Mellor will turn 102 on Feb. 22 this year. And if you talk to him today, those war years seem very fresh. He signed up because it was the right thing to do. Aboard USS Hopewell, a Fletcher-class destroyer, Don and his crew fought many battles across the South Pacific. There were friends lost and proud memories made. In 1946, with the war over, he and the other members of the "greatest generation” came home and started a life.
Even with a fast-growing family, Don and his wife Helen (also a veteran, U.S. Coast Guard) so loved the country that they began a lifetime of travel to America’s farthest corners, camping in the national parks, visiting historic sites like Gettysburg and Mount Rushmore. They drove the then-unpaved Alaska highway and saluted their fallen comrades at USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, where Don began his Pacific tours of duty so many years ago.
After 76 years of marriage, Helen passed away in March of last year, but every morning Don still has his breakfast at their old table under her collection of 50 state coffee mugs, each a reminder of their journeys across America.
Let’s honor them and thank Don Mellor by putting a birthday card from every state up there on the shelf. Fifty mugs. Fifty states. And a glorious collection of birthday cards.
For his service to country, from all 50 great American states, let’s wish Don a Happy Birthday number 102!
Here’s what you can do.
Send off a birthday card addressed to:
P.O. Box 8009
Cranston, RI 02920
About Don Mellor: A WWII veteran who worked from age 10 until 100, when he was driving a book van for the Cranston Public Library, Don keeps active by visiting local schools sharing his experiences in the war, the Navy and the "greatest Generation." He has been the subject of many news articles and is always quick with a story or reply. Don and his late wife Helen were the oldest living WWII veteran couple in the state of Rhode Island until her passing last year.