Milford

Date of Entry: 28/11/2019
Surname: Milford
Christian Names: Donald William
Country: Australia
State or Province: Northern Territory
City or Town: Darwin
Service #: R57781
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Commencement of service: 1961
Case Notes:

 

48 seconds is all it took for Donald MILFORD to make a mockery of his service and turn a distinguished ex-serviceman into a valour thief.

Donald MILFORD was born 0n 26 October 1943 and joined the Navy in 1961 a few months short of his 18th Birthday. All the evidence points to MILFORD having enjoyed a notable career in the Navy and was the recipient of British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Military Division when holding the rank of Chief Petty Officer.



MILFORD is a senior member of the RSL in Darwin and has responsibility for organising commemorative ceremonies in his capacity as Director of Commemorations. Unfortunately, rather than being satisfied with a career in the Royal Australian Navy which included tours to Vietnam aboard HMA Ships Parramatta and Sydney he couldn’t resist the opportunity, when he sat in front of a microphone to embellish this service with a hint of ‘daring do’.



MILFORD was interviewed by ABC Radio in Darwin and reflected on Remembrance Day and his own War Service.

(click on the link below to hear the interview)

File Attachment:

File Name: 1911111800...1-27.mp3
File Size:1,136 KB
 

Unfortunately, his recollection of events is not matched by the records. As a 17-year-old Naval Rating with 40 days service in Vietnamese waters it is extremely doubtful that he went ashore, let alone had any experience with ‘tunnels’ and it is this simple statement that sees MILFORD "Hoisted with his own petard" . MILFORD’s Service Records are clear, he joined the Navy in 1961 at age 17. His tours of Vietnam occurred in 1968 when he would have been at least 25 years old.

He joins a growing list of former members of the Navy on our website who performed ‘secret missions’ whilst in Vietnamese waters.

His claim is offensive to the memory of the brave men who performed the highly dangerous role during the war. The Tunnel Rats are the men who served in the Engineer Field Troops in Vietnam (3 Field Troop and 1, 2 and 3 Troop of 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers).

Over the years there have been many “wannabes” and pretenders to the title “Tunnel Rat”, but it is only the men who served in those Field Troops who can carry that title. These are the men who went bush with the Amoured Corp and Infantry, staying out bush for four to six weeks, operating as Infantary plus carrying out our specialist duties of mine and booby trap detection and clearing, tunnel and bunker searching and demolition, plus bomb disposal.

Perhaps it was a lapse in judgment that made MILFORD make this outrageous claim, but to do so in a radio interview, for all to hear is unacceptable to the Veterans community. For this simple indiscretion, Donald MILFORD has earned a place on this website and becomes a reminder to any ex-serviceman or women who might consider embellishing their service history that someone is always watching out for ‘wannabes’.

Note:

"Hoisted with his own petard" is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase's meaning is literally that the bomb-maker (a "petard" is a small explosive device) is blown up ("hoisted" off the ground) by his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.

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