Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs, 1951: Finding Aid

Published in August 2013

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 360
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs
  • Dates: 1951
  • Size: 0.23 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 21 folders
  • Creator: McMillen, Frederick Ewing, 1882-1959
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Frederick Ewing McMillen was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1904. The memoirs span the period of 1882-1950 and offer an anecdotal account of McMillen’s career as a student (United States Naval Academy Class of 1904) and instructor at the United States Naval Academy and his subsequent career as a staff officer in the United States Navy.

Biography of Frederick Ewing McMillen

Frederick Ewing McMillen, born 11 April 1882, Springfield, Wisconsin, attended the Wilmer naval academy preparatory school, Annapolis, and was a Wisconsin appointee to the United States Naval Academy, graduating as a member of the Class of 1904. Unable to qualify physically, Passed Midshipman McMillen resigned from the Navy, 30 June 1904, and accepted a civilian appointment as an instructor in the Department of English and Law at the United States Naval Academy. Later, having passed all examinations, he was commissioned in June 1907.

McMillen served as a staff officer with a spectrum of pay, supply and commissary assignments. He rose through the ranks with both sea and shore duties, serving in the United States and in foreign lands and in both World Wars. McMillen reached the rank of Pay Director with Rank of Rear Admiral in 1942, retiring in August of 1946.

Some of his career highlights were the world cruise of the Great White Fleet (1907-1909), Collector of Customs and Captain of the Port at Petit Goave in revolution-wounded Haiti (1915-1916), service with the USN Olympic Team, Parisian Games, revision of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts manual, naval war logistics planner with Office of Naval Operations (1932-1936) and Executive Officer, Naval Supply Depot, Hampton Roads (1936-1940).

During World War II, McMillen served as Officer in Charge, Supplies and Accounts War Plans, First Naval District, Boston and as Chief of the Field Branch, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Cleveland with the additional duty of Commanding Officer, Naval Barracks, Cleveland. His duties included the care of the WAVES at Cleveland. For his Cleveland work, Rear Admiral McMillen was awarded the Legion of Merit by President Truman.

McMillen married Ruth Burns in 1907 and was the father of Mary, Jean and Alan. Rear Admiral Frederick E. McMillen died 16 September 1959.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs, a photocopy of a typescript, is dated 30 January 1951. The bulk of the memoirs span the period of 1882-1950, from McMillen’s birth to his post-retirement. The earliest chapters of the memoirs consist of McMillen-Ewing genealogical information and an account of his early years in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Family members appear throughout the memoirs. MS 360 is unindexed but has a table of contents. The Wisconsin Historical Society also holds a copy of the original memoirs.

The McMillen Memoirs offer an anecdotal account of McMillen’s career as a student (United States Naval Academy Class of 1904) and instructor at the United States Naval Academy and his subsequent career as a staff officer in the United States Navy. He is candid in his assessments of the naval officers and others he encountered during his lengthy career and gives colorful accounts of his overseas stations.

In his memoirs, Rear Admiral McMillen recalls a Navy where staff officers were identified by different ranks and were regarded as an inferior caste by many of their line counterparts. He recalls a Navy where innovation was sometimes met with suspicion and where he himself participated in, and sometimes initiated, various modernizations in pay, supply and commissary matters.

Back to Top


The Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs are arranged by chapter into 21 files.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Dr. Fred E. Schneider in August 1999. Accession No. 99-67.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Location of Originals

The original copy of the Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs is held by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Related Archival Material

McMillen's military personnel file may be available at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Fred Ewing McMillen Memoirs, MS 360

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 2003 with additional processing by David D'Onofrio in August 2013. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 2003 and edited by David D'Onofrio in August 2013.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Ewing family
  • Haiti -- History
  • McMillen family
  • McMillen, Frederick Ewing, 1882-1959
  • Military planning -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • United States Naval Academy -- Students
  • United States. Navy -- Military life
  • United States. Navy -- Sea life
  • United States. Navy. Cruise, 1907-1909
  • United States. Navy. Supply Corps
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Chapter I - Mainly Genealogy, 1951

Includes the memoirs' table of contents.

Box 1 Folder 2

Chapter II - Childhood (1882-1890), 1951

Box 1 Folder 3

Chapter III - School Days (1891-1899), 1951

Box 1 Folder 4

Chapter IV - U. S. Naval Academy (1899-1904), 1951

Box 1 Folder 5

Chapter V - Pedagogy and Romance (1904-1907), 1951

Box 1 Folder 6

Chapter VI - Back in the Navy (1907), 1951

Box 1 Folder 7

Chapter VII - World Cruise (1907-1909), 1951

Box 1 Folder 8

Chapter VIII - Brooklyn Navy Yard and Washington D.C. (1909-1912), 1951

Box 1 Folder 9

Chapter IX - PANTHER and VESTAL (1912-1915), 1951

Box 1 Folder 10

Chapter X - Haiti (1915-1916), 1951

Box 1 Folder 11

Chapter XI - Boston and World War I (1916-1918), 1951

Box 1 Folder 12

Chapter XII - Fleet Supply Base, Brooklyn and Destroyer Squadrons (1918-1925), 1951

Box 1 Folder 13

Chapter XIII - Bureau of Supplies and Accounts and Olympic Games, Paris (1921-1925), 1951

Box 1 Folder 14

Chapter XIV - HENDERSON (1925-1926), 1951

Box 1 Folder 15

Chapter XV - Bureau Again (1926-1930), 1951

Box 1 Folder 16

Chapter XVI - WRIGHT and Aircraft Squadrons (1930-1932), 1951

Box 1 Folder 17

Chapter XVII - War Plans-Naval Operations (1932-1936), 1951

Includes the text of a lecture entitled "Some of the Logistics Features of Naval War Planning," focusing on the creation of War Plan Orange for war with Japan.

Box 1 Folder 18

Chapter XVIII - Naval Supply Depot, Hampton Roads (1936-1940), 1951

Box 1 Folder 19

Chapter XIX - Bureau and Boston Navy Yard (1940-1942), 1951

Box 1 Folder 20

Chapter XX - Field Branch, Cleveland (1942-1945), 1951

Box 1 Folder 21

Chapter XXI - "Swallowing the Anchor" (1946- ), 1951

Following the official end of the memoir on page 389 are several other documents, entitled "A Prayer," "Beach Combings," "Gracieisms," and two poems by Mary T. McMillen.

Back to Top