Crossing the Bar - LCDR Don Cullen USN EOD (Ret)


Bionic SSSO1 plank owner
Aug 14, 2006
My father passed away yesterday at the age of 92. He was Superman as far as I'm of the last from the Greatest Generation. I've been going through his papers where I found his two Bronze Star citations. Rest in peace, Dad. đź’”

LCDR Donald Cameron Cullen USN (Retired) EOD departed this life October 27, 2018, at his home surrounded by family. Donald is survived by his wife of 71 years, Dorothy Mary Cullen and his four children, Donna Maria St. John and her husband John; Douglas Cameron Cullen and his wife Connie; David Cameron Cullen and his wife Mary and Dawn Cullen Jonas and her husband Stan. He is also survived by eight grandchildren.

Donald was born in Port Deposit Maryland on October 26, 1926. He was preceded in death by his parents Ernest Tyson Cullen and Violet Cameron Cullen in addition to his brothers Ernest Tyson Cullen Jr., Ralston Thomas Cullen and his grandson Cameron Patrick Cullen.

Donald was a veteran of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He joined the Navy in 1943. During WWII, he served as a gunner’s mate in the Pacific Theater. The ship participated in the invasions of Leyte and Mindoro Island as well as the invasion of the Lingayen Gulf. At the completion of the war, Donald was transferred ashore to Yokosuka, Japan to serve as the section leader to the Security Department until he returned to the United States in October 1946. After completing advanced Gunnery School in Washington, he served on the destroyer USS Borie until his tour of duty finished and he returned to civilian life.

Upon the outbreak of hostilities in Korea Donald returned to active duty where he served as Drill Master attached to the Ceremonial Guard until December 1951. He then volunteered for Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in Indian Head, MD., graduating in June 1952. He was assigned to the EOD Tech Center until November 1952 at which time he was transferred to the EOD unit in Pearl Harbor until August 1954. During that tour, he deployed to Korea, for a period of nine months, where he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with combat "V". Donald returned to Indian Head as an instructor in nuclear weapons where he remained until May 1958. He received his commission as an Ensign in June 1960.

He returned to the EOD Tech Center where he serviced as the electrical test officer in the guided missile and nuclear weapons branch. In July 1963, he reported to the USS Enterprise for the first Nuclear Task Force One world cruise, the first round the world cruise the Navy ever conducted. He was the EOD officer, diving officer, and ”G” divisions officer.

In August 1965, he reported to EOD School until September 1967 where he taught as an instructor. He was then ordered to Coronado, CA to attend language and survival schools. Upon completion, he was ordered to Vietnam to be EOD advisor to the Vietnamese Navy from January 1968 – January 1969. He was awarded two Bronze Stars with combat “V” distinguishing for recovery and disposal of foreign ordnance 5 miles from the demilitarized zone.

He was promoted to Lieutenant commander in January 1969 and assumed the role Executive Officer of the EOD School until his retirement in April 1971.

He joined the United States Secret Service in the technical security division for a short time before embarking on second career acting as a manufacturer’s representative for limited edition artwork. He retired in 1988.

A memorial mass will be conducted Friday, November 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Church of the Holy Family Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the EOD Warrior Foundation. Online condolences may be made at

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Verified SWAT
Jul 29, 2008
A galaxy far, far away
Deepest condolences. Your father was clearly a brave and honorable man whose career certainly had an impact on future generations of EOD technicians across all the services.


Verified SOF
Oct 19, 2006
Heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences D, to you, your family and all who knew him, on the passing of your father.

May he live on always in your memories.

Fair winds and following seas Commander Cullen.

Your country is forever grateful for your unparalleled service and dedication.