April 10, 1963
UNITED STATES NAVY
Merrill Francis Collier was born on February 17, 1932, near New Richmond, Ohio, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ethet Collier.
Prior to enlisting in the Navy in August 1949, Merrill was graduated from Bethel-Tate High School where he was class president during his junior and senior years. In 1951, he was ordered to the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, Maryland. Here he organized the first drill team for the school. He was then appointed to the Naval Academy in 1952. While undergoing training at the Academy, Merrill was class president for 3 years and was also appointed brigade commander for both the fall and spring midshipmen staffs of 1956. During his first year at the Academy, Merrill was elected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Merrill was commissioned ensign upon graduating the Academy with the class of 1956. His first sea duty assignment was aboard the destroyer U.S.S. J. C. Owens (DD 776), where he served as engineering officer. In January 1959, he was ordered to nuclear power training at New London, Connecticut. After this training, he was ordered to duty to the Nuclear Power Test Unit at Idaho Falls, Idaho. While there, he qualified as reactor engineer.
In September 1961, he was ordered to the U.S.S. Farragut (DLG 6) for duty as engineering officer. One year later, Merrill received orders to undergo submarine training at New London, Connecticut.
After completing the course of instruction at the submarine school, Merrill received orders to the submarine U.S.S. Thresher (SSN 593), and reported to that command in April 1963.
During his naval service, Merrill had earned the Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
Merrill was survived by his widow the former Helen Harveycutter of Silver
Spring, Maryland; two children, Sherrill L. and Neal D.' and his mother,
Mrs. C. Warren Carnes.