City of Manchester, NH Official Website

WW2 Casualty: Bernard C. Mullen (1920-1944)

Bernard C. Mullen recognition plaquePhotograph of Bernard C. Mullen recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH on Parker Street (on the bridge over the railroad crossing). Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission

A Military Square was designated by Manchester, New Hampshire city ordinance, approved 18 October 1949 and signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit: “That the name ‘Bernard C. Mullen’ be and the same is hereby bestowed on the Parker Street Bridge, so called."  A bronze sign was installed and dedicated on the bridge over the railroad [in the vicinity of 113 Parker Street], that reads: CPL. BERNARD C. MULLEN. BORN May 21, 1908. 29th INFANTRY DIVISION 175 REGT. Co F. WOUNDED St. LO FRANCE JULY 30, 1944. DIED IN ENGLAND AUG 24, 1944.

Bernard C. Mullen grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire about a block away from where his memorial plaque was placed. He was born on 21 May 1908 in Manchester New Hampshire, the son of John B. & Catherine A. (Mahoney) Mullen. He attended the local schools, and graduated from one of Manchester’s high schools. In 1930 he worked as a book-keeper for a carriage painters company, and by 1940 he delivered milk, having his own milk route.

newspaper showing Cpl. MullensNewspaper clipping from Lubbock TX newspaper showing Cpl. Mullens while he was stations in England

He enlisted in the United States Army on 4 May 1942, and was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, 175 Regiment, Co F. By 1943, then Cpl. Bernard C. Mullen was in London England, as evidenced by a newspaper clipping showing him with Mrs. Irene F. Whittaker, an English “mother” to American servicemen. The photograph byline states she “prepares to sew on chevrons for Corp. Bernard C. Mullen, of Manchester, N.H.” [15 May 1943 Lubbock Morning Avalanche (Lubbock Texas)].

Bernard Mullen was about to be thrown into the thick of battle in France. According to the official reports: “The 175th, the 29th Division’s reserve, landed on the still unsecured Omaha Beach on the morning of 7 June [1944], and proceeded to its objective to seize the village of Isigny. It pushed through Isigny and crossed the Vire River and on to St Lo. The 175th fought stiff German resistance hedge row by hedge row. The 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry pushed the American lines to within three miles of St Lo, creating a salient into the German lines. The unit stubbornly defended the high ground, known as Hill 108 but nicknamed “Purple Heart Hill” as they were surrounded on three sides.

On July 30, 1944, Cpl. Bernard C. Mullen was gravely wounded, and transported to a hospital in England, where he died a little over three weeks later, on 24 August, 1944. His body was shipped home, where he was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery beside his sister Irene who had died at age 22 of heart complications. His parents, now childless, continued to live in Manchester on Parker Street, his mother and father passing away in 1960 and 1961 respectively. They were buried beside their son in the same cemetery.

 

Posted on 12 May, 2014 by Janice Brown 

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