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Gerald Mullin


Memories shared with his Son in the 60's

He was very green when he was shot down, having recently arrived in Italy. They were over enemy territory in Yugoslavia on the way back from a mission, on August 22, 1944, I think, he said from a target in Romania, when the plane began to falter as a result of enemy flak. The pilot was also very green, I think my dad said the pilot was only 19. The pilot announced to the crew that they weren't going to make it back to friendly territory, but that he thought he could set the plane down safely in a valley ahead. The pilot also left it to each man to decide as to whether to jump or stay with the plane for the crash landing. My father, and his friend Robert Wilburn from Knoxville, Tennessee decided to jump. They were comparatively old, my father 24, and I think Mr. Wilburn was about the same age.

Some Yugoslavian farmers took Mr. Wilburn and my father in, and shortly thereafter turned them over to the Chetniks. I know they were communists, but they saved my dad's life, so they can't be all bad!

When he arrived at the base camp of the partisans, my father was greeted by an OSS colonel. As my dad told it, when the Colonel introduced himself, my father said, "Am I glad to see you, Colonel !". The Colonel said that he was glad to see my dad as well, and that shortly, the guys who had just brought my dad in would take him out with them to blow up a German train. My dad protested, stating that he had not had infantry training since Fort Dix. Suddenly, as he told it, without even knowing it was happening, the OSS colonel had his .45 pressed up against my father's temple, and said, "Corporal, are you disobeying an order?". My father said, "No Sir!". So he went on missions with the partisans for about 60 days, as is my impression.

The only other event that he told us about, and carried to his grave with regret was the following.

He was out on patrol with a partisan, who turned out to be a German infiltrator. Mind you, my father, while a formidable guy when I knew him, was about 140 lbs. soaking wet in the service. The German jumped him and started to strangle him. The German was a much bigger guy, so my father's only alternative was to pull his .45 and shoot the German in the head while they were face to face in a death struggle.

My father had a strong sense of the value of human life, both from his upbringing as a Catholic and the fact that he was not at all a violent person, yet here he was covered with the blood and brains of a man he killed. While the killing was clearly justified, all he could think about, and this makes me cry, until the day he died on that subject, was the German's mother when she got the news that her son was dead. He felt like both he, and the German he killed would have preferred to be somewhere else.

After a time, again, as I remember about 60 days, my father was picked up in a P-38 at night. I'm not sure if Mr. Wilburn was with him at that time or not. He was flown back and eventually rejoined the 459BG 758BS, after some R&R on the Isle of Capri. By the way, the first thing they did when they got him back to Italy was shave him from head to toe and delouse him.

MACR: 7993

Gerald Mullin

T/Sgt. Gerald F Mullin was assigned to the 459th BG 758th Squadron.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS): Engineer/Gunner.

Memories shared with his Son in the 60's

He was very green when he was shot down, having recently arrived in Italy. They were over enemy territory in Yugoslavia on the way back from a mission, on August 22, 1944, I think, he said from a target in Romania, when the plane began to falter as a result of enemy flak. The pilot was also very green, I think my dad said the pilot was only 19. The pilot announced to the crew that they weren't going to make it back to friendly territory, but that he thought he could set the plane down safely in a valley ahead. The pilot also left it to each man to decide as to whether to jump or stay with the plane for the crash landing. My father, and his friend Robert Wilburn from Knoxville, Tennessee decided to jump. They were comparatively old, my father 24, and I think Mr. Wilburn was about the same age.

Some Yugoslavian farmers took Mr. Wilburn and my father in, and shortly thereafter turned them over to the Chetniks. I know they were communists, but they saved my dad's life, so they can't be all bad!

When he arrived at the base camp of the partisans, my father was greeted by an OSS colonel. As my dad told it, when the Colonel introduced himself, my father said, "Am I glad to see you, Colonel !". The Colonel said that he was glad to see my dad as well, and that shortly, the guys who had just brought my dad in would take him out with them to blow up a German train. My dad protested, stating that he had not had infantry training since Fort Dix. Suddenly, as he told it, without even knowing it was happening, the OSS colonel had his .45 pressed up against my father's temple, and said, "Corporal, are you disobeying an order?". My father said, "No Sir!". So he went on missions with the partisans for about 60 days, as is my impression.

The only other event that he told us about, and carried to his grave with regret was the following.

He was out on patrol with a partisan, who turned out to be a German infiltrator. Mind you, my father, while a formidable guy when I knew him, was about 140 lbs. soaking wet in the service. The German jumped him and started to strangle him. The German was a much bigger guy, so my father's only alternative was to pull his .45 and shoot the German in the head while they were face to face in a death struggle.

My father had a strong sense of the value of human life, both from his upbringing as a Catholic and the fact that he was not at all a violent person, yet here he was covered with the blood and brains of a man he killed. While the killing was clearly justified, all he could think about, and this makes me cry, until the day he died on that subject, was the German's mother when she got the news that her son was dead. He felt like both he, and the German he killed would have preferred to be somewhere else.

After a time, again, as I remember about 60 days, my father was picked up in a P-38 at night. I'm not sure if Mr. Wilburn was with him at that time or not. He was flown back and eventually rejoined the 459BG 758BS, after some R&R on the Isle of Capri. By the way, the first thing they did when they got him back to Italy was shave him from head to toe and delouse him.

The following information on Gerald Mullin is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on T/Sgt. Mullin. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to Gerald Mullin's military record please contact us.

  Rank General Order Date Notes Award Ribbon & Device

Gerald Mullin

Sgt

4247

10/29/1944

 

AM

Air Medal (AM)

Gerald Mullin

Sgt

186

01/11/1945

 

AM/1OLC

Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

Mullin Gerald

S/Sgt

3379

05/23/1945

 

AM/2OLC

Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

Mullin Gerald

S/Sgt

3379

05/23/1945

 

AM/3OLC

Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

  • Gerald M. Mullin Commendation PDF
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