Casualty of WW2 D-Day Invasion: Manchester NH’s Cpl. Bernard C. Mullen (1908-1944)

A Military Square was designated by Manchester, New Hampshire city ordinance,

Photograph of Roland A. Metivier recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the southwest corner of Willow and Baker Streets. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.

Photograph 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.

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 clipping from Lubbock TX newspaper showing Cpl. Mullens while he was stations in England [see story for details].

Newspaper clipping from Lubbock TX newspaper showing Cpl. Mullens while he was stations in England [see story for details].

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.

=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF Bernard C. Mullen=====

Patrick Mullen, b. Ireland, resided Melrose MA; m. Hannah O’Brien. She b. Boston MA. [a Patrick H. Mullen d 11/28/1919 age 62 buried E-95 St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester NH.] 1
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Children of Patrick & Hannah (O’Brien) Mullen:
1. John S. Mullen, b 1871 in New Brunswick, Canada; m. 14 June 1891 in Newmarket NH to Mary E. Welch, dau of Michael & Anna (Ferguson) Welch
2. James Edward Mullen, b. 25 July 1872 New Brunswick, Canada; died 6 October 1964 at Burlington, Chittenden Co. VT, buried St. Josephs Cem, Berkley RI; death cert states he was a widow
3. +John B. Mullen, b. 6 May 1876 New Brunswick Canada
4. Thomas Vincent Mullen, b. 1879 in New Brunswick, Canada; m. 19 June 1911 at Haverhill MA to Ida May Racine, dau of Paul & Seraphine (Perron) Racine. Occupation: heel maker.

John B. Mullen, son of Patrick & Hannah (O’Brien) Mullen, b. 6 May 1876 in New Brunswick Canda and d. 14 September 1960; He m. 26 Nov 1901 in Manchester NH Catherine Agnes Mahoney, dau of John & Catherine (Flanagan) Mahoney. She b. in 1881 in Manchester NH and d. 13 June 1961. They are buried Section K-42 St. Joseph Cemetery. He immigrated to the US 25 Aug 1886, and was naturalized 26 Sep 1906 at the Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua NH. Resided at 148 Winter Street and also 148 Parker Street Manchester NH. In 1957 John B. Mullen was a clerk at Marshall’s Drug Store.The 1940 census indicates that John finished 7th grade.
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1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 148 Winter Street
John B. Mullen 33 M W m1x 8 yrs New Brunswick C, Ire MA immigrated 1888 naturalized, Heel Cuttter Shoe shop
Agnes C. Mullen 29 F W 2 ch 2 living NH Ire Ire
Irene C. Mullen 4 Single NH New Brunswick NH
Bernard C. Mullen 1 [1-11/12] NH NB NH
John Mahoney 68 68 widow Ire Ire Ire imm 1863 naturalized Laborer street dept
Edward Mahoney NH 20 single NH Ire Ire foreman shoe shop
——————–
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 148 Parker Street
Mullen, John B Head M W 43 married imm 1886 naturalized 1896 NB Can, Ire, Mass, Agent, Insurance
Mullen, Agnes K., wife F W 39 married NH Ire Ire
Mullen Irene daughter F W 14 single NH NB-Can NH
Mullen, Bernard son M W 11 single NH NB-Can NH
——————–
1930 Manchester City Directory
Mullen, John B. (Agnes K) ins 1015 Elm rm 503; h 148 Parker
Mullen, Bernard C. bookkeeper 127 S. Main res 148 Parker
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1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 148 Parker Street
John B. Mullen 64
Catherine A. Mullen 57
Bernard Mullen 31 Delivering Milk, Milk Route, 4 yrs high school
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Children of John B. & Catherine A. (Mahoney) Mullen:
1. Irene Catherine Mullen, b. 2 June 1905 in Manchester NH NH, d. 31 Jan 1928 in Manchester NH
2. Bernard C. Mullen, b. 21 May 1908 in Manchester NH; and d. 24 August 1944 in England, U.S. Army Hospital, age 36 yrs, 3 months 3 days. BURIED 22 July 1948 at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Manchester NH. [the subject of this story]

NOTE: I would be deeply grateful if any relatives who have more information and/or a photograph of Bernard C. Mullen would contact me through this blog.

[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire.  It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.”  All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]

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