William Francis Mullen

United States Marine Corps
28 March 1935 - 05 May 1976
Brockton, Massachusetts
Panel 07E Line 011


A-4 Skyhawk

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Francis Mullen

10 Jan 2003

The gates of heaven are fearlessly guarded by the courage of those who have gone before us.
I am a brother, a son, and an American.
While a heart may be silent, the beat of a soul lives within me today.
May hardships be only a shadow, and the life you have touched be your sun. For when my day descends upon me, may it carry the angel of Bill.

You Will Always Be In Eternal Memory

From a friend and bearer of his bracelet,
Aaron Silverman
817 Old Road To 9 Acre Corner, Concord Ma 01742

14 Apr 2003

As a young child in the early 70s the Vietnam War was just a news blip to me until my mother gave me $5 to buy an MIA bracelet. The name inscribed on mine was Capt. William F. Mullen. I had no idea who he was, what role he played or how he came to be a POW until today. That bracelet made the war concrete for me and I thought often of who he was and what it must be like to be missing from family and friends. I wore that bracelet 24 hours a day for years until it broke from wear and tear. I still wear his name forever in my heart.

E-mail address is not available.

22 Aug 2003

My introduction to Major Mullen is much like the others in this memorial. As a 14 year old on a trip to Washington D.C. in 1993, I purchased Major Mullen's memorial bracelet not far from the "Wall" itself. I always had a profound respect for those men (including my father) who put the terror of war aside, and served for their children, wives, comrades, and country. Everyone gave something for that war; Major Mullen, and 52,201 other men and women gave up everything.

I hope my next introduction to Major Bill Mullen will be in person someday... where ever that might be.

Jeremy Carnahan
2535 Paragon Dr. Apt F, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

03 Aug 2005

I wanted to let the family of Capt. Mullen
know that my brother Thomas P. Hernon found an MIA bracelet,
and wanted to know if his family would like his bracelet back.
Our hearts go out to you and your family.

I have a very dear friend who has two of her sons who are active in the war now. Alive and well Thank God. I can't imagine what it must feel like not to have a family member come back from war.

My prayers will always be with you and your family.
Please reach me by e-mail if you would like. Sincerely,
Annmarie Haney
and Thomas P. Hernon
Quincy, MA

06 Jun 2006

I have had Captain Mullen's "POW" bracelet since 1969. I have always wondered if he were still with us, and I just realized that he will always be with us as long as we remember him.

The wierdest thing is that my daughter was born on his birthday, March 28th.

It is one of the few pieces of my past I have kept and cherished all these years.

Never forget the sacrifices of our servicepersons and their families.

Barbara Waringer
Galloway, NJ

27 Jun 2006

I served with Lt William F. Mullen in VMA-332 1959-1960. I remember a lot of good times with him in Iwakuni, Japan. It was a privilege to serve with him.

From a fellow Marine,
GySgt Darold E Cooper USMC Retired
Box 711 Munford Avenue, Munford Tn 38058

25 Oct 2006

"For those of my brothers who have fought and died, their sacrifice will be echoed in the hearts and minds of the free."

From one Marine to another - I have never met you but I will forever hold your memory and your bracelet.

Corporal Hafner
E-mail address is not available.

16 Nov 2006

I also have an MIA bracelet with William Mullen's name on it. My sixth grade teacher got them for us (obviously a very long time ago!). I did some research a few years back and was saddened to learn that he did not return home.

I still have that bracelet and it will remain forever in my possession. As others have said, it is a reminder of the sacrifice that all branches of our armed services make for us. He made the ultimate sacrifice. My thoughts, prayers and gratitude go out to his family and to all members of our military.

Kim Adams
Beverly, Ma

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Accounts of Captain William "Moon" Mullen's loss vary somewhat. The POW Network has the simple statement that
"On April 29, 1966, Capt. Mullen was sent on a combat mission near the Ban Karai Pass in Laos. When the time arrived that he should have returned, and he had not, the Marines began to try to find him. Bill Mullen was never found."
while the Task Force Omega (TFO) site says that
"At 1235 hours, during a series of attacks by US Marine Corps and US Air Force aircraft on an important communist installation that was known to be protected by a large number of anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) sites, ten aircraft were hit and two shot down. The Air Force crew of the other downed aircraft was later rescued. Capt. Mullen, the last man in his flight, was pulling up and away from the target after completing his bomb run. ... [and] was believed to be unharmed until he failed to initiate a normal radio check."
Hobson, in "Vietnam Air Losses" gives a third version:
"Captain Mullen was taking part in a strike against gun emplacements near the Ban Karai Pass in Laos, near the DMZ, when he was shot down on his first low level pass. His aircraft was last seen on fire entering cloud and heading towards the north."
The implication in the POW Network statement is that Captain Mullen was flying a single-aircraft strike. He was not. The TFO statement implies a massed USMC/USAF effort which resulted in two losses; that too is demonstrably incorrect. The United States lost six aircraft on 29 April 1966, and none of the other five aircraft was anywhere near the Ban Karai area:
  • USMC A-4E BuNo 151057, CAPT W F Mullen, MIA, vicinity Ban Karai, Laos
  • USN F-8E BuNo 150867, LTJG T E Brown, KIA, vicinity Haiphong, NVN
  • USN A-1H BuNo 137576, LCDR W P Egan, KIA, vicinity Ban Senphan, Laos
  • USAF F-105D 62-4304, 1LT D W Bruch, MIA, vicinity Thai Nguyen, NVN
  • USAF F-101C 56-0218, MAJ A E Runyan, POW, vicinity Yen Bai, NVN
  • USAF A-1E 52-132680, CAPT L S Boston, MIA, vicinity Na San, NVN
Although assigned to the 1st Marine Air Wing Headquarters Squadron (MWH&S-1, MWHG-1) at the time of his loss, Captain Mullen had deployed to Chu Lai as a member of Marine Attack Squadron 211 and was doing his flying with Marine Attack Squadron 223, also at Chu Lai. The MWHG-1 Command Chronology for April 1966 contains the following entry:
"5. CASUALTIES. (U) Captain William F. MULLEN, Group S-2 [Intelligence] Officer, was reported as missing in action while on a strike mission while flying with a local A4E squadron."

Regardless of the exact details of the loss, Captain Mullen was not recovered and was placed in MIA status. On 05 May 1976 the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for William Mullen, who was promoted to Major while in MIA status. As of 10 Jan 2003, his remains have not been repatriated.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 10 Jan 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009