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29TH DIVISION - WWII STORIES

 

Thornton L. MULLINS

Lieutenant Colonel

29th Infantry Division

111th Field Artillery Battalion

 

Distinguished Service Cross citation:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Thornton L. Mullins (0-299488), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 111th Field Artillery Battalion, 29th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. Lieutenant Colonel Mullins landed on the coast of France with the initial assault wave under intense enemy small arms, machine gun, mortar and 88-mm. fire. The infantry was pinned to the beach and was apparently unable to move forward. Advancing to the end of the beach, Lieutenant Colonel Mullins then turned and, though exposed to the enemy fire, walked back to the water line, urging troops to move forward and off the beach. While accomplishing this, Lieutenant Colonel Mullins was wounded but continued in his efforts until finally the assault wave of the infantry moved forward. He then took command of two tanks and directed their fire on enemy strong points overlooking the beach. Observing that the tanks were unable to neutralize all the strong points, he organized a party of infantrymen and led them in the face of intense enemy fire up a hill to assault the strong points. Though again wounded and forced to withdraw, he refused to be deterred. Undaunted, he organized another party and while leading this group in an assault, Lieutenant Colonel Mullins was killed by enemy fire. The extraordinary heroism, initiative and personal bravery displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Mullins exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 29th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 42 (August 6, 1944)