First Lieutenant Arthur Franklin Mulock, Jr.
by Irving T. Shanley
|Arthur Mulock volunteered for the United States Army and the 508th
Parachute Infantry Regiment in October 1942 from his hometown of Waltham,
Massachusetts. On reporting to the newly-formed Regiment at Camp Blanding,
Florida, he was assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion for 13
grueling weeks of basic and advanced infantry training. He was then
transferred with his unit to Fort Benning, Georgia for three weeks of
intensive parachute qualification training and was awarded his coveted
silver parachute wings on graduation in March 1943. He moved then with his
Regiment to Camp Mackall, North Carolina, for nine months of tactical
training, including maneuvers in South Carolina and Tennessee. Arthur was
assigned to the Battalion's 81mm Mortar Platoon and served with this
Platoon throughout World War II in Europe. During the Regiment’s combat
operations in Europe, the Regiment was part of the 82nd Airborne Division
commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgeway and Major General James Gavin.
Arthur was born on July 18, 1923 in Weston, Massachusetts and graduated
from Weston High School in June 1942. His high school yearbook shows that
he wanted to join the Marines or the Air Corps but realized that his best
choice would be the Army paratroopers. The yearbook lists his pastime
activities as eating, sleeping, and wolfing. He was noted for his
flirtatious character. While in high school he was active in football (4
years), basketball (2 years), baseball (2 years), basketball manager-1939,
and glee club.
As a member of the 508th, Arthur parachuted into Normandy, France on
D-Day, June 6, 1944 and into Nijmegen, Holland on September 17, 1944. He
also participated in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during the winter
of 1944-1945. Just prior to the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, the
508th was stationed at an airbase in Chartres, France southwest of Paris,
prepared to jump on short notice to liberate prisoners in German POW camps
in case the Germans resorted to atrocities. The allied ground troops at
that time were moving quickly through Germany and since there was no
evidence of atrocities, the jump was cancelled. On June 10, 1945 the
paratroopers of the 508th arrived at their new station, Frankfurt am-Main, Germany to become part of the Army of Occupation but primarily as
General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Honor Guard at his Supreme Headquarters,
Allied Expeditionary Force.
Copyright Irving T.
Shanley, Unauthorized copying or use in any manner is strictly prohibited
– September 2004 Page 1 of 3 pages
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