Los Banos World War II Veteran receives proper funeral


Louis Robert McMullen was a Torpedo-man mate 2nd class, onboard the USS Growler it sunk on Nov. 8, 1944. Sixty-nine years to the day he died, McMullen received the service he was entitled.

McMullen's family, members of the VFW and American Legion and the Los Banos mayor held a ceremony at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, as McMullen received a marker on the grounds.

The marker is something given to all U.S. Servicemen who died in combat, when a body wasn't recovered. McMullen's family didn't know he was entitled to one at the time.

The U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II held a ceremonial folding of the flag and presented it to McMullen's son, Louis McMullen Jr.

McMullen Jr. was a newborn when his father died, and he never had a chance to meet him.

"It makes you feel very proud, very proud of him… to do what he done to serve his country," McMullen Jr. said.

Los Banos Mayor Mike Villalta says many played a part to get McMullen the marker at the cemetery.

It started off as a Memorial Day speech, said the Mayor. His speech was to commemorate 15 servicemen from Los Banos who died in battle three years ago. That evolved into a historical research project for a group of students at Los Banos High School. The students helped discover that McMullen never got a marker he was entitled to, from there the community started to enquire.

"Came out to the national cemetery, they helped us research," Villalta said. "They continued to research and they said yes there is no remembrance stone for this man anywhere in the world...and the wheels were set in motion and it lead us to today's activities."

TAPS was played at the ceremony and McMullen received a 3-volley salute. McMullen Jr. said he is glad to see his father home.

"It's a resting place for him...he's basically back home where he started." He said.

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