WWII EOD Warriors Private Mullenix & TSgt Brovetto to be Honored During Memorial Weekend

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 Private Clinton Earl “C.E.” Mullenix was born 30 January 1923 in Richland Township, Iowa. Private Mullenix  studied industrial chemicals at Iowa Wesleyan college  and worked as a civilian inspector at the  Iowa ordnance plant.  Private Mullenix enjoyed sports and spent his free time doing the play by play announcing for all the sporting events at Iowa Wesleyan.  Private Mullenix was drafted into the Army at Camp Dodge on 12 November 1942. Due to his ordnance background and college studies, Private Mullenix volunteered for Bomb Disposal training. 

    In early 1943 Private Mullenix graduated Army Bomb Disposal School  and was assigned to the newly formed 10th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad Separate at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. The 10th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad (Separate) (OBDS) was organized 12 March 1943. Initially it was used to provide additional training to Bomb Disposal technicians and to provide training for personnel deploying. In August 1943 the 10th  OBDS was deployed to England in order to prepare for the D-day Invasion.

    In April 1943, Private Mullenix’s Squad began timbering and excavation work on the bombing range of Aberdeen Proving Ground. Many of the bombs and fuzes recovered were early test versions. During this time  more classroom instruction was given as items were recovered.  Private Mullenix wrote home often about his new profession and the detailed instruction he was receiving.  On 15 May 1943, Private Mullenix’s Squad discovered an old bomb during their excavation training. After determining the bomb was filled with black powder Private Mullenix attempted to perform an improvised disposal procedure. The bomb subsequently detonated  killing Private Mullenix and injuring two other members of the Squad. 

    Private Mullenix was initially survived by his wife of two months, Wilma Jaynes,  mother Gretna H. Mullenix, father Earl E. Mullenix, sister Beverly J. Mullenix, and brother Charles C. Mullenix. Private Mullenix had no children. Today he is survived by his sister, Beverly J. Van Alst.

 

 Technical Sergeant Louis Brovetto was born on 07 November 1920 in Queens, New York and enlisted in the United States Army on 11 March 1943. After entering the Army Technical Sergeant Brovetto was assigned to the 41st Ordnance Bomb Disposal Squad (Separate) (OBDS) and would serve as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer for the squad during the invasion of Normandy.

     The 41st OBDS landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day +1 and were immediately dispatched to the St Pierre-Du-Mont Airfield where they would render safe a 500 pound unexploded bomb on D-Day +2, allowing allied forces to  continue construction of the airfield. Overnight, a 1,750 pound “G” mine was dropped onto the airfield and again the squad, led in part by Technical Sergeant Brovetto, was tasked to render safe and remove the mine so operations could resume. Over the next 51 days, the 41st OBDS continued clearing unexploded ordnance throughout Normandy.

     On the evening of 30 July 1944 Technical Sergeant Brovetto was called out to investigate a tank which had been disabled after entering a mine field. While attempting to clear a path through the minefield and recover the tank, Technical Sergeant Brovetto was killed by a booby trap. 

     Technical Sergeant Brovetto was initially survived by his mother Rose and was buried in LaCambe-Isigny, France but was later reinterred at Long Island National Cemetery. Today he is survived by his Nephew and Godson Warren Brovetto. 

 

 

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