William Mulson Served on the USS Maddox During World War II: Remembering Our Veterans
Our weekly series, Remembering our Veterans continues with the story of 97 year-old World War II Navy veteran William Mulson.
Mulson grew up in Ripley, New York and at the age of 17, joined the Navy.
When he was asked why he joined that branch of the military? He said, "The army gets all of the work, the Marines get the credit and the Navy gets the pay."
Mulson felt the U.S. had a significant advantage over the Japanese during World War II by being able to refuel ships and planes at sea. He and others were aware of a turning point in the war.
Mulson was all abroad the Maddox when a suicide plane mission hit the side of the chip.
"We figured that they were using these suicide plane attacks as a last resort. Things were getting a bit hectic," said Mulson. "It killed seven men, we buried them at sea, and we transferred thirty something to the hospital ship."
He saw plenty during his tour of duty beginning in 1944...including typhoons that caused three ships to capsize.
"We were over 68 degrees and we straightened back up again, I got papers back home that talk about it," said Mulson. "Believe me, I was more afraid of them then I was of the Japanese or anybody else. If you had to get off that ship because it went down...where are you going to swim to?"
Following his tour of duty, Mulson returned to Ripley, married his sweetheart Wilma, and raised a family. Four children, 11 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and he says he's lost count of the number of great-great-grandchildren he has.
"I don't. I got a daughter, well she was the first one, and she's got a memory on her and she can't even remember all of them," said Mulson. "I can remember a face though."
William's secret to a long life is peanut butter sandwiches, topped with red onion.
William Mulson, thank you for your service.