U.S. Army Corporal Thomas H. Mullins of Harriman, Tenn, will be laid to rest Thursday, nearly 70 years after going missing during the Korean War. DNA testing confirmed Mullins’ identity last year after his remains were returned by North Korea in 1993.
Mullins went missing on November 2, 1950 while serving with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea during the Korean War. He was 18-years old.
“As a Tennessee teenager, Tommy bravely answered a call to protect our freedom and gave the ultimate sacrifice in a prison camp far from home,” Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said. “We pause to remember this young hero, the life he laid down for his country and the grieving family he left behind.”
Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognized Mullins with flags flown at half-staff in honor of his service and a proclaimed day of mourning.
The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used DNA from two cousins to positively identify the Harriman High School student on June 8, 2017
“We are relieved that Corporal Mullins will finally be laid to rest and that his surviving family members will be able to offer him a reverent final resting place,” Grinder said. “Family members are experiencing so many emotions that cover more than six decades of waiting and wondering, but closure has finally come.”
Mullins is survived by Garland Mullins of Harriman, Peggy Freeman of Salisbury, NC, David Tomkins of Philadelphia, PA and several cousins in Florida.
Mullins will be interred at the Bay Pines National Cemetery at 10000 Bay Pines Boulevard North in St. Petersburg, Florida on Thursday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m EDT.