SigEp Military History


SigEp Patriot History: Brother McMullen

Vietnam War Veteran and PA Eta Brother Second Lieutenant Gene "Smedley" McMullen, U.S. Marine Corps - Vietnam War; KIA: 16 JUL 1966, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam (Penn State University)

Gene was born in West Chester, PA. His dad was in the Marine Corps and Gene attended grade schools, both public and military base schools, throughout the country. He graduated from Punahou High School in Hawaii where he lettered in three sports: football, basketball and track. He then moved back to the states to attend Penn State University. While at State he played football under coach Rip Engle. Gene was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He enrolled in the Platoon Leaders Course and attended summer training during his sophomore and junior years at Quantico. Gene had many interests; in addition to sports, he loved music and dancing. Although he had a quiet demeanor, he was popular with his classmates, who called him Smedley or their favorite pet nickname, "Smed". Gene got his height at an early age, when he shot up to 6-feet 3-inches his family started calling him "Long Gene".

Gene entered Basic School during the summer of 1965. While at Basic School he was a member of the 1965 Quantico football team. After graduation he chose artillery and was sent to Fort Sill, OK and then on to Camp Pendelton. In May of 1966 he was sent to Vietnam where he was assigned to the 12th Marine Regiment as a Forward Observer. Gene was killed in action on July 16, 1966 by the Viet Cong counter battery fire in Quang Tri Province. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

Gene's father, Colonel Rick McMullen, U.S. Marine Corps (retired) is one of our most loyal members. Twice Colonel Rick has driven solo cross country to attend one of our reunions. Colonel Rick had this to say about his son, "Gene would have wanted to stay with the USMC Active Reserve because of his familiarity of the United States Marine Corps and he understood the ethos and ideals of the Corps. He knew the Marines not only enjoy one another's company but they love one another."" The Quantico Athletic Association proves this true.

Thanks to Colonel Rick for contributing to his son's story.

GENE SMEDLEY MCMULLEN - PA (July 16, 1966) Vietnam

Service Branch: MARINES
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Date of Death: 7/16/1966
Hostile: "hostile, Killed"
Home of Record City: WEST CHESTER
Home of Record County: Chester
Home of Record State: Pennsylvania
Conflict: Vietnam