WWII Marine Veteran Corporal Louis Mamula Dies at 96
Louis, from Universal, Pennsylvania, lived in Lowellville, Ohio for most of his life, and was a 1940 graduate of Lowellville High School. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, and married Novella Leardi before shipping out to World War II’s Pacific Theater in 1942. Corporal Mamula fought at Guadalcanal and Tarawa as a member of the 2nd Division, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine, Company B, and received two Presidential Unit Citations with two Bronze Stars.
An articulate warrior, Louis was selected to record an oral history account of his experiences for Quantico’s Marine Corps Archives and Library, and was featured in 2014, along with his fellow survivors, in ”The Heroes of Tarawa,” an episode of the documentary series “Against the Odds” from the American Heroes Channel. In this episode, he describes his experiences coming ashore in the “rubber boat battalion” during the horrific Battle of Tarawa and talks movingly about his fellow Marines who gave their all.
Following the end of the war, Louis worked in the Ohio steel mills and as an upholsterer, and as a school crossing guard and custodian. But he remained devoted to his fellow Marines, especially those who didn’t make it home – the true heroes, in his mind. Late in life he devoted much time and energy to lob
With his wife Novella, Louis raised 6 children, who in turn raised 17 of their own. The Mamula family was inspired by Louis’ military tradition, and have been strong supporters of Resurrecting Lives Foundation for many years. Their support for today’s injured heroes, rallied by Louis’s grandson Brian, has extended from online fundraising campaigns to marathon-running to raise money, and even a split from an office pool during an NCAA tournament.
“The good Lord knows what he’s doing with me,” Louis said in a 2014 interview with the Youngstown Vindicator. “I have no idea.” Clearly, his legacy includes a large and generous family.
Corporal Mamula received military honors at his funeral, and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.