The 77th Division participated in the liberation of the Philippines in October, 1944, specifically in the Ormac Valley on the western side of Leyte Island.
John’s Division was part of the Okinawa operations which began on April 1, 1945
Staff Sergeant John B. Whitehead was killed in action on May 14, 1945 fighting against the enemy defenses of Shuri, Okinawa. He is buried at the Honolulu Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii.
John received the Bronze Star, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Ribbon, Combat Infantry’s badge, Expert Rifleman’s Badge, Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with 4 stars, American Theater Ribbon and the Victory Medal. John’s awards were presented posthumously to his father by Lt. Donald MacMullen, at a brief formal ceremony on December 17, 1946.
His brother Edward was lost at sea in 1938 on the Destroyer USS Paterson DD-392 while on patrol in the pacific.
Research by Don Wambold, WCMSC