Bobby Gene Whitaker was born on July 15, 1933, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, located in Cleveland County. He was the eldest son of Walter Plato Whitaker and Margaret Carpenter. According to records from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Whitaker enlisted in the Navy on November 14, 1951, and was discharged from the Navy on November 9, 1955. Whitaker spoke often regarding the time he spent aboard the USS Los Angeles.
On September 12, 1957, Whitaker was married to Gladys Conner. On August 29 the following year the couple welcomed their only child – a daughter, Tina.
Bobby Gene Whitaker passed away on April 3, 1982, at the age of 48. He was laid to rest at Mountain Rest Cemetery in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
According to his widow, Gladys, Whitaker was a modest man who did not speak often about his experiences while in the navy. She described him as being extremely humble throughout his life. She also noted that he was proud to have served in the navy and even more proud when his younger brother, Jacky Dean Whitaker, joined the navy in 1958.
Bobby Whitaker’s military records were stolen from his widow’s home in 2016.
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Korean War - Key Events
December 6, 1950
The U.S. Marines at the Chosin Reservoir begin their “attack in a different direction” as they engage in a fighting retreat to the port of Hŭngnam. Two entire Chinese armies have been tasked with the destruction of the 1st Marine Division. They succeed in driving the American force from North Korean territory but pay an enormous price: as many as 80,000 Chinese troops are killed or wounded, and the CPVF Ninth Army Group is rendered combat-ineffective for months. “Frozen Chosin” becomes one of the most-storied episodes in U.S. Marine Corps history.
These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica