Lieut James Clive Whittaker

Photo added by Sally C

Lieut James Clive Whittaker

Birth
Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA
Death 8 Sep 1975 (aged 73)
El Cajon, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Other, Specifically: Ashes in storage at Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego, CA
Memorial ID 32318721 View Source

James Clive Whittaker was the co-pilot of a B-17 that ditched in the South Pacific on 10-21-1942. One of the other passengers on the plane was World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who was on a secret mission for the War Department. Whittaker, Rickenbacker, and five others survived the ditching and were eventually rescued after spending three weeks adrift in three life rafts. An eighth passenger died at sea of exposure.

In late 1942 Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Army Air Forces chief of staff General Henry H. ‘Hap’ Arnold asked the 52-year-old airline executive, Eddie Rickenbacker, to travel to the Pacific theater. His mission was to evaluate and report on the status of U.S. Army Air Forces combat units stationed there; Rickenbacker was accompanied on the mission by his aide, Colonel Hans Adamson. On October 20, 1942, they climbed aboard a well-worn Boeing B-17 in Hawaii that had been converted into a transport plane. The B-17 was crewed by Captain William T Cherry Jr. of Quail, Texas, pilot; Lt James Whittaker of Burlingame, CA, co-pilot; Lt John De Angelis of Nesquehoning, Pa., navigator; Private John Bartek of Freehold, N.J., engineer; and Sergeant James Reynolds of Fort Jones, Calif., radio operator. Also along was Staff Sgt. Alexander Kaczmarczyk from Torrington, Conn., an enlisted airman who was returning to his outfit in Australia after recovering from a lengthy illness.

Additional Biography Contributor: DLangfor (47327827)


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