US Army WW2
Major Collin B. Whitehurst Jr. POW/DIS
Squadron: 45th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scouts
Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Biography gleaned from www.westpointaog.org
Graduate United States Military Academy Class of 1938
Collin was born on 3 February 1914 at Richmoud, Virginia, the son of Collin B. Whitehurst, Sr. and Adelaide Rawls Whitehurst. He and his parents moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Collin attended Washington School and Hughes High School. Upon graduating from Hughes High School, Collin entered the University of Cincinnati as a pre-medical student, and at the end of his second year in the University he attained an appointment to West Point. Accordingly he entered the Academy in June 1934, and graduated in 1938.
His first assignment after graduation was at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, with Headquarters Company 10th Infantry, and while at this post he was married to Miss Rose Kneubel, daughter of Colonel and Mrs. John Kneubel. Collin and Rose sailed for the Philippines in June 1940, and he was stationed at Fort McKinley. Their son, was born there on 28 October 1940. His wife and child were evacuated to the States in April, 1941. Collin was then transferred to Cebu, under Major General William F. Sharps command. With the fall of the Philippines Colonel Whitehurst became a prisoner of the Japanese, last seen in September of 1942, in the Japanese Prison Camp in Mindanao. Colonel Collin Batson Whitehurst, Jr., was killed in action on 24 October 1944 on one of the ill-fated Japanese "Hell" ships attempting to evacuate prisoners northward.
Mr. and Mrs. Whitehurst, Sr. received cheerful prisoner of war cards from Collin while he was at Mindanao Prison. They also received a letter, under date of 20 September 1945, from Major Robert B. Blakeslee, advising them that be had been in Mindanao Prison with Collin, and that on Christmas, 1943, Capt. Monett, Chaplain for the Episcopalians, conducted an appropriate service, and that Collin organized and trained a choir for this occasion which added greatly to the beauty and impressiveness of the ceremony.
Some time later, Colonel Whitehurst was transferred to Cabanatuan Prison, and then on to Manila where he was placed on the prison ship. The vessel sailed from Manila, Philippine Islands on 11 October 1944 with 1,775 prisoners of war aboard. On 24 October 1944 the vessel was sunk by submarine action in the South China Sea, 200 miles from the Chinese coast which was the nearest land. Five of the prisoners escaped in a small boat and reached the coast. Four others have been reported as picked up by the Japanese, and all others were lost.
Major Collin B. Whitehurst Jr. appears Tablets of the Missing Manila American Cemetery Manila, Philippines. His memorial Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery San Antonio Bexar County Texas is a cenotaph, his body was never recovered.
Entered the service from Ohio.
Rose Eva Knuebel Wesselhoeft