V.C. "Whit" Whitmire
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1924 - 2013
V.C."Whit" Whitmire passed away at the age of 88 in Gulf Breeze, Florida. He was born and raised in Choctaw County, Mississippi, the son of Wesley and Cora Whitmire, the third of six children. He graduated at age 15 from Weir High School. In August 1941, he joined the Navy and served as a pharmacist mate. In 1948, he completed flight school in Pensacola to become a Mustang, one of the Navy Pilots selected from the enlisted ranks. He served as a seaplane pilot for the USS Topeka and USS Pasadena.
His first flying experience was flying sea planes catapulted off the cruisers USS Topeka, USS Pasadena, and USS Louisville. As one of the earliest instrument rated pilots, he trained other pilots and crews in instrument navigation at Naval Air Technical Training Unit in Olathe, Kansas.
While in Olathe, he met Jean Albers in Kansas City where she was a TWA airline hostess, and they married six months later. Whit then served as the Officer in Charge of Ground Control Approach units in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and at the Blackbush Aerodrome in England.
On returning to the United States, Whit attended Post Graduate School in Monterrey, California. While still in the Navy, he earned his BA degree in English from the University of Mississippi in 1957. He became a helicopter pilot in 1958, and served with a number of squadrons including assignments in Norfolk, VA, Quonset Point, RI, Key West, FL and Pensacola FL, including HS-7, HS-1, HS-13, HT-8 and HC-4.
He was Officer in Charge of a Military Assistance Group (MAG) to Brazil to train Brazilian pilots on the logistics and methods of flying aboard an aircraft carrier. He served aboard the USS Randolph and USS Boxer as Ship's Company.
His last overseas duty was as the Executive Officer of HAL-3 "The Sea Wolves" helicopter attack squadron in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam in 1969, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor. Whit retired from his final post at NAS Pensacola in 1972 at the rank of Commander after 31 years of service.
Whit was a devoted husband, father, brother and son, spending family time working on cars with his children while providing fatherly advice and guidance. He was also an avid golfer and could be seen playing golf at AC Read Golf Course at the Pensacola Naval Air Station most weekends with his Navy friends, or any day ending in a "Y". Whit and his late brother Warren ran Choctaw Auto Parts in Mary Ester, FL for several years, too, and enjoyed their time together in that venture.
Whit is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean and his five children and nine grandchildren, including: Robert Whitmire of Gulf Breeze; David and Celia Whitmire and their daughters Katherine and Elaine of Plano, TX; Mark and Melissa Whitmire of Havre-de-Grace, MD and Mark's daughters Amelia and Louisa of Fairhope; AL, Jenny Whitmire Clark and husband Jim of Huntsville, AL with daughters Sarah Clark and Anne Clark Harris and Anne's husband Alex; and James and Stacey Whitmire and sons Michael, Wesley and Robert of Navarre, FL.
Whit is also survived by his sisters Sue Patty of Meridian, MS, Louise West of Tupelo, MS and Mary Alice Kerr of Memphis, TN, as well as Jean's brother Clifton Albers and his wife Jenny of Grand Haven, Mi.
A Gathering of Family & Friends will be at Rose Lawn Funeral Home in Gulf Breeze on Tuesday, June 18th from 3 to 5 PM. There will be a military service at Barrancas National Cemetery, on Wednesday, June 19th at 10:15 AM.
The family greatly appreciates the care provided by Dr. David Kellen, The Villas at Gulf Breeze, and Covenant Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Covenant Hospice or
You may offer condolences, share memories and sign the guestbook at www.roselawn-fh.com
Express your condolences in our guestbook at pnj.com/obits
Rose Lawn Funeral Home
2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Published in Pensacola News Journal on June 18, 2013