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Howard Lee Whitten

1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Howard Lee Whitten Obituary
Howard Lee Whitten

Coldwater, MS

Howard Lee Whitten, 93, joined his Lord and Savior on April 18, 2017. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Helen Whitten; sister, Mary Frances Ledbetter and stepson, Melvin Red. Howard is survived by his daughter, Janis Whitten Boyd; granddaughter, Kimberly Paige Larson; great-grandson, Stefan James Rogers; and stepson, Joe D. Red. While working as a switchman at the Illinois Central (IC) Railroad in Memphis, Howard was drafted into the US Army in 1943. Following boot camp he trained with the men of the 788th Tank Battalion until April 1944 at which time his unit became the 788th Amphibian Tractor Battalion. The unit and he rode a troops train in at Ft Ord in Monterey, CA to train in amphibious operations. He became an Amphibian Tractor Driver. In September 1944, he rode troop trains to the Port of Tacoma, WA to embark onto a US Navy Landing Ship, Tank (LST) and traveled the Pacific.

In October 1944, earned his first Bronze Star for the initial assault on Leyte, October 20, 1944. His Amtrack would carry 20 combat troops to the beach in effort to liberate the Philippine Islands. Later in December 1944, he earned his second Bronze Star for participation in the second invasion of other Philippine Islands. In April 1945, he participated in the invasion of Okinawa, during the Battle of Okinawa his Amtrack was used to ferry supplies to the front lines and return casualties and injured to safe areas. He returned to Memphis in 1946 where he met his wife, Helen, and in 1953 began his career at Memphis Defense Depot as a locomotive equipment mechanic, retiring after 33 years. Harold trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1963 and was baptized at Emanuel Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. The family will receive friends from 12 p.m. until his service begins at 1 p.m. Monday, April 24 at Memorial Park Funeral Home.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Apr. 22, 2017
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