James P. Whalen

James P. "Gunny" Whalen enlisted in the Marine Corps on October 11, 1940, at the age of 17. He retired in 1970 as a Sergeant Major with more than 30 years service.

During World War II he served on Guadalcanal in 1942 with the Second Marine Division as a Platoon Sergeant. He also participated in the assault on Tarawa and later as a Gunnery Sergeant at Saipan and Tinian.

From 1946-47, he served as a First Sergeant with the Fifth Marines in North China and later with the First Marine Brigade in Guam. He served in Palestine from 1948-1950 with the UN peace team and with the Third Reconnaissance Battalion.

He served in Vietnam with the MAG-16. At time of his retirement he was one of the senior enlisted men at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif.

Mr. Whalen received the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat "V", Purple Heart and Navy Commendation Medal.

Source: Hometown Heroes:  The Saint Louis County World War II Project, 339.

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