The Norman Transcript


November 1, 2012

After 46 years, a soldier comes home



Over the years, James had developed a love of flying and graduated from the Spartan School of Aviation in Tulsa.

“Oh, yes, he loved to fly,” Annie Whited, who still resides in Norman, said Tuesday.

The military’s call was strong, and in 1948, Whited entered the Reserves.

“Dad served with the Thunderbirds,” said son James P. Whited of St. Leonard, Md. “He applied for officer candidate school. When he was called back up, he went to OCS and was promoted.”

Whited received his commission in 1951 and was stationed in Germany.

In the late 1950s, he was sent to Korea. While there, his family stayed stateside in Dothan, Ala.

“We lived in Alabama nine years,” the younger Whited said.

In 1956, Whited was promoted to captain and then to major in 1962.

It was that last promotion that ultimately led to a fateful day over Laos.


Dothan, Ala., 1962

While serving in Alabama, Whited was assigned to the OV1-Mohawk program. The jet had just been released to the Army for service.

Whited worked with the OV-1 at the Army Aviation school at Fort Rucker, Ala.  

“My father was in this unit in 1962/63,” Whited said. “This was when the OV-1 was transferred from the builder to the Army to enter service. There were a number of serious accidents, well crashes, early on in the program and three or four fatal crashes occurred.”

While at Fort Rucker, Whited was gaining proficiency with the new aircraft.

“He had been there six to eight weeks, training in the co-pilot seat while he got up to speed,” his son said. “Because of the problems they had with the plane, they needed pilots familiar with the OV-1 in Vietnam. So, he was sent to Vietnam.”


Laos, 1966

Maj. Whited was a family man in his 40s approaching 20 years in the service. He was about due for military retirement.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Ride CART fare free on Ozone Alert Day

    Environmental officials have declared today as an Ozone Alert Day. Passengers ride fare free on Cleveland Area Rapid Transit on Ozone Alert Days....

    July 24, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Wine, Organ and Compline at St. Thomas More

    St. Thomas More University Parish, 100 Stinson St., is hosting the Wine, Organ and Compline at 7 p.m. today. The series will begin with a wine and cheese gathering in the atrium, followed by an organ recital presented by guest organist ...

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014