The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 1, 2012

After 46 years, a soldier comes home

NORMAN — James L. Whited wasn’t born in Norman, but in his heart he was a son of Oklahoma.

Norman was where he grew up and went to school, graduating from Norman High. It was home to his parents; later, only his mother and sister remained.

He may have been born near Detroit, but Norman is where he called home, so much so that this is where he settled his family as he answered his country’s call to arms.

On Tuesday, Army Maj. James Lafayette Whited came home to Norman one last time.

His family and members of the Patriot Guard were on hand at Will Rogers Airport to escort the major’s casket to Primrose Funeral Service.

He will be buried at 10:30 a.m. Friday with full military honors.

After 46 years, his life’s journey will come full circle.

Stateside, 1945

Annie grew up in Florida. She was a young woman in her early 20s when she met James Whited in 1945.

He had been an enlisted man in World War II, serving as a tailgunner on a B24. He was part of a crew flying the supply line, known as The Hump, in Burma. He was assigned to the 308th Bombardment Group whose missions served to disrupt Japanese supply lines in the South China Sea area. Those runs included the Gulf of Tonkin, on Vietnam’s eastern coast, and served as his introduction to Southeast Asia.

But, this was autumn and the war had been over since spring. Other wars were still to come.

Whited had just mustered out of active duty and was about to return to Oklahoma and join the family construction business, but first, he and Annie married.

He brought her home to his parents, Paul and Cora Whited. For the next five years, the young couple built a life in Oklahoma.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Tuesday: · 12:14 a.m. burglary report, 3000 block of Pheasant Run Road · 5:58 a.m. larceny report, 3900 block of Journey Parkway · 6:52 a.m. larceny report, 2600 block of ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Candle ruled as cause of house fire

    Slaughterville Fire Department extinguished a structure fire seconds after responding to the call around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday at 10701 Maguire Road....

    July 31, 2014

  • Sam Noble museum welcomes Oklahoma Storytellers

    From Sept. 19-21, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History visitors can share their museum experiences with StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing stories of people from all ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Deli plans benefit Thursday night for young cancer patient

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then crawling.
    Pettigrew had never heard of RMS, a rare form of cancer that affects nerves and has hampered Nova’s ability to move, but almost immediately, when doctors at OU Children’s Hospital started intense rounds of chemo, he quit his job to be by his daughter’s side.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo