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Interview of Richard (Dick) A. Whitaker by Chris Sakmar

March 27, 2013

Portrait Feature Article Transcript

Dick Whitaker was born on March 13, 1926, in the Hudson Valley. He served as a Marine in the Pacific Theater from 1944 to 1946. In his interview, we learn about his experiences at the infamous Marine Boot Camp on Parris Island and his personal philosophy on how to get through the rigorous training. He displays respect for the ingenuity of his drill instructors in the making of a Marine.

On his nineteenth birthday, Dick Whitaker stormed the beaches with the 6th Marine Corps Division. He experienced some of the worst combat—based on the casualty rates—that took place in the Pacific Theater. He himself suffered a gunshot wound in one of the many battles for Sugar Loaf Hill. Whitaker served as an ammo carrier for a machine gun squad until he was promoted to a company runner under his future lifelong friend Lieutenant Sherer. Dick Whitaker is a true Marine, and his stories, although at times humorous, display the hardship and camaraderie of war.

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