Whitehurst recognized for his service in WWII, Korean War

GREENVILLE — Dr. Clinton H. Whitehurst, Jr., of Central, received special recognition for his military service in both World War II and the Korean War during a historical evening event at the 116th South Carolina Division Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at the Crowne Plaza in Greenville.

The South Carolina Division awarded Dr. Whitehurst with two honors during the convention. He received the Cross of Military Service for his actions in World War II. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Maritime Service after graduating from Augusta Military Academy in Staunton, Va. After completing basic seaman training, he was sent to radio officers school at Gallups Island, Mass. On Feb. 2, 1945, he was assigned to the liberty cargo ship S.S. David Hewes by the War Shipping Administration and later to the liberty troop ship S.S. James W. Fannin.

Dr. Whitehurst’s 18th birthday was spent off Japanese-held Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies. On June 9, 1950, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Maritime Service. The World War II Cross of Military Service is an outgrowth of the Southern Cross of Honor and can be presented to all veterans for World War II who are lineal blood descendants of Confederate military personnel.

 Dr. Whitehurst’s great-grandfather was Samuel McConnell McMaster, who was a Corporal in the 14th Regiment Virginia Cavalry of the Confederate States of America (CSA). Sam McMaster enlisted at Churchville, Va., by Major Jackson, who later became known as General “Stonewall” Jackson. During the war, McMaster was captured and sent to prison in Alton, Ill. Later, he was exchanged in April 1863, only to be recaptured on October 1864. He spent the rest of the war in a prison in St. Louis, Mo.

In addition to the World War II Cross of Military Service, Dr. Whitehurst was presented with the National Defense Medal. This honor is given to veterans who are lineal blood descendants of Confederate military personnel and who served a minimum of 90 days in the Korean War or the Vietnam Conflict. During the Korean War, he served as a Ship’s Radio Officer on the S.S. African Pilot, S.S. African Sun, and S.S. African Crescent. He also served in the 8th Infantry Division Army of the United States. On June 22, 1953, he was discharged with the rank of Corporal.

Dr. Whitehurst’s long military service did not end with the Korean War. During the Cold War, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Ready Reserve (Intelligence) on Sept. 4, 1958, and he transferred to the Retired Reserve as a Lieutenant on Feb. 2, 1972. Dr. Whitehurst is a model for the next generation to emulate for his dedication and service to his country as reflected in his extended military career, his role as professor at Clemson University, and now as Senior Fellow at the Strom Thurmond Institute. He not only honored and protected his country, but he also continues to educate the next generation of our country’s great leaders.