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First Name: Donald

Last Name: Whitmire

Birthplace: Giles County, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Boone

Date of Birth: 01 July 1922

Date of Death: 03 May 1991

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Donald Boone Whitmire
'Big Daddy'

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Donald Boone "Big Daddy" Whitmire
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Donald Boone Whitmire was born on 1 July 1922 in Files County, TN, and he grew up in Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama from 1939-42. An All-American Tackle, he was named to the Crimson Tide All-Time Cotton and Orange Bowl teams.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 and was ordered to the U. S. Naval Academy the following year. At the Academy, he was an All-American again and won the Knute Rockne Trophy and the Academy's Thompson Trophy. He also served as Brigade Commander. He graduated with the Class of 1946 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.

Whitmire served two tours in Vietnamese waters. He commanded an amphibious troop transport in 1967. In the mid-1970s, he commanded one of the Seventh Fleet's Amphibious Groups and participated in the evacuation operations of Saigon. A submariner, he had also commanded submarines and a Submarine Division in the Atlantic. He also commanded an Amphibious Squadron in the Mediterranean. His last assignment before retiring from the Navy as a Rear Admiral in 1977, was serving on the Atlantic Fleet staff.

In Retirement

After retiring from the Navy, he spent a year as Corporate Affairs Director of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. He retired in 1978 and lived in Annandale, VA.


• In 1956, he was inducted into the Collegiate National Football Hall of Fame.

• In 1984, he was presented with a patriotism award by President Ronald Reagan. 

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Donald Boone Whitmire died of cancer on 3 May 1991 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was 68. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

He was survived by his wife, Joan C.; two sons, Navy Commander Robert Whitmire and Richard N. Whitmire; two brothers; two sisters and two grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 3221   Created by: MHOH




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