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Capt. Whipp's WWII Medals & Citations

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david whipp in ww2 uniform
Lieutenant David Whipp, in Army uniform, became the most
decorated C&GS officer of WWII.

On May 10 ,1992, Captain David Mullendore Whipp passed away. Captain Whipp was equally at home as an officer conducting his duties within the Coast and Geodetic Survey or among the first rank of that elite group of men who were the artillery surveyors of WWII. During the war, he earned the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action, the Legion of Merit Medal for his contributions as an artillery surveyor, the Croix de Guerre for action with the Free French, and received other commendations. His unit, the First Field Artillery Observation Battalion, pioneered artillery survey methods and counter-battery sound and flash ranging techniques that were the foundation of artillery counter-battery firing operations. The celebrated Time on Target method of coordinating artillery fire of an entire Corps was made possible through the survey work of the field artillery observation battalions.

Captain Whipp began his career with the Coast and Geodetic Survey on May 15, 1939. He served on east coast ships from Maine to the British West Indies as a junior officer. He was detailed to the United States Army for four years during the Second World War. Following the war, he served on geodetic field parties, as electronics officer on various West Coast ships, the Assistant Chief of the Division of Geophysics during which time he administered Coast and Geodetic Survey participation in the International Geophysical Year, executive officer on numerous ships, liaison officer at Fort Sill, Director of the Honolulu Field Office, and, concurrently, Director of the International Tsunami Information Center. Captain Whipp retired at Honolulu in January 1968.

Because of Captain Whipp's stature as the most decorated of Coast and Geodetic Survey officers, it is appropriate that his role in the defense of our nation be commemorated. The following letters were written by David Whipp to his wife during the course of his duties in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He was unique in that his war experiences ranged from the North African landings through the final mopping up of German resistance on the Gironde estuary. He was one of the few United States soldiers to take part in most major theaters and operations throughout the war and as such his observations and views are of interest to not only members of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and its descendant organizations but to all those interested in United States history and in particular its role in the Second World War.

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Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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