Tommy Leon Whiddon

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
16 February 1949 - 06 May 1970
Eglin Afb, Florida
Panel 11W Line 118

Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Tommy Leon Whiddon

21 Sep 2002

Even though I never met you,


27 Sep 2002

Dear Tommy,
I talked with your mother today. I found her through help from above. Did you have anything to do with it? There's a radio station in Defuniak Springs that I asked to call your name out over its airwaves, and you know what? They did!! But, did you already know that?

I found out you were from Mossey Head, in Walton County, Florida, but you lived at Eglin when you went to Vietnam, so we are from the same county, about 10 miles away from each other. I was told that you said if you weren't flying a helicopter, you weren't living, so I know you died doing what you truly loved.

Defuniak Springs has really come through for us on this one! Your mother is so sweet, and is happy to send me a picture of you for this memorial. I'll see you when I come to DeFuniak in a few weeks. I know where you are, so I'll see you often.

You know, it's something that airwaves are what helped me find your mother. Something to do with flying, do you suppose? Thank you! I hope some of your classmates from Walton Senior High see this, and add to your memorial. I'm not sure what year you graduated, but hopefully they'll see your name.

From someone who thinks he's still important,
Yvonne Edwards McCord

Tommy on the Track Team

Photos taken from his high school annual (1967),
courtesy of Larry Davis

03 Nov 2006

I was privileged to be Tommy's friend at Walton High School. We both had Corvairs (not Corvettes) and we would drag race each other from time to time. The first time, he won. The second time, I won. Tommy was the kind of guy who was friendly to everybody. Even with his football fame and popularity, he was still Tommy, a good friend.

Thank God for men like Tommy who were willing to serve and make the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for others in a foreign land who had been deprived of freedom.

Donnie Woodall
Class of '67

Notes from The Virtual Wall


On 06 May 1970, US forces initiated two new advances into Cambodia - one across the border from Tay Ninh Province and the other into the jungle region 23 miles north of Phuoc Binh. During these advances, an OH-6A light observation helicopter (tail number 67-16115) of C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, was hit by machinegun fire. The pilot attempted to fly the damaged aircraft back into South Vietnam but didn't make it ... the LOACH crashed and burned while still in Cambodia. Two men died in the crash:

Sergeant McKiddy either jumped or was thrown from the aircraft at impact. He returned to the burning OH-6 and retrieved the copilot, Jim Skaggs, carrying him to safety before again returning to the OH-6 in an attempt to rescue WO Whiddon. The fuel cells exploded as McKiddy entered the OH-6, killing both men. When the rescue team arrived, McKiddy's body was found stretched across the copilot's seat, laying across Whiddon with one arm behind him. Sergeant McKiddy was awarded a posthumous Silver Star for his actions.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 21 Sep 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009