USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

Eulogies and Honor Messages

Please send your messages honoring deceased Whitehurst veterans  via e-mail or e-mail attachments to webmaster,  You may upload pictures which I will trim and size into "head shots" for posting with the story.
If you wish, you may send a link to a news paper obituary page.  I will access the link and post the appropriate portion of the obituary.  At first the messages will be posted chronologically as they are written.  When the page grows substantially,  I'll break up the page and establish links to each section.


Jack Rudder IC2
Served on USS Whitehurst DE-634 in the mid-1950s
Embarked on his final Cruise in October 2013

Eulogy by his daughter, Jacque Rudder Tobin

1954           Jack Rudder         1998 

Mr. Crow,  

Thank you for your note informing us of my father’s “last watch”. I know my dad would have been extremely honored by this acknowledgement. Daddy was very civic minded, and one of the things he held dear was his volunteer work for the various civic entities. One of our favorite memories of my dad is his daily flag ceremony. He had a proper flag pole in his front yard, and he raised and lowered the flag every day. All four of his grandchildren were proud to have helped him in this duty, and they learned flag etiquette in a manner that helps to reinforce their own patriotism.  

Thank you once again for helping us to properly remember our father and grandfather. 


Jacque Tobin



Kemper, Russell E. BTG2
Called back to service in 1950

Russell E. Kemper

Russ was a WWII Veteran.  When recalled, his WWII Rating WT/2c, Water Tender, had been renamed to Boiler Tender.  He was a "Plank Owner" in the Re-commissioning Crew and served onboard Whitehurst during her Korean War service.  He left the ship after it had returned to the states.

During WWII, Russ served in the Heavy Cruiser, USS Macon CA-132, Destroyers,
USS Moffett DD-362, and USS De Haven DD-727

Russ is "The Man Who Started it All" in the Whitehurst Reunion Movement.  In mid 60s he began a a huge letter writing campaign to interest his shipmates in a reunion.  He and his supportive wife, Mildred, hosted the first Whitehurst reunion of the Korean Era Crew in 1967.
He and Millie also hosted the third reunion in 1973.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Russell Kemper for his efforts to "Keep the Memories Alive".
Several of Russ' shipmates carried on his task of locating other shipmates and publicizing our reunions.  This Whitehurst Web Site itself was setup to carry on the same work.
Russ's embarked on his final cruise in


Hugh Toney BT3

Hugh Toney, 1951 and ca 2000

Hugh was raised in Georgia in the depression and war years of the 1930s and '40s.  He was only 17 when the "Korean Conflict" started in June 0f 1950.  He quickly volunteered for the U.S. Navy and was sent to Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.  While he was in training, the Whitehurst was called back to active duty.  In a very short period of time the ship was cleaned up enough to steam from Green Cove Springs, Florida to the Navy Yard in Charleston, SC.  The ship was re-commissioned on the1st of September.  Hugh reported for duty on the 23rd.  He was assigned to the Engineering Division where he became a Boilerman.  By early February, 1951 the old ship was in shape for "Power Supply" duty in Korea and with a crew of recalled, WWII veterans and newly trained recruits like Hugh, was steaming toward Japan and Korea.  The ship tied to the dock in Pusan, Korea and immediately began supplying power to the war ruined Pusan Electric facilities. He stood his regular Boiler Watches and and often answered the call to General Quarters (Battle Stations).
At this stage of the war, the Pusan Perimeter and the enemy were not far away. Hugh's Battle Station was on the Quad 40mm Anti Aircraft gun serving as a loader.  It could be a tough job, trying to maintain balance while dropping the heavy clips into the breech as the hydraulically operated gun platform was jerking and spinning and the the gun was elevated and lowered to track a target.  Hugh told me that it was also frightening in Pusan because the ship was still tied to the pier and supplying power.  In other words it was a sitting target.

Early in his period of service he was put in charge of filling the fuel tanks.  He was "The Oil King". Hugh Liked to tell a funny story about the time he started taking on fuel without opening a transfer valve which allowed fuel to fill tanks on both sides evenly.  You can find this story by scrolling down the page after clicking on this link. Replenishment Stories

Hugh left the ship for life as a civilian in 1954.  He lived and worked in various parts of the western states on heavy "Earth Movers" built by The Caterpillar  Company. His skills eventually took him to Alaska where he spent many months maintaining equipment used to build the Alaska Pipeline.  He and wife Donna settled into eastern Washington until the turn of the century when they purchased a home in White Water, Colorado, located with a picture window view of the Grand Mesa.  The final seven years of his life were lived in this "Colorful Colorado" setting.

Hugh not only served his country in uniform but as patriotic, politically informed, voting citizen, He is still missed by his family and his shipmates. Hugh embarked upon his final cruise in 2008. mc

Ernest Mlynek GM1
"Ernie" Mlynek 1953 & 2007

Ernie joined the  U.S. Navy well before the USA officially entered WWII.  He was a young Gunners Mate on the USS Omaha CL-4, a light but very fast cruiser.  The Omaha was patrolling the South Atlantic, stopping the German Blockade Runners.  You can read about Ernie's part in capturing the first official German POW of WWII at the following link.
First German POW

After serving the entire period of WWII, Ernie re-enlisted and served in the Navy for 20+ years.  He was attached to USS Whitehurst DE-634 in April of 1952.  Much of his time onboard, there was no Chief Gunners Mate so Ernie was in charge of the Gun Gang.  He also served a while as the ship's Master at Arms.  (The ship's police officer).  When he left the Whitehurst he had held one of the longest (if not THE longest) tenures of duty of any sailor ever assigned to the ship.

Upon returning to Civilian Life, he entered the Work Place in Ohio, working until retirement age. He and his beloved Irene who preceded  him in death, lived out their retirement years in Shadyside, Ohio.  He embarked on his final cruise in 2008.  mc

Mahlon "Swede" Allgren GM2
"Swede" circa 1953 & 1997

Although he was known as "Swede" to his shipmates in the 1950s, he was known to family & friends a "Bud" in later life.  He joined the Navy in the summer of 1951 while the Korean "Conflict" was well underway.  The ship was still in Korea when he came onboard fresh from Boot Camp in October of the same year.  He was assigned to the Gun Gang. Being a large man, he was given the job of shooting and maintaining the "Line Throwing Gun.  Each time we came into port, or left, or took part in an "Underway Replenishment" exercise, Swede was the big fellow posted forward on the bow, wearing a red helmet, with the line throwing gun at the ready.

During Anti Submarine Exercises, Swede was often the man who tossed the hand grenade with a dye pack attached over the fantail simulating a depth charge attack on the submarine below. On one occasion the hand grenade didn't go over the side.  To read his story, click the following link and scroll down to the article titled, The Hand Grenade Incident.

After leaving the Navy in 1954, Swede went in construction work on "Big Steel" jobs.  This required a lot of traveling.  It was also hard on the body.  He and his wife Grace lived out his retirement years in Austintown, Ohio.  Swede embarked upon his final voyage in 2008. mc


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