Message from Cousin, Ed Whiteaker:
My first cousin and best friend, Johnny L. Whiteaker, is buried at Shellsford Cemetery in his hometown of McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee. Reason for death: Injuries received in mortar attack around noon 21 August 1968.
From The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund web site:
Remembering a Good Man
June 6, 2014 I will again go to the Vietnam Wall. I will visit my childhood school mate, friend and sweetheart Johnny Lavern Whiteaker. Seeing him just days before shipping out I never dreamed it would be my last time of seeing him. If he had lived he would be 66 and I would be 65. How time flies but I still see the young boy he was when he left for Vietnam.
On August 21st, 1968, Johnny Whiteaker and my brother Charles H Elliott, JR., paid the ultimate price while serving our country in Vietnam. I thank you for being there for my brother. If my brother was your friend, then I am also your friend.
Toni (Elliott) White
It was around noon on August 21st 1968, when an enemy mortar round took the lives of Johnny Whiteaker and Charles Elliott, who were close friends to one another. Everyone knew we had lost two good men. On that day, a gloom of sadness fell over our unit, like a dark cloud. The men of "C" Company, of the 588th Engineers will never forget this tragic event.
From The Vietnam Veterans Memorial �?? The Wall USA web site:
Buddy in Vietnam
I served with Johnny in Vietnam. He was well liked by all. I tried to find his parents but couldn't locate them. He was with his buddy when they were killed. I think about him often and say prayers for his soul. He wasn't in Vietnam very long before he was killed. In loving Memory,
Billy J. Lawson
588th Combat Engineer Battalion
Dau Tieng, Vietnam Oct. 1967-1968
Why I cry, Why?
In AIT John slept in the bunk above me. I remember whenever we asked him to go out with us, he would say that he has to read his Bible or write a letter home. Over in Nam we were both in the 588th Company C. I was their when he was killed. To this day I ask god why him? Can't understand it; our tent was right next door to his?