Whalen file photo [3026]

Howard Whalen

Given NameHoward
Born1 Oct 1912
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseHoward W. Whalen joined the United States Naval Reserve early during the Pacific War. In Oct 1943, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In Oct 1944, he was assigned to the newly commissioned attack transport Sanborn, entering the front lines with that ship later that year. In Feb 1945, Sanborn operated off Iwo Jima during the invasion, and he was responsible for guiding amphibious tractors and landing craft from the ship until they landed Marines and equipment on Blue Beach 2, the northernmost of the Iwo Jima invasion beaches. Even though regulations forbade it, he took numerous pictures of the operation with his personal 35mm Leica camera. He was reprimanded for taking the photographs, but was able to retain the film after the war. He retired from active service at the rank of lieutenant commander and became a high school history teacher and then an educational administrator at Bakersfield, California, United States. He also remained with the Naval Reserve until Apr 1962. After his passing in the 1990s, his wife Nadine Whalen donated the 35-mm Kodachrome slides to the United States Navy Naval Historical center in Aug 1997.

ww2dbaseMany of Whalen's photographs can be found in the photograph collection section of WW2DB.com.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Navy Naval Historical Center.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2007

Howard Whalen Timeline

1 Oct 1912 Howard Whalen was born.


Lieutenant Howard W. Whalen (in grey uniform) with other officers of USS Sanborn, 1945Lieutenant Howard W. Whalen holding binoculars aboard USS Sanborn, 1945, photo 1 of 2Lieutenant Howard W. Whalen holding binoculars aboard USS Sanborn, 1945, photo 2 of 2Lieutenant Howard W. Whalen with binoculars, circa 1945
See all 6 photographs of Howard Whalen

Photographs Taken by Howard Whalen

A C1 type Cargo Ship (AK), circa late 1944 or 1945A C2 type Attack Cargo Ship (AKA), circa late 1944 or 1945American transport USS Barrow making smoke screen during a rehearsal landing for Iwo Jima invasion, late 1944 or early 1945APA Barrow off an unidentified Pacific island, late 1944 or early 1945, probably during landing rehearsals for Iwo Jima
See all 117 photographs by Howard Whalen


Diagram of Iwo Jima invasion beaches with lines of approach used by boats from APA Sanborn drawn by Lieutenant Commander Howard W. Whalen after WW2

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
27 Jan 2012 07:55:23 PM

I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA I went to Bakersfield high school from "51-54". Howard was my counselor. I had no idea he had been in the Navy. I served in the Navy from "58-62" on four different destroyers. He was a fine person! Fred Alexis

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code


Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Howard Whalen
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Iwo Jima

Ship(s) Served:
» Sanborn

Howard Whalen Photo Gallery
Lieutenant Howard W. Whalen (in grey uniform) with other officers of USS Sanborn, 1945
See all 6 photographs of Howard Whalen

Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945