WITHAM, Burton Brooks, Jr., CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1970-1973, 113X, FTG (Faculty Staff) Guantanamo Bay, Fleet Training Group (Faculty Staff)
Service Years
1942 - 1973

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember WITHAM, Burton Brooks, Jr., CAPT USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Portland, Maine
Last Address
Englewood, Fla.

Date of Passing
Aug 07, 2008
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Gun Captain (pre-1969) US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star

Vietnam Combat Craft Crewmember Badge

 Military Association Memberships
Mobile Riverine Force Association
  2008, Mobile Riverine Force Association [Verified]
  2017, Mobile Riverine Force Association [Verified]

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Burton Brooks Witham Jr.
WWII - Korea - Vietnam  

Captain Burton Brooks Witham Jr., 85, (USN Ret.) of Englewood, Fl., formerly of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2008.  Burt was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Burton B. and Celia A. Witham. He served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years retiring in 1973. Captain Witham was Commander of Task Force 116/Gamewardens from mid-1966 to April 1967. Burt was a 32nd degree Mason, an avid hobbyist and community volunteer. He is survived by his daughters, Mary Huddleston of Huntersville, N.C., Anne Kilpatrick of Easley, S.C.; three granddaughters and two great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Caroline Milliken Witham. A memorial service will be held in Englewood, Fla., in October 2008 with family and friends.
Other Comments:

Captain Burton B. Witham mandated the wearing of black berets by TF-116 personnel on 29 April 1967. There apparently were two reasons for his order. First, one of the River Patrol Force's earliest original missions was law enforcement, as an extension of the Republic of Vietnam's National Marine Police (NMP.) Secondly, the Commander of the NMP publicly presented a black police beret to Witham. COMNAVFORV did not approve Captain Witham’s initial request to adopt the beret.  He later issued his directive.
Witham was promoted to Captain on May 1, 1966, and moved the CTF 116 staff headquarters from Saigon to a previous Vietnamese Navy base, at Binh Thuy, deep in the Mekong Delta. On May 18, 1966, he relieved Rear Admiral Ward as Commander River Patrol Force, Vietnam, at Binh Thuy, and became the first Commander of Operation Game Warden.

Captain Burt Witham was Commander of Task Force 116/Gamewardens from May 1966 to April 1967. 

Photo credit HAL-3 US Navy Seawolves
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Command at Sea
Command Ashore
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 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffUS NavyAdvancement Schools and CoursesNaval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
USS Bold (MSO-424)Commander, US Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM)USS Agile (MSO-421)(ST) Fleet Sonar A School
USS Francis Marion (LPA-249)USS Rushmore (LSD-14)COMNAVFORVUSN River Patrol Force - Task Force 116 (TF-116)
Commander Naval Amphibious Forces Atlalntic (COMPHIBLANT)FTG (Faculty Staff) Guantanamo Bay, Fleet Training Group (Faculty Staff)
  1942-1945, V-12 Navy College Training Program
  1945-1945, 000X, Hollywood
  1945-1945, 118X, Naval School of Mine Warfare (Cadre)
  1945-1945, 119X, US Navy Mine Disposal School
  1945-1947, 114X, Panama Canal Zone
  1947-1948, 114X, NAVSTA San Juan PR
  1947-1948, 114X, 10th Naval District
  1949-1951, 116X, USS Harry F. Bauer (DM-26)
  1951-1952, 116X, USS Van Valkenburgh (DD-656)
  1952-1954, USS Harris County (LST-822)
  1954-1957, 111X, Naval Postgraduate School (Faculty Staff)
  1957-1958, 111X, USS Bold (MSO-424)
  1957-1959, 111X, Commander, Mine and Minesweeping Division, Atlantic Fleet
  1958-1959, 114X, USS Agile (MSO-421)
  1959-1962, 113X, (ST) Fleet Sonar A School
  1963-1964, 111X, USS Francis Marion (LPA-249)
  1964-1965, 111X, USS Rushmore (LSD-14)
  1966-1966, 113X, COMNAVFORV
  1966-1967, 113X, USN River Patrol Force - Task Force 116 (TF-116)
  1967-1970, 111X, Commander Naval Amphibious Forces Atlalntic (COMPHIBLANT)
  1970-1973, 113X, FTG (Faculty Staff) Guantanamo Bay, Fleet Training Group (Faculty Staff)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1966-1967 Operation Game Warden
 Colleges Attended 
Harvard UniversityUniversity of Notre DameAsbury College
  1942-1944, Harvard University
  1944-1945, University of Notre Dame
  1944-1944, Asbury College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Sep 24, 2007, Oral History of Captain Burton Brooks2
  Aug 07, 2008, Obituary: Burton Brooks Witham Jr. 1
  Jul 25, 2013, General Photos
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