Whalen, Rodney N., LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1972-1974, 131X, COMNAVSAFECEN
Service Years
1959 - 1984
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Daniel L Arnes, CMC to remember Whalen, Rodney N., LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Negritos, Peru, SA
Last Address
Tyler, TX

Date of Passing
Feb 23, 2016
Location of Interment
Barrancas National Cemetery - Pensacola, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Sikorsky Winged S Kaman Rescue Pin Cold War Veteran SERE

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Rodney Whalen (1934 - 2016)
LCDR Rodney N. "Rod" Whalen USN (Ret.), of Tyler went to be with the Lord he loved on February 23, 2016. He was 81. 

He was born on July 11, 1934 near the jungles of EI Centro, Columbia, SA and grew up in the northwest coastal desert of Negritos, Peru, SA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tony and Ruth Mayfield Whalen of Magnolia, AR and by his late wife and mother of their children, Mary Jo Connor Whalen of Southington, CT. 

He is survived by his wife Evelyn Baillio Lucero Whalen of Tyler: a son Stephen, his wife Carla, and their children Connor, Gregory, and Jane of Baton Rouge, LA; a daughter Mary Beth Petrakian and her children Anthony and Brett of Tyler; a daughter Jenny Merrill, her husband Chad, and their children Whalen and Drew of Birmingham, AL; Evelyn's children Joe and Patti Grace and daughter Samantha; Tab and Angela Werner and son Adam; Tony and Karen Lucero and their daughters Megan and Madelyn; sisters Nelda Fuller of Bald Knob, AR and Virginia Fager of Ben Wheeler; and several nieces and nephews. 

He was a graduate of Magnolia (AR) High School where he was an honor graduate, a member of the National Honor Society, All-District and All-State football, and District and State tennis champion. He attended Southern State College (now Southern Arkansas University) where he was twice Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference singles and doubles tennis champion and represented the Southern District in the NAIA National Tennis Championships. In 2007, he was selected a Distinguished Alumni by Southern Arkansas University. 

He graduated from LSU where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and was elected Outstanding Athlete; was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School; and received his Masters Degree from Empire State College, State University of New York, where he was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. 

During, his Navy career, Mr. Whalen set the world altitude record in the H-25 type helicopter, was flag pilot aboard the cruiser USS Canberra and flew the line during the Cuban Quarantine; and was Helicopter pilot and Fire Team Leader flying Navy helicopter gunships in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam and Cambodia. He earned the following military awards: Bronze Star with combat V, four Air Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, two National Defense Service Medals, Armed Forces Expedition Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Community Service Medal. For rescues, he was awarded the Sikorsky Aircraft Winged "S": and the Kaman Aircraft Flying "K." 

After his Navy career, he was manager and head tennis professional of the Saratoga (Springs, NY) Racquet Club; was certified tennis teaching professional by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and the U.S. Professional Tennis Registry; was men's tennis coach at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY where he three times led his teams to the NAIA National Tennis Championship Tournament, and was three times named Coach of the Year by the Northeast District of NAIA and was so named once each by the Mayflower Conference and by the Eastern Division of USPT A. 

Mr. Whalen earned a CSP (Certified Safety Professional), was an Industrial Hygienist, Director of Occupational Safety and Health for United University Professions, Albany, NY and was an adjunct instructor for Cornell University and a lecturer for the American Institute of Medical law. 

After retiring, he volunteered his time to coach the boys and girls tennis teams three years each at Crestview (FL) High and Walton High School, DeFuniak Springs, FL. 

A memorial service will be held at 10:30am, Saturday, February 27, 2016 at Lloyd James Funeral Home in Tyler. His ashes will be in repose at Barrancas National Cemetery, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Colonial Hills Baptist Church, 7330 South Broadway, Tyler, TX. 75703 or Watkins-Logan Veterans Home, 11466 Honor Ln., Tyler, TX. 75708.
Other Comments:
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Naval Aviator Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS Canberra (CAG-2)Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) CourseCommander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV)USN River Patrol Force - Task Force 116 (TF-116)
HA(L)-3 SeawolvesUS Navy
  1962-1963, 131X, USS Canberra (CAG-2)
  1971-1971, 131X, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Course
  1971-1972, 131X, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam (COMNAVFORV)
  1971-1972, 131X, USN River Patrol Force - Task Force 116 (TF-116)
  1971-1972, 131X, HA(L)-3 Seawolves
  1972-1974, 131X, COMNAVSAFECEN
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1962-1962 Cold War Event - Cuban Blockade
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (71)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (71-72)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  1963-1967, United States Naval Academy
  1967-1969, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Mar 01, 2016, General Photos2
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