Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees
Saturday, July 15, 2023
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)
Joseph Arthur White, age 86, retired United States Air Force Veteran, of Bladenboro, passed away at his home surrounded by family on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. He was born in Bladen County on April 24, 1937, the son of the late Oscar Marvin White and Naomi Ruth Hester.
Joseph, affectionately known to friends and family as ‘Joe’ or ‘Buddy’, graduated from Bladenboro High School in 1955. He attended Campbell College for one year but decided to join the United States Air Force in 1956.
White began his military career at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where he received his basic training. He was later stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base as Aircraft Manager and Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Craftsman. While serving active duty, he graduated from the NCO Academy and the ANG/AFRES First Sergeant Academy. His expertise with aircraft took him to many places, including Germany, England, South Korea, Vietnam, Panama, and of course, the United States.
During his tenure, White obtained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt), the ninth and highest enlisted rank in the United States Air Force and the pinnacle of an Air Force enlisted person's career. As CMSgt, he was expected to serve as mentor for noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted members, and to serve as adviser to unit commanders and senior officers. CMSgt White retired in 1994 while stationed at Howard Air Force Base, Panama with 38 years of military service.
After returning to the United States, CMSgt. White joined the United States Air Force Air National Guard and served for two years at the ANG/AFRES Headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico as Personnel Programs Manager.
CMSgt. White’s experiences and accomplishments while serving in the USAF and ANG/AFRES are many. One of his most treasured achievements was receiving The Bronze Star Medal while serving in Vietnam. He also participated in ‘Operation Just Cause’ in Panama, where he oversaw 150 airmen. The operation was deemed a success after the U.S. military deposed Manuel Noriego in 1990.
CMSgt. White has received, in addition to his Bronze Star, the following accolades… Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Campaign, and Service Medals, AFR Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, both the Army and Air Force Good Conduct Medals, and the ARF Meritorious Service Medal. CMSgt. White has also received many ribbon awards and citations, including the Presidential Unit Citation.
Upon his retirement from the ANG/AFRES Headquarters in New Mexico, CMSgt White’s name was placed on the retired jet fighter bomber in which he served as Crew Chief. This aircraft is on a pedestal where it is proudly displayed in front of the New Mexico ANG/AFRES Headquarters building.
Joe was preceded in death by not only his parents, but also two sisters, Elma Maria McCommas and Angelyn Mae Elkins and his twin brother William Oscar White. He leaves behind his adoring wife, Doris Brown White, of the home, one son, Paul Eugene White (Jeannie) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, two daughters, Teresa Heulin of Felton, California and Donna Bullard McBride (Dave) of Ft. Meyers, Florida, one sister Kizzie Hester Williams of Southport, NC, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 11:00 am in the Galeed Baptist Church Cemetery in Bladenboro with Dr. Mack Roberts and the Reverend Brett Young officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Lower Cape Fear Lifecare Center, 206 Warrior Trail, Whiteville, NC 28472, or the U.S. Veterans Administration online at www.cdceportal.va.gov/donate_online/.