Colonel Frank Whitehead Biography - 4

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Colonel Whitehead’s 1941 Hamilton

Maintained by Two Fellow Marines for the Past 70 Years

Marine Hospitalman Russell McCaig Receives Whitehead's Watch

Marine Russell McCaig was General Whitehead's primary nurse during his stay at Bethesda Naval Hospital. When Frank died, his widow Eleanor was so grateful for Russell's compassionate care that she gave him the Hamilton Army Industrial College watch as a token of her appreciation. 

After honorably serving in Korea, Russ returned to his native Pittsburgh area, and was a successful director and producer on Broadway, as well an acting coach. In 1985, fellow Marine Jeff Stephan became both a friend and one of his prized students. 

Col. Whitehead's Watch passed on to fellow Marine Jeff Stephan

Jeff is a Marine who served from 1973-78 in Japan and Korea. With Russ’ support, Jeff started working as an extra on movies in the 1990s, including being a stand-in / photo double for Bruce Willis and John Travolta. Before Russ’ death in 2000, McCaig asked Jeff and his wife to take care of Colonel Whitehead’s wristwatch, which had been entrusted to Russ fifty years earlier. As Jeff noted,

“… This watch was given to me 30 years ago by an acting teacher who was a Corpsman.  He gave it to me because I served in the Marines from 1973-1978. He was associated with Col. Frank Whitehead while in the hospital.  The Colonel passed away, and his wife gave this watch to Russ McCaig, who was his nurse….”

Jeff kept the watch for over 20 years until his decision to sell it in January 2021.