Colonel Frank Whitehead Biography - 5
Gale Heslop Wearing Col. Frank Whitehead's Hamilton watch
Colonel Whitehead’s 1941 Hamilton Returned to
Gale M. Heslop Jr. - Family Member & Biographer
While researching Col. Whitehead, I found an interesting post on the U. S. Militaria Forum from "GaleM" -- Frank Whitehead was his cousin, and he was "interested in any of his personal effects / artifacts....".
I contacted Gale Heslop and told him that I had just purchased Col. Whitehead's watch -- and that I would be honored to return it to him. Gale's responded...
“....I’m still trying to come back to Earth after speaking with you yesterday. It was a day I will never forget. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the kind and gracious things you do. Thanks for the attachments and info about the watch’s prior caretakers. They, too, will go in my book, Frank Whitehead, USMC: Unknown American Hero."
Gale remembers meeting Frank once when Gale was very young; Gale lived near “Cousin Eleanor” (Frank’s widow) while growing up in Bethesda MD.
As the family historian, Gale had recently completed researching and writing Whitehead’s 500-page biography. However, Gale's family did not inherit any of Frank's medals or Marine memorabilia. After Eleanor's death in 1980, everything was sold or disposed of (they had no children).
Now in 2021, after 70 years of being cared for by two Marines, Frank's watch was returned in March 2021 to a member of Whitehead’s family – and his biographer -- Gale Heslop.
"You never actually own a watch...You merely look after it for the next generation"