Sergeant Whitson was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded by the enemy in South Korea on August 31, 1950 and returned to duty on September 27, 1950. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 26, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.