MGYSGT James Robert Tatum, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient in Vietnam War has passed. He was 79. Tatum died Friday, October 31st at his home in Hawthorne, California. He was born January 06, 1929, in Tampa, Florida, to Captain William Alley and Enid Bodden Tatum. Tatum was a resident of the South Bay for 45 years and earned his high school diploma from Westchester High School. MGYSGT James R. Tatum enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1946 and retired in 1977, in addition he faithfully served his country in the Korean War from 1951 - 1952 and the Vietnam War from 1966 -1970. In 1977, Tatum received praises from Gen. Louis H. Wilson, Commandant of the Marine Corps, for his achievements in the Corps. "Master Gunnery Sergeant" is an example of courage, self-discipline, dedication, and professional skills... You have been all of this, and more, to our Corps. Every Marine you have led or guided will remember you, and carry a little of you forward to the next generation of Marines. You have made your mark. All Marines thank you for that [sic]. James R. Tatum is survived by his son Kenji Jimmy Tatum, of Hawthorne, CA and daughter, Kathy J. Waites, of Phenix City, Alabama. The viewing will be held at Rice Mortuary on Saturday, November 08th from 4-8pm. Funeral service will be held at Pacific Crest Cemetery on Tuesday, November 11th at 11am.

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  1. To Our Friend James Robert Tatum: By friendship you mean the greatest love, the greatest usefulness, the most open communication, the nobelest sufferings, the severest truth, the heartiest counsel, and the greatest union of minds of which brave men and women are capable. We are so happy that four generations of our family were able to have a friend like Jimmy. May God bless you and your family Kenji, in a very special way. With our love and prayers, Margaret, Clint, and Kristina Wilkerson

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