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Danforth Whitcomb
Biographical information
Date of death

September 13, 2552

Physical description

Vice Admiral




MA5B Assault Rifle , M7 Caseless Submachine Gun, HE Pistol


Hybrid Ship Ascendant Justice/Gettysburg

Eye color


Chronological and political information
Notable Facts

Salt and pepper moustache that drooped over his upper lip and dangled off the edge of his chin. He had the physique of a large bear



"You all have a nice day in hell..."
—Whitcomb's final transmission [1]

Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb was the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in 2552. He was directly subordinate to Fleet Admiral Sir Terrence Hood, the Chief of Naval Operations. He was also a member of the UNSC Security Committee.



Whitcomb is well noted for his accomplishments during the battle of New Constantinople and the Siege of the Atlas Moons, and as such, every SPARTAN-II had studied his record.[2] He claims that he descended from Russian Cossacks, despite his accent, which suggested that he originated from the Texas area.

UNSC Career Service Vitae



He was stationed at Reach in 2552. During the Battle of Reach, he had gone to secure his secret project, the NOVA bomb, when the HIGHCOM HQ of the Reach Military Complex was destroyed. Whitcomb then became the ranking officer on the planet. Whitcomb radioed the team he had sent to gather the Novas, Charlie Company.[3]

It had turned out that the company was forced to defend ODG Facility A-331 and most of them were killed when a flight of C709 Longsword-class Interceptors were ordered to bomb the area mistakenly. Instead, he contacted Frederic-104, who was now in charge of Charlie Company.[3] Fred sent Anton-044, Li-008, and Grace-093 to rescue him.

Camp Independence

The Admiral had his staff with him, but it is assumed that they were killed in the battle. He and the three Spartans then retreated to Camp Independence to avoid Covenant activity.

For three weeks they conducted hit and run missions against the Covenant and broadcast the Oly Oly Oxen Free signal, until the signal was picked up by John-117 and Lieutenant Elias Haverson. They then went to rescue Fred's team, and returned to the captured Ascendant Justice/Gettysburg aboard a captured Spirit Dropship.

Ascendant Justice/Gettysburg

"My duty is clear: to protect the men and women of Earth- not a pack of privateers and outlaws"
—Whitcomb before leaving Governor Jiles people to face the Covenant alone.

Whitcomb then took command of the vessel, navigating it through an anomalous Slipspace bubble and defeating the Covenant, despite the heavy damage to the ship. He then took it to Eridanus Secundus, blackmailing Governor Jacob Jiles to help him repair his ship. Whitcomb held off the first wave of Covenant attacks which was two Covenant cruisers (just a small scout party for the main fleet). But when the main attack force showed up he knew that he could not sacrifice the crew of the G.A.J. because they were the only ones who knew of the Covenant plans to attack Earth so he traded the rebels lives for UNSC lives. He wanted to stay and defend the rebels but he said "This is not the Alamo and I am not Colonel Wiliam Barret Travis, although I dearly wish I were. No, we're running. We're trading hundreds of lives for millions." It was obvious he deeply regretted abandoning the rebels, whom he promised amnesty for their services.

"Hundreds for millions. Duty be damned...I'm still gonna burn in hell for this. Go Cortana, get us out of here. And God forgive me."
—Admiral Whitcomb, closing his eyes almost sadly, waiting for the Slipspace Transition en route to Earth.


He then approved Operation: FIRST STRIKE, and observed the Spartan team's actions from behind a nearby moon. He died after the mission, while using the captured flagship to lure starships towards the Unyielding Hierophant in an attempt to maximize Covenant losses. He rammed the Unyielding Hierophant, and broadcast a message that he had the Forerunner Crystal that the Covenant wanted and told them to come and get it. His act as bait was successful, and he perished along with Lieutenant Haverson and the Ascendant Justice. After arming Lieutenant Haverson and himself with submachine guns, he courageously held out for a while before becoming overpowered and overrun by Elites wielding Energy Swords, probably Zealots. His sacrifice prevented Earth from being overrun by 500 Covenant vessels, a fight that would surely have met with disaster for Humanity's homeworld [4]. His last words were "Now listen, son, remember when we talked about the Alamo. You know every one of the brave defenders in those fights died. They knew the odds, but they hurt the enemy. Both were tactical defeats, but in the end they were also brilliant strategic victories. They made the enemy afraid. Just a few good soldiers fighting for what's right made the difference."

The NOVA Bomb

On the Covenant Supercarrier Sublime Transcendence, a Grunt by the name of Kwassass, found a NOVA Bomb recovered from a Covenant-glassed Reach.

The Grunt managed to partially activate a recording of a threat from Whitcomb. It wasn't until the Covenant Engineers took it from him and fixed the circuitry that the bomb roused, activated, and destroyed the entire population on Joyous Exultation and obliterated its moon Malhiem. The Covenant fleet stationed near the planet was almost completely wiped out as a result of the explosion.

The fact that Whitcomb was responsible for the devastation of an entire planet and the destruction of its moon would suggest that he might have amassed one of the highest individual kill counts in the UNSC, likely higher than the entire Spartan program amassed over the years.


  • Whitcomb makes a debut non-canon appearance in the side scrolling game Halo Zero.
  • He seems to be highly interested in the Alamo.
  • Both he and Governor Jacob Jiles bluffed each other. The Governor claimed that he had a nuke hidden in the asteroid field while the Admiral said they had 7 plasma turrets, even though they only had one and it was not working at full capacity.
  • His name is present on an ONI Memorial in Halo 3: ODST.



  1. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 244
  2. Halo: First Strike, page 179
  3. 3.0 3.1 Halo: First Strike, page 22
  4. Halo: First Strike

This article uses material from the "Danforth Whitcomb" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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