KEATHLEY, GEORGE D.
KEATHLEY, GEORGE D. (1917–1944). George D. Keathley, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Olney, Texas, to Mrs. Geneva Keathley in 1917. He attended Olney High School, Cameron Junior College at Lawton, Oklahoma, and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M University). He married Inez Edmunson in 1942. They had two daughters. Staff Sergeant Keathley entered service at Lamesa, Texas, and trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He went overseas in 1943 and served in North Africa and Italy. As guide of the First Platoon, Company B, of the Eighty-fifth Infantry Division near Mount Altuzzo, Italy, on September 14, 1944, he was wounded while leading two decimated platoons that had lost all of their officers and noncommissioned officers. In the attack the remaining men were outnumbered and dangerously low on ammunition when Keathley, under deadly mortar and small arms fire, crawled to the casualties, administered first aid, collected their unused ammunition, and distributed it to the remaining members of the platoons. The platoons, under such heavy attack that they were given up for lost, were looking to Keathley for leadership. Although mortally wounded in the abdomen he shouted orders and, standing up, continued to inspire his men for fifteen minutes; the rally forced the enemy to withdraw, leaving behind many dead and wounded. Keathley died a few minutes later. Without his indomitable courage and inspired leadership the remnants of three platoons of Company B might well have been annihilated. He is buried in the American Battlefield Monument Commission Cemetery at Florence, Italy.
Dallas News, August 26, 1945. Lamesa Reporter-News, April 7, 1945. Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Art Leatherwood, "KEATHLEY, GEORGE D.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fke55), accessed May 18, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.