WHITELEY, ELI L.
WHITELEY, ELI L. (1913–1986). Eli L. Whiteley, Medal of Honor recipient, was born on December 10, 1913, to Eli and Ruth (Hunt) Whiteley in Georgetown, Texas. He grew up on a farm and in 1932 graduated from high school. He received a B.S. in agronomy from Texas A&M in 1941 and then attended North Carolina State for six months, earning credit toward a master's degree. He was drafted into the army in April 1942 and trained at Fort Wolters, Texas, and Fort Benning, Georgia. He was commissioned a second lieutenant. He went to France as a first lieutenant assigned to Company L, Fifteenth Infantry, Third Infantry Division. On December 27, 1944, near Sigolsheim, France, Whiteley was leading his platoon in house to house fighting. Although he had been severely wounded in the arm and shoulder, he attacked several houses, killing or capturing the defenders. He continued to lead his troops to clear the enemy from strongholds until he reached a building held by Nazi troops. He rushed into the house and killed five more Germans and captured the remaining twelve, although one of his eyes had been pierced by a shell fragment. He remained at the head of his platoon until they were forcibly evacuated. In the attack Whiteley had killed nine Germans, captured twenty-three more, and led an assault that cracked enemy resistance in the area. After the war he returned to North Carolina State University, receiving a master's degree in 1948. He married Anna Morris of Laurenburg, North Carolina, in 1949, and they became the parents of two sons and three daughters. Returning to Texas A&M, he received a doctorate in soil physics and engaged in plant research and soil management. He died in College Station, Texas, on December 2, 1986, and was buried in College Station City Cemetery. Eli Whiteley Memorial Medal of Honor Park at Texas A&M University bears his name.
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, "WHITELEY, ELI L.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwhkr), accessed June 19, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.