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World War II - U.S. Army

Eli Lamar Whiteley

Details
  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company L, 15th Infantry,
    3d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 27, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Sigolsheim, France
Citation

While leading his platoon on 27 December 1944, in savage house-to-house fighting through the fortress town of Sigolsheim, France, he attacked a building through a street swept by withering mortar and automatic-weapon fire. He was hit and severely wounded in the arm and shoulder; but he charged into the house alone and killed its two defenders. Hurling smoke and fragmentation grenades before him, he reached the next house and stormed inside, killing two and capturing 11 of the enemy. He continued leading his platoon in the extremely dangerous task of clearing hostile troops from strongpoints along the street until he reached a building held by fanatical Nazi troops. Although suffering from wounds which had rendered his left arm useless, he advanced on this strongly defended house and, after blasting out a wall with bazooka fire, charged through a hail of bullets. Wedging his submachine gun under his uninjured arm, he rushed into the house through the hole torn by his rockets, killed five of the enemy, and forced the remaining 12 to surrender. As he emerged to continue his fearless attack, he was again hit and critically wounded. In agony and with one eye pierced by a shell fragment, he shouted for his men to follow him to the next house. He was determined to stay in the fighting and remained at the head of his platoon until forcibly evacuated. By his disregard for personal safety, his aggressiveness while suffering from severe wounds, his determined leadership and superb courage, 1st Lt. Whiteley killed nine Germans, captured 23 more, and spearheaded an attack which cracked the core of enemy resistance in a vital area.

MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT ELI L. WHITELY
MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT ELI L. WHITELY
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 23, 1945

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: December 10, 1913, Florence, Williamson County, TX, United States
  • Died: December 2, 1986, College Station, TX, United States
  • Buried: City Cemetery (MH) (F-20-8), College Station, TX, United States
  • Location of Medal: Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX ; Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M University (duplicate Medal), College Station, TX
 

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