The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and Organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army,
Company L, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and Date Sigolsheim, France,
27 December 1944. Entered Service at: Georgetown, Tex. Birth: Florence, Tex.
G.O. No.: 79, 14 September 1945.
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 weapons fire. He was hit and severely wounded in the arm
and shoulder; but he charged into the house alone and killed its 2 defenders. Hurling
smoke and fragmentation grenades before him, he reached the next house and stormed inside,
killing 2 and capturing 11 of the enemy. He continued leading his platoon in the extremely
dangerous task of clearing hostile troops from strong points 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
submachinegun under his uninjured arm, he rushed into the house through the hole torn by
his rockets, killed 5 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 1 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 9 Germans, captured 23 more and spearheaded an attack which cracked the
core of enemy resistance in a vital area.