Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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February 3, 2013

Shotgun Vaughan taught by Whiteley, upcoming Medal of Honor honoree

By Mary Creighton, Special to the Index

It is a small world after all. John “Shotgun” Vaughan graduated from MWHS in 1944 at the young age of 16. John went to Tarleton College for one year before heading to Texas A&M at College Station. John was graduated from Texas A&M in 1949 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. This is now known as Animal Science. 

At Texas A&M John had Mr. Eli L. Whiteley as a teacher for agronomy during this sophomore year. According to John, Mr. Whiteley was an average teacher but a very good man.

John said it was only after he completed the course that he learned Mr. Whiteley had received a Medal of Honor while serving in the US Army in 1944 during WWII. Mr. Whiteley received his medal from action at Sigolsheim, France. Previous to this, Mr. Whiteley was trained at Camp Wolters in 1942, making him one of the 14 Medal of Honor recipients who will be recognized on March 23 at the Fort Wolters Historical Park where a large Medal of Honor Memorial will be dedicated at 10 a.m.

John Vaughan recalled some of his early experiences while in high school and in college during an interview Jan. 31, 2013. Seems John had an agriculture teacher at MWHS by the name of Reed.  This teacher went on to Tarleton as a teacher. As luck would have it, John took a course under Mr. Reed and did amazingly well.

It seems that in high school and in college, John played in the band, both at Tarleton and Texas A&M. In high school, John and classmate Tom “Tommy” Creighton played with a no name band  for small functions around Mineral Wells for nothing. They just liked to play music. John played trombone. Tom Creighton played clarinet. Jean Tillison played piano along with Bob Durham who played trumpet. John cannot remember all the members of this little band, but recalled how much fun they had. 

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