Robert C. Wiley
Captain, United States Army
Waynesburg Armory was dedicated August 8, 1999, in honor of Captain Robert
C. Wiley ‘30. Wiley was killed in action by a sniper August 13, 1944, leading
his company into battle against the Germans near St. Lo, France for which
he was honored with the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second
highest award for valor.
Wiley enlisted as a Private in Company K, 110th Infantry while attending Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania where he played football and wrestled. Upon graduation, he became a teacher at the former Nineveh High School and later at Center Township High School. While teaching at Center Township he was called for active duty in February 1941. He was promoted several times and rose to the rank of Captain in 1942.
Wiley’s combat experience prior to those for which he was honored with the Distinguished Service Cross is not well documented. He received the award posthumously posthumously on November 14, 1944 for "extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy from August 3 to August 9, 1944."
On August 3, 1944, the official order said, Wiley’s company became badly disorganized after several hours of fierce fighting. Wiley, at the risk of his own life, pulled his men together into a fighting unit. "Although painfully wounded in the cheek by small arms fire, he refused to be evacuated and personally led his company into a strongly employed enemy position and succeeded in capturing the objective."
In an engagement on August 9, 1944, most of his officers were either killed or wounded. The official order noted that Captain Wiley, although severely wounded in the leg by machine gun fire, brilliantly directed the actions of this company and personally led it forward 800 yards under heavy mortar and automatic weapons fire until he was killed by sniper fire.
The Waynesburg Armory is now considered to
be the oldest armory in the state. Distinguished guests at the dedication
included: Captain Dwight J. Chrvala, Commander Co C. 2/110; Barry Stout,
State senator; William DeWeese, State representative and Greene County
Commissioners John R. Gardner ’61, Farley Toothman ‘82 and David Coder
’86. Recognition of family members: son Robert and daughter Mary Ellen
and brother Jack Wiley and sister Peggy Morgan also took place. Wiley’s
sister and brother-in-law, Richard Morgan, were instrumental in having
the Armory named after Wiley. Wiley is buried in Arlington National Cemetery