Robert Fitch Shepard Whiteley
603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Company D
Born 1920 in DC, Died 1968
County of enlistment: Washington, DC
Other residence(s): Washington, DC; Berkeley, CA; McLean, VA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: actors and actresses (but probably wrong)
College education before the war: Univ. of Virginia and Rollins College, 3 years total
College education after the war: Berkeley; Hastings College of the Law
Robert F. S. Whiteley was born on October 28, 1920 in Washington, DC, the younger of two children. He was named for his mother's father, Robert Fitch Shepard. His father was a government lawyer who started working for the FCC when Robert was five years old, and retired from there 28 years later. By 1930 the family lived in an elegant apartment building, just off Embassy Row; they moved into a brand-new home near the Naval Observatory in 1936. Robert attended The Potomac School in McLean, VA and later St. Albans School in DC. He then went on to study at the University of Virginia and Rollins College.
The family took a nearly two-month trip to Europe in the summer of 1938, sailing on the Bremen to Southampton. (Later the Bremen would be gutted by fire as the result of an air raid in Bremerhaven in March, 1941.)
Robert's college education was interrupted by the war after three years. He enlisted on July 16, 1942, and went to Europe with the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. After returning home to the states in the summer of 1945, he "eloped" with fiancée Audrey "Jo" Bathke. They married on September 1, 1945 in Watertown NY, four months ahead of their scheduled January wedding.
After the marriage, the young couple moved to California and Robert earned his undergraduate degree from UCal Berkeley. He then attended law school at Hastings College of the Law (a UCal school in San Francisco) but does not appear to have completed a law degree.
The Whiteleys returned to Washington DC after several years in California, and by 1955 Robert was working as an account executive at WMAL, a radio/TV station in DC. Jo, meanwhile, completed an advanced degree at George Washington University, and went on to become an analyst at the CIA. (This was a job she would hold until her retirement in 1982.) The couple became the parents of three children: Richard Peyton, Anne Fullerton, and Susan Hope. (Both Richard and Anne are practicing lawyers as of this writing.)
Robert stayed at WMAL until 1967 or so, earning a promotion to local sales manager for the AM radio station in 1961, to national sales rep for WMAL-TV in 1963, and to general sales manager for WMAL-FM in 1965.
He then took a job as sales director for Brown-Schram Construction, a Gaithersburg MD construction company.
Robert was also an active and talented golfer; frequent newspaper articles in the 1950s and 1960s recount his various achievements from a hole in one in 1953, to tying for the top spot in a putting contest in 1956, to his tournament wins at the Chevy Chase Country Club (his club).
He died on October 12, 1968 after suffering a heart attack at his home in McLean, VA. He is buried (along with his parents) at the Congressional Cemetery in DC.
1938 ship's manifest, NY to Southampton
1938 ship's manifest, Bremen to NY
1942 enlistment record
1945 New York marriage record
1945 article in Wisconsin State Journal re his engagement
1953 article in the Washington DC Evening Star about his golf game
1956 article in the Washington DC Evening Star about his golf game
1961 article in the Washington DC Evening Star about his promotion at WMAL
1963 article in the Washington DC Evening Star about his promotion at WMAL
1965 article in the Washington DC Sunday Star about a promotion at WMAL
1968 obituary in the Washington DC Evening Star
1968 death record
1968 Find a Grave record
1968 Social Security Death Index
2012 wife's obituary