HEROES: Farmboy Comes Home

When Cliff Wherley was 14, he saw a movie about Sergeant York. That was in March 1942. He thought it over until 4 a.m., then slipped out of his Elmwood, Ill. home, caught a bus for Peoria, enlisted. Big for his age ("the best hay baler in the country"), Farmboy Wherley looked 18 to the U.S. Army.

Last week, not yet 17, Staff Sergeant Clifford R. Wherley, his chest bright with medal and campaign ribbons, leaned back in War Secretary Stimson's office chair, sitting before Robert Todd Lincoln's old desk, and received the...

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