517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team

S/Sgt. Harvey E. Whitehead

 F Company

May 30, 1924 - June 1, 2001



Harvey Emmitt Whitehead, born May 30, 1924, in Galveston, Texas, died June 1, 2001, in Angleton, Texas.

Harvey graduated from Ball High, Galveston, 1940. Harvey served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945, was a Sergeant in the 517th Combat Unit Company F attached to the 82nd Airborne. He participated in such campaigns as the Invasion of Southern France (Operation Dragoon), and the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded in action twice and received two Purple Hearts. He was highly decorated for his bravery and leadership in combat.


Harvey played baseball and fastpitch softball in the Galveston City League, and won batting titles in both leagues. Harvey played minor league baseball for the Galveston Whitecaps in The Texas League. He played fastpitch softball for Bosticks of LaMarque from 1950-1952. He joined the Lake Jackson Gators Softball Team in 1953. He played and coached with the Gators until 1961. He was an ASA Softball Commissioner from 1962-1966. In 1962 he formed the Lake Jackson Kats, this was the area’s first women’s fastpitch softball team. The Kats won several state titles over the next few years. In 1969 Harvey coached to Lake Jackson Lakers Women’s Softball Team. That year they won state, regional and played in the Worlds Tournament in Tucson, Arizona. Harvey was an avid sportsman who loved the outdoors. He had a special passion for hunting and fishing.


He worked as a comptroller for Monical and Powell, Betco and Win-Way. He owned Clute Automotive at the time of his illness in 1995.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Whitehead of Angleton; sister and brother-in-law, Willie Mae and Julian Nance of Galveston; daughters and sons-in-law, Pam and Severo Garcia of Clute, Gay and Kenny Backus of Houston, Saundra and Rakesh Jain of Clute; son and daughter-in-law, Willie and Vicki Whitehead of Lake Jackson; 8 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren; and honorary family members, the Lake Jackson Gator Softball Team past and present. “Once a Gator always a Gator”.