Era: World War II
Military Branch: Army
Mr. Whight inducted into the Army on October 17, 1942.
He served as a Technical Sergeant and Infantry Squad Leader with the First Platoon of Company L of the 28th Infantry Regiment of the Eighth Infantry Division, in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe. He was twice wounded in action on August 20, 1944, in France, and on April 14, 1945, in Schwelm Germany.
In January 1944 Whight received a battlefield commission from Technical Sergeant to Second Lieutenant and served as the First Platoon Commander. The presentation was made in Huertgen Forest by Brigadier General William C. Weaver, commanding the Eighth Infantry Division.
The citation reads: "Technical Sgt. (then Staff Sergeant) Whight assumed command of the First Platoon, Company L, 28th Infantry, when both the platoon leader and platoon sergeant became casualties during the fierce fighting in the vicinity of Vessenack, Germany."
"Sgt. Whight demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities by the aggressive manner in which he led his platoon and his coolness under intense enemy fire. During a furious counterattack by the Germans, Sgt. Whight constantly exposed himself to enemy fire by moving about from man to man to direct their fire and to encourage them. After successfully repulsing two counterattacks, Sgt. Whight was able to lead his badly depleted platoon to the objective."
"Again, in the vicinity of Bergstein, the enemy launched an attack against their position and completely surrounded it. Sgt. Whight, in spite of his desperate situation, immediately led this squad in an attack that forced the enemy to withdraw, leaving many dead and wounded on the field."
Later, while attached to the British army, Whight’s unit met the Russian forces at Crivitz on May 3, 1944.
He received the following: Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze battle stars and World War II Victory Medal.
Mr. Whight also received the Croix de Guerre, the Seal of the Chapter of St. Malo, both from France, and a French Medal of Honor for aiding the Resistance movement and saving the lives of 12 French citizens who were on their way to a firing squad. He and 12 men captured 14 Germans in the process.
Mr. Whight was honorably discharged on November 27, 1945, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Source: Hometown Heroes: The Saint Louis County World War II Project, page 340.