Herbert Neil White
Herbert was born 16 Nov 1920 in Nashville, TN. His father was a bookbinder and took a job with a news company in Tampa, FL and the family moved when Herb was a child. After graduating from Hillsborough High in Tampa, he joined his father in the bookbinding business. According to his draft card, he was still employed by his father in February 1942.
He completed pre-flight at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center in May 1943 and primary at Sikeston, MO. Remaining training is not know. Herbert was a relative new comer to the squadron, having joined while the unit was Kweilin (21 Jun - 14 Sept 1944). Mission #640, 25 Oct 1944, appears to be his first. 27 Oct 1944, he flew his fourth mission. On the return flight, he developed engine trouble and had to bailout 30 miles NE of Liuchow. An L-5 was dispatched and picked him up within the hour. He was back in the cockpit 31 Oct and flew two more missions that day.
In early November 1944, the Japanese were closing in fast on the 118th at Liuchow and an evacuation was ordered. For almost one week, the weather kept all flights grounded. Eventually the Japanese got too close and the 118th had to fly out despite the weather.
The overcast started at 2,000 feet and was solid to 13,000 feet. Visibility was 2 miles. White and Robbins took at 1500 on 07 Nov 1944 as part of the evacuation of Liuchow. They were to meet up with Egan and Petris and proceed to Chengkung. They climbed to 15,000 feet and continued west. About 35 minutes into the flight, Egan looked to his left and saw White about 5 feet below his plane and 10 feet away. At this time, White peeled off and did not respond to radio calls.
2nd Lt White's body would be recovered and buried at one of the American cemeteries on foreign soil. In 1949, his remains were brought back on the USAT Dalton Victory and were buried in his hometown of Tampa, FL.