Command Sergeant Major Robert A. White was born 23 May 1924 in Clarion, IA. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and served 13 years at Fort Sill, OK, during his 28-year career. During World War II White was first assigned to the 339th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division, in the European Theater and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded his first Purple Heart for wounds received 8 December 1944 in France.
On 9 December 1944 White was awarded the Silver Star when his squad was attacked and the platoon leaders were killed. White assumed command, reorganized the scattered troops and directed fire upon enemy vehicles, repelling subsequent attacks. He then led his platoon survivors to safety. During the exchange, he was wounded and later received another Purple Heart. As a Technical Sergeant he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for heroic action near Spitzberg, France, in March 1945 when he maneuvered his platoon and concentrated fire upon the enemy, allowing the platoon to advance.
White was discharged in 1945, but reenlisted four years later. He deployed to Korea where he was awarded his third Purple Heart in 1950. From 1971 to 1972 White served as Operations and post Sergeant Major at Headquarters, 24th Corps Artillery, Vietnam. In 1974 he achieved the highest MOS evaluation score for Command Sergeant Major Army-wide. In 1975 he was awarded the Legion of Merit for leadership and personnel management. In addition to the Silver Star, Bronze Star with V, three Purple Hearts, his other awards include three additional Bronze Star Medals, two Combat Infantryman Badges, Army Commendation Medals, the World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Korean and Vietnam Service Medals, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
After retirement in 1975 White was active in veteran's organizations including the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Purple Heart Association, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He moved to Lawton in 1998. White died 4 May 2012 and is buried in Lawton, OK.