Robert White

Independent Enterprise
November 02, 1944


Community Deeply Grieved Over Death Of Outstanding Hero

The entire Payette community was deeply saddened Sunday afternoon when the sad news spread that the word had come that S/Sgt. Robert A. (Bob) White, outstanding war here of this city, has been killed in action in France Oct. 7. The message came to the local telegraph office and was delivered to the father, Albert White, by a committee of his Masonic brethren. Mr. White has been so grief stricken since, that he has been unable to attend his duties as clerk at the post office. It has only been a little over a month ago that his wife died, following a short illness. The telegram was from the War Department was in the usual form: "The Secretary of War regrets to inform you, etc.," and gave no details.

Buddy Tells About Death

The following letter concerning the death was written by Pfc. John L. Hansey of Minnesota to Miss Annabelle Stroup, Sgt. Whiteís fiancee.

"Well first of all Iíll tell you who I am. I am from Winera, Minnesota and am married . I was one of Bob Whiteís best friends. He always told me about our and let me read all of his letters. I did the same. Last June my father died and I went to him for help. He told me what to do and helped me out a lot.

"Bob was a smart guy. When our Battalion Commander didnít know where we were on the map he always asked Bob and he knew. He was one of the bravest guys Iíve seen in combat. He was always first out in front of them all. He really had that silver star coming a long time before he got it. When I was with him on patrols I was not afraid because he knew where he was going and always go us there. Bob and I have been behind Jerry lines many a time and came out o.k.

"I am in the hospital now recovering from a battle wound in the hand and leg, which I received when I was with Bob when he was killed. We were in the attack on a Jerry stronghold, a Jerry tank opened up on us, when we came around the corner of a hill. I saw him hit Bob and then he got me I crawled up to Bob and he was just about gone. He told me to be sure and write and go out and see his folks and Ann. So I am doing so and when and if I get home Iíll be sure to come an see all of you.

"Yes, Ann, he was a swell guy. We were always together and I know him like a brother and he was the same. I hope you are feeling fine and be sure to write some time, Iíd love to hear from you.

Outstanding Hero

Sgt. White was one of he outstanding heroes of the war. He received two silver stars, among the highest awards that can be given to a soldier. The first came when he single handedly wiped out a German machine gun nest and permitted his company to advance and the second when he captured a German colonel and two hundred soldiers. He also held the Purple Heart for wounds he had received at the Anio Beachhead, a ribbon for his part in the Mediterranean theatre: a good conduct medal and an infantry combat medal for outstanding service. Just before he was killed he had been offered a field commission.

Last Letter To Father

The last letter written to his father was dated Oct. 6, the day before he was killed and was received here Oct. 20. In it Sgt. White told that he had enlisted aid of the Associated Press correspondent in his sector to learn whether or not his mother was still living. Mr. White here reported that the Associated Press had called him by long distance telephone Oct. 7 and asked about Mrs. White, and he did not connect up the call until he received his sonís letter. The sergeant also said in his letter that he hoped by tomorrow, which would be Oct. 7, that he would hear thru the Associated Press about his mother. Mr. White believes now that the news of his motherís death did not get through to the son in time.

Born In Payette

Sgt. White was born in Payette April 20, 1921. He attended the local schools and was state high school championship miler while in school here. He was graduated with the class of 1939 and went to the University of Idaho, where he was Pacific coast champion cross country runner in 1942. He entered the services on March 18, 1943 and was sent overseas the following September. He is survived by his father here and one sister, Mrs. Edwin Muleler, Of Erie, Pa.

Friends and acquaintances have mentioned many times since his death the fine character Sgt. White possessed. He put his whole heart into everything he undertook and gave the best he had. There is no doubt therefore, though still young he has left an inspiration for the best in life to his home community.