AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas at Austin, College of Liberal Arts, and its Department of Aerospace Science, Air Force ROTC Detachment 825, announced today the creation of the Lt. Col. Herb C. White, Jr. Leadership and Scholarship Fund Endowment (the “Lt. Col. White Endowment”). The Lt. Col. White Endowment will provide an annual monetary award and recognition to one or more outstanding AFROTC Cadets who demonstrate superior leadership skills and abilities as determined by the Commanding Officer and in consultation with an advisory committee. The donors of the Lt. Col. White Endowment are Marilyn A. White, formerly of Lufkin and now Houston, Texas, daughter of Lt. Col. White, and Martin W. Dies, formerly of Lufkin and now Austin, Texas, nephew of Lt. Col. White. The donors stated purpose for the Lt. Col. White Endowment is to memorialize the distinguished service of Lt. Col. White as an officer and fighter pilot in the United States Army Air Force in World War II, and later in the United States Air Force, such that Lt. Col. White’s exemplary record may serve to inspire future generations of AFROTC Cadets to become outstanding U.S. Air Force Officers in the service of their country.
On Friday, November 15, 2013, UT’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 825 held a Memorial Dedication Reception in the Military Courtyard, east end of UT’s new College of Liberal Arts Building for the Lt. Col. Herb C. White, Jr. F22 Memorial and as well the Lt. Col. White Air Force ROTC Administrative Suite. The Liberal Arts Building which opened in September 2013 provides to UT ROTC the entire fifth floor of the Building which is recognized as among the finest ROTC facilities of any public university in the country. The Lt. Col. White Air Force ROTC Administrative Suite is also located on the fifth floor of the building. The Lt. Col. White F22 Memorial located in the Military Courtyard consists of a large model of an F22 fighter aircraft with Lt. Col. White’s name under the canopy as is customary for fighter pilots and on the base – a distinctive bronze memorial plaque honoring Lt. Col. White’s wartime service as a decorated fighter pilot. Lt. General Stephen Hoog, USAF, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, was guest speaker at the dedication. In his remarks Lt. Gen. Hoog cited Lt. Col. White’s distinguished wartime record noting that within a week of his graduation from Army Air Force aviation training in April 1942 Lt. Col. White, piloting a P40 Fighter aircraft, was engaged in aerial combat against numerically superior enemy air forces in conjunction with the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands. Lt. Gen. Hoog stated that such a quick transition from training to combat operations is extraordinarily difficult and attested to Lt. Col. White’s skill as a fighter pilot and as well his personal bravery. A former commander of the Alaskan Defense Command, Lt. Gen. Hoog assisted in unveiling the Lt. Col. White F22 Memorial, noting the distinctive plaque which reads as follows:
Lt. Col. Herbert C. White, Jr. Memorial
Distinguished Flying Cross/Oak Leaf Cluster
11th Fighter Squadron (Aleutian Tigers)
11th Army Air Forces – Alaskan Defense Command
May 1942 – June 1943
In addition to Dean Randy Diehl of the College of Liberal Arts, Assistant Dean Kathleen Aronson, and other UT Austin officials, Lufkinites attending the dedication included longtime former Mayor Louis Bronaugh and his wife, Charda, Mike and Kitty Davis, Dr. Jeff Grubb, Becky Shands Getter, Dr. Susan Sumners Yeager of Llano and formerly of Lufkin, and her son, Dr. David Yeager of Austin (daughter and grandson of longtime Lufkin residents Opal and Pete Sumners), LouAnn Raetz of McKinney, and her daughter, Kate Raetz of Austin; and, family members and UT graduates, Marilyn A. White, Dr. Lauren Elizabeth Dies, Martin W. Dies, David and Shelby Dies, Dr. Eugene Schoch and Dianne Dies Schoch, their daughter, Stephanie Schoch, and also Sharon Hubbard, and sons, Charlie and Henry. Lt. Col. White’s sister, Ruth W. Dies (Mrs. Martin Dies, Jr.) of Austin, formerly of Lufkin, although unable to attend was present in spirit.
Lt. Col. White graduated from Marion Military Institute and attended UT Austin before volunteering as an aviation cadet in World War II. He married the former Lois Ellen Clement in 1948 and together they had two children: Herbert C. White, III (Deceased) and Marilyn A. White. After his active military service, he returned to Lufkin and began working in the family business as Vice President of Sales at Temple-White Company, Inc. The former Temple-White Company, Inc., which was relocated from Bogalusa, Louisiana to Diboll, Texas in 1938 by Lt. Col. White’s father, the late Herb White, Sr. and Arthur Temple, grew to become the largest manufacturer of finished wood broom, mop and sweeper handles in North America. In 1961 Herb was elevated to President of Temple-White Company and he continued to serve in that office until his retirement in 1988. During his tenure he expanded company operations to include activities in Honduras and Malaysia. Possessing natural engineering ability he designed and/or improved manufacturing processes in the Temple-White plant and was Holder of a United States patent. The company was closed in 1989. He was active in the local community serving on the Board of Directors of Diboll State Bank, which became First Bank & Trust East Texas. He was a charter member of the Diboll Rotary Club and a Deacon of the First Christian Church of Lufkin, and a member of the Men’s Bible Class. He continued to be an avid aviator throughout his life and piloted single and multi-engine aircraft until his death on June 15, 1997. Herb was an avid outdoorsman and he enjoyed hunting, fishing and clay shooting. He is buried in the Garden of Memories.
U.S. Air Force ROTC Detachment 825 at the University of Texas at Austin has been recognized as “the Premier Detachment in AFROTC”.
For more information on the endowment and the life of Lt. Col. White, please visit the Air Force ROTC website.