Who's Who - Wilbert White

Wilbert White Wilbert White (1889-1918) scored 8 confirmed victories as an air ace with the U.S. Air Service in 1918.

Born on 1 May 1889 in New York City, White enlisted with the U.S. Army Air Service on 3 July 1917 - three months following America's entry into the war - and received a posting to 147 Pursuit Squadron following a period of flight training in Canada and Texas.

Within a short period White notched up seven victories - or 'kills' - on the Western Front making him the highest scoring member of his squadron.  Recalled to the U.S. in October 1918, White was killed in action during his final flight in France on 10 October - in a SPAD S.XIII - in the skies above Dun-sur-Meuse.

Coming to the aid of a new pilot who was himself under attack from a German Fokker D.VII aircraft, White's own guns jammed; he consequently chose to ram the enemy aircraft.  In the event both aircraft crash-landed; White was killed but his opponent, Wilhelm Kohlbach, survived - and claimed White as a victory.  White was aged 29.

Already the recipient of the Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Service Cross, White posthumously received an additional Oak Leaf Cluster, and was recommended for the Medal of Honor.

A "listening post" was an advanced post, usually in no-man's land, where soldiers tried to find out information about the enemy.

- Did you know?

Who's Who