Jack L. Knight Collection:
Jack L. Knight was born in Garner, Texas, on May 29, 1917. He enlisted in the Texas National Guard, from Mineral Wells in 1940, received his commission in 1944, and was placed in command of F Troop, 124th Cavalry. The 124th Cavalry was based in Brownsville and Fort Ringgold, Texas; its mission was to patrol the Texas/Mexican border. In 1944, the 124th Cavalry joined the 613th Field Artillery to become the 124th Regimental Combat Team (Special). It and other units made up the 5332nd Brigade (Provisional), commonly known as the Mars Task Force, whose mission was to conduct long range penetration operations within the China-India-Burma theatre during World War II.
On February 2, 1945, First Lieutenant Knight, while commanding F Troop, encountered Japanese forces near Lio Kang Ridge, located near the intersection of the Burma and Ledo Roads, near Namhkan, Burma (now Myanmar). During the engagement, Knight destroyed enemy positions and was wounded. Knight’s brother, Curtis, a First Sergeant in the same unit, rushed to his brother’s aid only to be wounded and removed from battle. Jack Knight received further injuries to the face after a grenade explosion yet continued to assault and destroy enemy positions until he was mortally wounded. Knight was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on June 6, 1945.
Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command and last Viceroy of India, heard of Knight’s actions and had the hill upon which the battle occurred named Knight’s Hill. Jack Knight was originally buried in U. S. Military Cemetery #2, Mongoi, Burma (now Myanmar). Circa 1972, Knight was reinterred at Holder’s Memorial Chapel Cemetery, Cool, Texas. Mountbatten attended the service and dedicated Knight’s marker.
W. B. Woodruff, Jr.’s interest in the naming of Knight’s Hill stemmed from his service in the 612th Field Artillery, a sister unit of the 5332nd Brigade (Provisional). At the time of Knight’s death, Woodruff was at a location two to three miles south.
Those researching the history of World War II in Burma (now Myanmar) and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will find this collection useful.
The Jack L. Knight Collection was compiled to document the naming of Knight’s Hill, near the Burma and Ledo Road intersection, near Namhkan, Burma (now Myanmar). Woodruff acquired photocopies produced by the Public Records Office in London, England, from a friend Emmett Essin. These photocopies confirmed that Knight’s Hill was thus named until India and Burma (now Myanmar) gained their independence from Britain. Woodruff was able to gain a hand written record of the battle which occurred at Knight’s Hill from Robert B. Compton, who served as Liaison Officer with the 124th Cavalry. The collection also includes a publication, Special Warfare, published by the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, which contains an article written about Jack L. Knight.
Open for research.
Literary Rights Statement
Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.
The Jack L. Knight Collection was donated by W. B. Woodruff, Jr. to The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections, on December 3, 2003 and July 28, 2004. The donation of the materials was negotiated and accessioned by Brenda McClurkin, Special Collections Historical Manuscripts Archivist.2003, 2004.
Jack L. Knight Collection, GA217, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.
Gift, 2003, 2004
Accessioned as 2004-13 and 2005-14.
The Jack L. Knight Collection was processed and finding aid prepared by Margaret Knox-Kruschke in March 2010.