Knight, Jack L. (1917–1945)

By: Art Leatherwood

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Jack L. Knight, Medal of Honor recipient, was born to Roy and Martha Knight on May 29, 1917, at Garner, Texas. He attended elementary school at Valley Springs and Garner High School. He graduated from Weatherford Junior College in 1938. Jack and his two brothers, Curtis and Loyd, enlisted in Troop F, 124th Cavalry, Texas National Guard, at Mineral Wells. The 124th, one of the last cavalry regiments in the army, was called to federal service in 1940 and posted to India, where it was charged with opening the vital Burma Road between India and China. On February 2, 1945, near Loi-Kang, Burma, during one of the last battles on the road, Lt. Jack Knight was leading his troop against heavy concentrations of enemy mortar, artillery, and small-arms fire. After taking the objective they encountered a nest of enemy pillboxes. Preceding his men he singlehandedly knocked out two pillboxes and killed the occupants in several foxholes before being blinded by a grenade. Jack's brother Curtis rushed to his aid but was himself struck down by a Japanese bullet. Jack ordered his men to Curtis's aid, while he continued to lead the assault until he was mortally wounded. His gallantry was responsible for the elimination of most of the enemy opposition. Louis Mountbatten, supreme Allied Commander in Southeast Asia, later dedicated the area as "Knight's Hill." On October 14, 1972, a marble marker was dedicated at Mineral Wells by Lord Mountbatten honoring Knight and the F Troop. On June 25, 1945, his Medal of Honor was presented to his father by Gen. Bruce Magruder at Camp Wolters, Texas. Knight's body was returned from Burma and buried in Holders Memorial Chapel Cemetery at Cool, Texas.

Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973).
Time Periods:
  • World War II

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Art Leatherwood, “Knight, Jack L.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995