After serving in World War I, White pushed for the creation of the Legion. At the 1954 national convention, Past National Commander Stephen Chadwick said he "was insistent that the first organizational caucus should be held in France, but he was equally willing that the permanent organizational meeting be held in America. ... The Paris caucus was George White's brainchild. The spirit of the caucus survives."
Accepting the Distinguished Service Medal for her husband, White's widow, Henrietta, said, "To me, this is the most touching memorial for it is like a father being honored by his own children."
For much of his military career, White served as adjutant general of the Oregon National Guard. He mobilized his troops at the Mexican border in 1916, in World War I in 1917 and in World War II in 1940.
White's early military experience prompted him to be one of the chief organizers of The American Legion, at the organizing Paris caucus in 1919 and the first convention later that year. He also served the Legion as its first magazine editor, drawing on his experience as a journalist in Utah and Oregon.
In 1934, France awarded him the Cross of the Legion of Honor "for distinguished service in furthering and promoting the bonds of amity and cementing the ties of friendship between the people of two countries."
While on duty training his troops on maneuvers in 1941, White became ill, dying at his Oregon home later that year at 61. Credited with heading one of the National Guard's best-trained divisions, his legacy lived on at Camp White, the Guard's training grounds in Oregon from 1942 to 1946. Hospital facilities remain open there.
For more on White, click here (http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/george-a-white/great-war.html).