Lieutenant Jack L. Knight entered the military during World War II as a National Guard officer but was assigned to the Special Operations Mars Task Force in the China-Burma theater. In February 1945, during heavy fighting on a strategic hill near Loi-Kang, on the Burma Road, Knight would fall. His valor was such that he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Knight was the only Army Special Operations soldier and the only soldier in the China Burma Theater to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Knight was born Garner, Texas, on May 29, 1917. He graduated from Garner High School, and in 1938 from Weatherford Junior College, in Weatherford, Texas. In October 1940, Jack and his two brothers, Curtis and Lloyd, enlisted in the 124th Cavalry at Mineral Wells, Texas. The 124th Cavalry Regiment (Texas National Guard) was mobilized for active duty on November 18, 1940. It was the last horse-mounted regiment in the U.S. Army.
In late August 1944, the regiment was shipped to Bombay, India. There, the regiment was augmented by the 613th Field Artillery Battalion and became part of the Mars Task Force. The Mars Task Force was officially designated as the 5332d Brigade (Provisional). The unit was a long-range special operations unit similar to the then-disbanded Merrill’s Marauders.