Camp White named after Oregon Guard commander

I've always been curious about how Camp White, followed by White City, got its name. I know it was from a military general but I don't remember ever having read anything about the officer. Could you folks enlighten me?

— J.S., Medford

Not only will we shed light on Gen. White but we also will step forward with a snappy salute, J.S.

After all, Major Gen. George A. White was an officer and a journalist, having written for the Oregonian newspaper beginning in 1904. The Spanish-American War and World War I veteran also founded the American Legion magazine, becoming its first editor.

He was one of 20 members of an officers' club based in France credited for creating the American Legion in 1919. He served as its first national vice commander.

Born in Illinois in 1880, White arrived on the western front in France early in 1918. He had joined the Oregon Army National Guard in 1907, and was appointed Adjutant General of the state's national guard in 1915. The Oregon Army National Guard was mobilized in March of 1917.

Returning to Oregon after WWI, White would climb the ranks in the guard, becoming a major general in 1930. He also was appointed commander of the 41st Division, a unit formed out of national guard units from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

He died at his home in Clackamas on Nov. 23, 1941, after becoming ill during training earlier in the year. His leadership helped create one of the guard's best trained divisions.

Camp White was dedicated in his name on Sept. 15, 1942.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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