Captain Thomas Maxwell Wight--A Life Given 1915-1943 Killed in Action at Salerno, Italy Commander of Company C, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne
Thomas Maxwell Wight, son of Thomas and Ola Wight, brother of George, Henry, Elizabeth, Carrie and Mabel, was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1915. His nephew, Ted Wight, currently of Jacksonville, Florida, has written the "Tom Wight Project" to honor his uncle who was killed when Ted was eleven years old. The information on this page is from this source and Mr. Ted Wight gave his oral permission to use his work on this web page.
Ted remembers his mother, Maude Irene Vann Wight, saying her most vivid memory of Tom was seeing him stretched out on the living room floor on his stomach studying or reading. Not tall in stature, Tom was not big enough to play football at Cairo High School. Instead, he was an inventor who would later attend Mercer College and Georgia Tech University majoring in electrical engineering.
Slight in size and weight, Tom served in the ROTC at Georgia Tech. His sister Mabel remembers he took stretching exercises and went to the Army enlistment office in the morning part of the day when a body is taller. He also began eating bananas and water a few weeks before in hopes of weighing the required weight. He entered the Army on July 5, 1939 at the age of 24. He was probably at Ft. Belvoir, VA. and Ft. Leonardwood, MO before he entered Camp Clairborne LA in August 1942. He apparently attended "Jump School" at Ft. Benning, GA while still "stationed" at Camp Clairborne.
On October 1, 1942, the 307th Parachute Engineer Battalion, along with the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division was moved to Fort Bragg, NC. Tom Wight had been promoted to the rank of Captain, and was Commander of Company C of the 307th Airborne Battalion.