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|Pilot 2nd Lt. John James Knight Jr., O-024932 (MIA / KIA)
Crashed January 14, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 17722.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 24 (MAG-24) to Marine Fighting Squadron 215 "Fighting Corsairs" VMF-215 based on Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 10, 1944 and January 11, 1944 Knight made familiarization and engine run-in test hops in this Corsair. On January 12, 1944 Knight suffered propeller damage while landing at Torokina Airfield on Bougainville. Afterwards, the damaged propeller was immediately repaired he took off and landed at Barakoma Airfield by 4:55pm.
On January 14, 1944 took off at 8:40am from Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella piloted by 2nd Lt. John James Knight Jr. with F4U Corsair piloted by Hernan to investigate an explosion on Gonnango Island that proved to be negative. The other pilot returned safely at 9:20am. Knight failed to return and was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Knight was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He was officially declared dead on February 21, 1944 (incorrectly). He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 17722
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List January 1944 - F4U Corsair 17722 J. J. Knight
NARA "Marine Fighting Squadron 215 War Diary January 1944" page 7-8
(Page 8) "January 14, 1944 (cont'd) Knight, J. J. and Moore did not return from the flight."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John James Knight Jr. date of death listed as February 21, 1944
FindAGrave - 1Lt John James Knight, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
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