Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Leslie Lockhart Bruce KNOX

From Australia serving in the United States Navy Reserve

Service No: O-083148
Born: Brisbane QLD, 7 November 1916 (resided Hillside, New Jersey USA)
Enlisted in the USN: Date unavailable
Unit: Squadron VF-42 (USS Yorktown)
Awarded the Navy Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart (all posthumous)
Died: Air Operations: (VF42 F4F-4 Wildcat aircraft 2531), Coral Sea, 7 May 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information:
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Tablets for the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Philippines
Remembered: Commemorative Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Navy Cross Citation: “For extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron Forty-Two (VF-42), embarked from the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea. On that evening, as one of the fighters launched to oppose enemy Japanese aircraft in the vicinity of his ship, Ensign Knox attacked a formation of seven enemy aircraft, shooting down one and assisting in the action which resulted in dispersing the others. In this engagement he displayed unusual skill and devotion to duty, carrying out his mission with determination and aggressiveness against great enemy odds and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. He failed to return from this action. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

On 7 May 1942, Lieutenant Knox piloted one of seven Wildcats on a dusk combat air patrol over the USS Yorktown. While on patrol, enemy aircraft were spotted and engaged. He shot down one aircraft and may have shot down a second but he failed to return to the carrier. It is not known whether he was also shot down or became lost.


Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll On-Line Records
Pacific Wrecks Website

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