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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Leslie L. B. Knox

 

Leslie Lockhart Bruce Knox was born 17 November 1916 in Brisbane, Australia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as seaman second class at New York City 28 April 1939, and was appointed as aviation cadet 20 September. After flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he was commissioned ensign 12 June 1940 and reported to Scouting Squadron 41 at Norfolk.

 

On 15 March 1941 Knox was transferred to Fighting Squadron 42 and, except for temporary duty with Fighting Squadron 41, remained with that unit until his death in the Battle of the Coral Sea 8 May 1942. He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant (jg.) 25 June 1942 and awarded the Navy Cross for “extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage as pilot of an aircraft of a Fighting Squadron 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 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.”

 

(DE-580: dp. 1,450; l. 306'0"; b. 37'0"; dr. 9'8"; s. 23.5 k.; cpl. 186; a. 2 5", 8 40mm., 10 20mm., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.), 2 dct.; cl. Rudderow)

 

Leslie L. B. Knox (DE-580) was laid down 7 November 1943 by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., Hingham, Mass.; launched 8 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Louise Kennedy Knox, widow of Lieutenant (jg.) Knox; and commissioned 22 March 1944, Lt. J. A. Moffett in command.

 

After shakedown out of Bermuda, the new destroyer escort was assigned to Escort Division 67, Atlantic Fleet. Following two runs escorting coastal convoys between New York and Norfolk, she departed Hampton Roads 24 June 1944 on the first of two round-trip voyages escorting convoys to Bizerte, Tunisia. Returning from the second voyage, she arrived New York 16 October for repairs.

 

Leslie L. B. Knox steamed from New York and 3 November rendezvoused with Escort Division 67 en route to the Pacific. After transiting the Panama Canal and touching the Galapagos, Society, and Solomon Islands, she arrived Hollandia, New Guinea, 11 December.

 

From December 1944 through June 1945, the ship was engaged in convoy escort duty, ASW patrols, and mail runs in the New Guinea and Philippine waters. She received her first battle star for convoy escort duty from Hollandia to Leyte Gulf 3 to 14 January 1945 in support of the Lingayen Gulf landing. During this mission, the convoy fought off Japanese suicide planes so that only one merchant ship was damaged.

 

After the successful Lingayen Gulf landing, Leslie L. B. Knox continued convoy-escort and mail-run duties, earning two more battle stars for her work in the Manila Bay-Bicol Operation and the campaign to liberate the southern Philippine Islands. After V-J Day, she steamed to Okinawa, arriving 7 September 1945 for occupation duty and service along the coast of China. During this period the ship called at Jinsen, Korea, and Shanghai and Tsingtao, China. She departed 14 October for the United States, arriving San Diego 5 November. Leslie L. B. Knox decommissioned 15 June 1946, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Diego. At present she is berthed at Stockton, Calif.

 

Leslie L. B. Knox received three battle stars for World War II service