The first Knox was named for counties in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.
The second Knox was named for Dudley Wright Knox, born 21 June 1877, in Fort Walla Walla, Wash., and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy 5 June 1896. During the Spanish-American War he served on board Maple in Cuban waters. He commanded gunboats, Albany and Iris, during the Philippine Insurrection and the latter during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion. He then commanded three of the Navy's first destroyers: Shubrick, Wilkes, and Decatur before commanding the First Torpedo Flotilla. During the cruise of the "Great White Fleet" sent around the world by President Theodore Roosevelt, he was ordnance officer of Nebraska (BB-14). In the years before World War I he was Fleet Ordnance Officer in both Atlantic and Pacific, served the Office of Naval Intelligence, and commanded the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station. In November 1917, he joined the staff of Admiral Sims, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in European Waters, and earned the Navy Cross for "distinguished service" serving as Aide in the Planning Section, and later in the Historical Section. He was promoted to Captain 1 February 1918.
After returning to the United States in March 1919 for a year on the faculty of the Naval War College, he successively commanded Brooklyn (ACR-3) and Charleston (C-22) before resuming duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Transferred to the Retired List of the Navy 20 October 1921, he continued active duty simultaneously serving as Officer in Charge, Office of Naval Records and Library, and as Curator for the Navy Department. Early in World War II he was assigned important, additional duty as Deputy Director of Naval History. For a quarter of a century his leadership inspired diligence, efficiency, and initiative while he guided, improved, and expanded the Navy's archival and historical operations. During his tenure he contributed a written legacy that honored both the Nation and the Navy.
A master of content and style, his clear writings include The Eclipse of American Sea Power (1922) ; The Naval Genius of George Washington (1932) ; and A History of the United States Navy (1936), the latter recognized as "the best one-volume history of the United States Navy in existence." Advanced to Commodore 2 November 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious conduct" while directing the correlation and preservation of accurate records of the U.S. naval operations in World War II, thus protecting this vital information for posterity. Commodore Knox was relieved of all active duty 26 June 1946. He died 11 June 1960.
(APA-46: dp. 8,100; l. 492'; b. 69'6" ; dr. 26'6" ; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 553; a. 2 5", 4 40mm., 18 20mm.; cl. Bayfield; T. C3-S-A2)
The first Knox was originally classified AP-91 and re-classified APA-46 on 1 February 1943; launched 17 July 1943, by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp., Pascagoula, Miss., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. R. K. Forde; acquired by the Navy 30 September 1943; placed in ferry commission from 30 September to 14 Octo ber during transfer to Bethlehem Steel Corp., Brooklyn, N.Y., for conversion; and commissioned in full 4 March 1944, Comdr. John K. Brady in command.
After shakedown, Knox departed Norfolk 6 April for the Pacific, arriving Pearl Harbor 23 April with Marines and Seabees embarked. Assigned to the 5th Amphibious Force, the transport sailed 29 May as part of Task Force 52 bound for the Marianas as the Navy's offensive in the Pacific moved into high gear. Steaming via Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, Knox arrived off Saipan 15 June and made a diversionary landing at Garapan before debarking her troops that afternoon at the actual landing area. She remained off Saipan until 24 June, then sailed for Eniwetok, arriving the 28th with Saipan casualties on board.
Departing Eniwetok 15 July, she returned to Saipan 19 July to prepare for the assault on Tinian. With Marines of the 2d Division embarked, she engaged in another amphibious diversion during the 24 July invasion of Tinian. She then landed her troops the next day and operated off Tinian and Saipan until sure of the success of the conquest of the Marianas, which toppled Tojo and his cabinet and edged Japan toward peace. She departed 28 July for Pearl Harbor via Eniwetok, arriving 10 August.
After completing amphibious exercises, Knox sailed 15 September for Manus, Admiralities, where she arrived 3 October to prepare for the long awaited liberation of the Philippines. Loaded with Army troops and equipment, she departed Manus 14 October in the Southern Attack Force (TF-79). The transport arrived off Dulag, Leyte, 20 October; and, during a terrific aerial and Naval gunfire bombardment, lowered boats for the first assault. Knox completed unloading under a smoke screen the 21st and departed Leyte Gulf for New Guinea arriving Hol-landia the 26th.
Knox steamed out of Humboldt Bay 5 November and returned to Leyte 18 November after loading troops and cargo at Noemfoor, Schouten Islands, 7 to 14 November. From Leyte she proceeded the same day to Manus; and, arriving 24 November, began a month of landing exercises off Manus, New Britain, and New Guinea in preparation for the invasion of Luzon. Loaded with 1,278 Army troops, she departed Manus 31 December for Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. Fighting through heavy enemy air attack, she reached Lingayen Gulf 9 January 1945, unloaded all troops and cargo within 8 hours, and headed back toward Leyte. While repelling air attacks 9 to 10 January, Knox hit two Japanese planes, splashing one of them.
After arriving Leyte Gulf 12 January, Knox proceeded to Ulithi 19 to 23 January and thence to Guam 6 to 8 February to embark Marines of the 3d Division for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Departing 17 February, she arrived off Iwo Jima 22 February and debarked her troops the 24th as part of a reserve force. After embarking casualties and loading cargo, Knox departed 6 March. Steaming via Saipan, Guam, and Tulagi, Solomons, she reached Noumea, New Caledonia, 18 March. Following overhaul and landing exercises, she got underway 3 May for the Philippines. Touching Manus en route, she arrived San Pedro Bay 16 May and unloaded troops and cargo. On 25 May she sailed for the United States arriving Portland, Oreg., for overhaul 14 June.
Knox sailed from Portland to San Francisco 14 to 16 August. After loading troops and cargo, she departed 18 August for the Philippines. Sailing via Pearl Harbor Eniwetok, Guam, and Ulithi, she reached Leyte Gulf 13 September. She operated among the Philippines until 1 October; then she carried occupation troops to Japan between 1 and 29 October. Returning to Samar 5 November, she embarked homebound veterans and sailed the 6th as a unit of the "Magic Carpet" fleet. She arrived San Pedro 24 November. After another "Magic Carpet" cruise to the Philippines from 7 December to 26 January 1946, she departed Long Beach 31 January for New Orleans where she arrived 12 February. Knox proceeded to Mobile, Ala., 6 March and decommissioned 14 March. Her name was struck from the Navy List 1 May and she was transferred to the Maritime Commission 14 May. In 1947 she was sold to Isthmian Lines, Inc., and renamed Steel Recorder.
Knox received five battle stars for World War II service.