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[Arlington National Cemetery]
Sam Knight, 19, PFC, USMC, KIA on Okinawa, May 31, 1945
Sam was my fatherâ€™s little brother. He graduated from high school in 1943 not long after his 17th birthday. Like many other patriotic youngsters, Sam asked his mother to â€œsign the papersâ€ that would allow him to enlist at that tender age. Samâ€™s father and two older brothers were aleady in the service, and Sam was not to be denied the opportunity.
Sam enlisted in the Marines and, after training, was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, United States Marine Corps.
Sam was killed by a sniper on Memorial Day, May 31, 1945, on Okinawa, the last major battle in the Pacific. He was 19. The war in Europe was already over, and the Japanese would surrender in two months.
I have the family archives, including Samâ€™s military records. When enlisting, he was asked what he wanted to do after the service. He replied that he wanted to be a doctor.
Young Sam earned the Bronze Star (for valor) and the Purple Heart.
Sam Knight, still 19, and still a hero.
Also by Richard Knight
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