Sam Knight, 19

Uploaded 5 Jun 2010 — 42 favorites
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© Richard Knight
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 6, 2010
TakenNovember 7, 2009
ModelCanon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure1/80 sec at f/3.2
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length7.466 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

[Arlington National Cemetery]

Sam Knight, 19, PFC, USMC, KIA on Okinawa, May 31, 1945

Sam was my father’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 “sign the papers” that would allow him to enlist at that tender age. Sam’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 Sam’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.

79 responses

  • Lynne Macgregor

    Lynne Macgregor (Deleted) gave props (5 Jun 2010):

    very moving

  • Meta Oset

    Meta Oset (Deleted) gave props (5 Jun 2010):

    WOW. I missed you so much Richard. What a come back..Touching story and the image.

  • Meta Oset

    Meta Oset (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    In heat of happiness you are here I forgot to wrote - please, post more..

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back, Richard!

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    What an incredible story.... so young and tender.

  • dana io

    dana io gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Glad to see you're back! : ) with your wonderful true stories and their unmistakable air

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (6 Jun 2010):

    No words...just humble gratitude...:)

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (6 Jun 2010):

    LOL! Like Meta, I also got overly excited...welcome back, dear friend:)

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Still get me choked up....a heart wrenching story about Sam!! Once again, thank you for sharing Cousin!!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (6 Jun 2010):

    Thank you, dear friends and dear cousin! (Betty, we have no control over selecting our family, do we? LOL)

  • Thad Zajdowicz

    Thad Zajdowicz (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back!

  • Karen K Smith

    Karen K Smith gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    wonderful photo and even better story!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    What a nice surprise are back!...Your presence was certainly missed...Your uncle Sam graduated from high school the same year I was born...Touching narrative and image...Welcome back!!!

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Thank you for this,,,welcome back....!!

  • Chris Sanford

    Chris Sanford (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    A very poignant image and tribute to an exceptional young man...

  • Chris Sanford

    Chris Sanford (Deleted) said (6 Jun 2010):

    p.s.: Welcome back, Richard; I've missed your posts!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (6 Jun 2010):

    Thank you, all, and thank you, Chris, for the spotlight. Such nice comments!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    welcome, welcome back!!

  • Winky Vivas

    Winky Vivas (Deleted) said (6 Jun 2010):

    A wonderful tribute to a true American Hero. Welcome back, Dick!!!

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Most deserving tribute to one of America's finest!! Welcome back my friend!! Seeing you here made my day!!

  • Juanita Vivas

    Juanita Vivas (Deleted) gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    Sam's story definitely brought me to tears...such a wonderful tribute, indeed. Welcome back!!

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    A Hero Indeed!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (6 Jun 2010):

    Thank you, Carol, Winky, Mike, Juanita, and Lanis. I appreciate your kind words very much!

  • Mary Brown

    Mary Brown gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    What a moving story and image! Such a young hero! Welcome back, Richard! I missed you, as I'm sure everyone else did too! You were missed!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    What a pleasant suprise after a 2 days hiatus from jpg( I was mamasitting since Friday night), RV is back!!!!! Miss you,Sir Richard! A great and moving story to continue what you left of.....

  • david ong

    david ong gave props (6 Jun 2010):

    a hero!!!! and so happy to see you again!

  • Lise Utne

    Lise Utne said (6 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back, Dick! What a sad story!

  • Michael F. OBrien

    Michael F. OBrien said (7 Jun 2010):

    Thank you for telling Sam's story so well.

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Welcome Back King Richard!...This image is a monument to a great individual that gave the most he could..great narritive.Thank You

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    you come from generations of heros !

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (7 Jun 2010):

    Thank you, everyone. I appreciate your kind words very much.

  • Warren ~Mangione~

    Warren ~Mangione~ gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    You are back!!!! Thank you for serving, Samuel Young Knight! Your sacrafice will not be forgotten.

  • Kris C

    Kris C gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful story! Beautiful tribute!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    I'm so glad you have not completely left JPG.

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Love the shot the story and especially that you are back :o)..

  • Ronnie Ginnever

    Ronnie Ginnever gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back, it's good to hear your voice and see your images again.

  • Jyri Vissak

    Jyri Vissak gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Nice composition and tones!

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    As nicely written as any of your other stories.

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    after our message I forgot to say how honored I feel to your families commitment to this country, wonderful photo and tribute Richard. Thank you.

  • Linda Houghton

    Linda Houghton gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    Welcome Back!

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (7 Jun 2010):

    Cap'n, so good to listen to your wonderful stories again. Feels right.

    "They shall not grow we who are left, grow old..." Those 19 year olds in 1945 were men...unlike many of the 19 year olds today.

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    As I said previously Dick, this dedication to your Uncle is a tradgic loss to your family but without him and your Armed Forces, Australia would not be here today! You belong to a very proud and unique family my friend......God Bless!

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (7 Jun 2010):

    PS: Did you get a chance to look at the TV series, "The Pacific" ?

  • Jean Pierre Vacherot

    Jean Pierre Vacherot (Deleted) gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Poignant tribute...

  • John Tanner

    John Tanner said (8 Jun 2010):

    A very moving story and tribute.

    We're all glad to see you back here Richard !!

    A true gentelman and a great friend !!

  • Dianna Rojas

    Dianna Rojas gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    very sad, I have son's around that age.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Deeply moving. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back, Richard!! Great story!!

  • Michael Lynch

    Michael Lynch gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Great seeing you again and Sam, too. Only you know what I mean.

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    This brings a tear to my eye. Sam served his country and sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Another wonderful tribute to your family.

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon   gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful tribute to your Uncle and how deserving he is of it. .. Welcome back Richard!!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    We owe him so much! It is heartrending to read this! Thanks for sharing this story so that we can remember what he and others did for us.

  • Julie V McKinney

    Julie V McKinney gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    Young.... he made his family and country very proud! Amazing entry

  • Leanna Lomanski

    Leanna Lomanski gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    I really think you should write a book.........or several, probably. Thanks for sharing again.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (12 Jun 2010):

    Very poignant, touching and gripping story.

  • Vicki Koch

    Vicki Koch said (13 Jun 2010):

    Thank you Sam for your brave heart - and servicing for us♥

  • Stu

    Stu said (25 Jun 2010):

    Semper Fidelis

  • Luke Everett

    Luke Everett gave props (26 Jun 2010):

    Thank you for sharing. It is so enjoyable to read a story of a young hero that paid the ultimate price, and is still so loved today!! Your pride is admirable!!!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (29 Jun 2010):

    My thanks to everyone for their exceptionally kind remarks about this young Marine, my dad's little brother.

  • Margan Zajdowicz

    Margan Zajdowicz (Deleted) gave props (11 Sep 2010):

    Great shot and thanks for sharing!

  • Fred Moskey

    Fred Moskey said (25 Sep 2010):

    Some paid a very heavy price for our freedom! I thank the men like this, who made it possible for me to have such a wonderful life of freedom!

  • Robin Perkins

    Robin Perkins gave props (24 Feb 2011):

    I think Fred and several others already said it very well, thanks for sharing your family's story.

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (7 Mar 2011):

    I don't know how I managed to miss this wonderful story about your uncle....certainly a young American hero!! If it were not for men and women like him who willingly put their own lives in harms way, we would not be enjoying all the many rights and freedoms which are so dear to us and continue, with all its problems and faults, to make America the greatest country on earth!!!!

  • Carl Kuntze

    Carl Kuntze gave props (10 Aug 2011):

    A stark memorial to a tragic loss.

  • Edith O'Dell

    Edith O'Dell gave props (11 Aug 2011):

    Too many young lives lost in wars, good story

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (11 Nov 2011):

    Just HAD to visit Sam today!!! For me, this was the best way!!!!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (11 May 2012):

    So sorry for missing this post. Such a great hero and to die so young for the country that he loves, that is immesuarable sacrifice for him and for the family. I salute and pay my respect to him. A hero, indeed.

  • Hilda Cox

    Hilda Cox gave props (28 Jan 2013):

    sooo sad soooo young - brought tears to my eyes !!!!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (27 May 2013):

    Visiting Sam again today.......still brings tears..... THANK you for your service too!!!!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (11 Nov 2013):

    Hello Cousin..... visiting Uncle again today! Thank you Sam !!!! And all veterens!

  • Doug McElroy

    Doug McElroy said (22 Sep 2014):

    They were here for a short time. But they changed the world with there sacrifice.

  • William Moore

    William Moore gave props (2 Oct 2014):

    Wonderful words to go with the photo! My dad was on Okinawa. Seabees! Go Navy!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (29 May 2016):

    Having a visit...... still sad, but not forgotten!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (29 May 2016):

    Thank you very much, Cousin Betty. We were talking about Uncle Sam Sunday night. I have his complete file. He wanted to finish college and go to medical school. A young hero, for sure.

  • jaume Morera Barreda

    jaume Morera Barreda gave props (30 May 2016):

    Get all my respects and honors

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece gave props (30 May 2016):

    I gave this comment on June 9, 2010 and it still stands. Your Uncle Sam was definitely a young hero!!!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (29 May 2017):

    Hello Cousin.... visiting Uncle Sam today! Just wondering what amazing things he might have achieved!! Hope you are doing well!!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (28 May 2018):

    Hello Cousin, stopping by for a visit with uncle Sam. It's still sad....

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