Fayette County


Lt. Duane Knos S.

Picture from Upper Iowa University yearbook, 1945.




Phone in Your News column

--The C.H. Knos and F.B. Claxton families received letters Tuesday from their sons, Lt. Duane Knos and Lt. F.B. Claxton, stating that they had arrived in England. The boys were graduated from the same flying school and have been together since entering the service. Lt. Knos also writes that he has seen Lt. Gayl Farnum of Sumner, a former student at U.I.U.

Source: Fayette County Leader, September 7, 1944

LT. Duane Knos Writes His Parents From France

France, Dec. 12

Dear Folks: Suppose you've been wondering what's the matter with me. I went to Paris to pick up some planes and due to so many complications, too sad to relate, I got stranded there for six days. I was never so glad to get out of a place in my life. Paris is a good town but gets a little bit tiresome after you've seen everything. I'd like to go back in peacetime, though, for it is a wonderful town. I saw Maurice Chevalier, who used to be on Broadway and movies a long time ago. I wanted to go to the opera but couldn't get the necessary tickets.

Got your packages today. Thanks a lot. The candy really tastes good and the cookies are grand. I can use it all.

I sent my air medal home today. Hope it gets there O.K. There's a small lapel ribbon which Dad is authorized to wear if he likes. It looks pretty good, even if it doesn't amount to much. You get it for 10 sorties over enemy territory. You get one sortie for a mission if you don't carry bombs, two if you do. I have two oak leaf clusters for it now.

I am just telling you this so you can see what this T-bolt (Thunderbolt-47) will take. We were out on an armed recce (just go out to a certain area in Germany and shoot at anything you can see) and found a big convoy. Bombed the road and started strafing trucks. I started one on fire and just pulled off when they hit me in the engine and knocked out three cylinders. I kept on strafing and got three or four more flamers when she threw a lot of oil on the windshield, so I couldn't see any more. It was smoking so a I tho't I'd better head home. The old crate went all the way, even tho' I had to fly instruments because the canopy was all covered with oil. Landed O.K. but the engine froze just as I was parking. Thirty-four minutes in the air she stayed with three cylinders blown out. There were about 10 other holes in her but they didn't amount to much.

Maybe you can see why I love this old girl. Get hit quite often but seldom it is if she doesn't come home. We seldom lose boys from the enemy guns. So you see you needn't worry about me as long as I stay in this old tub.

I'll close and hit the sacks. Take it easy and write when you can. I'll be seeing you.


Source: Fayette County Leader, January 25, 1945