Woodbury County

Lt. Melvin Eugene McKnight


Mrs. Lillian McKnight, 1903 ½ S. Patterson, has received word from her son, Vernon of the 185th field artillery, that he recently won promotion from corporal to sergeant. Mrs. McKnight has had no word since a cablegram on Christmas day from her flier son, Melvin, who at that time was in the Philipine Island.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, February 25, 1942

School Holds Memorial Rites

14 Former East Junior Pupils Dead in Present War

Students and parents bowed their heads Friday afternoon at East Junior School in respect to former boys of that institution who have given their lives that free education might continue.

It was the Schools Memorial Day observance. In song and story, tribute was paid to the 14 former students who have lost their lives in the present conflict.

An imitation monument—one that had been used at like services at the school in other years—was centered on the stage of the auditorium.

Parents and friends of those who have been killed or died in service, sat in a group on one side of the hall.

Rev. Frank G. Bean, pastor of Grace Methodist Church, delivered the address. He declared that those students had died so that this country might continue with its system of free education whereby all may learn the truth in history.

At the conclusion of the service, students placed a wreath at the names on the gold star list. They later will be added to a roll that will be placed in the front hall.

Former student’s names on Friday’s list were Harry E. Nichols, Luverne Trimborn, LeLand Christensen, Robert Sogge, Frank Voloshan, Clelland Kammon, Casmer Lukowicz, Alder L. Nystrom, Harry Ellsworth, Bruce Brink, Raymond Lynch and Melvin McKnight.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, May 28, 1943

Will Written by Sioux Cityan on Field of Battle Arrives in City

Penned 18 Months Ago by Lieutenant in the Philippines

Written “on the field of battle” before the fall of Bataan, Philippine Islands, the last will and testament of Lieut. Melvin Eugene McKnight of Sioux City Tuesday reached the court clerk’s files more than 18 months after he had penned his bequest. While a prisoner of the Japs he died, May 21.

Sealed perhaps in the secrecy of war and the memory of three soldiers may be incidents of valor, much fighting and long suffering which might have followed the witnessing of Lieut. McKnight’s signature to his last will. His witnesses were Harland F. Rosseau, 514 N.B.E, De Cere, Wis.; Thomas W. Patrick, Jr. 166 York Street, Chester, S.C.; and Eugene B. Shevlin, 18 Sands Street, Cortland, N.Y. who also signed in ink on the thin parchment, January 21, 1942.

In the will, Lieut. McKnight presented to his mother, Mrs. Lillian Anderson McKnight, 1903 ½ S. Patterson Street, his entire estate. She learned of his death May 21. He had fought the Japs during the battle of Manila and in defense of Bataan and was among thousands of soldiers captured by the enemy when Bataan fell.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, June 9, 1943


These Iowans, like those pictured here on previous Sundays, have given their lives for their country. They are men who have died in actual combat or in prison camps. The fourth line under each name designates the theatre of war in which they were serving. Other pictures will be published later.

Source: The DesMoines Register, Sunday, February 13, 1944  (photo included)