George L. Knox II
December 23, 1916 – November 4, 1964
Class: 42-E-SE
Graduation Date: 5/20/1942
Unit: 332nd Fighter Group, 100th Fighter Squadron
Service # 0789535

2nd Lt. George Levi Knox II (“Skipper” Knox) was a U.S. Army Air Force/U.S. Air Force officer, combat fighter pilot and Adjutant with the all-African American 332nd Fighter Group’s 100th Fighter Squadron, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen. One of the 1,007 documented Tuskegee Airmen Pilots, he was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen’s third-ever aviation cadet class, and one of the first twelve African Americans to become combat fighter pilots. He was the second Indiana native to graduate from the Tuskegee Advanced Flying School (TAFS).

He was one of the ten presiding officers in the court-martials of several Tuskegee Airmen after the Freeman Field mutiny in 1945. He was named president after Benjamin O. Davis Jr. was dismissed.

 

Early life

He was born on December 23, 1916, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Marion County, Indiana. He was the son of Elwood Knox and the grandson of runaway slave George L. Knox (who wrote a book about his experiences, Life as I Remember It: As a Slave and a Freeman, in 1895).

He was a graduate of Fisk University. On January 27, 1937 he was initiated as a fraternity brother of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.’s Nu Chapter in Indiana. He then attended the University of Pittsburg and earned a graduate certificate.

In 1942, he married Yvonne Marguerite Wright Knox (August 27, 1919- August 18, 2002). They were the parents of four children: Adelaide Emma, George L. III., John Elwood and Craig Streator.

Military service

In October 1941, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. On May 20, 1942, he graduated from Tuskegee Advance Flying School (TAFS)’s third-ever Single Engine Section Class SE-42-E. He was one of the first twelve African American combat fighter pilots.

He was the second Indiana native to graduate from the Tuskegee Advance Flying School (TAFS). After receiving his wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, he was promoted to First Lieutenant in December 1942. In 1943 he was with the 332nd Fighter Group, became a flight leader, and was assigned to Selfridge Field, Michigan. A year later, he was a member of the “first Negro bombardment organization”, the 477th Bombardment Group; in 1944, the squadron had received two commendations for its achievements. At the rank of Captain, he was the “squad’s most experienced Negro flier”.

Freeman Field mutiny

In 1945, he was president of the court assembled to pass judgment on a “racial incident” at Freeman Field, in Seymour, Indiana. He was one of ten officers to preside over the Freeman Field mutiny courts-martial, appointed by General Frank O’Driscoll Hunter: Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Captains George L. Knox II, James T. Wiley, John H. Duren, Charles R. Stanton, William T. Yates, Elmore M. Kennedy, and Fitzroy Newsum and 1st Lieutenants William Robert Ming Jr. James Y. Carter. Trial Judge Advocates were: Captain James W. Redden and 1st Lieutenant Charles B. Hall.

After World War II, he headed the AFROTC program at Tuskegee Institute. In 1946, he held the rank of Major. The highest rank he held, at his death in 1964, was lieutenant colonel; he was a professor of air science at the officer training corps at Tuskegee. He was a member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tuskegee.

Awards

  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Air force Longevity Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
  • American Campaign Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • Congressional Gold Medal collectively awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen in 2006

Death

He died on November 4, 1964, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Macon County, Alabama. His obituary in a Mobile Alabama newspaper reported that he died from an accidental gunshot at his home. He was interred at Crown Hill Cemetery, Plot Sec: 41, Lot: 273 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Source: Wikipedia.com

 

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