On this day in history, 13 Sep 1944, Private First Class Victor Porter McKnight (1922-1944) was killed in action while serving with the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, U.S. Army at the Battle of Normandy in France.
Victor is the son of Thomas Leroy McKnight and Olive Margaret Porter McKnight. He was born on 13 Mar 1922 in Hannah, Cavalier County, North Dakota.
He enlisted in the Army on 21 Dec 1942. The 175th Infantry Regiment trained in the United States until 5 Oct 1942 when it sailed to England on the ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth.
The 175th landed on the still unsecured Omaha Beach, Normandy, France beginning at 1230 hours on 7 Jun 1944, D plus 1. The 175th captured Isigny and Lison on 9 Jun, pushed the American lines to within three miles of Saint-Lô, and defended the high ground known as Hill 108 on 17 Jun.
From 25 Aug to 18 Sep, the 29th Infantry Division took part in the assault on Brest. It is possible Victor was there when he died. It has been difficult to find details of his service in France.
Victor was awarded the Purple Heart and the World War II Victory Medal.
The Brittany American Cemetery is located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery, established on 4 Aug 1944 by the U.S. Third Army. It marks the point where the American forces made their breakthrough from the hedgerow country of Normandy into the plains of Brittany during the offensive around Avranches, France.
The 28 acre cemetery contains the remains of 4,505 of our war dead. The names of 500 of the missing are inscribed on a wall of the memorial terrace.
The sculpture Youth Triumphing Over Evil at the cemetery bears this inscription:
I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith—2 Timothy IV, 7
PFC Victor Porter McKnight (1922-1944) is 2nd cousin 2x removed of MKS in the Watne branch.