FF 1052 KNOX class Naming
Escort ships of the DE category traditionally are named for deceased sailors, marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have served the nation with excep-tional bravery or distinction.
The KNOX-class escort ships follow this tradition with the lead ship honoring the late Commodore Dudley W. Knox. A graduate of the Naval Academy, he commanded gunboats during the Philippine In-surrection and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, and later was captain of several destroyers. For service on the staff of Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in European waters during World War I he was awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest decoration. Commodore Knox transferred to the Retired List of the Navy in 1921 but continued on active duty as librarian and curator of the Navy. Subsequently he was assigned the additional posi-tion of Deputy Director of Naval History. During this second "career;" spanning 25 years, Commo-dore Knox won distinction as a historian and cura-tor, and authored several books and numerous articles about sea power. He died on June 11, 1960.
Several KNOX-class ships honor Navymen killed in the Vietnam War. The first ship so named was the ROARK, remembering Lieutenant William M. Roark, a Navy pilot who was killed in action over North Vietnam. After graduating from the Naval Academy he became a naval aviator. On April 7, 1965, he was flying on a strike from the carrier CORAL SEA against military targets in North Vietnam when his aircraft was shot down and the 28-year-old flier was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Distin-guished Flying Cross and other decorations for his combat missions.
One ship of the KNOX class honors a foreign official in exception to the DE naming tradition. The HAROLD E. HOLT honors the late Prime Minister of Australia, a supporter of U.S. policy in Southeast Asia. Mr. Holt died in December 1967 in a swimming accident.
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