- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Pilot Officer
- No. 242 (Canadian) Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- June 14th, 1940
"One day in May, 1940, this officer destroyed a Messerschmitt 109 and on the following day, whilst on patrol with his squadron, he shot down three more enemy aircraft. The destruction of the last one of
the three aircraft occasioned a long chase over enemy .territory. On his return flight he used his remaining ammunition, and caused many casualties, in a low flying attack on a railway along which the enemy was bringing up heavy guns. Pilot Officer McKnight has shown exceptional skill and courage as a fighter pilot."
"On the 28th May, this officer destroyed a Messerschmitt 109. On the following day, whilst on patrol with his squadron, he shot down three more enemy aircraft. The last one of the three enemy aircraft was destroyed after a long chase over enemy territory. On his return flight he used his remaining ammunition and caused many casualties in a low-flying attack on a railway along which the enemy was bringing up heavy guns. Pilot Officer McKnight has shown exceptional courage and skill as a fighter pilot.
NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/4095 has the original recommendation, apparently drafted by W/C R. Grice, Commanding Officer, RAF Station Biggin Hill, on 2 June 1940. The identity of several of his victims is confused; the victims of 1 June 1940 were more likely Ju.87s rather than Ju.88s.
Pilot Officer McKnight, a Canadian pilot, has shown exceptional skill and courage as a fighter pilot during the operations over France from 28th May to 1st June 1940.
On 28th May 1940, this officer destroyed one Messerschmitt 109 over Ostende.
On May 29th, whilst on patrol with his squadron over France, he shot down two Messerschmitt 109s and a Dornier 17. The Dornier 17 occasioned a long chase into enemy territory but the pilot with great tenacity and determination succeeded in destroying it. On the way back from this, the pilot used up the remainder of his ammunition by carrying out a low flying attack on a railway east of Dunkirk, along which the enemy were bringing up heavy guns, and caused many casualties.
On 31st May, this officer was again on patrol with his squadron and with great skill, whilst protecting the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk area, he shot down two Messerschmitt 110s.
On the afternoon of June 1st, he was again on patrol covering the evacuation of the Dunkirk beaches when his squadron encountered eighteen Junkers 88s about to attack our shipping and he succeeded in shooting down two Junkers 88s and two unconfirmed.
Between the 28th May and 1st June this officer has displayed great skill and courage and has destroyed two Messerschmitt 110s, three Messerschmitt 109s, one Dornier 17 and two Junkers 88s.
On 3 June 1940, Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park (Air Officer Commanding, No.11 Group) added the following minute:
This officer, a Canadian, has shown exceptional skill, determination and courage. He has destroyed eight enemy aircraft as well as attacking successfully heavy guns on the railway east of Dunkirk causing many casualties. I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross."