From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David Knott '71

Date of birth: September 30, 1949

Date of death: June 19, 1991

Age: 41

Lucky Bag

From the 1971 Lucky Bag:


Dover Air Force Base HS senior photo, age 17.

From Los Angeles Times on June 20, 1991:

Two Marine aviators, one a squadron commander, were killed Wednesday when their Cobra attack helicopter crashed in rough terrain at the Naval Weapons Station near Fallbrook during a nighttime training mission.

The AH-1 Cobra, a heavily armed, jet-powered aircraft designed to fly low and destroy enemy tanks and troop positions, crashed about 12:40 a.m. at the weapons storage facility, which is next to Camp Pendleton, said Gunnery Sgt. Dave Marriott, a Marine Corps spokesman.

The victims were identified as Lt. Colonel David A. Knott, 40, of David City, Neb. and Capt. Michael M. Vagedes, 27, of Centerville, Ohio. It could not be confirmed if either aviator was a Desert Storm veteran.

The crew and helicopter were from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, which was commanded by Knott, according to Cpl. Deidre Hinkle, a Camp Pendleton spokeswoman. The squadron, based at Camp Pendleton, is part of the Marine Aircraft Group 39.

Knott and Vagedes were participating in a night training flight when the crash occurred, Marriott said. …

The crash occurred on June 19, 1991.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

David was born in Guam. He and his mother Eileen sailed from Guam to San Francisco in December 1949; they were on their way home to Loup City, Nebraska.

He and his wife Harriet Loye Odren had a daughter Karly Eileen born on 9/26/1976 in Onslow County, North Carolina.

At his sister Karen Eileen’s wedding in July 1990, David’s daughters Karly and Kathryn were candle lighters, and he was an usher. His family lived at Camp Pendleton then. When David died, his family lived in David City, Nebraska. His father was Air Force Lt. Col. George Knott, mother Eileen, and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Jack Knott of David City.

From the Banner-Press, David City, Nebraska on November 25, 1976:

Captain David A. Knott … recently was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal by Brigadier General D. E. Bjorklund, assistant wing commander, 2nd MAW, Cherry Point. Captain Knott enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1971 and was ordered to the Officers Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. After graduation from Basic School, he was sent to ‘K’ Co., 3rd Bn., 6th Marines prior to being sent to Flight School, Pensacola, Florida. The Leatherneck received his wings in November of 1974 and reported to HMA-269 during December of that year.

The citation for the medal read in part, “For heroic achievement on February 1 and 2, 1976 while serving as a Flight Line Officer, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Minus) (Reinforced), Third-second Marine Amphibious Unit, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. First Lieutenant Knott exhibited outstanding courage and resourcefulness while the squadron was embarked in USS Inchon (LPH 12) and a sudden, violent storm of hurricane-force proportions struck the ship. He immediately volunteered for a small team of specialized crew chiefs and repeatedly ventured out on the violently pitching flight deck to ensure the security of the squadron’s exposed aircraft. He linked himself to the rest of the team members and they further tied themselves down to the flight deck padeyes to preclude being blown over the ship’s side. His valorous conduct at the risk of great personal injury was instrumental in limiting damage to and in retaining on board 19 helicopters assigned to the squadron and one ship’s organic helicopter. First Lieutenant Knott’s outstanding performance and courageous actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.” The citation was signed for the Secretary of the Navy, B. B. Forbes, Jr., Vice Admiral U. S. Navy, Deputy Commander in Chief U. S. Atlantic Fleet.

The young captain and his wife, Happy, reside in Jacksonville, Florida.”

Dave is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Class of 1971

David is one of 14 members of the Class of 1971 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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