Clyde Vernon Knisley, Jr. Collection, 1918-1993.

Descriptive Summary

Clyde Vernon Knisley, Jr. Collection, 1918-1993.
Knisley, Clyde Vernon, Jr., 1918-1945
1 box, 24 folders, 199 items.
Finding Aid Author
Archives Staff
Western Kentucky University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Clyde Vernon Knisley, Jr., only child of Clyde Vernon Knisley, Sr. (1895-1963) and Nell Holt Knisley (1900-1986), was born in Newport, Tennessee on August 28, 1918. After graduating from Greeneville High School in Greeneville, Tennessee in 1936, Knisley attended the University of Tennessee where he earned a business administration degree, was treasurer and house manager of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and a cheerleader. On October 31, 1941, Knisley was sworn into the United States Army at Charlotte, North Carolina and assigned to Hicks Field. He then received eight weeks of basic training at Randolph Field, Texas, and his advanced pursuit school instruction at Foster Field in Victoria, Texas. In September 1942, his combat duty orders were issued, assigning him to the 49th Fighter Group which joined the Seventh Tactical Fighter Squadron in New Guinea. Knisley was promoted to First Lieutenant in April 1943 and completed his one-hundredth mission on June 8, 1943. While in the South Pacific, Knisley earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and had Oak Leaf Clusters attached to both medals twice. Re-enlisting when his tour of duty in New Guinea was completed, Knisley was assigned to the 405th Fighter Group of the 510th Fighter Squadron. Major Clyde V. Knisley, Jr., was shot down on January 19, 1945, and the Silver Star was posthumously awarded for his gallantry in the dangerously low flying, mission which claimed his life. His body was interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery at St. Avold, France.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of Clyde V. Knisley, Jr.'s letters (109) to his parents, October 31, 1941 to January 15, 1945, while training and serving as a fighter pilot in the United States Army. His diary, February 25 to December 13, 1943, details military life in New Guinea. A telegram, a letter and postcards(4) document Knisley's trip to the Rose Bowl as a University of Tennessee cheerleader, December 27, 1939 to January 4, 1940. His parents' correspondence, 1918, 1939, 1941-1945, documents Clyde Knisley, Sr.'s service in World War I and Clyde, Jr.'s death. Photographs, awards, newspaper clippings and memorial programs related to Knisley's World War II service are included.
Interviews about Knisley by Sue Lynn Stone McGuire with Edna Iddins, Bonita Sharp Holt and Jack Armitage, 1990, including transcripts of the Holt and Iddins' interviews were added in 1993. In addition, a photocopy of Sue Lynn McGuire, "'Things Are Tough All Over': An American Figher Pilot in New Guinea," Tennessee Historical Quarterly (Summer 1993), pages 113-121, 143.

Contents of the Collection

Descriptive Inventory and biographical data.

  • Box 1, folder 1
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World War I letters from Clyde Vernon Knisley, Sr., to his wife,Nell; photographs from Camp Sevier…

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Clyde Knisley, Jr.'s Greeneville Tennessee High School newspaperclipping, school illustration, and…

  • Box 1, folder 3
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University of Tennessee - Telegrams. Feb. 14, 1939. May 14, 1939. 2 items.

  • Box 1, folder 4
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University of Tennessee's Rose Bowl trip - Letter, telegram andpostcards. Dec. 27, 1939- Jan. 4…

  • Box 1, folder 5
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University of Tennessee - Newspaper clippings, telegrams, andphotographs.1939-1941. 10 items.

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Letters to family while Knisley is stationed at Morris Field(Charlotte, NC); Hicks Field (Ft. Worth…

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Letters to family from Orlando Air Base (FL), Morris Field(Charlotte, NC), Myrtle Beach, SC, and San…

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Letters to family from Australia, New Guinea, and en route home.Oct. 8, 1942 - Mar. 31, 1944. 38…

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Diary from New Guinea. Feb. 25, 1943 - Dec. 13, 1943. 1 item (typescript and photocopy).

  • Box 1, folder 10
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Awards, etc. Nov. 13, 1941 - Feb. 13, 1943. 4 items.

  • Box 1, folder 11
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Christmas card from grandfather. Dec. 1943. 1 item.

  • Box 1, folder 12
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Letter to Knisley from Captain Arland Stanton, New Guineatentmate and related clipping. Feb. 24…

  • Box 1, folder 13
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Letters to parents from Greensboro, NC, enroute, England, and France. July 11, 1944 - Jan. 15, 1945…

  • Box 1, folder 14
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Letter from father to mother while Clyde is missing-in-action.March 4, 1945. 1 item.

  • Box 1, folder 15
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Letters from U. S. Army Chaplain, the War Dept., the Army AirForces, a U.S. senator, Treasury Dept…

  • Box 1, folder 16
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Photographs. [1918?]-1981, n.d. 38 items (36 originals, 2 photocopies).

  • Box 1, folder 17
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Letters to Clyde's parents from friends and relatives. 1941-1945. 10 items.

  • Box 1, folder 18
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Mother's correspondence and newspaper clippings. 1968, 1976, 1981, n.d. 4 items.

  • Box 1, folder 19
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World War II - Newspaper clippings. [1941]-June 7, 1947. 15 items.

  • Box 1, folder 20
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Memorial programs and certificates. Aug. 15, 1946-1964[?], n.d. 8 items.

  • Box 1, folder 21
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Memorial presentation of 510th Fighter Squadron history - Letter,newsclippings, and related items…

  • Box 1, folder 22
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Jenkins' Jerry Junkers: The WWII Fighter Squadron- Publication written by members of Knisley's last…

  • Box 1, folder 23
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Originals of V-Mail. 1942-1944. 9 items.

  • Box 1, folder 24
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Interview (cassette tape) and transcript with Edna Holt Iddins bySueLynn Stone McGuire. June 20…

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Interview (cassette tape) and transcript with Bonita Sharp Holt,June19, 1990; side 2 interview with…

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Article titled "'Things are Tough All Over': An American FighterPilot in New Guinea".. written by…

  • Box 2, folder 3
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