Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

KNIGHT, William

USS William B Preston

USS William B Preston


William Knight was the son of James M. Knight. He enlisted on 11 July 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee. Seaman 1st Class Knight (295-46-33) transferred to the Preston on 5 August 1940 from the USS Fox.

USS William B. Preston was anchored in Darwin Harbour tending PBY Catalinas when the Japanese attack began on 19 February 1942. She quickly got underway, zigzagging through the crowded Harbour. Four bombs exploded off William B. Preston’s bow, breaking bridge windows. She was then hit near the deckhouse, losing control of her steering and jamming the rudder. The aft living compartment was seriously damaged; the deck house was strafed and her machine guns were out of action. Fourteen men were killed, including two missing and three were wounded.

Knight was buried at sea.

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