John Henry Knight Jr – Vietnam POW & Silver Star Claims

| January 17, 2019

The folks at MilitaryPhony send us their work on John Henry Knight Jr.

John died in November 2018, but before he did he gave a lengthy interview in The Record Live – the Orange, Texas paper.

In this interview, he talked about leaving high school at age 17 to join the Navy in 1962.

He also spoke of his plane being shot down and becoming a Prisoner of War in Cambodia for two years.

Knight never expected to live long enough to be a veteran.

The retired iron worker says he spent two years as a Viet Cong prisoner after being shot down over Cambodia in 1962.

Knight, who ultimately escaped via Thailand, was among a crew of 26 on the giant Lockheed Constellation.

“I was one of two that survived,” the U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer said.

But you’ll have to take Knight’s word for it. Like the Impossible Mission Force from TV and movies, the U.S. government disavowed any knowledge of Knight’s flights over Vietnam’s western neighbor.

“Denied truth,” is what Knight called it.

“According to my records, I spent my time on a seaplane tender in Rota, Spain. There’s only two things wrong with that: they didn’t have any seaplane tenders and Rota is an air base, not a sea base.”

It would still be two years before President Lyndon Johnson authorized direct U.S. involvement in Vietnam, a bloody 12-year engagement that caused division and upheaval on the homefront.

“It was an out-and-out civil war that we got pulled into,” Knight said of the U.S. siding with South Vietnam against a North Vietnamese Army assisted by Communist China and the Communist guerilla group known as the Viet Cong, or Viet Minh.

“It was a dirty little war. But it was the war we had.”

Knight said he was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

Knight claims that he escaped by hiding under a dead Cambodian soldier.  He also claims that he went on to become a Russian interpreter.

Knight died days after this interview, but his obituary reinforced his legacy as a two-year POW in Cambodia.

His military records, however, tell quite a different story.


The ship that he was on, the USS Luce, was never anywhere near Vietnam.  He was never within a thousand miles of Cambodia and he most certainly was never a POW.

There is no Silver Star or POW medal in Knight’s records.  According to his official military records, he got out as an E-4 vs. the E-7 that he claimed.

As to being a Russian interpreter — well,  the Navy seems to think he was a Radarman.  He did not die a war hero who was awarded a Silver Star for bravery.

Category: Navy, Navy Poser, POW, Russia, Valor Vultures

Comments (57)

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  1. IDC SARC says:

    Well…if you’re just gonna knit pick over details. 🙂

  2. AW1Ed says:

    Rockin’ the lie to the grave, nice.

  3. akpual says:

    The next story in that publication seems to be cliche ridden too. But it could be accurate.

  4. Daisy Cutter says:

    The key line in that interview was: “But you’ll have to take Knight’s word for it. Like the Impossible Mission Force from TV and movies, the U.S. government disavowed any knowledge of Knight’s flights over Vietnam’s western neighbor.”

    I used to watch “Impossible Mission Force” all the time when I was a kid, so I get it. Now, please stand back as your computer spontaneously bursts into flames.

  5. Keepin' It Real says:

    The soft-serve twisty cone screams ‘legit.’

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    These benighted souls certainly do lack imagination. You’d think he’d come up with something clever, but he just picks an old chestnut up off the ground and goes with that. Sad.

  7. OldManchu says:

    Those buttons on that shirt are about to put someone’s eye out.

  8. HT3 '83-'87 says:

    Senility must have set in as he misremembered the “cover story” he used to participate in Covert Ops…he should said tin-can out of Mayport not a seaplane tender out of Rota. FWIW, those type of ships were obsolete and scrapped by the time he actually served.
    Hiding under a dead enemy soldier…how very Sgt. O’Neill of him. No doubt he’s be rockin’ that lie for decades, and the old fart took it all the way to the grave. Pathetic.

  9. Wilted Willy says:

    I hate to speak ill of the dead, but, you sir are a lying shitbag! I hope your children will know the truth!

  10. 5th/77th FA says:

    Those pesky official forms with dates have reared their ugly heads again. He had what appeared to be 2 years of non dick stepping service. I won’t speak dead of the evil lies.

    My sympathies to the friends and family for them having to find out this way of his embellishing. Now he can’t apologize for his lie. Not that he would….They very seldom do…..Sad ain’t it?

  11. SgtBob says:

    A few years back, my wife mentioned a friend whose husband was dying in a hospital. “He’s not taking it well,” she said. She then mentioned that he was a Vietnam veteran. I said, “Well, maybe I should visit him, maybe sit for a while.” My wife then said the man’s wife said he was a POW in Laos. My Secret Squirrel Monitor tingled. “He escaped,” my wife said his wife related. “There were two other Americans there and he had to kill them because they began yelling that he was escaping.” Monitors now at full alert, I searched several sites listing Vietnam POWs and American POWs once held in Laos. Strangely enough, the man’s name was not on any list.

  12. Guard Bum says:

    I ran into an old guy the other day rocking a Marine Corps Veteran hat with a Scout Sniper patch sewed on and when I asked him where he went to boot camp he said Ft Bragg…

    It actually makes me sad when I see crap like this.

    • OldManchu says:

      What a rare bird. A Marine that wants Army cred.

      • Twist says:

        A whole bunch of them leave the Marines and join the Army. They are usually the ones that are tired of the crayon based diet. smile

        • Guard Bum says:

          I did 16 years in the Active Duty Marine Corps and finished with almost 9 years in the Army National Guard as an AGR. I missed the crayons but still enjoyed my Army time!

      • Comm Center Rat says:

        He got tired of being one of the few and the proud. So he decided to become an Army of One.

    • HMC Ret says:

      There is a Youtube video in which a store clerk is wearing a USMC cover or shirt and is challenged by a real Marine. He won’t come off saying he is a Hollywood Marine b/c he went to boot at Parris Island. He is a nasty little toad. It ends with the real Marine telling him he better lose the cover (or shirt, can’t recall) before a real Marine tunes him up.

  13. Outcast says:

    Hmmm, on a ship at sea, never near SEA, and POW. Interesting, let see on a AB, in VN, usually broke (wife, kid, car payment, food from EM club when chow hall was passing out free Globulin shots), off base off limits for majority of time. Wonder if that classes me as a POW or a Federal Prisoner or just a dead beat bum. Gotta ponder this for bit here.

  14. Animal says:

    “Rota is an air base, not a sea base.”

    As in Rota, Spain??? I’ll bet him a Med float that it’s a sea base.

  15. Grunt says:

    Cocksucker. In the great beyond.

  16. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    It’s a shame that whatever family and friends he may have had in life have to learn about his shitbaggery now that he is dead. The responsibility for that is this clown’s and his alone. Texas has produced many true heroes, some of whom lost their lives in combat and others who have just gone about their everyday lives w/o fanfare and glory seeking. Assholes like this guy should be vilified. I’m only sorry he’s not here to receive his reward.

  17. Cameron Kingsley says:

    Was he found and rescued by Long Duc Dong and nursed back to health through mass quantities of Cream Of Sum Yung Guy soup?

  18. 26Limabeans says:

    “Knight, who ultimately escaped via Thailand, was among a crew of 26 on the giant Lockheed Constellation”

    I was witness to the crash of an ECW-121 Constellation at Da Nang, March 1970.
    I hope this guy burns in Hell doused in High Octane avgas forever. Thanks for the memories you lying POS.

  19. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Another Stolen Valor assclown that went BALLS DEEP rocking the lie. Shit all over his name and his family with his bullshit story.

    Maybe he’s in Hell with Lawn Dart Danny, flying with no gas and crashing all over the place.

  20. Comm Center Rat says:

    Alfred Newman was a legendary Navajo Code Talker.

    John Knight was a pathetic Shit Talker.

  21. Martinjmpr says:

    Wasn’t the Cambodian government friendly to the US in the early 60’s? Or at least not openly hostile? So why would they hold a US sailor prisoner? That would be like saying he was a POW in Japan in the 1950’s.

    Note to fakers: Getting thrown in the stockade or the drunk tank does not make you a “POW.” 😉

    IIRC the Khmer Rouge didn’t take over until the mid 70’s.

  22. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    John was a Godly man

    Apparently his God was the one that didn’t mention anything about “Thou shall not bear false witness”

  23. Reaperman says:

    Wait, how does one actually have no decorations/awards? Shouldn’t there at least be a NDSM in there, or was that awarded for the period from later on?

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      [sarcasm]
      He said he was awarded the Silver Star but refused it – so that explains why that is not in his records.
      [/sarcasm]

      The exact quote from the article was:

      “Knight said he was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

      ‘But I didn’t claim it,’ he said. ‘I didn’t want anything to do with that war.'”

      • Reaperman says:

        I meant on the 214, it lists him with ‘none’ under awards, but that seems impossible to me. He probably doesn’t have the big stuff, but he’s got to have more than what was listed.

        • Hondo says:

          1. Didn’t serve long enough for a GCM (Navy required 4 years at the time), and I don’t know if short enlistments/service for first term qualified under the Navy regs of the day. Also might have had a Mast or two.

          2. NDSM wasn’t authorized for Vietnam until 1965 (later backdated until 1961). Thig guy’s active duty ended in Sep 1965. It’s possible it hadn’t been added to his records.\

          3. Don’t know when the SSDR and rifle/pistol medals/ribbons were created by the Navy, but those might not have existed then either.

          The FOIA reply should only show what’s actually in his records. If he was retroactively made eligible for something, those won’t be in his records. Ditto if it was inadvertently omitted while serving unless the clerk at NPRC is sharp.

  24. Green Thumb says:

    Just another dirtbag shaming his family from beyond the grave.

  25. Combat Historian says:

    So according to this guy, an EC-121 crashed in Cambodia in 1962 and 24 of 26 crew were killed, and USG has been able to keep this a total secret for 57 freaking years???

    Uncle Sam couldn’t even keep the TS Pentagon Papers from being declassified in 1971; how are they able to keep this air crash still under wraps, and for what reason?

    JEEBUS this guy was a fucking liar!!!

  26. rgr769 says:

    Don’t ya just love how the aging POSer shitbags just take their stolen valor lies all the way to their graves. I suppose the VA will buy him a military headstone that says he served in the Vietnam War and was a POW because some lazy bureaucrat can’t be bothered to spend five minutes to check the POW database.

  27. HMC Ret says:

    In a way I feel for the surviving family members of this guy. They weren’t part of his bullshit but only they are surviving to suffer any consequences. He must have not thought highly of his family to leave them to deal with his deception. You shouldn’t have laid this at their doorstep, man.

    • Ret_25X says:

      well, as we all know, the SV lie is usually just the cherry on top.

      I’m betting there is a high likelihood of other less than honorable issues in his life….