Last Known Activity
Charles W. Knop was born in New York state in 1919. He was a son of Charles W. and Irene Knop. All US Census records (1920,1930,and 1940) show the family residing in Chilitown, New York.
Knop enlisted on November 18, 1941 as an Aviation Cadet in Augusta, Georgia at Daniel Field. His enlistment documents state he had completed 4 years of college (unnamed), and was working in the actor/actress occupational field. The records also confirm nativity and year of birth.
He received training as a bombardier, and when the course was completed, awarded wings, commissioned, and sent for further training involving night navigation. He deployed to England, but was later transferred to Algeria. He became a member of the Bruce crew, and flew 6 missions with them.
On November 28, 1942, the designated target was in the Bizerte, Tunisia area. While flying to the target, the formation was attacked by German fighters. Knop's aircraft was shot down, and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. There were no survivors, and no bodies were recovered.
Lt Knop is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia.
US Census 1920
US Census 1940
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records
Lt Charles W. Knop was the assigned bombardier on B-17F # 41-24363, named "Bad Penny," assigned to the 32nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16197 was issued. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
Cpt John B. Bruce p
2 Lt Robert Earl c-p
2 Lt Charles Tannehill nav
2 Lt Charles W. Knop bomb
SSgt Henry P. Hughes, Jr. eng/tt gun
Sgt Leonard McGriff r/o
SSgt Alpheus Backus wg
Sgt Samuel Scott wg
Sgt Merle Gilger tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Sgt Gilger's name is given here as "Merle," but all other sources list "Merril."
The only known crew photo is from England when King George VI met the crew. Individual identification not given.
The aircraft's name comes from the adage that " A bad penny always comes back."