A fourth Knox brother is the veteran of the month
Knox family members gather after the veteran of the month service honoring Joseph M. Knox Jr., on Saturday. Knox's son, Patrick Knox is standing in the center, and his brother, Tony Knox is seated on the far right. BZ photos
American Legion Post 44 of Bantam honored the late Joseph M. Knox Jr. as its veteran of the month on Saturday.
Knox, who served as a Navy chief petty officer in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, was recognized at the Bantam Borough Hall during the 348th consecutive veteran of the month service.
Knox’s son, Patrick Knox of Venice, Fla., participated in the service as did Tony Knox of Litchfield, Knox’s only surviving brother.
Post 44 previously honored Thomas Knox, James Knox and William Knox, brothers of Joseph M. Knox Jr., as veterans of the month. All three also served in the Navy.
Joseph M. Knox graduated from Litchfield High School in 1941 and enlisted in the Navy at the age of 19. After basic training in Newport, R.I., and advanced training at the Navy submarine base in New London, Knox was assigned to the USS Bowfin, an attack submarine.
Knox served on the Bowfin from 1943 to 1946 and participated in nine war patrols that saw the Bowfin sink nine Japanese ships in the Pacific.
Knox, who was born Oct. 10, 1922 in Waterbury, was discharged from the Navy in 1946 and returned to Litchfield. But he decided to re-enlist in the Navy and spent the next 27 years in the service.
During his career in the Navy, Knox served on nine attack submarines and was stationed in New London and Groton, San Diego, Calif., and at the Naval Communication Station in Morocco, Africa.
While on leave in 1955, he met his future wife, Martha. Twenty-eight days after meeting, they were married.
For his service, Knox received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Area Medal with two stars, the China Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Navy UnitCommendation Ribbon, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Submarine Combat Insignia Pin with seven stars, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
After discharge from active duty, Knox completed his military career in the Navy Reserves. He returned to Litchfield and held a maintenance job at the former Litchfield Junior High School and worked as a bartender at American Legion Post 27. He moved to Florida in 1977.
Knox was a parishioner of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Mary Esther, Fla. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He died on his 93rd birthday in 2015 and was buried with full military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla. In addition to his son and brother, he is survived by daughters Amelia Hansen and Charlene Johnson, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Below, a large crowd filled the Bantam Borough Hall for the service.