By Matthew Saari
In preparation for Memorial Day, The Times sat down with 91-year-old Dresden resident and World War II veteran Stiling “Ty” Knight.
In so doing, Knight provided an increasingly rare, first-hand account of his involvement in one of the most significant wars in America’s history.
Knight was but 16 years old when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on Dec. 7, 1941. Knight said he was in Whitehall when the news broke over the radio.
“We were surprised because we knew we were at peace,” Knight said. “At that time I was finding out Japan had been at war with China for a number of years.”
Knight said that once Whitehall received the news of the Pearl Harbor attack, the response was, naturally, one of indignation.
“As a very patriotic and loyal town…they were anxious to become involved as much as they could,” he said. “Over the following year, many of them actually volunteered.”
“Whitehall had more people volunteer for the military per capita than anywhere else,” he said.
Knight said he volunteered for the U.S. Army at the age of 16 but it wasn’t until he turned 18 that he receive his initial orders – to report to Fort Dix, New Jersey.
“Immediately in basic training I became a rifleman in the infantry,” Knight said.
This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.