Richard Brady Knapp, ’39
Born in the State of Missouri on February 11, 1918 to Mrs. Ethel M. Knapp and Mr. Charles N. Knapp, Richard’s family moved to Ohio and then settled in Charlotte, North Carolina while he was still a young boy. He graduated from Charlotte Central High School in 1935 where he was a member of the Student Assembly his senior year.
At the start of the 1935-36 academic year, Richard entered The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina, with the Class of 1939. During his four years of study at The Citadel, Richard was a Cadet Private in Cadet Company A his first 3 years and Cadet 1st Lieutenant in Cadet Company B his final (Senior) year. He was also a member of the Richardson’s Rifles, a precision drill platoon, his junior and senior years. He graduated in the Spring of 1939 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Cadet First Lieutenant Richard Brady Knapp, Class of 1939
“Those of us who know him best may criticize him, but in the final analysis we must all admit that he is a ‘Citadel Man.’ ‘Dick’ was frank with others and frank with himself, with the kind of frankness that builds up, but that at times almost got him in ‘dutch.’ As a student of ‘Jewish Engineering’ he stood well in his class. With his keen insight and natural inquisitiveness, ‘Dick’ should go far in the world of business. He isn’t interested primarily in the opposite sex, but in the art of ‘woo,’ he is a picker of beauty. Local debutantes will miss this blond Romeo – so shall we. Dick will succeed. He works hard and has the character and strong courage of convictions to back it. Adios to a staunch and loyal friend.” Source: Sphinx 1939, P.209.
Richard Knapp served a year in the Army following graduation. He then went into the Reserves and returned to Charlotte where he took a job with Graybar Electric Company before being recalled to active duty in January 1942. He was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division.
A veteran of the North Africa and Sicily campaigns, 1Lt Knapp landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on June 9, 1944 with the division. On August 23, 1944, the 2nd Armored Division was assaulting the area of Evreux, France which is located on the western bank of the Seine River just south of Rouen when Lt. Knapp was killed in action. He was in command of an armored unit at that time.
His remains were initially interred at the St. Andre U.S. Military Cemetery, Evreux, France. Following the war, his family had his remains repatriated to the United States. Richard Knapp now rests in eternal peace at Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte, N.C. He was survived by his parents and a sister, Nancy Knapp Duckett, who incidentally, married a former Citadel cadet, Thomas B. Duckett, also of Charlotte, who was a member of the Class of 1942 prior to his joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941.
Charlotte Central High School yearbook 1935.
Rooster of WWII Dead, National Archives (NARA)
Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C., December 9, 1944.
1939 Sphinx, Annual of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, Charleston, S.C.
1930 U.S. Census, NARA.
Record of WWII Draft Registration, NARA.