Veteran of three wars to speak here Sunday

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

By Lynda Potts

Special to the Tribune

Retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Knie, U.S. Air Force, will be the guest speaker at the quarterly meeting of the Marshall County Historical Society this Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m.

Knie, who is now 90 years old, grew up in New London, Conn., where his father was stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He found his way to Marshall County after he and his wife Toni both retired. They had made numerous visits to the Walking Horse Celebration, and liked the rolling countryside and changing seasons of Middle Tennessee.

Knie is a veteran of three wars -- World War II, Korea, and Vietnam -- and had a distinguished 30-year career as an Air Force pilot. Included in his service were 13 combat missions, flying B24 bombers in WWII, 150 combat cargo missions during the Korean War, and 110 night gunship missions during Vietnam. He was the oldest pilot flying in Vietnam.

He is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the Armed Forces Staff College, and the USAF School of Advanced Management.

After military retirement, he served as director of the Home Builders' Trade Association for Charlotte, N.C., and later the Association in Birmingham, Ala.

Among his many accolades are the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star medals, 15 air medals, a USAF commendation medal, and the Distinguished Service medal.

Knie will have several of his model ships on display at the meeting Sunday. It is free and open to the public. The Historical Society meets in the museum at the Hardison Office Annex, 230 College Street, Lewisburg.