Donald Gerald Knight, grew up in Medford and enlisted into the Navy when he was 17. He completed Basic Training at the Naval Training Center in San Diego then headed to Norfolk, VA for Radar School in 1959. He was assigned to the USS Chilton when he graduated. The Chilton was an attack transporter.
He spent 5 months in the Mediterranean aboard USS Chilton. He continued his education and became a Radarman 3rd Class. He went on with his education and was awarded Radarman 1st Class.
He re-enlisted for another 4 years. In 1964, he was transferred to the USS Turner Joy a destroyer. During his time on the USS Turner Joy he served 3 tours in Vietnam. He and his ship was part of history as part of the Gulf of Tonkin war. My father described the torpedoes coming after his boat and they truly were in a battle. Due to the Tonkin Gulf attack this brought the US actively into war in August 1964. He was awarded a Presidential Commendation by President Johnson, the Navy Unit Citation by the Secretary of the Navy, and the Vietnam Service Medal for his actions during the Gulf of Tonkin.
After 2 more years overseas, he took an assignment as an instructor in 1967 as a Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center/Fleet Computer on Point Loma. In January 1970, he took his Honorable discharge for giving 10.5 years active service. After he left the Navy, he went on to work at Hughes Aircraft.
He never gave up Hope, Perseverance. He always went to the top for anything. No was not in his vocabulary. He loved the United States Navy. He was 100% disabled due to loss of hearing from a gunner exploding next to him.