Adrian Edmund Knott was a native of Central Falls, Rhode Island and a 1933 graduate of Central Falls High School. He was an excellent scholar and athlete. Adrian entered Rhode Island State College in September 1933 with the Class of 1937 majoring in Engineering. He enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. Adrian attended Rhode Island State College for three semesters.
Adrian was known in his family as “Uncle Aid” and worked as a bus driver from February 1935 to September 1943 before joining the Army on 7 September 1943. Private Knott was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia to attend Infantry Basic Training. World War II Infantry Basic Training existed for the purpose of conditioning men to thrive on the battlefield.
Private Knott was assigned as an Infantry Rifleman to the 351st Infantry “Spear Head” Regiment, 88th Infantry “Blue Devils” Division at Camp Grubed, Oklahoma. He deployed with the 88th Infantry Division to Italy in February 1944. The 351st Infantry Regiment would fight the most important battle on the Italian peninsula during the period 11-14 May 1944 with its main objective being the Santa Maria Infante. The town was occupied, and the German Gustav Line was smashed. The 351st Infantry Regiment was cited for outstanding performance of duty in combat action during the period 9 -13 July 1944 in the vicinity of Santa Maria/Laiatice, Italy.
Sadly, Private Adrian E. Knott was killed in action during the battle. For his actions, Private Adrian Edmund Knott was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. His conspicuous gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflected great credit upon him, his family and the University of Rhode Island.
Private Adrian E. Knott’s remains were initially buried in Follonicci, Italy and were returned home on 9 March 1949. He was laid to rest in Moshassuck Cemetery, Central Falls, Rhode Island with full military honors. The tombstone has the emblem of two infantry crossed rifles at the top and the words: “In memory of my beloved husband.” He was survived by his wife Alma.
Private Adrian E. Knott, U.S. Army, was a hero in defeating the German Forces during World War II. He is another son of Rhode Island and America who answered the call to duty and gave his life during World War II. He is a heroic member of the “Greatest Generation.”