The University of Southern Mississippi -- de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
de Grummond Collection Home
Contributor List & Finding Aid Index| Special Collections

Manuscript Collection

Collection Title: Clayton Knight Papers

Collection Number: DG0559

Inclusive Dates: 1938-1968

Volume: .60 cu. ft. (1 box)

Provenance : Materials donated by Clayton Knight in 1968 and 1969.

Copyright: The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code).  Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research."  It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.

Biographical Sketch:

Clayton Knight was born in Rochester, New York, on March 30, 1891, to Frederick Clayton and Elizabeth (Brooks) Knight.  He served in the U.S. Air Service as a pilot during World War I. Knight married Katharine Sturges, an artist and writer, in 1922 and flew around South  America in 1937.  He was a special correspondent for the Associated Press in England and Iceland in 1942 and a combat historian with the U.S. Air Forces  in Alaska, the Aleutians, and the Central Pacific in 1943-45.  After the war, Knight commenced a career writing and illustrating books on aviation subjects.  His son is children's book author and illustrator Hilary Knight. 

Clayton Knight died on July 17, 1969.



Contemporary Authors: Permanent Series, ed. Clare D. Kinsman (Detroit: Gale Research, 1975), 1:352-353.

Scope and Content:

The Clayton Knight Papers contain two illustrations and two letters created by Clayton Knight between 1938 and 1968.  His papers were created from his illustration of the Sunday comic strip Hall of Fame of the Air, his composition of the book Skyroad to Mystery, and his sending of two letters to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. The material is organized into three series: Hall of Fame of the Air, Skyroad to Mystery, and Letters Sent.

The first illustration is a watercolor illustration for the King Features Syndicate Sunday comic strip Hall of Fame of the Air that Knight drew in consultation with Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. This particular strip spotlighted Grady Touchstone, a Hattiesburg, MS native and pilot in the First World War, and was drawn for publication on November 20, 1938. The second illustration is an ink drawing for page 99 of Knight's self-written and self-illustrated children's book, Skyroad to Mystery (1949). Finally, the two letters sent to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection in 1966 and 1968 were photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Collection because they provide information on the creation and content of the two illustrations.

Series and Subseries:

A. Hall of Fame of the Air (1938)

B. Skyroad to Mystery (1949)

C. Letters Sent (1966-1968)

Box Inventory


A. "Grady Touchstone," Hall of Fame of the Air by Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and Clayton Knight (King Features Syndicate, 20 November 1938)


Watercolor illustration for complete Sunday comic strip, November 1938, 1 item


B. Skyroad to Mystery written and illustrated by Clayton Knight (New York: Knopf, 1949).


Matted ink illustration for p. 99, 1 item


C. Letters Sent


Photocopies of letters sent to Lena de Grummond, May 1966-February 1968, 2 items


Processed by Hans Rasmussen, June 2003.  

This finding aid is the product of a grant funded  by the National  Endowment for the Humanities.


Created by: Hans Rasmussen
Prepared and maintained by
University of Southern Mississippi Libraries de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Please send comments or questions to
Revised: April 20, 2016