Ernest Joseph King (23 November 1878 – 25 June 1956) was Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (COMINCH) and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during World War II.As COMINCH-CNO, he directed the United States Navy's operations, planning, and administration and was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Jul 15, 2016 · Ernest Joseph King was born in Lorain, Ohio, on November 23, 1878. Prior to graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1901, his class saw brief Spanish-American War service. Five years of sea duty were followed by three years instructing in ordnance and gunnery at the Naval Academy.
- Early Life
- Surface Ships
- World War Two
King was born in Lorain, Ohio, on 23 November 1878, the son of James Clydesdale King and Elizabath Keam King. He attended the United States Naval Academyfrom 1897 until 1901, graduating fourth in his class. During his senior year at the Academy, he attained the rank of Midshipman Lieutenant Commander, the highest midshipman ranking at that time.
While still at the Academy, he served on the USS San Francisco during the Spanish American War. After graduation, he served as a junior officer on the survey ship USS Eagle, the battleships USS Illinois, USS Alabama and USS New Hampshire, and the cruiser USS Cincinnati.While at the Naval Academy, he met Martha Rankin ("Mattie") Egerton, a Baltimore socialite, whom he married in a ceremony at the Naval Academy Chapel on 10 October 1905.They had six daughters, Claire, Elizabeth, Florence, Martha, Eleanor and Mildred; and then a son, Ernest Joseph King, Jr. (Commander, USN ret.). King returned to shore duty at Annapolis in 1912. He received his first command, the destroyer USS Terry in 1914, participating in the United States occupation of Veracruz. He then moved on to a more modern ship, USS Cassin. During World War I he served on the staff of Vice Admiral Henry T. Mayo, the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet. As such, he was a frequent visitor to the Royal Navy and occasionally saw a...
Before World War I he served in the surface fleet. From 1923 to 1925, he held several posts associated with submarines. As a junior captain, the best sea command he was able to secure in 1921 was the store ship USS Bridge. The relatively new submarine force offered the prospect of advancement. King attended a short training course at the Naval Submarine Base New London before taking command of a submarine division, flying his commodore's pennant from USS S-20. He never earned his Submarine Warfare insignia, although he did propose and design the now-familiar dolphin insignia. In 1923, he took over command of the Submarine Base itself. During this period, he directed the salvage of USS S-51, earning the first of his three Distinguished Service Medals.
In 1926, Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer), asked King if he would consider a transfer to naval aviation. King accepted the offer and took command of the aircraft tender USS Wrightwith additional duties as senior aide on the staff of Commander, Air Squadrons, Atlantic Fleet. That year, the United States Congress passed a law (10 USC Sec. 5942) requiring commanders of all aircraft carriers, seaplane tenders, and aviation shore establishments be qualified naval aviators. King therefore reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola for aviator training in January 1927. He was the only captain in his class of twenty, which also included Commander Richmond K. Turner. King received his wings as naval aviator No. 3368 on 26 May 1927 and resumed command of Wright. For a time, he frequently flew solo, flying down to Annapolis for weekend visits to his family, but his solo flying was cut short by a naval regulation prohibiting solo flights for aviators aged...
King's career was resurrected by his friend, CNO Admiral Harold "Betty" Stark, who realized King's talent for command was being wasted on the General Board. Stark appointed King as Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet in the fall of 1940, and he was promoted to admiral in February 1941. On 30 December 1941 he became Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet. On 18 March 1942, he was appointed Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), relieving Stark. He is the only person to hold this combined command. After turning 64 on 23 November 1944, he wrote a message to President Roosevelt to say he had reached mandatory retirement age. Roosevelt replied with a note reading "So what, old top?". On 17 December 1944 he was promoted to the newly created rank of fleet admiral. He left active duty on 15 December 1945 but was recalled as an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy in 1950.After retiring, King lived in Washington, D.C.. He was active in his early post-retirement (serving as president of the Naval H...
King was highly intelligent and extremely capable, but controversial. Some consider him to have been one of the greatest admirals of the 20th century; others, however, point out that he never commanded ships or fleets at sea in war time, and that his anglophobia led him to make decisions which cost many Allied lives. Others see as indicative of strong leadership his willingness and ability to counter both British and U.S. Army influence on American World War II strategy, and praise his sometimes outspoken recognition of the strategic importance of the Pacific War. His instrumental role in the decisive Guadalcanal Campaign has earned him admirers in the United States and Australia, and some also consider him an organizational genius.He was demanding and authoritarian, and could be abrasive and abusive to subordinates. King was widely respected for his ability, but not liked by many of the officers he commanded. There was a tongue-in-cheek remark about King, made by one of his daughte...
The guided missile destroyer USS King was named in his honor. A major high school in his hometown of Lorain, Ohio, also bore his name (Admiral King High School) until it was merged with the city's other high school in 2010. In 2011 Lorain dedicated a Tribute Space at Admiral King's birthplace, and new elementary school in Lorain will bear his name. Also named after him is the Department of Defense high school on Sasebo Naval Base, in Japan. The dining hall at the U.S. Naval Academy, King Hall, is named after him. The auditorium at the Naval Postgraduate School, King Hall, is also named after him. In 1956, schools located on the U.S. Naval Bases and Air Stations were given names of U.S. heroes of the past. The Sasebo Dependents School was named after the famed World War II Hero, Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. Thus, the official name of Ernest J. King School, Navy 3912, FPO San Francisco, California, became effective School Year 1956/57. Recognizing King's great personal and profession...
Mar 01, 2021 · Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, was a spare, no-nonsense officer with a strong distaste for publicity, some enemies among the Army and British brass, and one of the sharpest strategic minds in Washington. C.L. Sulzberger, in The American Heritage Picture History of World War II (1966), p. 335
H-008-5: Admiral Ernest J. King—Chief of Naval Operations, 1942. Admiral Ernest J. King (CNO/COMINCH), center, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (CINPAC-POA), left, and Admiral William F. Halsey (COMSOPACFOR), right, at CINPAC HQ, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 28 September 1943, when King held conferences there. This photo has been signed by all three ...
- Personal Relations
- Personal Background and Early Life
- Military Service History
- Later Years and Death
Ernest J. King was married to Baltimore aristocrat named Martha "Mattie" Rankin Egerton. He met Egerton while he was attending the Naval Academy then ultimately married on October 10. 1905 in a ceremony that was held at the Naval Academy Chapel. The couple had seven children together comprised of six daughters, namely Claire, Elizabeth, Florence, Martha, Eleanor, Mildred, and finally a son named Ernest Joseph King, Jr.
Born as Ernest Joseph King on November 23, 1878, in Lorain, Ohio, he was the son of Elizabeth Keam and James Clydesdale King. As a child, he was exceptionally bright, so it came as no surprise when he graduated from Lorrain High School at the top of his class in 1897. Upon graduating, he enrolled at the United States Naval Academy and attained the topmost ranking at the time on his senior year: midshipman lieutenant commander. While attending the Naval Academy, he got to experience first-hand serving as a Naval sailor when he served during the Spanish-American War on the cruiser USS San Francisco.King graduated ranked fourth in his class in 1901.
Already having his first on-hand experience, Ernest J. King served as a junior officer on many surveys, cruiser, and battleships upon graduation such as the USS Eagle, the USS Illinois, the USS Alabama, the USS Hampshire, and the USS Cincinnati. His first command was in 1914 where he was responsible for the destroyer USS Terry which took part in the American occupation of Veracruz. During World War I, he came under the service of Atlantic Fleet's Commander in Chief, Vice Admiral Henry T. Mayo. While in the Fleet, he spent a lot of time alongside the Royal Navy from which he developed an Anglophobia without an apparent reason. He was also awarded for the first time during this service where he received the Navy Cross for his service as theAtlantic Fleet's assistant chief of staff. Before World War II officially broke out, Ernest J. Kingexperienced handling submarines for two years from 1923 until 1925. Before handling them, he had undergone a short training course in London at the ne...
King retired from active duty on December 15, 1945, but was still considered as an officer of the Navy. Upon retiring, he resided in Washington D.C. and served in the Naval Historical Foundation as its president for 3 years from 1946 until 1949. In 1950, he served as an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, but due to his declining health, he was unfit to work for the long term. King suffered from a fatal heart attack at the age of 77 while in Kittery, Maine on June 25, 1956. He was later buried in Annapolis, Maryland at the United States Naval Academy and was joined by his wife upon herdeath in 1969.
Ernest Joseph King, (born November 23, 1878, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.—died June 25, 1956, Portsmouth, New Hampshire), American admiral who was commander in chief of U.S. naval forces and chief of naval operations throughout most of World War II. He masterminded the successful U.S. military campaign against Japan in the Pacific.
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