ARCHER E. KING, JR., CDR, USN (RET.)

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Archer King, Jr. '15

Date of birth: September 14, 1893

Date of death: January 7, 1944

Age: 50

Lucky Bag

From the 1915 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Archer was lost on January 7, 1944 when USS St. Augustine (PG 54) was rammed and sunk by a merchant ship off of Cape May, New Jersey. Only 30 of 145 men aboard survived the sinking. Following the collision, which occurred just before midnight on January 6, St. Augustine sank in 5 minutes. Seas were high and the wind was blowing over 35 mph.

He was aboard as the convoy commodore; the ship's commanding officer was a Lieutenant.

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Archer’s father was a well-known lawyer and judge in Roanoke, Virginia. His mother was Laura, and his brothers were John, William and Courtney. His father died in 1931, and his mother in 1935.

Archer married Isabel Marvin on December 12, 1925, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Archer Emmet King III was born in 1926 and died in 2005. Son Robert Marvin King was Class of 1950. Isabel died in 1997.

Archer had just returned from Trinidad on the S.S. Esso Little Rock on December 22, 1943, at New York City. He was a Commodore who arrived with Commander DeForest Trautman, Lieutenant Paul Bidwell, and six other Navy men. He was next on the gunboat St. Augustine, presumably as its convoy commodore, which was part of convoy NK-588 headed for Key West, and then on to Guantanamo. The convoy included a tanker (Tydol Gas) and two Coast Guard cutters Argo and Thetis.

He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

He is listed on the retired list in the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1944.

Information above from headstone requests and the war diary of the US Naval Base, Cape May, NJ.

Family

Archer's son, Robert King '50, is also in Memorial Hall.

Bronze Star

Unable to find a citation for the Bronze Star medal cited on his memorial marker.

Memorial Hall Error

Archer is not listed with his classmates in Memorial Hall.

He was identified through the diligent efforts of Leslie Poche, a volunteer who combed through Shipmate issues to find operational losses not accounted for in Memorial Hall. From the September 1946 issue: "KING, ARCHER EMMET, Commander, USN. Declared dead 7 January 1944, USS St. Augustine."

The Register of Alumni gives his name, rank, and date of loss.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1916

Ensign, USS Hannibal

January 1917

Ensign, USS Delaware

March 1918

Lieutenant, USS South Carolina

January 1919

Lieutenant, USS South Carolina

January 1920

Lieutenant, USS O-5

January 1921

Lieutenant, USS South Carolina

July 1923

Lieutenant, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut


Others at this command:

September 1923

Lieutenant, USS S-19

November 1923

Lieutenant, USS S-19

January 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

March 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

May 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

July 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

September 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

November 1924

Lieutenant, USS S-19

January 1925

Lieutenant, USS S-26

March 1925

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-11

May 1925

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-21

July 1925

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-11

October 1925

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-11

January 1926

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-11

October 1926

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Academy


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

1LT Frederick Chappelle '20 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy)

January 1927

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Academy


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

1LT Frederick Chappelle '20 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy)

July 1928

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

October 1928

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

January 1929

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

April 1929

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

July 1929

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

October 1929

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

January 1930

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Sharkey

April 1930

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Barney

October 1930

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Reuben James


Others at this command:

January 1931

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

April 1931

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

July 1931

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

October 1931

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

January 1932

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

April 1932

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

October 1932

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

January 1933

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Others at this command:

April 1933

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B)

July 1933

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at this command:

October 1933

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at this command:

April 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma

July 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Aviation Unit)

October 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Aviation Unit)

January 1935

Lieutenant Commander, navigator, USS Arkansas

April 1935

Lieutenant Commander, 1st Lieutenant, USS Arkansas


Others at this command:

October 1935

Lieutenant Commander, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia


Others at this command:

January 1936

Lieutenant Commander, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia


Others at this command:

April 1936

Lieutenant Commander, home without orders

July 1936

retired as LCDR June 30, 1936

June 1940

Retired LCDR, living in Norfolk, Virginia

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, retired on active list, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, retired on active list, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia


Class of 1915

Archer is one of 18 members of the Class of 1915 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.