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:

1915 King LB.jpg

Archer Emmet King, Jr.

Roanoke, Virginia

"Archie"

A QUIET chap is Arch, with a smile full of sympathy, understanding and charm. His seeming calm is only a cloak for the real man underneath—a man of courage and earnestness. When he starts in to do a thing, it's "four bells and a jingle." He gets there because he plays the game hard, his whole heart in it. Why, one night in Gib–er–ah---.

Arch has one fault: he always disagrees with Doc Watson, and the ensuing noise stops the conversation of the whole wing of the mess-hall up to the O. C.'s table. When Doc went up to the staff table himself it rather put a damper on their arguments, in which neither was ever known to have convinced the other of anything.

Second Class cruise was Archie's big summer. With Angel and Bates, of limousine fame, Archie spent a feverish summer, with engagements piling up beyond any possible number of liberties. Oh, dear!

How many times he has backed a winning combination in the stock market it would be hard to say. Considering, however, that every so often he digresses into that wonderful pipe-dream world of "cit" life, where one can have a HOME, it's safe to believe that the killings have been many.

He has a pretty definite idea about everything and exact information with which to back up his ideas. What is more to his credit, he doesn't display his knowledge unless you ask him for it, and even then he does it in a way that makes you feel pretty savvy yourself. It's a Hooray Yell for you. Arch!

1915 King LB.jpg

Archer Emmet King, Jr.

Roanoke, Virginia

"Archie"

A QUIET chap is Arch, with a smile full of sympathy, understanding and charm. His seeming calm is only a cloak for the real man underneath—a man of courage and earnestness. When he starts in to do a thing, it's "four bells and a jingle." He gets there because he plays the game hard, his whole heart in it. Why, one night in Gib–er–ah---.

Arch has one fault: he always disagrees with Doc Watson, and the ensuing noise stops the conversation of the whole wing of the mess-hall up to the O. C.'s table. When Doc went up to the staff table himself it rather put a damper on their arguments, in which neither was ever known to have convinced the other of anything.

Second Class cruise was Archie's big summer. With Angel and Bates, of limousine fame, Archie spent a feverish summer, with engagements piling up beyond any possible number of liberties. Oh, dear!

How many times he has backed a winning combination in the stock market it would be hard to say. Considering, however, that every so often he digresses into that wonderful pipe-dream world of "cit" life, where one can have a HOME, it's safe to believe that the killings have been many.

He has a pretty definite idea about everything and exact information with which to back up his ideas. What is more to his credit, he doesn't display his knowledge unless you ask him for it, and even then he does it in a way that makes you feel pretty savvy yourself. It's a Hooray Yell for you. Arch!

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 or embarked at this command:
1LT Frederick Chappelle '20 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy)
January 1927
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Academy


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

July 1931
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

October 1931
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

January 1932
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

April 1932
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

October 1932
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

January 1933
Lieutenant Commander, Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia

April 1933
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B)
July 1933
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma

October 1933
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Oklahoma

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 alumni in Memorial Hall.