DAVID L. KING, CAPT, USMC

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
David King '70

Date of birth: January 27, 1948

Date of death: September 23, 1974

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1970 Lucky Bag:

1970 King LB.jpg

DAVID LEONARD KING

West Des Moines, Iowa

Dave came to USNA directly from high school in West Des Moines, Iowa. Plebe year presented an interesting contrast to the quiet life of the "Corn Belt," but Dave adjusted to the Naval Academy quickly. In between injuries, Dave participated in a wide range of sports at Navy, including lacrosse, wrestling, and crew. Dave was on the Dean's List until the Aero Department got ahold of him, but despite their efforts, Dave still ranks high in his class. His active social life was highlighted by his notorious trips with the Protestant Chapel Choir. While at USNA, Dave built up a reputation as a hard worker and a man to get things done. His sincere interest in the Naval Service will insure his success after leaving the Academy.


He was also a member of the 5th Company staff (fall and spring).

1970 King LB.jpg

DAVID LEONARD KING

West Des Moines, Iowa

Dave came to USNA directly from high school in West Des Moines, Iowa. Plebe year presented an interesting contrast to the quiet life of the "Corn Belt," but Dave adjusted to the Naval Academy quickly. In between injuries, Dave participated in a wide range of sports at Navy, including lacrosse, wrestling, and crew. Dave was on the Dean's List until the Aero Department got ahold of him, but despite their efforts, Dave still ranks high in his class. His active social life was highlighted by his notorious trips with the Protestant Chapel Choir. While at USNA, Dave built up a reputation as a hard worker and a man to get things done. His sincere interest in the Naval Service will insure his success after leaving the Academy.


He was also a member of the 5th Company staff (fall and spring).

Obituary

From Tom Carpenter ’70 (via Mike Novak '70):

After graduation, Dave reported to the Basic School at Quantico, VA where he underwent training as a Marine Infantry Officer. Since he had selected Marine Air, his next duty station was NAS Pensacola, Florida where he excelled. Again graduating in the top of his flight school class, Dave selected jets and in November 1972, pinned on his Naval Aviator wings. His initial assignment in the Corps was at MCAS Cherry Point, NC where he underwent further training at VMAT 203 in the TA-4J and A-4M Skyhawk.

In December 1973 1st Lt King was transferred to his first operational squadron VMA-331 located at MCAS Beaufort, SC. In a short time, he became qualified as a section leader and was part of the S-3, Operations Department where he was the scheduling officer.

Dave had always been a high performer. While at Beaufort he decided he wanted to become a medical doctor. He planned on completing his initial obligation and thereafter attend medical school under a Navy medical scholarship program. He had been accepted to both programs when he deployed, in September 1974, with VMA-331 to MCAS Yuma Arizona.

On September 23, 1974, Captain King, while flying a night low level bombing mission, at one of the ranges at MCAS Yuma, was killed when the A-4M he was piloting impacted the desert at a high rate of speed. On September 30, 1974, his remains were interred, with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice E. King of West Des Moines, Iowa, survive him.

From The Des Moines Register on September 26, 1974:

Born in Topeka, Kan., Lieutenant King was a graduate of Valley High School and of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He was a career Marine and was a member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association, and of the West Des Moines United Methodist Church. He was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 331 at Beaufort, S.C., and was temporarily assigned to a base in Yuma for training. Survivors include his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Maurice King of West Des Moines, and two sisters, Mrs. Paulette McCarthy and Mrs. Diane Crone, both of West Des Moines.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.



Class of 1970

David is one of 20 members of the Class of 1970 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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