From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Joseph King, Jr. '83

Date of birth: May 22, 1961

Date of death: March 15, 1997

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

1983 King LB.jpg



HH-60H "Seahawk" of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 3, based at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida, crashed off North Carolina while operating from USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). LCDR Joseph F. King, LT Christopher D. Buckley, AWC Andrew K. Baker, and AW2 Edward J. Kos were killed. 13 Mar. 1997.


From the July/August 1997 issue of Shipmate:

Lieutenant Commander Joseph F. King, Jr. was lost at sea on 13 March 1997, when his Seahawk helicopter went down while conducting night operations from JOHN F. KENNEDY off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts. A Memorial Service was held fer LCDR King and his crew at NAS Jacksonville on 26 March by his squadron, HS-3. On 4 April, a Memorial Mass was offered at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, VA, followed by a flag presentation ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. LCDR King's body, along with two of his crew, was recovered on 27 April during the salvage of his aircraft. His remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on 9 May 1997.

Joe, a Navy junior, was raised in Hampton, VA and entered the Naval Academy with the Class of 1983. He was awarded his Wings of Gold in February 1985. In June of that year he married Bonnie Frank of Ellicott City, MD. Joe's initial assignment was in HS-15 where he made two Mediterranean deployments. Following a tour as an instructor pilot with HS-1, Joe retumed to sea duty in HS-11 where he participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After a Washington tour on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower and Personnel), LCDR King transitioned to the H-60 Seahawk at HS-1. He then reported the HS-3 Tridents in October 1995, and was the Operations Officer of the squadron at the time of his death.

LCDR King's awards included the Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy Achievement Medal (3), Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation and other service medals.

Joe completed the Naval Academy with a perfect record in conduct to the amazement of his Classmates and family. He loved flying and he loved being in the Navy. He had zest for life and he brought that enthusiasm to every assignment. His positive attitude as well as his sense of mischief and humor were infectious. His Classmates from 25th Company will always have fond memories of Joe. It was an honor and a joy to be a part of his Iife.

Of all his accomplishments, Joe especially took pride in his role as a husband and father. More than anything, he loved his family. He was the beloved husband of Bonnie, devoted father of five daughters, Brittany, Courtney, Chelsea, Sydney and Mallory; cherished son of Joe and Niki King (Class of 1959); and treasured brother of Kelly (Class of 1984), Stephen, Elizabeth, and Kathryn. He is also survived by a host of other family and friends.

A memorial fund has been established for the King children. Contributions may be addressed to: "The Children of Joseph F. King Jr." Jacksonville Federal Credit Union, PO Box 45085, Jacksonville, FL 32232-5085.

Class of 1983

Joseph is one of 9 members of the Class of 1983 on Virtual Memorial Hall.