From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Michael King '79

Date of birth: May 28, 1957

Date of death: October 31, 1988

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1979 Lucky Bag:


From The Deseret News on November 1, 1988:

U.S. Marine Corps officials on Tuesday identified the four Marines killed in a helicopter crash Monday in a training area on Okinawa island.

Killed were Maj. Richard J. Eisloeffel, 34, of El Cajon, Calif.; Capt. Michael F. King, 31, of Bend, Ore.; Cpl. Sean M. Timmons, 20, Isle of Palms, S.C.; and Cpl. Charles F. Dehn II, 20, of Glendale, Ore. The accident occurred when two CH-46 helicopters apparently collided while conducting routine training operations, a United States Forces official said Tuesday.

One of the helicopters crashed in mountainous terrain near the Marine Corps base camp in Futenma, Okinawa, about 970 miles south of Tokyo. The other returned to the air station with a missing nose strut.

There were no casualties in the second helicopter. Both helicopters were assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-262 based at Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma.


From the March 1989 issue of Shipmate:

Capt. Michael E King USMC, died on 31 October 1988 in the crash of a Marine CH-46E helicopter on Okinawa, Japan. Also killed were fellow crew members Maj. Richard J. Eisloeffel, USMC, USNA '76, and two Marine corporals. A memorial service was held at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and burial was on 9 November in Arlington National Cemetery.

A foreign service brat, Michael lived with his parents in many places around the world as a youth. He attended Bullis Preparatory School in Washington, D.C, graduating as Salutatorian in 1975. Michael was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Oregon, was a member of the 11th company and graduated with merit in 1979.

Commissioned a Second Lieutenant, he graduated from the Basic School with honors, attended flight training in Pensacola and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1981.

While deployed with HMM-162 homeported in New River, North Carolina, Michael was assigned to the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. He piloted the first helicopter to arrive at the Marine Barracks after the terrorist bombing, and participated in evacuation of the wounded. For his actions he was awarded two Air Medals, two Navy Unit Citations, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon.

Following his return from Beirut, Michael served in a variety of Marine Corps Aviation billets, made a 1985 Mediterranean cruise with HMM-162 aboard USS SAIPAN, and in 1987 graduated from Amphibious Warfare School tops in his class.

Assigned to Hawaii in 1987, he resumed flying duties with HMM-262. With the squadron's deployment to Okinawa in July of this year, Michael assumed the duties of Aviation Liaison Officer to the Marine Corps Special Operations Training Group.

Michael was a life member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and a member of the United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his wife Constance Pruett King of Kaneohe Bay Hawaii, twins born 9 May 1988, Kathryn Elizabeth and William Michael King, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Ferris of Bend, Oregon, and a sister Mrs. Jay Jones of Los Angeles, California.

The family suggests memorial donations to the Navy Relief Society.

Michael is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Related Articles

Richard Eisloeffel '76 was also lost in this accident.

Class of 1979

Michael is one of 15 members of the Class of 1979 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.