Alfred King King

No. 5510 Class of 1916. His Service, the circumstances of his death needs to be read in detail. FA Killed in Action at approximently two PM, Lanenville, France November 10,1918. Awarded DSC

Alfred King

Alfred King

Major Alfred King King was born at Geneva, Ohio, on February 7, 1892. Received his education in the public schools of Cleveland, North Carolina Military Academy, public schools of Painesville, graduating from Painesville High School in June, 1911. Spent the winter of 1911-12 at a preparatory school in Washington, D. C., and entered the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, N. Y., on June 14, 1912, graduating on June 13, 1916, receiving his commission as Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery on that date.

Was promoted to rank of First Lieutenant of F. A. on July 1, 1916; to the rank of Captain of F. A. on May 15, 1917, to the rank of Major of F. A. July 3, 1918, while on the battle fields near Chateau-Thierry, France, serving as Captain of B Battery, Tenth Field Artillery, fighting in the second battle of the Marne. On August 1, 1918, Major King was ordered to the Fifth Army Corps headquarters and put in charge of ammunition in the St. Mihiel sector.

Major King served under General Pershing in Mexico from October, 1916, to February, 1917. Major King was stationed at Douglas, Arizona, from February, 1917, until March, 1918, with the exception of three months spent at the School of Fire, Fort Sill, Okla., during the summer of 1917. While at Douglas, Arizona, the 10th F. A. was created and at one time Captain King was in command of the regiment. The 10th F. A. left Douglas on March 22, 1918, and sailed from New York for France on April 23, 1918.

Major King was married to Miss Ruth Watkins, of Douglas, Arizona, on February 2, 1918.

He was killed in action on November 10, 1918, near Lanenville, France, while inspecting the supply of ammunition of the 89th Division, 5th Army Corps.

He leaves a wife, little daughter, Margaret Alfred, a mother, father, sister and brother.
The boy gave promise of the man, ever active and ambitious he was always anxious and ready to leave his play for business, which generally came to him unsolicited; for anything that he undertook he accomplished with all his heart and soul. He was a lovable and beautiful child and the purest minded, cleanest hearted man I ever knew.

The accompanying voluntary communications from his associates and comrades in arms are chosen from many similar ones and speak for themselves. His achievements and his memory will be cherished and live in the hearts of those who knew and loved him:
“The terrible news only reached me today and I’ve been thinking of the circumstances under which I saw King for the last time, on about October 15th. I am going to describe the scene because it was so typical of him.

It was in a deep dugout, lit only by a few flickering candles. Colonel Lloyd was there, Captain Luke, the telephone operator, and one or two others were stretched out on the ground trying to snatch a few hours sleep.

The door opened. It was King. Plastered with mud from head to foot, unshaven, with shadows under his eyes that spoke of no sleep in many days-dog tired, yet refusing even to sit down while there was still work to be done-there he stood. His coming was an event-he simply had to stay while the Colonel and every one present told him how glad they all were to see him even for a moment. He had been to the front lines. After his own work was done he had gone there to get the exact information that he knew the General needed. I didn’t know, but I surmised that while there he had probably done even more than get information; and then in that modest way of his, he told how he had taken charge of a company of machine gunners and led them through the enemy fire to a point where they could sweep the whole valley instead of only a small part of it. He had cleared a bad traffic jam – he had succeeded in getting rations to troops that had not eaten for days. I venture to say that he had accomplished still other things that day while getting information; he only mentioned those incidents when we prodded him.
Then Colonel Lloyd told him how he had tried to get him back to the Tenth; had asked the General to let him have his old Major back again. ‘Who’s your old Major? What? King? You go to h-; we need him!’ That’s what the corps commander thought of him.

He stayed with us only a few minutes and then went into the night. When he was gone, some one said, ‘There goes a Man,’ and it was an expression of the thought we all had.
Now he’s gone. He died as he would have chosen to die-in battle! He had won the respect and admiration of his superiors and he was positively idolized by both the officers and men who served under him at Chateau-Thierry. He had played his part magnificently. He triumphed; his life was complete.”

In a lecture to the officers of the Fifth Army Corps on the admin-
istration and supply of the corps the following tribute was paid Major King by Colonel A. W. Foreman, General Staff:

“I wish to pay a tribute here to the memory of a. true soldier, Major Alfred K. King, Assistant G-1, West Point, Class of 1916, who was killed at Lanenville about two p.m. on the 10th of November, 1918. He was a trustworthy assistant and loyal friend. During the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne operation, his duties were performed efficiently and promptly in spite of the difficulties caused by inadequate transportation, few and poor roads, and enemy fire. To my personal knowledge, shortage of ammunition was never a problem in the 5th Corps; this is due to the untiring efforts of Major King. Personal danger exercised no deterrent influence upon his efforts, and time after time he escaped death by the narrowest margin.

In the face of every difficulty and danger his always present cheerfulness and optimism was an example and an inspiration to all of’ us. He died as a good soldier would wish to die, ‘as die we may and die we must.’ Let us bestow tears upon his loss, glory upon his achievements, and love and pride upon his character. May he rest in peace in his home on the banks of the Meuse.”

Major King was awarded posthumously the Distinguished Service Cross for “exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services.”

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