Henry Alexander King DSO, RN

Born  18 Mar 1901Clent in Worcestershire
Died  28 Jul 1986(85)Hampshire


15 Jul 1922 S.Lt.
15 Aug 1923 Lt.
15 Aug 1931 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1936 Cdr.
30 Jun 1942 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jul 1951


23 Dec 1939 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
8 Jan 1942 DSO
1 Jan 1952 CBE

Warship Commands listed for Henry Alexander King, RN

HMS Kashmir (F 12)Cdr.Destroyer11 Sep 193923 May 1941
HMS Nigeria (60)Capt.Light cruiser1 May 194412 Apr 1946

Career information

Born 18 March 1901 at Clent in Worcestershire, and educated at Winchester College, he joined the Royal Navy as a special entry cadet in 1920 on board HMS CUMBERLAND. He passed for Lieutenant with five 'firsts' and was awarded the Goodenough Medal for the best examination in Gunnery, in which he subsequently specialised in 1928. He served as second Gunnery Officer in the battleship HMS Nelson, as Gunnery Officer of HMS Coventry and of the battle cruiser HMS Hood before being appointed Experimental Commander of the Naval Gunnery School, HMS Excellent, in 1935.

In September 1939 he was appointed in command of HMS Kashmir serving with Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten's 5th Destroyer Flottila, and was Mentioned in Despatches for his part in the sinking of U35 in November 1939. Kashmir was bombed and sunk off Crete on 23rd May 1941, and he was awarded a DSO for his part in this action. Following two years service at the Admiralty during which he was promoted Captain, he was appointed in command of HMS Nigeria serving with the Far East Fleet and based in Ceylon. He was involved in the re-capture of the island of Sabang from the Japanese, amongst other actions during the liberation of Burma, and finally brought HMS Nigeria back to Chatham following VJ Day.

Immediately after the end of World War II he was appointed Chief Staff Officer of the British Naval Mission in Washington DC. He returned to England in 1948 to his last Naval appointment as Director of Naval Ordnance at the Admiralty in Bath. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1951 and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for distinguished services.

He married Megan Williams in 1926, and they had two sons, William King, who died in 1971 and James Firmstone King who survives him. Captain King died 28th July 1986 in Hampshire and is buried in Dartmouth, Devon where he had lived for many years in retirement.

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