Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King
U. S. Navy
Ernest Joseph King was born November 23, 1878 to parents James Clydesdale King and Elizabeth Keam King in Lorain, Ohio. He graduated from Lorain High School as valedictorian of the class of 1897. Afterwards, he attended the U. S. Naval Academy (USNA) class of 1901 and graduated fourth in his class with the rank of midshipman lieutenant commander, the highest midshipman ranking at that time.
While he was still in the USNA, during the Spanish-American War, he served on USS San Francisco (C-5). Next, as a junior officer on the survey ship USS Eagle then aboard battleships USS Illinois, USS Alabama and USS New Hampshire and cruiser USS Cincinnati.
On December 17, 1944 the newly created five star rank of "Fleet Admiral" is bestowed on Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. He was the second of four Admirals in U.S. Navy promoted to five start during World War II. The others were: Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr.
Controversially, King had a role in the November 1945 court-martial of Captain Charles B. McVay III commander of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) sunk July 30, 1945. Later, the verdict of the court-martial was later annulled.
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