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and submarines based at New London, and also served as Naval Inspector of Ordnance in Charge, Navy Mine Depot, New London.  During that tour of duty he was in charge of the salvage of the USS S-51 which was sunk off Block Island, September 25, 1925. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal "for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as officer in charge of the salvaging of the USS S-51."

On July 28, 1926, he assumed command of the aircraft tender WRIGHT with additional duty as Senior Aide on the staff of Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. Detached in January 1927, he reported to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, for flight training, and was designated naval aviator #3368 on May 26, 1927. He then rejoined the WRIGHT in June 1927, to serve as her commanding officer until June 1928. When the USS S-4 was sunk off Provincetown, Massachusetts, in December 1927, he was assigned temporary duty in command of the Salvage Force that raised that submarine. He was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal for "exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding Officer of the Salvage Force entrusted with the raising of the USS S-4 sunk as a result of a collision off Provincetown, Massachusetts, 17 December 1927. Largely through his untiring energy, efficient administration and judicious decisions this most difficult task, under extremely adverse conditions, was brought to a prompt and successful conclusion."

After serving as Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet from June 1, until August 2, 1928, he was named Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., and served in that capacity from August 1928 until April 1929. Following command of the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, he assumed command in June 1930 of the USS LEXINGTON, in which command he served the succeeding two years. He completed the senior course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, in April 1933, and, with the rank of Rear Admiral served as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, from that month until June 1936.

During the period June 1936 until September 1937, he had duty as Commander of Aircraft, Base Force, and for four months thereafter was Commander, Aircraft Scouting Force, with additional duty as Commander Patrol Wing One. In January 1938 he was transferred to command of Aircraft, Battle Force with the rank of Vice Admiral while in that command. In August 1939 in his permanent rank of Rear Admiral, he reported for duty as a member of the General Board of the Navy, and in December 1940 he returned to sea as Commander Patrol Force, U.S. Fleet. On February 1, 1941, with the rank of admiral, he was designated Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet.

Appointed Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet on December 20, 1941, he assumed command December 30, 1941. The duties of Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations were combined under Executive Order of March 12, 1942. On March 13, 1942, President Roosevelt nominated Admiral King as Chief of Naval Operations and he was confirmed to that office on March 18, 1942, by the Senate, for a term of four years.

By Act of Congress approved December 14, 1944, the grade of Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy — the highest grade in the Navy — was established for certain officers on the active list of the Navy. The President of the United States, on December 15, 1944, nominated, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed Ernest J. King a Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy. Fleet Admiral King accepted the appointment and took the oath of office on December 20, 1944. (His confirmation by the Senate on April 2, 1945, dates from December 17, 1944).

Executive Order 9633 transferred to the Chief of Naval Operations the major functions of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and the position of Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, ceased to exist as an office established by the President. In accordance with this Order, Fleet Admiral King's title of Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations, became Chief of Naval Operations on October 10, 1945.

For distinguished service concurrently as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations, during the World War II period Fleet Admiral King was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the third Distinguished Service Medal with citation in part, as follows:

". . . . In his dual capacity (he) exercised complete military control of the Naval forces of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and directed all activities of these forces in conjunction with the U.S. Army and our Allies to bring victory to the United States. As the United States Naval Member of the Joint Chief of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff, he coordinated the naval strength of this country with all agencies of the United States and of the Allied Nations, and with exceptional vision, driving energy, and uncompromising devotion to duty, he fulfilled his tremendous responsibility of command and direction of the greatest naval force the world has ever seen and the simultaneous expansion of all naval facilities in the prosecution of the war . . ."

On December 15, 1945, Fleet Admiral King was relieved by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, as Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., and from that time has served in an advisory capacity in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.

In addition to the Navy Cross, and the Distinguished Service Medal with two Gold Stars, Fleet Admiral King has the Spanish Campaign Medal; the Sampson Medal; the Mexican Service Medal; the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp; the American Defense Service Medal, with Bronze "A"; the American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

The following Orders and Decorations have been conferred upon Fleet Admiral King by governments of foreign countries: Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Grade of Commander (Panama); Ouissam Alouite Cherifien and Certificate (French Morocco); Naval Order of Merit with Diploma (Cuba); "Estrella Abdon Calderon," First Class, (Ecuador); Order of Naval Merit, Grande Official (Brazil); Special Class, Order

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FEBRUARY, 1955 ISSUE      27

of Pao-Ting (China); Grand Cross of the Order of George I, with Swords (Greece); Knight Grand Cross of the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (Great Britain), and Grand Officer de la Legion d'Honneur (France).

He has also been awarded the Grand Lodge Medal for Distinguished Achievement by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York; the Pennsylvania Society (of New York City) Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement; and the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal.

The following honorary degrees have been conferred upon him: Doctor of Laws, by the College of William and Mary, Harvard University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, and Miami University (Oxford, Ohio); Doctor of Science by Bowdoin College; and Doctor of Civil Law by Oxford University (England). He received the Gold Medal for the Prize Essay, awarded by the U.S. Naval Institute, in 1909.

Admiral and Mrs. King, the former Martha Lamkin Edgerton of Baltimore, Maryland, have six daughters and a son, Lieutenant Ernest J. King, Jr. USN (USNA 1944). 

Address: 2919 Forty-Third Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C.


Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, June 30, 1896. He enlisted as a private in the Mississippi National Guard on June 30, 1914 and became a battalion sergeant major before he was honorably discharged on August 14, 1917.  The following day he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve and received his Regular commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry on October 26, 1917.

His first assignment was as an officer with the 34th Infantry with which he served at Fort Bliss, Texas; Camp MacArthur, Texas, and with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.

General Klein was transferred to the 25th Infantry at Camp Little, Nogales, Arizona, in October 1921, and joined Headquarters, Eighth Corps Area at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in August 1926. He was assigned to the 33rd Infantry in the Panama Canal Zone in April 1929.

In July 1931, General Klein was assigned to the Office of the Adjutant General of the Army and was transferred from the Infantry to the Adjutant General's Department on May 18, 1933. He became assistant adjutant general of the Hawaiian Division, with station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in June 1935.

General Klein was named assistant adjutant general of the Ninth Corps Area at the Presidio of San Francisco, California, in July 1937. He entered the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in September 1938 and, upon graduation the following June, was named adjutant general and assistant chief of staff for personnel of the Second Infantry Division at Fort Sam Houston.

[[image: photo of Maj. Gen. Klein]]
[[photo credit]] U.S. Army Photograph [[/photo credit]]

In November 1940 he was appointed adjutant general and assistant chief of staff for personnel of the VIII Corps at Brownwood, Texas. A year later he became adjutant general of the Third Army at San Antonio, Texas, and was named executive officer in the Office of the Adjutant General in August 1942.

General Klein became adjutant general of the Fourth Army at the Presidio of Monterey, California, in October 1943. The following May he was appointed adjutant general and commander of the Rear Echelon of the Ninth Army at Fort Sam Houston. A month later he accompanied the Ninth Army to the European theater, where he served with it until the end of hostilities in World War II.

On his return to the United States, in October 1945, General Klein became adjutant general of the Second Army at Memphis, Tennessee, and later moved with it to Baltimore, Maryland, and Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. In February 1948, he was appointed adjutant general of the European Command with station at Heidelberg, Germany.

In September 1949 General Klein became deputy chief of the Personnel Bureau in the Adjutant General's Office, and in July 1950 was designated chief of the Administrative Services Division of that office. He became Deputy The Adjutant General in August 1951, and on June 1, 1954 was advanced to the position of The Adjutant General. 

General Klein has been awarded the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Ribbon. His foreign decorations include the French Legion of Honor, degree of Chevalier; the French Croix de Guerre with two palms; the Russian Order of War for Fatherland, First Degree; the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with
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