King, Jerome H. Jr., VADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1972-1974, CNO - OPNAV/Surface Warfare OPNAV N86
Service Years
1941 - 1974
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Ohio
Ohio
Year of Birth
1919
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember King, Jerome H. Jr., VADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Youngstown

Date of Passing
Jun 18, 2008
 
Location of Interment
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In 1941 King graduated from Yale University and received his naval commission through the NROTC program. He is perhaps the first NROTC graduate to achieve three-star rank in the U.S. Navy. He spent most of World War II serving in two light cruisers, the Trenton (CL-11) and Mobile (CL-63). Later in the 1940s he was officer in charge of a school for gunner's mate training in Anacostia, D.C., executive officer of the destroyer Moale (DD-693), and attended postgraduate school to learn about nuclear weapons. In the 1950s served on the staff of the Surface Antisubmarine Development Detachment of the Operational Development Force, commanded the destroyer Bache (DDE-470), was the nuclear weapons requirements officer on the OpNav staff, and a student in at the Naval War College. While on the staff of Commander Carrier Division Six, he served under two future CNOs, George Anderson and Thomas Moorer. Later he commanded Destroyer Division 601, Nuclear Weapons Training Center, Atlantic, and the destroyer tender Yellowstone (AD-27). He was planning officer on the Seventh Fleet staff when the Vietnam War began in earnest in the mid-1960s. Later in that decade he was executive assistant to CNOs David McDonald and Thomas Moorer, Commander Destroyer Squadron One and Commander Antisubmarine Warfare Group One. In the latter capacity he presided in 1969 over the international inquiry into the collision between the Australian carrier Melbourne and U.S. destroyer Frank E. Evans (DD-754). Following duty in OpNav, in the spring of 1970 he succeeded Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt as Commander Naval Forces Vietnam. He had a difficult, frustrating tour as the war was winding down. He concluded his career in Washington as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Warfare) and as J-3 on the Joint Staff. He retired from active duty in 1974. The oral history contains a detailed description of his battle against lung cancer in the 1990s. King passed away in 2008.

   
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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Naval attack of Truk (Operation Hailstone)
Start Year
1941
End Year
1943

Description
Operation Hailstone was a massive naval air and surface attack launched on February 16–17, 1944, during World War II by the United States Navy against the Japanese naval and air base at Truk in the Caroline Islands, a pre-war Japanese territory.

The U.S. attack involved a combination of airstrikes, surface ship actions, and submarine attacks over two days and appeared to take the Japanese completely by surprise. Several daylight, along with nighttime, airstrikes employed fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo aircraft in attacks on Japanese airfields, aircraft, shore installations, and ships in and around the Truk anchorage. A force of U.S. surface ships and submarines guarded possible exit routes from the island's anchorage to attack any Japanese ships that tried to escape from the airstrikes.

In total the attack sank three Japanese light cruisers (Agano, Katori, and Naka), four destroyers (Oite, Fumizuki, Maikaze, and Tachikaze), three auxiliary cruisers (Akagi Maru, Aikoku Maru, Kiyosumi Maru), two submarine tenders (Heian Maru, Rio de Janeiro Maru), three other smaller warships (including submarine chasers CH-24 and Shonan Maru 15), aircraft transport Fujikawa Maru, and 32 merchant ships. Some of the ships were destroyed in the anchorage and some in the area surrounding Truk lagoon. Many of the merchant ships were loaded with reinforcements and supplies for Japanese garrisons in the central Pacific area. Very few of the troops aboard the sunken ships survived and little of their cargoes were recovered.

Maikaze, along with several support ships, was sunk by U.S. surface ships while trying to escape from the Truk anchorage. On 17 February 1944, while evacuating convoys to Yokosuka from Truk following Allied attack on Truk, Maikaze, the cruiser Katori, and the auxiliary cruiser Akagi Maru were sunk by gunfire from the cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, and the battleship New Jersey 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Truk. Maikaze herself was sunk with all hands on board. The survivors of the sunken Japanese ships reportedly refused rescue efforts by the U.S. ships.

The cruiser Agano, a veteran of the Raid on Rabaul and which was already en route to Japan when the attack began, was sunk by a U.S. submarine, Skate. Oite rescued 523 survivors from Agano and returned to Truk lagoon to assist in its defense with her anti-aircraft guns. She was sunk soon after by air attack with the Agano survivors still on board, killing all of them and all but 20 of Oite's crew.

Over 250 Japanese aircraft were destroyed, mostly on the ground. Many of the aircraft were in various states of assembly, having just arrived from Japan in disassembled form aboard cargo ships. Very few of the assembled aircraft were able to take off in response to the U.S. attack. Several Japanese aircraft that did take off were claimed destroyed by U.S. fighters or gunners on the U.S. bombers and torpedo planes.

The U.S. lost twenty-five aircraft, mainly due to the intense anti-aircraft fire from Truk's defenses. About 16 U.S. aircrew were rescued by submarine or amphibious aircraft (several Japanese, whose crew took them prisoner). A nighttime torpedo attack by a Japanese aircraft from either Rabaul or Saipan damaged Intrepid and killed 11 of her crew, forcing her to return to Pearl Harbor and later, San Francisco for repairs. She returned to duty in June, 1944. Another Japanese air attack slightly damaged the battleship Iowa with a bomb hit.

An aerial view of the airstrike at Truk can be seen in the U.S. Navy film The Fighting Lady.

One well-known pilot, U.S. Marine Corps ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, survived this raid while being held prisoner on Truk, after being captured at Rabaul.

Aftermath
The attacks for the most part ended Truk as a major threat to Allied operations in the central Pacific; the Japanese garrison on Eniwetok was denied any realistic hope of reinforcement and support during the invasion that began on February 18, 1944, greatly assisting U.S. forces in their conquest of that island.

The Japanese later relocated about 100 of their remaining aircraft from Rabaul to Truk. These aircraft were attacked by U.S. carrier forces in another attack on April 29–30, 1944 which destroyed most of them. The U.S. aircraft dropped 92 bombs over a 29-minute period to destroy the Japanese planes. The April 1944 strikes found no shipping in Truk lagoon and were the last major attacks on Truk during the war.

Truk was isolated by Allied (primarily U.S.) forces as they continued their advance towards Japan by invading other Pacific islands such as Guam, Saipan, Palau, and Iwo Jima. Cut off, the Japanese forces on Truk, like on other central Pacific islands, ran low on food and faced starvation before Japan surrendered in August 1945.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1941
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
Oct 6, 2017
   
Personal Memories

Memories
TF 58 departed Majuro and sailed for the Carolines. There, on the 16th and 17th, they devastated Truk, the best fleet anchorage in the Mandated Territories, the base of the Japanese combined fleet and the center for air and sea communications between Japan and the Bismarck Archipelago.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  55 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Medaglia, Michael, S1c, (1942-1946)
  • Webb, Robert, PO3, (1941-1946)
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