Frank Ragan King

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Commander Frank Ragan King (15 October 1884 – 12 July 1919) was an officer in the United States Navy who died while conducting minesweeping operations shortly after World War I.


Born in Montevallo, Alabama, King was appointed midshipman at the Naval Academy 6 May 1903 and graduated 11 February 1907. After serving as passed midshipman, he was commissioned Ensign 12 February 1909.

King served in Arkansas, , Milwaukee, Pennsylvania, and Illinois before attaining the rank of Commander 21 September 1918.

Comdr. King assumed command of the trawler Richard Buckley 7 July 1919 during minesweeping operations in the North Sea. On 12 July 1919 his ship struck a mine and went down in only seven minutes.

During the crisis King exerted himself to see that all of his crew might be saved. King's feeling for his men was evidenced by the fact that his final act before going down with his ship was to strap his own life preserver to a stunned sailor and help him over the side. Comdr. King received the Distinguished Service Medal for his valor.


The destroyer USS King was named for him.


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