USS John King DDG-3 Association

John King History, the Man

John King

USS JOHN KING, DDG-3, is named for water tender chief John King. He served in the United States Navy for twenty-six years, from 1893 to 1919. During this long career he was twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. A native Irishman, John King was born in 1865 in the town of Ballinrobe,County Mayo, Ireland. He migrated to the United States as a young man, and enlisted in the navy in 1893. He served first on the USS Vicksburg and was aboard that vessel when she participated in ADM. DEWEY’s victory at Manila Bay. He toiled  in the boiler rooms of thirteen naval vessels. He served in two more ships before he was discharged in 1916. In April of 1917, with the outbreak of world war one, John King was recalled by the war department. He added two more years to his already long career at the Navy receiving station in New York City. He received his final discharge in 1919, and was added to the navy retirement list in 1926.

WTC John King distinguished himself in the annals of Navy and American history by being one of the few servicemen ever to receive two Congressional Medals of Honor. The first award came in 1901 while John King was serving on the USS Vicksburg. The citation, signed by then president Theodore Roosevelt reads as follows:

“Onboard the USS Vicksburg, for heroism in the line of his profession, at the time of the accident to the boilers, 29 May 1901.”

The second medal of honor was awarded in 1910, by president William H. Taft and the citation reads similarly to the first:

“Onboard the USS Salem for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession on the occasion of the accident to one of the boilers of that vessel 13 September 1909.”

We, who we're aboard The USS John King DDG-3, are very proud of our namesake, and continually strive to serve in the fine tradition and outstanding example set forth by Water Tender Chief  John King.