William King (Royal Navy officer)


William King (Royal Navy officer)

Infobox Military Person
name=William Donald Aelian King
born=1910 (age 97)
died=
placeofdeath=
nickname=Bill
allegiance=United Kingdom
branch=Royal Navy
serviceyears=December 1927 – April 1946
rank=Commander
unit=Submarine Service
commands=Commanding Officer:
: HMS "Snapper" (1939–40)
: HMS "Trusty" (1941)
: HMS "Telemachus" (1943–45)
Executive Officer:
: HMS "Medway II" (1943)
: HMS "Forth" (1945–46)
battles=North Sea (1939–40)
Mediterranean Sea (1941)
Strait of Malacca (1944)
awards=Distinguished Service Order (1940)
Distinguished Service Cross (1940)
Bar to the DSO (1945)
Arctic Emblem (2006)
Others: 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, War Medal 1939–1945Medal names were deduced by comparing a photograph of Commander King's medals [http://bp1.blogger.com/_TDhFeXYJEr0/RXiOb5s48HI/AAAAAAAAADo/161WSuoyrYQ/s1600-h/king+bill+2006001.jpg] with images in the booklet "British Armed Forces Medals", [http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/F094AB02-070D-4D93-A15C-EDA1694A1591/0/Medals_Booklet.pdf] published by the Medals Office of the British Ministry of Defence, and should be regarded as approximations. Both images retrieved on 14 February 2008.]
Civilian: Blue Water Medal (1975)
relations=Anita Leslie (spouse)
William King (grandfather)
laterwork=Farmer (Galway, Ireland)
Solo circumnavigator (1969–73)
Author (1958–97)

William Donald Aelian (Bill) King DSO & Bar DSC (born 1910), is a retired British naval officer, yachtsman and author. He was the oldest participant in the first solo non-stop around the world yacht race, the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, and is the oldest surviving World War II submarine commander.

Brought up by his mother and grandmother, King went to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He was first assigned to HMS "Resolution", and later became Commanding Officer of HMS "Snapper". He served on three separate vessels in World War II, and was promoted to Commander and awarded seven medals during the war. King not only survived World War II, but succeeded in a singlehanded circumnavigation in 1973 on his third attempt. During the latter journey, he managed to reach port despite a collision with a large sea creature convert|400|mi|km southwest of Australia.

Family background and childhood

William Donald Aelian King was born to William Albert de Courcy King and Georgina Marie MacKenzie in 1910. King's grandfather, William King, was Chair of Mineralogy and Geology at Queen’s College, Galway. He was appointed when the College first opened in 1849. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article649357.ece Sharrock, David. 2006.] "A medal at 96? I was not brave or clever." "TimesOnline". Interview with King about his Arctic Medal and war stories. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.ucg.ie/science/king.html National University of Ireland, Galway] . "William King (1809–1886)". History of NUI Galway, the Science Faculty and associated scientists. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] Grandfather King was the first to argue that Neanderthals were a species separate from modern humans.

King's father, William Albert de Courcy King, was born in 1875. He married Georgina Marie, daughter of a "Mr. D. F. MacKenzie, of Collingwood Grange, Camberley, Surrey" in June 1908. [http://www7.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?r=118609643&d=bmd_1197378781&scan=1 FreeBMD.] "Marriages Jun 1908: MacKenzie, Georgina Marie". freebmd.org.uk. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-bin/print.cgi?leslie::1370.html Bunbury, Turtle. 2003.] "The Leslie Family: Hungary to Ireland (12th century – 2003)". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www7.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?r=118601211&d=bmd_1197378781&scan=1 FreeBMD.] "Marriages Jun 1908: King, William Albert De C." freebmd.org.uk. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] ] [http://books.google.com/books?id=kG0pzzLYTXEC&printsec=frontcover Warnock, Gabrielle and Jeff W. O'Connell. 2000.] "Face to Face." Trident Press Ltd., p.249. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] De Courcy King attended Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and then the School of Military Engineering, Chatham. [http://www.finanandco.co.uk/April2003.htm Finan & Co. 2003.] "St. Lucia & Africa: the albums of Lt.-Col. William Albert de Courcy King, D.S.O., R.E." Item 179, Spring Sale, Saturday 5th April. Fine Art Consultants, Auctioneers, and Valuers. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] He received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1894.LondonGazette|issue=26561|startpage=5795|date=16 October 1894|accessdate=2008-03-17] Prior to World War I, his postings included Saint Lucia in the 1890s, where the Engineers constructed gun emplacements and fortified coal stations, and South Africa, where the Engineers built blockhouses (designed by Major S. R. Rice, RE) during the Anglo Boer War. [http://www.remuseum.org.uk/rem_his_engineer.htm Royal Engineers Museum.] "Field (Combat) Engineers, Significant Dates and Events, 1899–1902." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] De Courcy King was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1916 while a Major.LondonGazette|issue=29608|supp=yes|startpage=5566|endpage=5568|date=2 June 1916|accessdate=2008-03-17] During the First World War Lieutenant-Colonel De Courcy King served with the 36th (Ulster) Division in Belgium.

De Courcy King was killed on 27 May 1917 at the age of 42, and lies buried at Dranoutre Military Cemetery in Belgium. [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=453611 Commonwealth War Graves Commission.] "Casualty Details: King, William Albert de Courcey" (sic). Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] In April the Engineers had helped prepare for the Battle of Arras (1917), primarily tunelling and mining of enemy positions. [http://www.1914-1918.net/36div.htm Baker, Chris.] "The 36th (Ulster) Division. Summary history of the division." "The Long, Long Trail. The British Army in the Great War of 1914–1918." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.remuseum.org.uk/corpshistory/rem_corps_part14.htm Royal Engineers Museum.] "1917 - Divisional field engineering activities." "Corps History - Part 14: The Corps and the First World War (1914–18)". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

As a result of his father's death, Bill King was brought up by his mother and grandmother. [http://www.galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/story.tpl?inc=2004/08/26/galwaydiary/49969.html Galway Diary. 2004.] "The strange journey to Oranmore Castle." "Galway Advertiser", August 26. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] His MacKenzie grandmother was a formidable woman who learnt to ski at the age of 75 and still sailed in her eighties.

Early naval career

" King said that had been a boxer and a "champion long-distance runner" in his youth.

From December 1927 to April 1930 King was posted to the battleship HMS "'Resolution", which served in the Mediterranean. [http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/resolution.htm battleships-cruisers.co.uk.] HMS "Resolution". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] During this time he became a midshipman. From June 1932 to January 1934 he was posted to the submarine HMS "Orpheus" (N46), which served near China. [http://brenspeedie.blogspot.com/2006/12/in-company-of-true-hero-commander-bill.html speedie.blogspot.com. 2006] . "In the Company of a True Hero--Commander Bill King". (Blogger recounts a 2006 encounter with King, posts photographs.) Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3396.html uboat.net] . "Allied Warships: HMS "Orpheus" (N46). Submarine of the O class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1932. [LondonGazette|issue=33890|startpage=7833|date=9 December 1932|accessdate=2008-03-17] In April 1935 King was appointed First Lieutenant of the service vessel HMS "Pigmy", a Polish sailing vessel, formerly ORP Iskra I, used by the Royal Navy at Gibraltar to supply the 8th submarine squadron. [http://www.uboat.net/forums/read.php?22,65555,65555 uBoatnet] . 2003. "HMS "Pigmy". "Warship Forum". Not the Pigmy Class Composite Gunboat of the same name. Retrieved on 19 February 2008.] After seven months he was transferred to HMS "Starfish", then to HMS "Narwhal", before being sent to Portsmouth for a commanding officers' course at HMS "Dolphin". A four month stint aboard the submarine depot ship HMS "Titania" (F 32) followed, before King was appointed commanding officer of HMS "Snapper". [http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/images/hmstitaniampl3345.jpgbattleships-cruisers.co.uk.] "HMS "Titania", June 1938." Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Image).] [http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersK.html Hans Houterman & Jeroen Koppes.] "King, William Donald Aelian." "Royal Navy (RN) Officers, 1939–1945". "World War II Unit Histories and Officers." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

World War II

During World War II, King served in three submarines of the Royal Navy: HMS "Snapper", HMS "Trusty", and HMS "Telemachus". He patrolled the North Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Far East. [http://www.biblio.com/details.php?dcx=66496856&aid=frg Biblio.com] . "Dive & Attack" (rev. ed.) by King, Cdr. W. Description. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

At the outbreak of the war, Lieutenant King and his S-class submarine, HMS "Snapper", were sent to patrol the North Sea. King was commanding officer on "Snapper" from 16 April 1939 to April 1940. On 3 December 1939, "Snapper" sustained a direct hit from a British aircraft while returning to Harwich after a patrol, but without taking damage. [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3425.html uboat.net.] "Allied Warships: HMS "Snapper" (N 39). Submarine of the S class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] Between December 1939 and July 1940 HMS "Snapper" sank six ships, mainly in the Skagerrak Strait. These include the tanker "Moonsund", the merchant ship "Florida", the minesweepers "H. M. Behrens" and "Carsten Janssen", and the armed trawlers "Portland" and "Cygnus". HMS "Snapper" was later lost under command of Lieutenant Geoffrey Vernon Prowse, either in a minefield or sunk by German depth charges. [http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1941-02FEB.htm Kindell, Don.] "1-28 February 1941: Snapper, submarine, lost." "Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, 1922–present." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] In 1941 King served on the T-class submarine HMS "Trusty" in the Mediterranean Sea. On 4 December 1941 "Trusty" unsuccessfully launched torpedoes against a boat which may have been the Italian torpedo boat "Orsa". [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3504.html uboat.net.] "Allied Warships: HMS "Trusty" (N 45). Submarine of the T class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/10971.html uboat.net.] "Allied Warships: Orsa. Torpedo boat of the Orsa class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] From 21 July 1943 to August 1945 King was Commanding Officer of the T-class submarine HMS "Telemachus". His sub-lieutenant was Kenneth Michael Barbour, who was later Professor of Geography at several African universities and the University of Ulster at Coleraine. "Telemachus" dropped off a Special Forces unit in western Malaya in October 1944. [http://www.radley.org.uk/OR/OldRadleian/2005/pdfs/OR%202005%20Obits.pdf Hawley, Sir Donald. 2005.] "Barbour On 20.9.2004 Professor Kenneth Michael Barbour (a, 1935-1939). Obituaries." "Old Radleian". Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (PDF).] [http://home.cogeco.ca/~gchalcraft/sm/page19.html#Telemachus HMS Telemachus.] "British Submarines of World War Two." Retrieved on 12 February 2008.]

Operating from a joint British-Dutch base at Ceylon, "Telemachus" sunk the Japanese Kadai class submarine IJN I-166 in the Strait of Malacca on 17 July 1944. [http://www.combinedfleet.com/I-166.htm Hackett, Bob & Sander Kingsepp. 2001.] "Sensuikan! HIJMS Submarine I-166: Tabular Record of Movement." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3519.html uboat.net] . "Allied Warships: HMS Telemachus (P 321). Submarine of the T class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] Under command of Lieutenant Suwa Koichiro, IJN I-166 had been one of the most successful Japanese submarines, having accounted for the Dutch submarine HNMS K-XVI, [http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/2879.html uboat.net.] "Allied Warships: HNMS K XVI. Submarine of the K XIV class." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.dutchsubmarines.com/boats/boat_kxvi.htm dutchsubmarines.com.] "Boat K XVI. Member of Class K XIV." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] an army transport vessel (USAT "Liberty Glo"), and several merchant ships (including the SS "Nord"). On 17 July 1944 "Telemachus" tracked the I-166 for about 30 minutes in the Strait, before firing six torpedoes. One hit and sank the Japanese submarine with 89 crew on board. Five men on bridge watch survived, and were recovered by the Japanese. Among them was Lieutenant Suwa, who was later promoted, but killed in action in 1945.

During the War King was promoted to Commander, and awarded seven medals, including King was awarded the DSO on 9 May 1940 for "daring, endurance and resource in the conduct of hazardous and successful operations in His Majesty's Submarines against the enemy", [LondonGazette|issue=34845|supp=yes|startpage=2786|date=7 May 1940|accessdate=2008-03-17] and the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) on 6 September 1940 "for bravery and determination during arduous and successful patrols in H.M. Submarines" both whilst in command of "Snapper". [LondonGazette|issue=34941|supp=yes|startpage=5442|date=6 September 1940|accessdate=2008-03-17] A Bar was added to his DSO on 16 January 1945 "For outstanding courage, skill and determination in one of H.M. Submarines in successful patrols in Far Eastern waters" [LondonGazette|issue=36895|supp=yes|startpage=417|date=12 January 1945|accessdate=2008-03-17] (for the sinking of the I-166). [http://www.britishmedalforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=94573&sid=dcd6515015e3e0915e0ba5fe9d09cc22 British Medal Forum.] "Local Hero". British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, South African and all Commonwealth Medals. britishmedalforum.com. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] In 2006 he received an eighth medal, the Arctic Emblem.

King ended his Royal Navy career as Executive Officer of the submarine depot ship HMS "Forth", an appointment he held from 1 September 1945 to April 1946. His formal retirement came on 9 May 1948. [LondonGazette|issue=38239|startpage=1882|date=16 March 1948|accessdate=2008-03-17]

Post-war life and marriage

On 1 January 1949, King married divorceé Anita Theodosia Mouira Leslie (1914–1984). She was the eldest child of Sir John Randolph Shane Leslie, 3rd Baronet and his wife Marjorie Ide, the Vermont-born daughter of the US ambassador to Spain. [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9B06E0D7153CE633A25751C1A9609C946396D6CF&oref=slogin "New York Times". 1912.] "Marjorie Ide Weds Under Canopy." 12 June. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (PDF).] Leslie-King was also the cousin of Winston Churchill. Bill and Anita probably met in Lebanon in 1943, where King served for 5 months as Executive Officer of the submarine base at Beirut. She was on a skiing trip after doing duty in Africa in the Motor Transport Corps in 1940–42, although a letter mentions her being in Beirut in 1941–42. [http://library.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/fl/f163%7D25.htm Georgetown University Libraries.] "Special Collections: Sir Shane Leslie Papers." Box: 31 Fold: 1 Alec Waugh. Letter(s) dated 8/28/1949. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] Leslie-King then became an ambulance driver in the French Army from 1944 to 1945. For the latter, she was awarded the "Croix de Guerre" in 1945 by General Charles de Gaulle. As Anita Leslie, she wrote over a dozen books, including "Love in a Nutshell" (1952), "The Remarkable Mr. Jerome: The Life and Times of Leonard Jerome, Sir Winston Churchill's American Grandfather" (1954). In 1974 she wrote the biography of Francis Chichester, the first person to sail around the world single-handedly. The Kings had two children, Richard Tarka Bourke King (b. 1949), and Leonie Rose King (b. 1951). [http://www.thepeerage.com/p5480.htm#i54795 thePeerage.com.] "Commander William Donald Aelian King." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

After the war, King took up farming and was an avid fox hunter, as was his wife. In 1946 the Kings bought Oranmore Castle, a 15th century Norman keep built on Galway Bay in county Galway, Ireland for ₤200-.Other sources report that Anita Leslie-King was given the castle by her mother, who had bought it in 1946. [http://www.tourismresources.ie/cht/oranmore/index.htm tourismresources.ie] "A Royal Castle! Oranmore Castle, near Galway. Havens & Hideaways." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] For a while the Kings lived in a hunting lodge outside Oranmore village, designed by Bill, and built while he and Anita went on a "world sailing cruise." [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/property/2006/1026/1161565778535.html Finlan, Michael. 2006.] "Galway Hunting Lodge is bang on." "The Irish Times", 26 October. Retrieved on 8 January 2008.] To help combat his wife's asthma, King developed an organic farm and garden to feed his family. Both Anita Leslie's mother and grandmother had suffered asthma. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3jm8lkGcOk Tsurukame, Akira.] Video of a visit with Commander Bill King at Oranmore. Retrieved on 15 February 2008.]

olo circumnavigation

. [http://books.google.com/books?id=-45dCJoIwOEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+world+of+my+own&sig=TJsnRl4QToeA2ZfovOoDQHq0RBc Knox-Johnston, Robin. 1969.] "A World of My Own". W. W. Norton & Company, p.18. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://books.google.com/books?id=kpMGlc-cvAoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ships+of+Discovery+and+Exploration&lr=&sig=9bxk22ZJPGBNv3MSfmbAItmXZME Paine, Lincoln P. 2000.] "Ships of Discovery and Exploration". Houghton Mifflin Books, p.57. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

King's boat, the two-masted "Galway Blazer II", a cold-molded plywood schooner, was specially designed for him by Angus Primrose. It is not certain whether the boat was named after "The Galway Blazers", a local fox hunting club in Galway, Ireland, which dates to 1839. [http://web.archive.org/web/20020414021810/http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/06/03/reviews/010603.03hightot.html Hightower, Elizabeth. 2001.] "Sailors Take Warning!" (Review of "A Voyage for Madmen", by Peter Nichols.) "New York Times on the Web". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.scispy.ie/fionn_films/thumbnails/asx/13GalwayHunt.asx St. Gabriel's National School, Ballinasloe.] "The Galway Blazers". Fionn Films. ("Children talk with a local hunt master and follow the Galway Blazers on a hunt.") Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Video file).] Based on boats he had seen in China, the convert|42|ft|m|sing=on schooner had a junk rig (a sail stiffened by battens). In this regard "Galway Blazer II" was similar to Jester, the junk-rigged Folkboat used by former Marine Colonel Herbert Hasler in the first single-handed cross-Atlantic race (OSTAR). [http://www.co32.org/BOAT_SECTION/STORIES/JESTER/jest.html Elliott, Ray.] "Millennium Single Handed Trans Atlantic Race." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.rwyc.org/rwdb/article/view.asp?id=51&sm=OSTAR Royal Western Yacht Club.] "OSTAR-the Original Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] King, Hasler and Primrose had "teamed up" to design the boat, which was displayed "atthe London Boat Show in January 1968."

King's intention to sail around the world was overtaken by the institution in March 1968 of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Aged 58, King became the oldest participant in what was the first organized round the world solo yacht race. In "Deep Water", King explained that he joined the race as a means of recovering psychologically from fifteen years of service in submarines. This, he said, had left him "a nervous wreck". He had planned to sail around the world before he heard of the race, which "sort of caught up with me." An aunt's legacy provided him with the means to finance the boat.

King was sponsored by the "Daily Express" and "Sunday Express" newspapers. [http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/circumna/ci_26.htm Holm, Donald. 1974.] "The Circumnavigators: Small Boat Voyagers of Modern Times." New York: Prentice-Hall, p.248. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Full text).] One of the shortcomings of the boat was that it had neither guard rails or shrouds to hold on to. King solved this problem with a steel wire that stretched from stem to stern, to which he clipped a harness. His method was then copied by fellow racers Loïck Fougeron and Bernard Moitessier. [http://books.google.com/books?id=rgKRmmMpJ8kC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Long+Way&sig=Vbh0zJ9HkFrtXVpf8QeTOjfP5ek Moitessier, Bernard. 1995.] "The Long Way." Translated by William Rodarmor. Sheridan House, p.123. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

King started the race on 24 August 1968. During the race, King lived on raw food, such as dried fruit stirred into almond paste and green sprouts that he grew on board. He read through the New Testament, the Qur'an, and Edwin Arnold's 1880 Buddhist writing, "The Light of Asia", [http://books.google.com/books?&id=zWNYjDXnf5sC&ots=Dn5ODJu0h7 Arnold, Edward. 1880.] "The Light of Asia, Or, The Great Renunciation". Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Full text).] as well as "all the best novels, such as Tolstoy." He said that he did not get depressed during the journey, because of the beauty surrounding him. "You are...alone with God...there's no opportunity to sin" ("Deep Water").

King lost radio contact during the race [(Holm 1974:270)] . On 31 October, "Galway Blazer II" capsized in convert|50|ft|m|sing=on waves northeast off Gough Island while King rested, breaking both masts. [http://www.robinknox-johnston.co.uk/da/20082 robinknox-johnston.co.uk] 1968-69: "Suhaili"-The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race." Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.boats.com/news-reviews/article/the-golden-globe-race Pickthall, Barry.] "The Golden Globe Race." "boats.com". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] King had to be towed to Cape Town, South Africa. [http://books.google.com/books?id=kpMGlc-cvAoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ships+of+Discovery+and+Exploration&lr=&sig=9bxk22ZJPGBNv3MSfmbAItmXZME Paine, Lincoln P. 2000.] "Ships of Discovery and Exploration". Houghton Mifflin Books, p.57. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

In 1969 King again tried and failed to circumnavigate in "Galway Blazer II". [http://books.google.com/books?id=wSGPcXHBJ8oC Henderson, Richard. 1992.] "Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers". McGraw-Hill Professional, p.42. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

In 1970 he was ready for another attempt, again using "Galway Blazer II". Ill-health and hull damage forced him to put ashore at Australia. After departing on 12 December 1971, a large sea creature (a whale or shark) damaged his boat about convert|400|mi|km southwest of Fremantle. "Only his skill and heroic efforts were able to keep the vessel afloat until jury repairs could be made". [http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/circumna/ci_a.htm Holm, Donald. 1974.] "The Circumnavigators: Small Boat Voyagers of Modern Times." New York: Prentice-Hall, pp.384, 271 n. 3. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Full text).] King was below deck when he heard a shattering sound and saw the hull below the water line bulge inward and splinter. He rushed upstairs and heeled the boat so that the hole was lifted out of the water. He had to hang over the side and submerge himself to carry out emergency repairs with material that included thirteen ropes, sticky tape, collision covers, sheet copper, and sponge rubber. Then he had to fix the inside of the hull as well. After three days of work, he was able to return to Fremantle, "barely able to limp into port". [http://books.google.com/books?id=wSGPcXHBJ8oC Henderson, Richard. 1992.] "Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers". McGraw-Hill Professional, pp.261-62. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/circumna/ci_a.htm Holm, Donald. 1974.] "The Circumnavigators: Small Boat Voyagers of Modern Times." New York: Prentice-Hall, p.384, 271 n. 3] Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Full text).]

The 1970 journey was eventually successful, with Bill King completing his global circumnavigation in 1973. [http://books.google.com/books?id=wSGPcXHBJ8oC Henderson, Richard. 1992.] "Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers". McGraw-Hill Professional, p. 261. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.sail-world.com/cruisingaus/index.cfm?nid=32168 Ryan, Des. 2007.] "Knox-Johnston and Blyth's Madmen-Where are they?" "sail-world.com". Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] In 1975 the Cruising Club of America (founded 1921) awarded King the Blue Water Medal in recognition of his feat. [http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/dl.asp?fn=awards_bluewater.pdf The Cruising Club of America.] "The Blue Water Medal Awards, 1923-2004." Retrieved on 8 January 2008.(PDF).] The same year "Galway Blazer II" was sold to Peter Crowther, landlord of a Devon pub. [http://books.google.com/books?id=SEAujvqSJ9kC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Total+Loss&sig=0P3hGt2pf2lW58uErr_LfkKnOII Coote, Jack and Paul Gelder. 2002.] "Total Loss: A Collection of 45 First-Hand Accounts of Yacht Losses at Sea". Sheridan House, Inc., p.26. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] Crowther wrote a book about his experiences with the boat, which was lost on 24 June 1996 during the tenth Singlehanded Transatlantic Race from Plymouth, England, to Newport, Rhode Island in the USA.Crowther, Peter. 2003. "Single-handed Sailing: Twenty Years in" Galway Blazer. Thomas Reed Publications. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.] [http://www.bluegreenpictures.com/perl/Cyan.pl?mode=view;inum=118116;lightbox=553 bluegreenpictures.com.] "Galway Blazer II". Retrieved on 7 January 2008. (Race picture.)] [http://books.google.com/books?id=SEAujvqSJ9kC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Total+Loss&sig=0P3hGt2pf2lW58uErr_LfkKnOII Coote, Jack and Paul Gelder. 2002.] "Total Loss: A Collection of 45 First-Hand Accounts of Yacht Losses at Sea". Sheridan House, Inc., p.21. Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

Later life

In September 2007 King and his daughter, Leonie, still lived at Oranmore Castle. His life's experiences continue to attract media attention, from film to music to art installation.

He was filmed for two documentaries about the Golden Globe Race, including the 1960s BBC short "Golden Globe - Lone Sailor Round the World Race" and 2006's "Deep Water". His war experiences still fascinate documentary film makers. King was interviewed for two planned productions, a 24 minute episode entitled "To Honour and Peace" for the proposed series entitled "Bravery Beneath the Waves", [http://www.periscopeproduction.com/tohonour.shtml Periscope Productions.] "To Honour and Peace." Episode from proposed "Bravery Beneath the Waves" series. Retrieved on 15 February 2008.] and for "The Stick & The Stars: The Life & Times of Commander Bill King".

Most recent attention arises from King's interaction with Akira Tsurukame and Katja Boonstra-Blom — the subject of print media articles, an exhibition, and video interviews. Tsurukame, son of the Chief Engineer who perished with the I-66, in 2004 sought out King. King, Tsurukame, and Katja Boonstra, whose father was killed when the I-66 sunk the K-XVI, together planted a tree at Oranmore Castle to honour the latter two's fathers. [http://www.galwayadvertiser.ie/dws//story.tpl?inc=2004/08/26/news/49910.html O'Gorman, Ronnie, 2004.] "Tree of peace planted as former enemies embrace beside Galway Bay." "Galway Advertiser", August 24. (In 2004 King meets the son of a Japanese chief engineer, whose submarine (I-166) was sunk on 17 July 1944 by HMS Telemachus under King's command). Retrieved on 7 January 2008.]

The local paper, "The Galway Advertiser", dubbed their threeway meeting at Oranmore Castle a "reconciliation". Subsequently Akira Tsurukame released video material of his interviews with Bill King on the internet. Two installations in July 2006 at the Project 06 art exhibition in Galway referenced King. "Response to Japanese Peace and Reconciliation" was arranged in Swan House. The "Lost at Sea" installation was a collaboration between Galway-based "Cane 141", who set stories told by Bill King to electronic music, and visual artist Roisin Coyle. The latter installation has since been exhibited in Dublin, and, in May 2007, at New York City's Grace Exhibition Space. [http://www.cane141.com/news.html Caine141.] "Lost at Sea Installation". Retrieved on 15 February 2008.] [http://gracespace.multiply.com/calendar/item/10046 Grace Exhibition Space.] "Roisin Mary Installation". Retrieved on 15 February 2008.] [http://www.romyillustrations.com/id71.html "Lost at Sea".] Grace Exhibition Space, Williamsborough, New York.May 2007. Retrieved on 15 February 2008.] He is currently the oldest surviving World War II submarine commander.

Books authored

* 1958: "The Stick and the Stars." (Hutchinson).
* 1969: "Capsize." (Nautical Publishing
* 1975: "Adventure in Depth."(Putnam Publishing).
* 1983: "Dive and Attack." Revises and updates "The Stick and the Stars", describes author's experiences during World War II. (W. Kimber/ Hutchinson)
* 1989: "The Wheeling Stars : A Guide for Lone Sailors". Boston, London: Faber & Faber.
* 1997: "Kamikaze: the Wind of God" (Minerva Press)

See also

* Castle Leslie
* HMS "Resolution"
* Shane Leslie

References

External links

* [http://www.scispy.ie/fionn_films/thumbnails/asx/22Submarines.asx 12 minute interview with Bill King starts 4.20 minutes into Kiltartan National School's video project on "The Science of Submarines". (Opens video directly.)] [http://www.scispy.ie/fionn%5Ffilms/03.aspx "Submarines."] SciSpy: Fionn Films, Innovative Multimedia Educational Resources for Students and Educators project of Ireland's National Centre for Technology in Education and RTÉ. ("After exploring air pressure and water pressure with a pretend "submarine" in the classroom, the children head off to interview a former British submarine commander, Mr Bill King..."). Retrieved on 21 January 2008.]
* [http://9livesproductions.com/index.html "The Stick and The Stars: The Life & Times of Commander Bill King"] . A proposed documentary on Bill King.
* Videos of Bill King during visit with Akira Tsurukama and Katja Boonstra-Blom, in Japanese and English. Opens video files directly. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3jm8lkGcOk]


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