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Photographic History of the United States Navy


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign - NULP

Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,000 SHP; Westinghouse Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Built by New York Shipbuilding, Camden, NJ
Laid down 28 April 1919
Launched 14 October 1920
Commissioned 16 December 1920
Decommissioned 10 March 1931
Recommissioned 13 June 1932
Decommissioned 21 September 1938 Recommissioned 26 September 1939
Decommissioned 23 October 1945
Stricken 16 November 1945
Fate Sold 29 September 1946 to Boston Metals, Baltimore and broken up for scrap.

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Size Image Description Contributed
King 152kCommander Frank Ragan King was an officer in the United States Navy who died while conducting minesweeping operations shortly after World War I. Born in Montevallo, Alabama, 15 oOtober 1884, King was appointed midshipman at the Naval Academy 06 May 1903 and graduated 11 February 1907. After serving as passed midshipman on Milwaukee and Pennsylvania, he was commissioned Ensign 12 February 1909. Servinbng as such on Princeton and Pennsylvania, King served as Lieutenant (jg) on Oregon, at the Naval Academy, and Wyoming, and as Lieutenant on Wyoming. Promoted to Lt. Commander, he served on Henderson, and attained the rank of Commander 21 September 1918 aboard Arizona. Commmander King assumed command of the trawler Richard Buckley 07 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. Commander King received the Distinguished Service Medal for his valor.
Photo of Midshipman Frank Ragan King courtesy of the USNA Alumni Association.
Bill Gonyo
USS King (DD-242)
King 78kUndated, location unknown.Paul Rebold
King 160kUndated, location unknown. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.Darryl Baker
King 91kUSS Barry (DD-248), USS Sands (DD-243) and USS King (DD-242), undated, location unknown.Tommy Trampp
King 162kMrs. Allene A. King, widow of Frank Ragan King, the sponsor of the destroyer USS King (DD-242), strikes the bow of the ship with the traditional bottle of champagne on 14 October 1920.
Photo from the Independence Seaport Museum.
Bill Gonyo
King 190kUSS King (DD-242) launching at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, 14 October 1920.
Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 52065
Mike Green
King 77kIn drydock at Constantinople, Turkey, circa 1921-1923.Mike Davis
King 132kSan Diego Photo Shop image of the USS Childs (DD-241), USS Strurtevant (DD-249), USS Overton (DD-239) and USS King (DD-242), dated 20 March 1925.Ron Hanley
King 129kIn San Diego Harbor, California, circa the 1930s. Note the short range battle target hung between her middle smokestacks.
Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 73278
Robert Hurst
King 109k1930s colorized photo of King (DD-242) by Carlton, San Diego.Anonymous donor,
in memory of Claud Anderson, B1/c


First photo, USS Mississippi (BB-41) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA, 12 May 1933. The bow of the destroyer USS Childs (DD-241)appears on the left. Photo Yanovitch, Robert J. Lewis collection. Second photo, same scene with the bow of the USS King (DD-242) in the foreground, she does not appear in the first photo.Butch & Debbie Baxter
King 51kCirca 1936, from the Stephen Urbani special feature.Paul Urbani
King 48kDestroyers at Mare Island's Navy Day, 27 October 1939 - first row: USS Humphreys (DD-236) and USS King (DD-242); second row USS Buchanan (DD-131), USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); the USS Lawrence (DD-250) and USS Sands (DD-243) are inboard and hidden from view.Darryl Baker
King   King
News article about explosion aboard King (DD-242) off Newport, RI, 26 March 1940.
Anonymous donor,
in memory of Claud Anderson, B1/c
King 85kUSS King (DD-242) on the beach at the end of runway "B" at Adak, circa 1942-1943.
Photo from United States Destroyer Operations in World War II by Theodore Roscoe.
Robert Hurst
King 28kCirca 1944Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 33kCirca 1944Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 46kNever ending deck work - chipping paint.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 46kUSO entertainers, your's truly holding hat.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 52kMess cooks peeling spuds.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 49kThe Chief's mess.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 39kOur Captain is standing on the left side of the bridge.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 44kThe bow 4"/50 gun.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 39kCWT(AA) William N. Beyer and Chief McKenzie (machinist) [muster rolls show this is probably TM1c John A. MacKenzie, Jr.].Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 50kAfter crew quarters.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 39kPicking up survivors from a troop ship that went aground, while returning to the states; these were all US sailors.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 54kWater Tenders, yours truly in whites, I was the Chief's mess cook at the time, but transferred to the engine room later.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 41kWard Room, ship's doctor seated left and Mr. Starkweather standing.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 57kPersonnel inspection.Henry Slotsve MM2c
King 37kThe crew's cooks.Henry Slotsve MM2c

USS KING DD-242 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry at the Naval History & Heritage Command website

Commanding Officers
01ENS Hal Steele Fewell USNRF16 December 1920 - 1921
02LCDR Roy Campbell Smith, Jr. (USNA 1910)1921 - 30 January 1922
03LCDR Henry Grafton Fuller (USNA 1906)30 January 1922 - 23 January 1925
04LCDR Theodore Stark Wilkinson (USNA 1909)23 January 1925 - 11 January 1927
05LCDR Comfort Benedict Platt (USNA 1909)11 January 1927 - 17 June 1927
06CDR Ralph Roderick Stewart (USNA 1907)17 June 1927 - 08 June 1928
07CDR Leland Jordan, Jr. (USNA 1908)08 June 1928 - 05 July 1930
08LCDR Karl Erehard Hintze (USNA 1913)05 July 1930 - 09 January 1931
09LT John Vincent McElduff (USNA 1919)09 January 1931 - 10 March 1931
 Decommissioned10 March 1931 - 13 June 1932
10LCDR Kenneth Mortimer Hoeffel (USNA 1917)13 June 1932 - 13 June 1933
11LT/LCDR Paul Hopkins Talbot (USNA 1919)13 June 1933 - 11 June 1934
12LCDR John Vernon Murphy (USNA 1917)11 June 1934 - 25 September 1935
13LCDR William Bryan Coleman USN25 September 1935 - 07 June 1937
14LCDR Frederick Charles Sachse (USNA 1920)07 June 1937 - 10 April 1938
15LT Edmondston Ernest Coil (USNA 1922)10 April 1938 - 21 September 1938
 Decommissioned21 September 1938 - 26 September 1939
16LCDR Elmer Edward Berthold (USNA 1924)26 September 1939 - 19 February 1941
17LT/LCDR Thomas Rhodes Langley (USNA 1926)19 February 1941 - April 1942
18LT Maurice James Carley D-V(G) USNRApril 1942 - May 1942
19LCDR Kenneth McLoud Gentry (USNA 1930)May 1942 - 11 May 1943
20LT Robert Henry Hopkins DE-V(G) USNR11 May 1943 - 14 September 1943
21LCDR Truman Boyce Hinkle D-V(G) USNR14 September 1943 - 26 February 1944
22LT/LCDR Charles Ellsworth Pond, Jr. (USNA 1938)26 February 1944 - September 1944
23LT Richard J O'Neill (D) USNRSeptember 1944 - June 1945
24LT Robert Mecum Cohee (D) USNRJune 1945 - 23 October 1945

Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Tin Can Sailors Website
Destroyer History Foundation
Destroyers Online Website
Official U.S.Navy Destroyer Website

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This page was created by Fred Willishaw (ex ARG-4, AS-11 & DD-692) and is maintained by David L. Wright
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Last Updated 13 September 2020