Lt. Col. John E. King, USMC and Mary Thomas King Memorial Scholarship

The Lt. Col. John E. King, USMC and Mary Thomas King Memorial Scholarship was created by their children in 2016 as a memorial. Following the 7th ROC graduation, John served in the Philippines during WWII where he commanded a 155mm Howitzer Battery, which received a Presidential Unit Citation for its accurate gunfire support in the Ormoc Bay area. Upon being rotated back to the States to attend school at Quantico and Camp LeJeune he returned to duty on Guam in July 1945 for a two and a half year tour. Upon return to the States, John served as G-3 and Provost Marshal at Parris Island.

Afterward, he served at Camp Lejeune and Birmingham where he was Inspector-Instructor of the 105mm artillery battery. While in Birmingham, he was assigned overall planning cognizance for Armistice Day celebrations. For his outstanding performance in this capacity, he received a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy, who was in attendance. He was transferred to Senior School next. While there he was stricken with the malady which plagued him until his death. As a result of this illness, he was transferred to 29 Palms as Base Inspector until his release from active duty in July, 1958.

Despite his illness, he took his civic responsibilities seriously, including becoming a 32nd Degree Mason, a Past Commander of his American Legion Post, a Sojourner, a past member of the Morongo, CA school board, a Rotarian, member of the Jaycees and Aero Club of Birmingham, Past President of the Southeast Hospital Council. He was also active with the local Boy Scouts of America.

Mary Thomas King was born in Screven County, GA. She and her future husband, John King, attended and graduated from Georgia Teachers College, now Georgia Southern University. Mary Thomas throughout her married life and after was proudest of having been John’s wife, a Marine wife, “The Colonel’s Lady”, and being a Marine widow.

To remember both John and Mary, their children created the Lt. Col. John E. King, USMC and Mary Thomas King Memorial Scholarship. Recipients of the scholarship should be children of active or former members of the US military including front line soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen serving or having served in a combat theater of operations, as well as rear echelon military personnel serving or having served in-theater.