Gerald Raymond King

Aircraftman 2nd Class
Service number 1256284
Died 04 Feb 1942
Buried Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta
Age 22

Gerald was born on 18 August 1920 in Norwich, Norfolk to Lithuanian father Archibald (Aharon) and Polish born mother Gertrude nee Kahn and he had three brothers and a sister. Their father Archie on arrival from Lithuania, lived in Kingston upon Hull where he married Gertrude before moving to Norwich where their children were born. He worked as a marine store dealer before becoming a metal merchant.

Gerald enlisted in 1940 and after training joined the ground crew based at RAF Luqa in Malta.

On 4 February 1942 four Hurricanes, two Swordfish and an ASR launch, HSL 129, of which Gerald was manning the front turret, were sent out to search for missing pilots. The launch headed for a point four miles south-south-east of Benghaisa Point and near Filfla two Bf 109s of 6./JG 53 swooped down on the rescue craft, killing AC Gerald “Gerry” Raymond King. During a second pass the skipper, Flt Lt Victor Albert Nicolls, was mortally wounded and died seven days later, while the aft-turret gunner, LAC Thomas “Tom” Peter Logan Griffith, was hit in the left side and thigh; nonetheless, he continued to man his gun but was killed during the third attack. The coxswain, Cpl Theodore “Theo” Lorraine Nielsen, was also killed and his deputy wounded, although the latter managed to get the badly damaged launch back to Kalafrana. Silent spectators gathered as HSL 129 limped slowly into view, engines faltering and backfiring, and the forward gun cupola splashed with blood from the dead gunner. Information from Victor F MORRIS. Thomas P L GRIFFITH. Gerald R KING. Theodore L NIELSEN. | MilitaryImages.Net