Major Steven C. King was born in 1921 and grew up in Plainfield, NH. He graduated from West Lebanon High School and entered the University of New Hampshire in 1940. At UNH, he participated in the ROTC program. Steven King entered the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 and began flying a PT-17 Stearman. His pilot training culminated upon earning his “wings” at Columbus Army Airfield in August 1944. As a new pilot, his next challenge was B-24 transition training. During World War II, he was deployed to India to fly C-109s or C-54s “over the Hump” to China. This meant he flew aircraft loaded with gas over the Himalayan Mountains to China, where Allied B-29s waited to be refueled for bombing raids on Japan. Steven King’s tour ended with 65 round trips over the Hump earning him an Air Medal and the rank of first lieutenant.
After the war, Steven King returned to the University of New Hampshire to finish his college education. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with Honors in 1947. Subsequently, he continued his education at Cornell to the level of PhD. After achieving that degree, he remained at Cornell University as an Associate Professor.
From there, he was enticed by the Agriculture and Research Service (ARS) into the field of research and management. He served as an administrative executive for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During his last ten years with the ARS, Steven King was in charge of a $100 million yearly budget and honored with the Award for Distinguished Service by Secretary Earl Butz in 1979. Retiring from the ARS in 1982, he organized Solar King for energy conservation until the tax credits ended in 1985. His next career was selling real estate for 14 years and retiring again in 2000. Major King was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Executives, Association of Realtors, and CBI Veteran’s Organization.
When Steven King was released from active duty, he remained an officer in the Air Force Reserves and continued to serve his country. He retired from the Air Force Reserves with the rank of major.
Writing books became a passion in his later years. Dr. Steven King authored several books, among them his autobiography, “Flying the Hump to China.” This publication recounted his WWII experiences.
Dr. King knew he had been selected for induction into the UNH ROTC Hall of Fame and had planned on attending the ceremony. He died on 26 October 2007.
For meritorious service as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps and an officer in the Air Force Reserves, Major Steven C. King is inducted posthumously into the ROTC Hall of Fame.