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Edward P. King
1884 (1884) – 1958 (aged 73–74)
Edward king.jpg
General Edward King
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Major General
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Edward P. King (1884–1958) was a Major General in the United States Army who gained prominence for leading the defense of the Bataan Peninsula in the Battle of Bataan against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II.



He was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1884. As the grandson and nephew of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, King had a strong desire to be a soldier. He attended the University of Georgia where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated in 1902.

Early military career

Initially his family wanted him to be a lawyer but this proved unfitting for King, and unhappy with his role in civilian life, he desired a more adventurous career. He applied for and received a commission in the Army in 1908. He served with distinction during World War I earning the Distinguished Service Medal. Between WWI and WWII, King held several important assignments including that of instructor in both the Army and Navy War Colleges. In 1940 he was sent to the Philippines where he was promptly promoted to Brigadier General; he served as General Douglas MacArthur's second highest ranking ground officer, after General Jonathan Wainwright.

World War II

On 11 March 1942, by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, MacArthur left for Australia. Wainwright was appointed to succeed MacArthur as General of the Armies of the Philippines while King became the Commanding General of the Philippine-American forces on the Bataan Peninsula. At the time, King was the commander of the artillery.

After months of fighting the invading Japanese Army and with food and medicine exhausted, King was forced to surrender his troops on 9 April 1942. (This day is commemorated in the Philippines as Araw ng Kagitingan "Day of Valor") A combined American and Filipino force of over 75,000 surrendered; this was the largest surrender of a military force in American history. Thousands of these soldiers would die under Japanese captivity during the ensuing Bataan Death March.

Wainwright and his men, numbering 10,000, held on to Corregidor until they too were forced to surrender on 6 May 1942.

King spent three and half years as a captive of the Japanese and was often mistreated by them because of his rank.


After the war, he returned to the United States where he retired to a home in Georgia, devoting himself to many volunteer causes, such as the Red Cross. He died in 1958.

See also




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