Author (then a PFC, fresh out of jump school and in the ‘Q’ Course at Ft. Bragg)
with Maj. King at his retirement in Coral Gable, FL 1973.
Douglass D King Jr. passed away peacefully on March 25, 2015.
Born on October 3, 1926 in Nashville, Tennessee, Doug and his family (parents Douglass D. King, Sr. and Annie King) moved to Miami at a young age. Doug went to school locally and graduated from Miami Senior High School and received his degree from the University of Miami. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served 2 years during World War II in 1945-1946 in Japan and the Philippines where he was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon, Army of Occupation Ribbon (Japan), the Victory Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Bar. Following his enlisted duty, Doug was commissioned as a U.S. Army Officer. He graduated from Paratrooper Jump School and Special Forces (Green Beret) School, and commanded Company F of the 11th Special Forces Group and ascended to the rank of Major. Ultimately, Doug commanded the Third Battalion of the 11th Special Forces Group and retired in 1973 with Master Jump Wings and honorary Marine Corp Jump Wings. Doug worked in the insurance industry for many years. He leaves behind many good friends who will miss him.
Major King was laid to rest 30 March 2015 at:
Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Park Cemetery South
11655 Southwest 117th Avenue
Miami, Fla. 33186
From an email to the author (17 Aug 2017):
Prior to your story about Maj. King was the beginnings of SF in the reserves. I met Major King when he was the B team commander in the 13th SF group that was located at the University of Miami ROTC building This would have been in 1962 or 1963. Major King recruited me to join his unit. I served with the now defunct 13th SF until about 1966-67. I moved away from the Miami area and did not keep in contact with my team members. But I remember them till this day.
The reason for my letter to you is tell you that the 13th SF (reserve) did exist Prior to becoming the 11th or 20th Groups and Major King was one of the first officers to start up a SF reserve unit and run it successfully for years.
Our training while I was there, included Jungle warfare school Panama, the mountain course of the Ranger school and other training sites. As an reservist I attended the Recondo school at Ft. Campbell.
Just a heads up.
11th SF Group Challenge Coin
The Army Reserve's 11th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was attached to the 97th Army Reserve Command at Fort Meade. For a number of years in the late 60's, Miller Field was home to the headquarters of the Army's 11th Special Forces Group. In the U.S. military, the tradition of military "challenge" coins goes back to the early 1960s. A member of the 11th Special Forces Group took old coins, had them over stamped with a different emblem, then presented them to unit members.
In November 1990 the Department of Defense developed budget guidance that directed the deactivation of three Army National Guard and three Army Reserve Special Forces battalions.
The Department subsequently rescinded the deactivation plans for the three Army Reserve battalions pending the results of the Command's joint mission analysis. Conferees for the 1993 Department of Defense Appropriations Act included in their report the expectation that the Army Special Operations Command would maintain existing Army National Guard Special Operations units through fiscal year 1993 and rejected any plan or initiative to expand the active component special operations forces to replace these National Guard units.
The conferees further noted that in the fiscal year 1992 Defense Appropriations Act, Congress had limited any conversion of National Guard missions to the active components. The Command's analysis validated the need to deactivate the six battalions, in the 11th (reserves) and 19th Special Forces Groups.
Instead, the 11th and 12th Special Forces Group (Airborne), both US Army Reserve units, were inactivated on 15 September 1995.