King, Edward, born 04-07-1884 in Atlanta, Georgia, as the grandson and nephew of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, King had a strong desire to be a soldier. He entered the University of Georgia, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated in 1902. Initially his family wanted him to be a lawyer but he desired a more adventurous career. He applied for and received a commission vy War Colleges. In 1940 he was sent to the Philippines where he was promptly promoted to Brigadier General; he served as General Douglas MacArthur second highest ranking ground officer, after General Jonathan Wainwright.
On 11-03-1942, by order of President Franklin 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 himself, accepting sole responsibility to disobey MacArthur’s and Wainwright’s orders, chose to surrender his troops on 09-04-1942, 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 and imprisonment. Wainwright and his men, numbering 10,000, held on to Corregidor until they too were forced to surrender on 06-05-1942. King spent three and half years as a captive of the Japanese and was often mistreated by them because of his rank. Both Wainwright and King expected court-martial for disobeying the no-surrender order. However, they were treated as heroes when they were freed finally. 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.
Death and burial ground of King, Edward Postelle.
He died, age 74 on 31-08-1958, in Georgia and is buried on the Cemetery of St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church , Flat Rock, North Carolina.