Welton R. King (1967/06/01)
Welton taught Santa Cruz High School cadets how to be soldiers and then set the example.
Welton Roger King was born on September 12, 1924, in Amity, Arkansas, to Mr. and Mrs. C. F. King. The King family also consisted of a younger brother Ronald [who also appears on this honor roll] and his sisters Jo Ann and Jane. The family later moved to the California central valley community of Merced. Welton is believed to have graduated from Merced High School prior to the family's move to Santa Cruz. While living in Santa Cruz, he attended San Jose State College and became an ROTC cadet.
After serving in World War II, King returned to Santa Cruz and during the years 1947-1948, taught band and ROTC at Santa Cruz High School. Desiring a career in the US Air Force, Welton re-entered the armed forces during the Korean War and continued to serve throughout the Cold War era. During this period, Welton married Mary Lou and had two sons, Ronald and Douglas, along with a daughter Kathy.
By the time of the Vietnam War, Welton had risen to the rank of Lt. Colonel and continued to fly. The type of aircraft or the Air Wing to which he was assigned has not been identified; however, B29, B52 bombers and other aircraft were being flown out of Okinawa in 1967. On June 1, 1967, while taking off on a mission, Lt. Colonel Welton R. King's aircraft crashed at Kadena AFB on Okinawa. His remains were recovered and returned to California for burial in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
(USDVA, SCSn June 4, 1967 37:7, October 5, 1967 1:4; Photo- SCHS)