King, Helen Arline Pieper

December 09, 2008

Born in Shelby, Iowa on April 26, 1916. Graduated from Jennie Edmundson School of Nursing in Council Bluffs, Iowa 1939. Joined Army Nurse Corps in January 1941- 1 year Jefferson Barracks Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, January 1942 assigned to Trinidad in the Caribbean until October 1943. Transferred to European Theater of Operations-Normandy Carentan Field Hospital in June 1944. After Victory in Europe was declared, Helen (as a regular army member) remained as part of the Occupation Forces until 1947. Transferred to Air Force in 1947-attended School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas. Graduated as a Flight Nurse earning AF Flight Nurse Wings. Assigned as Chief Nurse Eglin Air Force Base in 1947, rank now Captain. Married Capt. Frederick M. King on April 2, 1949 (whom she outranked by 5 months). As she was now married, she was required to revert to Reserve Status (according to existing rules). Her husband was ordered fly in the Berlin Airlift, which lasted for 7 months, during which time he was reassigned to the 2nd Air Division in Landsberg, Bavaria, Germany. Helen joined him there in 1950. While in Bavaria Helen & Fred had time to travel the continent including a trip from Bavaria to Denmark, Norway and Sweden in a Volkswagon Bug with 4 Jerry cans of gasoline in the back seat and gasoline on the local economies was to expensive. Then again on a trip to Vienna, Austria they decided to take a trip to the Opera using the trolly. One thing the 2 forgot was that Vienna was also a divided city with a Russian zone, sure enough the trolly line went through the Russian zone briefly, this conjured up visions of an American Officer and spouse detained by the Russians for questioning. Fortunately for us the Russians were'nt as aggressive as in Berlin and we got to the Opera safely and took a taxi back to the hotel. There were other trips to Italy including Rome and Venice that were memorable. Our son Michael born in 97th Gen. Hospital in Munich, Germany on December 15, 1951. Helen required resigning commission upon birth of child. Returned to USA as husband was assigned to Wright Patterson AFB in 1953 at the B-47 and B-52 Project Offices. Next assignment at U. of Chicago, where husband earned MBA from 1956-1957. Son Brian born in 1957. Lived in a walk-up apartment house on 3rd Floor. Next assignment at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, Range Project Officer from 1957-1961. Lived in town of Alamogordo in an adobe style modern house-great weather except for sandstorms. Served as a Gray Lady at Base Hospital during stay at Holloman. Next assignment at HQ, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews AFB, Maryland 1961-1965. Lived in Westchester Estates, 5 minutes from base. Again served as a Gray Lady at the Base Hospital. She was also active in the ceramics club at Andrews and received an award for 10 years of Gray Lady service. Next assignment at the Pentagon 1965-1970-Fred retired in April 1970. Helen continued to serve as a Gray Lady at Andrews AFB. Moved to Arnold, MD from 1971-1993. Fred now working as a Budget Analyst on Governors Staff 1970-1983. We moved to Charlestown Retirement Community in 1993. Helen was a dedicated Charlestown Treasure Sales Volunteer for over 6 years. This also allowed a chance for more travel including a month long trip to China where we traveled down the Yangtze River, Chunking, the five gorgeous dam construction and many more sights in China and then on to Hong Kong the day it became part of China. There were also trips to Hawaii, Bermuda, Alaska, and many trips in the US proper. Helen passed away on December 4, 2008. Her many awards including that of a loving splendid mother-include American Defense Service Medal, EAME Campaign Medal, (ETO), American Theater Campaign Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Germany), World War II Victory Medal and, of course, Flight Nurse Wings. The French Government awarded Helen a Diploma for the veterans who liberated France and the Non-Commissioned Officers Assn. awarded Helen a Medallion in honor of her services as a member of the Greatest Generation for Service in WWII. May she rest in peace. I'm sure she's in the heavenly choir, a finer person there never was. Helen leaves her husband Fred of 59 years. Two sons, Michael R. King of Lutherville, MD and Brian A. King, and daughter-in-law Betsy Yu King of Potomac, MD and three grandchildren: Eric, Michael's son, a graduate of Towson University, and Brian and Betsy's children, Allison, a senior at Northwestern University and Sean, a senior at Winston Church Hill High School in Potomac. A Mass of Christian will be celebrated 1pm Tuesday, December 9 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Baltimore. Interment will be Arlington National Cemetery, February 18, 2009, at Fort Myer Chapel, 10:45am with full military honors. Arrangements by STERLING-ASHTON-SCHWAB-WITZKE FUNERAL HOME, INC. of Catonsville Inc.

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