William Whitaker King Profile Photo
1933 William 2022

William Whitaker King

October 23, 1933 — December 15, 2022

Isle of Palms


Captain William Whitaker King, 89, of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, passed away on Thursday, December 15, 2022.

William was the son of William Bryan King and Helen Huffaker King.  He is survived by his wife, Diane E. Rowan, children William Bryan King II (Janie McKnight) of Huntersville, NC, Susan Whitaker King of Charlotte, NC and two granddaughters, Rachel McLendon King and Lauren Whitaker Aponte.

Mr. King, a former Naval Aviator and retired Captain of Trans Caribbean Airways/American Airlines was respected as an exceptional aviator by his peers thorough his 35-year aviation career.

He was born on October 23, 1933, in Chattanooga, TN and was graduated from Chattanooga High School in 1951 and, on a football scholarship, graduated the University of Chattanooga in 1955.  After which he entered the U.S. Naval School of Preflight as a member of the initial Aviation Officer Candidate Class 29-55.  Upon completion of Preflight, he was commissioned an Ensign and began flight training at Whiting Field, Milton, FL.  In April 1956 he soloed and in August 1956 satisfactorily qualified as a carrier pilot.  He then was transferred to NAS Corpus Christi, TX for instrument and flying boat training.  He was designated a Naval Aviator on March 1, 1957.  Over the next ten years he flew in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Gulf and Pacific areas performing maritime surveillance and search and rescue missions.
Mr. King was hired in 1967 by Trans Caribbean Airways flying the Boeing 727 out of John F. Kennedy airport, NY to Caribbean destinations.  In the spring of 1971, Trans Caribbean merged with American Airlines, and he remained in New York.  In 1978, Captain King transferred to San Francisco, CA where he flew the Boeing 707, 727, 757 and 767.  On October 22, 1993, he commanded his final commercial flight from New York to San Francisco.

Captain King married his wife, Diane, in San Francisco on May 5, 1984.  They subsequently lived in Petaluma, CA, Kailua Kona, HI, Incline Village, NV and Isle of Palms, SC.

Among his many hobbies, were scuba diving, snow skiing, vintage power boating, exhibiting and concours judging English and German sports cars.  In his earlier years, he was a competition driver in the Sports Car Club of America competing at Daytona, Sebring, Lime Rock and other East coast venues.

William "Bill" King will be fondly remembered and missed by his family and numerous friends he made in his travels around the world. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Charleston Animal Society, www.charlestonanimalsociety.org in the name of William Whitaker King.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at mcalister-smith.com/.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Mount Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Whitaker King, please visit our flower store.


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