World War II Hero Wally King Receives Parade Honor

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Wally King, a World War II hero and prominent businessman, will be the grand marshal of the New Wilmington Halloween Parade on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 5:15 p.m.

The recognition at Halloween is particularly appropriate as King will celebrate his 100th birthday on Oct. 31.

King piloted 74 missions in Europe as a member of the 39th Air Force 406th Fighter Group before his plane was shot down over Germany during his 75th flight.

He was burned and suffered a broken leg after parachuting from the plane. He was then captured and imprisoned for a week before a humanitarian German doctor and a German captain sent him and other prisoners to Allied forces for treatment.

After recuperating, King returned to his home in Ohio where he graduated from Youngstown College as an accountant. He later co-founded the accounting firm Hill-Barth & King, where he worked until retiring in 1984.

He and his late wife moved to New Wilmington more than 30 years ago, where he is an active member of the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church.

Among his decorations, King was awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.

Most recently, three years ago, he received the Medal of Honor from the French government in recognition of his heroic service.

He now frequently speaks to student and civic organizations about his experiences, stressing the need for all to work together to promote peace among people and nations. He has represented World War II veterans at commemorative events in Normandy, France, and at Pearl Harbor.

The widely respected New Wilmington resident also stays active as a volunteer in the local Meals on Wheels program, delivering meals to senior adults in New Castle weekly, and as a volunteer in an area hospice program that supports military veterans.

The annual Halloween parade is co-sponsored by the New Wilmington Kiwanis Club and the New Wilmington Area Business Association. Prizes will be awarded for best floats and costumes. A cake walk will be held following the conclusion of the parade.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.