Ernest (Edward) Glen (Bud) King
¬†Born in 1917, son of an American non-Jewish family, Ernest King had served in the USAAF as a flight Engineer during World War II.¬† When he heard that the intended Jewish State was forming an Air Force, he volunteered to participate as¬† crew of a Curtiss C46 Commando Transport Plane, loaded to capacity with urgently needed aircraft and other military equipment.
All the crew,¬† Ernest King among them, were aware of the risk of flying the over-loaded planes, but were determined to get the desperately required equipment to the nascent Jewish Air Force in Palestine.
Five aircraft flew and arrived safely in¬† Mexico City.¬† After a week's break in the city, it was decided to resume the flights.¬† On April 23rd, 1948 two C46's, with great difficulty, using the entire length of the runway, succeeded in getting airborne.¬† The third, in which Ernest was acting as co-pilot, succeeded in reaching the height of only 30 meters, when the plane suddenly plunged earthward with an enormous crash.¬† Ernest was killed immediately and the pilot, Bill Gerson, died of his injuries hours later.
Ernest is buried in the Los Angeles Cemetery.
These two fliers were the first fatal casualties of the Israeli Air Force.
Prepared by Joe Woolf