Colonel Richard R. King
Post Commander - Camp Atterbury
January 1969 to April 1969
02 April 1969 - 01 April 1974

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Colonel Richard R. King
Post Commander
First Assignment
January 1969 to April 1969

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Colonel Richard R. King
Post Commander
Second Assignment
02 April 1974- 20 November 1978

Colonel King was Post Commander during the most formative period as Camp Atterbury grew from a virtual "cattle ranch" to a very busy, major National Guard training facility.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Old soldier laid to rest at beloved Atterbury

By Jerry Battiste
Columbus, Indiana Republic


CAMP ATTERBURY — Col. Richard R. King, camp commander from 1969 to 1981, was laid to rest at Kansas Cemetery Saturday surrounded by family, friends and those who served with him.  Started in 1942, the 33,000-acre Camp Atterbury began as an infantry training center, hospital for American servicemen and internment center for Italian and German POWs during World War II. 

The camp remained idle and slowly slipped into disrepair during the years after the Korean War while the state tried to figure out what to do with it.   In 1969 Indiana National Guard took control of the camp, placing King in charge. He quickly set in motion a long-term plan to make Atterbury the best training facility in the country. 

He retired from the military after leaving the camp in 1981.  Maj. Gen. George A. Buskirk, adjutant general of Indiana, attended the ceremony, as did current camp commander Lt. Col. Kenneth D. Newlin.  “It bears mentioning Atterbury is the only National Guard base in the country mobilized for this war,” Buskirk said.  “The reason is the infrastructure work and vision started by Colonel King in 1969.” 

Buskirk spoke at length of the admiration he had for King and the strong bond between the two men.  “We met in 1976 and were friends ever since. There has always been a great personal relationship between the Buskirks and the Kings.”  King’s grandson, Richard R. King III, barely made his way through a prepared speech before succumbing to grief and tears. 

He said it only seemed right that King be returned to the camp he once cherished.  “He is being laid to rest in a place that is his life’s work; turning Indiana farmland into a fully functional training facility for the United States military and Indiana National Guard.” 

King spoke at length of the lessons his grandfather taught him about life and work.  “He lived by a code of don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t lie. He came from a time where your word and your handshake were as good as a legal contract. 

 “He was a man of great honor and integrity. In this time of brevity his infinite knowledge and wisdom will sorely be missed by all.”

© 2005 James D. West - Indiana Military Org  All Rights Reserved
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