Oldest War submarine commander dies at 102

Sat, Sep 22, 2012, 01:00

Wartime submarine commander and adventurer Bill King, who lived at Oranmore Castle in Co Galway has died at the age of 102.

He was believed to have been the only surviving submarine commander from the second World War.

In 1967, Cdr King set out to sail the world in a purpose-built boat he constructed himself. The two-masted Galway Blazer II twice failed to circumnavigate the world. At 58, he became the oldest participant in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968.

He eventually achieved his goal of sailing singlehandedly around the world in 1970.

Cdr King had first settled in Galway in 1946 when he and his wife, Anita Leslie, bought Oranmore Castle for £200.

A family notice yesterday read: “Commander Bill DSO, DSC submariner and yachtsman set off on a new voyage on September 21st, 2012 aged 102 years.

“He was surrounded by the loving care of his daughter Leonie and son Tarka.

“Reposing at Oranmore Castle tomorrow from 4pm to 6pm. Funeral service on Monday at 4pm at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Lombard Street, Galway. Private Interment. Donations in memory of Bill to RNLI.”