Grave Of King Neptune The Pig
Mount Pleasant, Illinois
King Neptune was the US Navy's unofficial mascot for nine years. He helped raise over $19 million in war bonds during W.W.II by being repeatedly "auctioned off" on fundraising tours. The 700 lb. porker would be dressed in a navy blue robe, a gold crown (made by a local Women's Club) and would wear silver earrings and painted toenails.
Navy recruiter Don Lingle hatched the resale scheme when he was given King Neptune as a piglet to barbecue in the early 1940's. In the spirit of patriotism, high bidders buying the pig at war bond rallies always returned him.
King Neptune's eroded grave was not lavish, or even very recognizable, situated at a roadside rest stop. The inscription reads: "Buried here - King Neptune, famous Navy mascot pig auctionedfor $19,000,000.00 in war bonds 1942-1946 to help make a free world."
Vandalism of King Neptune's gravestone prompted the Illinois Department of Transportation to build a new memorial to the patriotic porker at the Trail of Tears Welcome Center on northbound I-57, north of exit 31 (Anna).