Johnson County

Lt. Gerald L. Cline



Year End Review Edition

Sorrowful news, in the form of messages advising the next of kin of the death of a loved one somewhere in the service of their nation, came to an increasing number of homes in Muscatine and vicinity during 1944 as the country’s military operations against enemies on World war No. 2 proceeded on an accelerated pace. Emphasis upon the tremendous cost of warfare in human lives was called in repeated instances, by official messages, relating that men from this community had made the supreme sacrifice while following the flag with the respective branches of the armed services. News dispatches from the scenes of history –making engagements recorded in the third year of this nation’s participation in war were followed, in the course of a brief lapse of time, and with distressing regularity, by official notification to the effect that someone from this community was included among those who had given their lives.

But brief bits of information were available, in most instances, for the bereaved relatives of servicemen whose deaths were written into the record during this third year of the war. The date, the theater of action, perchance a note to the effect that the serviceman had been buried in an American cemetery abroad- and but little more were ordinarily included. Subsequently, in instances, letter from companions in service, or others in close association, gave additional details. For some, whose death occurred while in service in this country, funeral services were conducted when bodies were returned to the home community for burial. For others, who died on foreign soil, memorial services were conducted at various churches of their affliction.

Community memorial services, honoring those whose lives were given in the service of their country were conducted at the Muscatine high school auditorium Sunday, Nov. 26, with representatives of various pastoral organizations participating establishing a custom of holding on the last Sunday afternoon of each month, similar memorial service for the community’s war heroes.

Brief sketches of those who gave their lives in the service of their country since the outbreak of the war, compiled from causality list and information obtained from relatives follow:

Lt. Cline was killed in a plane crash 35 miles northeast of the Abilene army base at Abilene, Tex., early in August, 1944. His marriage to Miss Louise Gufford, of Muscatine, took place on July 22, shortly before his death. He had resided at Lone Tree and was graduated from the high school there with the class of 1944.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, Year End Edition, Friday, December 29, 1944 (photo included)

140 Have Made Supreme Sacrifice in Muscatine Area In War Against Axis Powers; Many Reported Wounded

Second Lt. Gerald L. Cline, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cline, of Lone Tree, killed July 22, 1944, in airplane crash near Abilene, Tex.

Source: Muscatine Journal, Victory in Europe Edition, May 7, 1945

2nd Lt. Gerald L. Cline is buried in Swank Cemetery, Johnson County, IA.