Kleyn, John Robert, MMC

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Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
MM-0000-Machinist's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Machinists Mate
Primary Unit
1935-1942, MM-0000, USS Marblehead (CL-12)
Service Years
1925 - 1942
MM-Machinists Mate
Four Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Kleyn, John Robert, MMC.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Tacoma, WA
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Feb 04, 1942
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Other Explosive Device
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/East Indies Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Java Sea
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Buried: Plot A Row 4 Grave 2

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Birth: Mar. 1, 1906 Holland Ottawa County Michigan, USA Death: Feb. 4, 1942, Indonesia John Robert Kleyn was born March 1, 1906 in Holland, Michigan one of six children of Henry and Mamie (GUNST) KLEYN, who were of Dutch descent.

He was a Chief Machinist's Mate when he died in WWII on Feb 4, 1942 at age 35 when his ship, the USS Marblehead was bombed during the Battle of Makassar Strait in the Java sea, Indonesia. Fourteen of his fellow seamen died and 84 were wounded, some who later also died.

John was awarded the Purple Heart; Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon Bar; American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Honorable Service Lapel Button (WWII) Good Conduct Medal; and the Good Conduct Pin.

JOHN JOINED THE US NAVY January 1925 and served on the USS Mississippi; the USS Jason; the USS Canopus and the USS Chaumont and on the USS Marblehead for 7 years from January 1935 until his death.

His brother, James Henry KLEYN served with John on the USS Marblehead for 5 years from Dec 1936 to Feb

1941. John married Heloise Suzaina MANSFIELD in 1935. She was born Feb 11-12, 1912 in Hoquiam, Lewis co. or Grays Harbor Co., WA, the daughter of Clarence Lester and Burnice L. (Laloisetle) MANSFIELD. On March 10, 1942, Captain Robinson sent a letter to John's brother, James Kleyn, notifying him of John's death. Following is the text of that letter.

"The Secretary of the Navy has tried to advise Mrs. Kleyn of the death of her husband. Mrs. Kleyn was living in Manila, Philippines, and it is improbable that any communications have reached her. "John was buried, with other shipmates who were killed in action, in the European Cemetery at Tjilatjap, Java, Netherlands East Indies. Here in a quiet section of this beautiful island, the Netherlands Government has set aside an area for the interment of our heroic dead so that they may lie together in beautiful surroundings, in a sense under American soil and as a memorial to their high courage and ideals. "A military funeral was held with escorts from both the American and Netherlands forces, and both Protestant and Catholic services were conducted by Chaplain Rentz of the USS Houston and Father Widenbusche of Tjilatjap. "Kleyn had served in this ship for nearly seven years, and consequently he was well known to me. During the strained months that preceded the outbreak of hostilities and in the difficult periods of war service that followed, his courage, cheerfulness and resolute performance of duty were constantly observed and admired by all his shipmates, among whom he had a great number of very close friends. "As his Captain, I deeply share your sense of sorrow and loss." Signed, A. G. Robinson, Captain; Commanding USS Marblehead - - - - - - - - -

JOHN KLEYN's widow, Heloise Suzaina (MANSFIELD) KLEYN had gone to Manila to see her husband's grave1942 and was caputured, when The Philippines Fell was held prisoner at Camp Santo Tomas in Manila Luzon, Philippines. She returned to the US on May 2, 1945 on the ship "Admiral E W Eberle" -her address listed as 2516 Cleveland Ave., Everett, WA. Her name was Heloise S. KLEYN Christenson when she married again July 16, 1962 in Riverside co, CA at age 50 to William H. Mawhinney  
Not Specified

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 Duty Stations
USS Mississippi (BB-41)US NavyUSS Canopus (AS-9)
  1925-1929, F1c-0000, USS Mississippi (BB-41)
  1930-1932, MM-0000, Surface Vessels USS I-K
  1932-1934, MM-0000, USS Canopus (AS-9)
  1934-1935, MM-0000, USS Chaumont (AP-5)
  1935-1942, MM-0000, USS Marblehead (CL-12)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1937-1937 Sinking of the USS Panay (PR-5)
  1941-1945 World War II
  1942-1942 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1942-1942 East Indies Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Java Sea
  1942-1942 East Indies Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Balikpapan (Makassar Strait)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Service Number
  Mar 21, 1935, checked onboard USS Marblehead
  Mar 10, 1942, Letter from Commanding Officer
  Feb 05, 2015, General Photos1
 Military Association Memberships
The National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial World War II FallenWW II Memorial National Registry
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2015, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2015, World War II Fallen
  2015, WW II Memorial National Registry
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