Other Surnames: Klohe

In addition to my own family names, listed above, I also do research on families of certain people close to me, a fact which I have not heretofore mentioned in this space.


The line of this family which I am following is descended from Martin Klohe, born on 19 July 1843, in Gommersdorf, Mosbach, Baden. According to one source, his parents were Joseph Michael Klohe and Genovefa Humm. In 1867, Martin departed from the port of Bremen on the ship Hansa for America. He arrived on 9 June 1867, just a few weeks short of his 24th birthday. Martin married Catharine Heuser, also an immigrant from Baden. They settled in Pennsylvania. One of their children was John William Klohe born in March of 1885. According to the family lore, Martin and Catharine were killed in a buggy accident.

In the early 20th century, John Klohe found his way to California, specifically Monterey. John Klohe worked in the canneries, eventually managing some of them. He married Nancy Anne Davis and they had two children: John F. Klohe, born 1921, and Nancy Klohe, born in 1923.

John F. Klohe eventually changed his first name to Ivon. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II and became a pilot.

On October 14, 1943, Captain Ivon F. Klohe was the commander of a B-17 Flying Fortress stationed with the Eighth Air Force in England. that morning, Klohe’s crew included as copilot his distant cousin, Lieutenant Herbert Heuser. Their aircraft, nicknamed the Yank, was to fly that morning on “Mission 115.” The target was Germany’s ball bearings factories at Schweinfurt. The Schweinfurt produced nearly half of Germany’s ball bearings capacity. For that reason this was a high priority target for the Allies and heavily defended by the Germans.

More than 200 B-17’s took part in the raid. They met immediate resistance from German fighters. Seventy-seven American bombers were lost along with 650 crewmembers in what became known as “Black Thursday.” It was the greatest one-day loss in the history of the United States Air Force. Klohe’s aircraft was under heavy attack by German fighters throughout the mission. Klohe and his crew distinguished themselves by their defensive measures which kept their aircraft aloft. They managed to reach their target and return home safely though not without damage to the Yank. At age 21, Ivon Klohe was a war hero.

After the war, Ivon continued his distinguished military career into the 1960s. He married Elise Beaton. Ivon Klohe’s father John died in Monterey in 1959. His sister, Nancy, died in 2002 in Washington state. Ivon died in March 2005 in Colorado.

Several other Klohe’s came to the United States from Baden, eventually settling in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, and Oregon. Ivon’s cousin, William, who lived in Ohio, was also a highly decorated pilot during World War II. After the war, William became an electrical engineer and worked on aircraft engines. William died in November 2002.

The name “Klohe” is relatively rare in the United States, ranking number 82,836 in frequency on the 1990 census.


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6 Responses to “Other Surnames: Klohe”

  • Kris Klohe says:

    Hi Craig, Thank you for sharing about the Klohe’s
    Kris Klohe, eldest son of Ivon and Elise Klohe 1945

  • Bruce Wendall Klohe Claypool says:

    In 1943 the krouts shot down half of our B-17s over 700 planes were lost that year. Some crews deserted, others were lost at sea. Many crews had to ditch there Flying Fortress. About 800 B-17s were left after the raids on Schwienfurt. Uncle Vonny flew the B-52 in experimental long range bombing missions and they had to ditch one over Alaska. He was a C-30 jet fighter instructor back in 1949, and trained many fighter pilots at Travis Air Force Base in California. Retired as Major Colognal he was a S.A.C. Pilot for 20 years with top secret V.I.P. credentials. Vonny told me all about his two homebuilt LongEZs. John Denver, singer/sogwriter was killed in a LongEZ over Monterey Bay. Top speed, fuel consumption, and service cieling are classefied. Uncle Vonny grew up in a little house on Boronda Lane behind Denny’s Resturant and the old Dorney & Farlinger Mortuary. Back in those days all Sam’s Fishing Fleet ran steam engines. Smoke and steam filled the sky. John Stienbeck lived in Pacific Grove. Nancy and Ivon learned to swim at the Del Monte Hotel with actors like Clark Gabel.

  • Bruce Wendall Klohe Claypool says:

    “The Yanks are comin’
    the Yanks are comin’
    the Yanks are comin’
    to town!

  • Bruce Wendall Klohe Claypool says:

    Ha ha….thats interesting, I didnt know that Uncle Vonny’s real name was John. I might add that John William Klohe married Ann Davis (my grandparents), daughter of Frances Harley Davis who desighned, built and were joint owners of the Del Mar Cannery on Monterey’s Historic Cannery Row. Vonny’s middle name was Frances. John and Frances or “gramps” were patent attornies in Monterey Ca. A mortician named Mr. Dorney of Dorny & Farlinger, taught Ivon the Terrible to fly in his Piper Cub back in 1935. “He weren’t no damn ass-hole cropduster pilot from Castroville” Ivon was the squadron leader. The lead plane, the first plane to hit Schwinefurt was The Yank. He dropped his bombs and flew right back to London before the krouts could get thier guns sighted in. Actor James Stewart flew in that raid too. Stewart became a Brigadier General. They flew to Schwinefurt to drop bombs many many times. Doing little damage. The Yank refused to fly at night because of meserschmitts peeling out around them. The turret gunnars claims two official kills over Schwinefurt. According to family lore, John was driving Vonny to the Oakland Induction Center from Monterey when they got into an argument in Prunedale. John tossed him out of the car and socked him in his upper lip leaving Vonny scarred for life. “Your a Marine now boy” were the last words John ever spoke to his son Ivon. Yours Truely Bruce Claypool

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s always nice to see more Klohes!

    –another Klohe from the midwest

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Craig: Thank you for your kind words about our Dad and family. Blessings to You and Yours, Kris Klohe

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