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.
October 28, 2006 Saturday at 6:24 pm