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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Kline

 

Stanley Fly Kline was born 15 November 1901 in Graterford, Pa., and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve 2 February 1927. He began active duty 13 July 1942, and was assigned to Britsh warship Hartland, former U.S. Coast Guard cutter Pontchartrain, as a member of an antisabotage party.

 

On November 8, as Hartland entered Oran Harbor, Algeria, the ship came under heavy fire from enemy ships and shore batteries. When a shell exploded in a compartment occupied by the boarding party, the survivors found themselves trapped by fire and fumes. Kline, crawling through a small overhead hatch and worming his way along the deck under a hail of shells and machine gun fire, opened a large hatch and assisted 42 men to safety. He then turned to loading ammunition clips for an automatic rifle and continued his heroic conduct with complete disregard of his own safety until killed by a shell explosion. Kline was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for his conspicuous gallantry.

 

(APD-120: dp. 1,390; l. 306'; b. 37'; dr. 12'7" ; s. 23.6 k. cpl. 204 ; a. 1 5", 6 40mm.; 6 20mm., 2 dct.; cl. Crosley)

 

Kline (DE-687), was launched 27 June 1944 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Mrs. Hazel Kline, widow; redesignated APD-120 on 17 July; and commissioned 18 October 1944, Lt. B. F. Urban, USNR, in command.

 

While en route to shakedown, 6 November 1944, Kline rescued nine survivors from Navy dirigible K-34 which had been forced down in a storm. Completing her Bermuda shakedown the high-speed transport cleared Norfolk 24 December for the Pacific. Upon arriving Pearl Harbor 20 January 1945, Kline trained underwater demolition teams until sailing 14 February for Leyte. Intensive pre-invasion exercises were completed in the Philippines before the transport arrived off Okinawa 26 March. Kline's underwater demolition team cleared the approaches to the island, "the last stepping stone" on the road to Japan. After the main invasion force landed 1 April, Kline remained in the area as radar and ASW picket. Her guns also assisted in splashing an enemy aircraft on 1 April and helped down another on the 6th.

 

She departed Okinawa area 16 April and for the next 6 weeks underwent training and repairs. Sailing from Borneo 2 June, Kline provided close fire support during the invasion of Brunei Bay, Borneo on 10 June and 2 weeks later her underwater demolition unit gave valuable service during the invasion of Balikpapan. The highspeed transport departed Indonesian waters 7 July and, sailing via the Carolines and Marshalls, arrived Ocean-side, Calif., 5 August.

 

Following the cessation of hostilities Kline sailed for Japan, arriving Sasebo 20 September to commence underwater reconnaissance missions. After similar operations at Nagasaki she returned San Diego 19 October to prepare for "Magic-Carpet" service. Kline made 1 cruise to Pearl Harbor and returned 110 Pacific veterans to San Diego 19 November. Two days later she sailed for the East Coast, arriving Norfolk 5 December. On 28 January Kline arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she decommissioned 10 March 1947 and joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Kline was struck 15 January 1966 and on 22 February sold to Nationalist China under the Military Assistance Program.

 

Kline received two battle stars for World War II service.