Through Classmates.com yearbook archive I found this photo of Gerald in his junior year. That’s the last year he attended public high school. I still haven’t had any luck finding pictures of Linda. I’m not sure that she finished high school so it may be a little difficult. Nothing in the papers so far, either.
Last week I called up the Kings County Superior Court to see if I could get my hands on some records on the Thomas Kaylor case. I’m still curious to know whether or not he was convicted. Oddly enough, they couldn’t find anything. The clerk tried all different versions of his name.
Today, I recieved a response to my letter to Phillip Maroot. His paralegal e-mailed me and said that he had no personal recollection of the case but that I should try contacting the Kings County Superior Court. Ha! So I ran into a bit of a dead end there, but I’m thinking of just submitting the paperwork. She provided a link that showed me how to submit it step-by-step.
Stay tuned for information about Gerald’s Navy picture!
I’m currently following a few leads.
- I sent a letter off to Phillip Maroot, the district attorney who prosecuted Thomas Kaylor. I know he’s probably a busy guy but hey, it’s worth a try!
- I’ve been in touch with the Kings County criminal court to see if I can access any public records about the case. I don’t have Thomas Kaylor’s DOB, however. It’s kind of throwing a wrench in things.
- Tomorrow I’m heading to the Lebanon County Historical Society to look at microfilms. I want to see if I can get a better copy of that picture!
After further digging on Ancestry.com, I found this July, 1960 blurb in the Lebanon Daily News. It is accompanied by a picture of Gerald I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, it’s very blurry and smudged. I’ve contacted the Lebanon Daily News to see if I can get a copy but so far have not been successful.
UPDATE! I’ve found the photo!
NAVY BUDDIES- Enlisting in the U.S. Navy recently under the “Buddy Program” were Gerald E. Kline, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel A. Kline, 127 W. Church St., Annville; William E. Waltman, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Waltman, Cornwall; and William T. Adams, 17, son of MSgt. and Mrs. Thomas J. Adams, 35 N. Third ST., Lebanon. The three will remain together during recruit training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Kline attended Annville-Cleona High School, Waltman attended Cornwall High; and Adams attended Lebanon High before enlisting.
- How did Gerald know Waltman and Adams?
- Where are Waltman and Adams now?
I asked around and found that TogetherWeServed.com was probably my best bet for finding Navy buddies of Gerald. As of then, I had no information on his unit, rank, etc. Once I created a memorial page for Gerald, I started poking around the message boards. I picked the closest matching board for my query and typed up a post asking if anyone knew a Gerald Kline stationed on Lemoore Naval Air Station. Within minutes I had a response. Not from someone who knew Gerald, but the moderator. She suggested I request a copy of Gerald’s DD214 and other military records. This can only be done by next of kin, so I called up my dad and he completed the paperwork. We sent over his signature and Gerald’s obituary (again, thank God for Ancestry.com!) and a few weeks later Gerald’s records were in the mail.
I don’t want to post exact scans of these but I gained some great information.
- Enlistment: July 13, 1960.
- Discharged: Honerably on July 10, 1964.
- Unit: Attack Squadron 127
- Rank: ADJ3 (E4)
- Job: Jet aircraft servicer
- Recruit Training: Great Lakes Recruit Training Center, Illinois
He finished up his high school diploma in Memphis, Tenn. through the Navy. These documents also place Gerald at the H. O. Toor Shoe Company before his enlistment.
For those of you looking to find information about your deceased service members military records, visit: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html
Let’s just say, Ancestry.com is AWESOME. Through their newspaper archive, I was able to search for articles about Thomas Kaylor. I searched in the Fresno area and found this little gem from January, 1966. This was just about 2 months after the accident. Another question answered!
From the Fresno Bee Rupublican, January 9, 1966:
Hanford, Kings Co.- Thomas Leon Kaylor, 23, of Hanford, has been held for Superior Court trial on four felony manslaughter counts following his arraignment in the Avenal Justice Court.
Kaylor is charged with the deaths of four persons in the head-on traffic crash Nov. 6 on the Avenal Cutoff in the Kettleman Hills east of Avenal.
Gerald Kline, 24, a Lemoore Naval Air Station sailor; his wife, Linda; and their 13-month-old daughter, Robbin, were killed instantly. James Hamilton, 22, who was riding in Kaylor’s car, died several hours later in a Fresno hospital.
Kaylor suffered serious injuries, as did three other persons. He is accused of driving on the wrong side of the road and of being under the influence of liquor at the time.
Assistant District Attorney Phillip Maroot says tests show Kaylor’s blood showerd a .14 alcohol content three hours after the accident.
In 1888, my great-great-great grandfather, Daniel Light Kline opened Valley Glen Park. This popular park and boating area in Palmyra, Pennsylvania attracted hundreds of people each summer with its water slides and other attractions. It was at Valley Glen Park where Milton S. Hershey would bring his workers for leisurely outings and relaxation. On one such occasion, Kline suggested, “Milton, why don’t you start a park on your hilly country where nothing can grow?” Hershey took that advice and built what is now America’s “sweetest” amusement park.
Little did Milton know that he would, in a way, return the favor. 78 years later, Daniel’s great-grandson, Gerald Kline, and Gerald’s wife, Linda, would be lost in a tragic drunk driving accident. Their orphaned sons, Jerry and Paul, would spend their childhood at the Milton Hershey School for Boys.
Information from: http://www.palmyrapa.com/history/valley-glen
In 1715, Johann George Klein was born to Jacob and Maria Klein in South Germany. At the age of 23, George sailed to America on the ship Glasgow with 348 other passengers. Unbeknownst to him, this passenger list included his future wife, Dorothy Rebman.
Once married, Dorothy and George settled in New Jersey and, later, Pennsylvania, where many other German Palatines had sought refuge just 30 years prior. The two raised six sons and one daughter, include my 6th great grandfather, David Klein.
Throughout the next six generations, the Kleins (later, Klines) passed down their German heritage through the Pennsylvania Dutch language. In fact, over 270 years later, my father still remembers his grandparents arguing over supper in this hand-me-down tongue.
By finding the death certificates of Gerald, Linda and Theresa, I was able to find out the town they died in. The accident occured in Kings County, California. Through Ancestry.com’s newspaper archives, I found several small articles about the accident in the Fresno Bee Republican. These articles held a few new pieces of information, including the name of the driver in the other car. This information is bolded.
From the Fresno Bee Republican, November 7, 1965:
Handford, Kings, Co.–Three persons were killed last night in a high-speed headon collision on the Avenal Cutoff, two miles north of that city, and another died in an accident on 22nd Avenue near Elder Avenue, in the nortern part of the county.
Coroner Carl Hargis identified the dead in the Avenal crash as Gerald Kline, 24, who was dead on arrival at the Avenal District Hospital; his wife, Linda, 21, and a 13-month-old daughter, Robbin, who were dead at the scene.
The victim of the other crash was identified as Max Howder, 54, of 3334 C St., Lemoore.
In the Avenal accident, Hargis said, Kline, who was discharged from the Navy in June and was employed by the Standard Oil Co. in Coalinga, was driving north on the Cutoff when a southbound car driven at high speed by Thomas Kaylor, traveling on the wrong side of the road, hit in head-on. Two other Kline children, Jerry, 4, and Paul, 3, were injured seriously.
Kaylor and two passengers, Larry Jones, 24, of Coalinga, and James Hamilton of Handrod, also were injured. All the injured were taken to the Avenal Hospital. Hamilton was transferred to a Fresno hospital after first aid.
In the other accident witness reported Howder was driving north on 22nd Avenue at high speed, and his car hit the concrete abutment of a bridge across the Kings River. Twenty-second Avenue is a main road into Riverdale from the south.
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This is one of the first articles I found from Ancestry.com about Gerald and Linda. It was on the front page of the Lebanon Daily News two days after the accident. From it, I learned how my uncle and dad were saved, where my grandparents lived in California, the churches they attended growing up, when my grandparents moved to California, where Gerald worked after the Navy and other interesting information. I’ve bolded these finds.
From the Lebanon Daily News, November 8th, 1965.
A former Lebanon County couple and their 15-month-old daughter were killed Saturday evening in an auto accident near Lemoore, Calif. Their two young sons were injured in the crash.
Killed were [Gerald] Eugene Kline, 23, formerly of Annville; his wife, Linda Jean, 21, formerly of Lebanon, and their daughter, Theresa Robin.
The Klines’ two sons, Jerry Lynn, 4, and Paul Edward, 3, are in a hospital in Lemoore with internal injuries.
Kline’s mother, Mrs. Daniel A. Kline, Annville, said today that the family was en route to Lemoore to visit friends when the accident occurred. She said she was informed that another car crossed the highway medial strip and hit the Kline station wagon head-on.
The occupants of the other car were also hopitalized in Lemoore.
It is believed the Klines’ sons were saved from more serious injury by the fact that they were playing on the floor in the back of the station wagon when the accident occurred.
The Klines resided at 425 W Merced St. in Avenal, Calif. which is near Fresno. Lemoore is about 40 miles north of Avenal.
Kline went to California in April, 1961, for Naval training. His wife joined him there in October of that year.
Worked in Oil Fields
Following his four-year tour of duty in the Navy, Kline joined the Standard Oil Company of California. He worked in the oil fields as a member of a fire prevention group. He attended Annville High School and completed his high school education and received his diploma after entering the Navy. He was a member of Bunker Hill Evangelical Congregational Church.
Mrs. Kline was the former Linda Jean Seibert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Seibert of Lebanon. She attended the Lebanon schools and was a member of First Assembly of God Church, Cleona.
In addition to his sons, Kline is survived by his parents, Daniel A. and Bertha J. Longenecker Kline, Annville; three brothers, Robert M., Annville RD; James A., Lebanon, and Jack E., at home; five sister, Mrs. Alice Latimer, Palmyra; Emma, wife of Daniel Sherman, Annville RD; Jeannette, wife of Frank Hall, Palmyra; Doris J., wife of Donald A. Brandt, Lebanon, and Jill K., wife of Charles Seyfert, Annville, and his grandmother, Mrs. Lillian Kline, North Annville Township.
Another brother, Daniel Kline, was killed 22 years ago in an explosion at the Annville dump.
Surviving Mrs. Kline are her sons, her parents, Franklin G. and Fern Achenbach Seibert, Lebanon; five brothers, Franklin, John, Richard, Lloyd and Leroy, all of Lebanon; her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Achenbach, Lebanon, and Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J Devine, Palmyra.
Funeral services and burial will be held here.
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