Liaison to the Military for the City of Allentown retired United States Air Force Major Nathan Kline passed away yesterday at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He was 95.
Kline had a remarkable career spanning 42 years of active and ready reserve time.
Kline enlisted in the USAAF in November 1942. In a story he told many times, Kline overcame poor eyesight by memorizing the eye exam chart. He qualified as a bombardier and flew 65 missions over Europe in World War II and never suffered a scratch despite being shot down twice.
Among others, Kline was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was honored by the French Legion of Honor.
Locally, Kline was inducted as an Honorary Member of the 213th Regiment, the First Defenders. He was the recipient of an “Unsung Hero Award” from Lehigh County.
Major Kline was a founding member and President Emeritus of the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council.
Kline was a frequent speaker on his World War II experiences. He told a 2014 reunion of the 661st Tank Destroyer Battalion in Reading that “War is hell, but it’s the price of freedom.”
Mayor Ray O’Connell said, “Nate was a true patriot. He believed very strongly in the value of military preparedness and he was a staunch advocate for veterans. He was active on several city authorities, boards and commissions. He was a true servant to this city and to his country.”
Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 13 at Bachman, Kulik & Reinsmith Funeral Home, at 17th & Hamilton streets. Interment to follow at Beth El Memorial Park, Whitehall.
photo: Lehigh Valley Style