Altoona Army Veteran Dies In Nicaragua
The death in Nicaragua on Feb. 17 of M/Sgt. John L. Kimberlin, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Kimberlin of 1835 Sixth street, was disclosed last evening in a war department telegram to the soldier’s father.The message revealed that the Altoonan met his death in an accident but gave no details.
Sgt. Kimberlin had been based in Guatemala City, Guatemala, since December, as crew chief of the plane used by the United States embassy staff which serves six small republics.His wife, the former Miss Edna Soyster of Altoona, and son, John L. jr., aged 5, accompanied him to Guatemala City on Dec. 1.
Sgt. Kimberlin enlisted in the army Dec. 16, 1936, while a member of the junior class of Altoona High school, being assigned to the engineers until his transfer to the 11th field artillery.During the war he was assigned to the 13th air force while serving in the United States but later was sent to New Zealand as crew chief for the embassy plane there.
The army veteran returned to the United States in November,1945, and visited his parents for a short time before continuing his journey to the assignment at Guatemala.
John L. Kimberlin was born Nov. 10, 1919, in Altoona.In addition to his wife and son and his parents he is survived by the following brothers and sisters: M/Sgt. Herman F., with the army air corps in the Azores; Margaret, a student at the University of Pennsylvania; Dan W., Paul L., Elizabeth and Mary Alice, all at home.
He was one of five children of Mr. and Mrs. Kimberlin to serve in the armed forces during World war II, the others being Herman, Margaret Virginia, Dan and Paul.
Altoona Mirror 20 FEB 1947.
Body of Local Soldier Being Brought Home
The body of M/Sgt John L. Kimberlin, veteran of service in World war II in the south Pacific area, who was killed in an army truck accident in Nicaragua Feb. 17, will arrive in Altoona tomorrow morning and friends will be received at the V. L. Stevens funeral home after noon Saturday.
Arrangements are being made by Charles R. Bryan post 228 American Legion, of where Sgt. Kimberlin was a member, for a military funeral.The funeral services will be held at 2:30 o’clock Monday afternoon in the Fairview Methodist church, with interment following in Rose Hill cemetery.
Sgt. Kimberlin was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Kimberlin of 1835 Sixth street and the husband of the former Miss Edna Soyster of Altoona.His wife and son, John jr., aged 5, who had been with him in Nicaragua since last December, are already in Altoona, having made th trip by airplane.
According to what has been learned of the fatal accident, Sgt. Kimberlin and a friend, along with two men stationed at Managua, were assigned to salvage an army plane wrecked near Managua.They were using a heavy army truck and had successfully made several trips to the scene of the crash.
On the last trip, however, the truck went down an embankment.One of the group of four was killed instantly, John so severely, that he died on the way to the hospital, and the remaining two so seriously injured that they are still hospitalized.
Sgt. Kimberlin’s body was removed from Panama to New Orleans, La., by boat and from there to Altoona by train.Word of the fatal accident was published in the Altoona Mirror Feb. 21.Sgt. Kimberlin first entered the army in December, 1936, subsequently reenlisting.He was born in Altoona Nov. 10, 1919.His father is a well-known member of the city fire department.Three brothers and a sister also served in World war II.
Altoona Mirror 17 MAR 1947.
Mistake Made In Return of Soldier’s Body
Discovering that a mistake had been made in sending the bodies of two soldiers killed in an accident in Nicaragua to their homes, army authorities Saturday noon by telephone requested Funeral Director Vincent L. Stevens to return to New Orleans the body which arrived in Altoona at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
The body arriving here was supposed to be that of M/Sgt. John L. Kimberlin, who died Feb. 17 near Managua in a truck accident in which a lieutenant from Atlanta, Ga., was instantly killed.Discovery of the mistake was made on arrival of the other body in Atlanta, where it was found that the lieutenant’s uniform had been placed on Sgt. Kimberlin.
Arrangements had been made by Sgt. Kimberlin’s family for funeral services and interment this afternoon.No definite word of the time required to effect the exchange of bodies has been given.The lieutenant’s body began its return to New Orleans this morning, accompanied by its military escort.
Altoona Mirror 15 MAR 1947.
ARRANGE FUNERAL OF SGT. KIMBERLIN
Arrangements for the funeral of M/Sgt. John L. Kimberlin, deferred from last week-end when it was found that the wrong soldier’s body had been sent to Altoona, have been made & Sgt. Kimberlin’s body is expected to arrive in Altoona about noon tomorrow and will repose at the V. L. Stevens funeral home after 4 o’clock.
A military funeral will be accorded the veteran of World war II, who was killed Feb. 17 in a truck accident in Nicaragua.The body of a lieutenant killed in the accident was sent to Altoona last week in mistake and had to be returned to New Orleans.Sgt. Kimberlin’s body had been sent to Atlanta, Ga.
Altoona Mirror 22 MAR 1947.
KIMBERLIN-Funeral services for M/Sgt. John L. Kimberlin of 1835 Sixth street will be held at 2:30 o’clock Monday afternoon in the Fairview Methodist church.Interment in the Rose Hill cemetery.Sgt. Kimberlin will repose at the V. L. Stevens funeral home after noon Saturday.
Altoona Mirror 17 MAR 1947.