Curtis Roy Cline

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
29 July 1949 - 05 December 1974
Burlington, Michigan
Panel 18W Line 108


Combat Infantry

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Curtis Roy Cline

09 Sep 2001

Curtis Cline drowned the beginning of September '69 when we were trying to cross a river in the Central Highlands. We had a rope tied across the river. Curtis lost his grip because he was the first one in with a pack on and the rope was too lax and went under water level. The current was strong. We had 80 lb. packs on our back. He couldn't keep his head above the current and was swept off the rope.

Bravo Company found a body downstream three days later. Maybe the authorities didn't think it could be proven that the body was Cline's, but it couldn't have been anyone else.

From a comrade-in-arms,
Gene Whelchel

16 November 2001

As a young girl, I wore Curtis Cline's MIA/POW bracelet for many years. The black paint wore off long before the bracelet finally broke in half and was eventually lost. I never forgot him. A radio announcement alerted me to the Virtual Wall website and I quickly logged on. Tears came to my eyes as I read the entries. I guess that Sgt. Cline still has a very special place in my heart.

I was born in 1964, while my father was serving in Vietnam. I look forward to sharing this information with him, to see if he can tell me more about the area in which Sgt. Cline was lost. I would like to let Sgt. Cline's family know that he taught me a lot about patriotism and the sacrifices that many have made for our freedoms.

Thank you, Curtis Cline.

16 May 2005

My name is Mark Bennett from Lansing, Michigan. During the early 70's I purchased a MIA bracelet with Mr. Cline's name on it. I never knew what happened to him until recently a friend traveled to the Wall and found his name. If it is not too hard for any of the family members or friends, I would like to know something about him. I've had the bracelet for 30 years and it would be an honor to give it to the closest family member. I currently have family in Iraq and am just now experiencing the heartache that accompanies a close loved one in war. God bless you and Mr. Cline.

Mark A. Bennett
Lansing, Michigan

20 Jul 2006

Close to twenty years ago, I found a washed-up "SSG C Cline" MIA bracelet on a beach close to my home (in Florida) and have thought about him throughout the years. My father was in the war also and the bracelet meant a lot to him too. I would love to pass this bracelet on to someone close to Staff Sergeant Cline so they can wear it and treasure it like I used to as a child. I know I would like to hold my father's, if the situation had been different. Please feel free to email me.

Lauren Brigman

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The the POW Network has the following information on PFC Cline's loss:
"On September 18, 1969, then-PFC Cline was serving as a rifleman in Company D when his unit was attempting to make a river crossing in South Vietnam. (Note: State Department records list this loss in Pleiku Province as do JCRC records; however, Defense Department coordinates place the location on the Se San River in Kontum province, about 15 miles north of Pleiku Province.)

"PFC Cline was the second man with combat gear to cross. When he reached a point about mid-stream, he got water in his mouth, and released the vine being used as a hand-hold. The swift current carried him a few meters downstream, where he caught hold of a safety line. In his attempt to release his rucksack and equipment, he began to splash vigorously, and seemed to be in a state of panic.

"Two members of the platoon immediately entered the water in an attempt to reach him, but were unsuccessful. One of the men got caught in a whirlpool, and the other was within 10 meters of him when PFC Cline went under water and was never seen again.

"Other members of the unit went downstream along the banks of the river, but lost sight of PFC Cline. An extensive search was begun, including the use of observation helicopters and infantry troops. After one week, the search was terminated with no success.

"On 5 December 1974, a presumptive finding of death was issued for Curtis Ray Cline."

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his comrade-in-arms,
Gene Whelchel

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
MI State Index . Panel 18W
12TH INF RGT Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 09 Sep 2001
Last updated 07/23/2006