Cpl. Joseph Clark Kuhn

Corporal Clark Kuhn
Corporal Clark Kuhn

Cpl. Joseph Clark Kuhn
Cpl. Joseph Clark Kuhn



(March 21, 1916 - October 1, 1944)


The Lusk Herald
November 2, 1944


Clark Kuhn Killed in Action on Peleliu

Another Niobrara county man has given his life for his country. Corporal Joseph Clark Kuhn was killed in action on Peleliu Island in the Palau group, on October 1, according to word received here on last Thursday.

The message bringing the sad news to the Kuhn family reads as follows:

Washington, D. C.
Oct. 26, 1944

Mrs. Gertrude J. Kuhn
Second and Pine,
Lusk, Wyoming.

Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Corporal Joseph C. Kuhn was killed in action on 1 October, 1944, at Peleliu Island, Palau, in the performance of his duty and service of his country. Report states remains interred in Grave 151, U.S. Armed Forces cemetery, Peleliu Island, Palau Islands. To prevent possible aid to our enemies, do not divulge name of his ship or station. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy, Letter follows.

A.A. Vandergrift,
Lieutenant General,
Commandant U. W. Marine Corps.


Corporal Kuhn is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kuhn of Lusk and was the first Niobrara County man to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, being sworn in at the recruiting station in Denver, January 23, 1942.

He was home on furlough in August of 1942, spending the time with his wife, Vega, and his parents and other relatives. His wife now resides in Denver.

He was sent overseas October, 1942, and landed with the second wave of Marines on Guadalcanal, and he also was in active service in the Cape Glouster campaign. He was later stationed in Australia and for a time was at a rest camp in New Guinea, but he was able to write so little regarding his whereabouts that much of his actual service will never be known now.

The last letter that the family received from him was written on board a ship, destination unknown, and dated September 9th.

Joseph Clark Kuhn was born on a ranch near Jireh, Wyo., on March 21, 1916, and moved to Lusk with his parents in 1925. He attended the Lusk schools, graduating from the High School with the class of '34. As a boy he was active in Boy Scout work and later in the National Guard and was also a member of the Lusk Fire Department. After finishing school he became associated with his father in the Railway Express office and later took over the agency himself.

On April 23, 1942, he was married to Vega Mantei at Napa, Cal., shortly after he had completed his basic training at San Diego, Cal.

Surviving him besides his wife, are his parents and two sisters, Mrs. Helena Gibson and Mrs. Gertrude Ann Gorley and two brothers, Greg and Frank.


Thon Book No. 2
Cpl. Joseph Clark Kuhn, Lusk Marine, Killed in Action Oct. 1st on Peleliu Island, In Foreign Service Two Years


To Niobrara county's list of supreme sacrifices in World War II was added the name of Corporal Joseph Clark Kuhn today, when a message from Washington, D.C. received shortly before noon, announced that the son of City Councilman and Mrs. Joe Kuhn of this city was killed in action on Peleliu Island in the Palu group on October 1st. Corporal Kuhn was serving with the United States Marine Corps Reserves, and has been in foreign service since early in November, 1942.

Both of his parents were out of town when the message was delivered at the family home, having left early this morning for Hemingford, Nebr., where they were attending the wedding of a niece. Because of the occasion at Hemingford, it was decided by Greg, a brother, and Mrs. Helena Gibson and Mrs. Gertrude Gorley, sisters of the war victim, not to relay the information to Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn. They are expected home probably late tonight or tomorrow.

The family had been in hopes that Corporal Kuhn would be able to come home for the holidays this year, because of his long service in the South Pacific theatre of operations, and the sisters were almost overcome with grief when they read the contents of the message, which was as follows:

Washington, D. C.
Oct. 26, 1944

Mrs. Gertrude J. Kuhn
Second and Pine,
Lusk, Wyoming

Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Corporal Joseph C. Kuhn was killed in action on 1 October, 1944, at Peleliu Island, Palau, in the performance of his duty and service of his country. Report states remains interred in Grave 151, U.S. Armed Forces cemetery, Peleliu Island, Palau Islands. To prevent possible aid to our enemies, do not divulge name of his ship or station. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy, Letter follows.

A.A. Vandergrift,
Lieutenant General,
Commandant U. W. Marine Corps.


Corporal Kuhn's wife, Vega, formerly of this city, now resides in Denver, and it is presumed that she has received a similar message telling of her husband's fate. They were married at Napa, California, April 23, 1942, shortly after Clark has finished "boot" training.

Corporal Kuhn was the first Niobrara youth to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, and was sworn in at the Denver recruiting station, on January 23, 1942, a little more than a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He left Denver that same night for the Marine corps base at San Diego, Calf., where he underwent several monts of strenuous training.

In August, 1942 he was given a furlough and enjoyed it with his wife and members of his family here. Two months later he embarked for overseas, and landed with the second wave of Marines on Guadalcanal, he wrote relatives here ealy in January, 1943 that he was in Australia. He also saw active service in the Cape Glouster campaign.

Little or no information as to his whereabouts was given his family since he was first sent to Australia, but it is believed that he was probably in active service on patrol duty off that continent. For some time past he had been in a rest camp in New Guinea, members of his family said, and his last letter home written September 9th, and received here early this month, stated that he was aboard ship, bound for more active service, with destination unknown.

Corporal Kuhn was a native Wyomingite, born on a ranch south of Jireh, March 21, 1916. The family resided there until about twenty years ago when they moved to Lusk. Clark attended local schools and graduated from Lusk high in 1934. Shortly after commencement, he entered the local railway express agency, as assistant to his father, agent. He later took over the agency for himself, and in addition became dealer for soft drink concerns. He was engaged in these occupations when he enlisted in the Marine corps, turning the soft drink business to this brother, Greg, and disposing of the express agency to Boyd Brown.

Aside from his parents, the two sisters, and brother, Greg, another brother, Aviation Cadet Frank O. Kuhn, now in training at Minter Field, California survives. A furlough for him has been requested through the local Red Cross and word received late today announces it has been granted. He is expected home Saturday or Sunday.

Thon Book No. 4, page 2
Late Cpl. Clark Kuhn Posthumously Awarded Purple Heart; Will Also Be Given Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal


Notification that she would soon received the Purple Heart decoration - posthumously awarded her husband, the late Cpl. Clark Kuhn, was recently received by Mrs. Vega Kuhn, former resident of this city and now residing in Denver. The communication was from Col. R.J. Jeschke, of the United States Marine Corps.

In addition to the Purple Heart, Mrs. Kuhn will also receive the Asiatic-Pacific Campain Medal for Corporal Kuhn's service in that theatre, it was indicated in the letter, which is herewith published:

My dear Mrs. Kuhn:

I am directed by the commandant of the Marine Corps to inform you that you are entitled to the Purple Heart and the inclosed Purple Heart Certificate which were posthumously awarded your husband, the late Corporal Joseph C. Kuhn, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, in the name of the Secretary of the Navy. The Purple Heart which is being engraved will be forwarded to you within the next two months.

You are also entitled to the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal for your husband's service in the Asiatic-Pacific Area. The medal will not be ready for issuance until six months after the war and it is requested that you make application to this office for the award at that time.

Sincerely yours,

R.H. Jeschke, Colonel,
U.S. Marine Corps


Corporal Kuhn was serving with the Marines on Peleliu Island when he was killed, on October 1st, 1944. Notification of his death was received by his parents, City Councilman and Mrs. Joe Kuhn of this city, on October 26th. Corporal Kuhn had seen actrion on Guadalcanal, in the Cape Gloucester campaign and was for some time stationed in Australia. He had been overseas for two years before he was killed in action.


Thon Book 4
November 1948
Body of Marine Cpl. Clark Kuhn Returned Here for Burial


The body of Cpl. Joseph Clark Kuhn, recently returned from overseas, will arrive in Lusk on Thursday, Nov. 4, accompanied by Sgt. Paul B. Kroesen, Sixth Army Escort Detachment, from the Utah general distribution depot, Ogden, Utah.

Corporal Kuhn was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kuhn of this city. Rosary services will be held at the Peet Chapel Thursday evening and the last rites conducted from St. Leo's Catholic Church Friday morning at 10 o'clock with Father Walter officiating.

The music will be in charge of the Misses Elizabeth and Pauline Bruch.

The actice pallbearers will be Jake Lorenzen of Sterling, Colo., Dr. Royal Rogers, Buffalo, Wyo., Cy Call, Casper, Robert Cowell, Hiland, Wyo., and Mick Coen and Ross Roll of Lusk.

Honorary members are Joe Gerl, Whitney, Nebr.; Bud Wrona, Montana; Foster Rogers, Kenneth Erlewine, Mike Ware, Ben Martin, Dan W. Smith and Lloyd B. Smith.

A military escort will accompany the remains to the Lusk cemetery, where members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will jointly conduct the committal services with full military honors.

Corporal Kuhn was the first man from Niobrara County to enlist in the Marine Corps in World War II. He served in the South Pacific and saw action on Guadalcanal, and Cape Glouster and was killed during the invasion of Peleliu Island, on October 1, 1944. He was buried in a cemetery on the island until the removal to bring his remains home.

Surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kuhn two sisters, Mrs. Helena Gibson and Mrs. Gertrude Ann Brook, and two brothers, Greg and Frank Kuhn, all of Lusk.








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