b. 11/11/1848 Gerdonen, Germany. d. 29/11/1931 Shanghai, China.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/01/1904 Olongapo, Philippines.
Robert Klein earned his Medal of Honor while serving as a Chief Carpenter’s Mate aboard the “U.S.S. Raleigh” on 25 January 1904. Work was being carried out in a compartment when a fuse blew and the ventilation to the compartment was lost. Two men were overcome by turpentine fumes and lost consciousness. In total disregard for his own health, and fully realizing that he might also be overcome, Robert Klein without hesitation entered the compartment to rescue the two men.
After his discharge Robert Klein went to China. He died there on 29 November 1931 and was buried in the “Bubbling Well Cemetery” in Shanghai. This cemetery was reclaimed for development during the winter of 1953-1954. All headstones were removed. Some graves were removed to Dachang Cemetery in Baoshan, however no records remain to indicate who was moved or what the exact location was.
The Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States got involved to get Robert Klein the Medal of Honor marker he deserved. A marker was ordered and Donald “Doc” Ballard, himself a Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War, was approached about having the marker placed at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens, a cemetery which he owns. “Doc”, of course, readily agreed and Robert Klein’s marker has been placed near the lake, beside another Medal of Honor recipient’s marker. Harold William Bauer was a USMC pilot who was shot down off Guadalcanal. He was never found. The two I.M.O.s are appropriately placed next to the flagpole.
Serving on board the U.S.S. Raleigh, for heroism in rescuing shipmates overcome in double bottoms by fumes of turpentine, 25 January 1904.
BURIAL LOCATION: GRAVE LOST.
IMO MARKER AT SWAN LAKE MEMORIAL GARDENS, GRAIN VALLEY, MISSOURI.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER, WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON DC.