Details for Neil "Pinky" Hunter Cline
|Rank:||Unit:||Branch of Service:||Enlistment Date:|
||508 Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne
Source: Family photo
|Date of Birth:||Place of Birth:||Date of Death - Place:||Age at death:|
|8/23/1922||Mecklenburg Co., NC||1/22/1945 - Belgium||22|
|Family Information Prior to 1947|
|Parent Name and Address:|
|Mr. & Mrs. J. Lester (Bessie Watts) Cline|
319 N. Pine St.
| Sibling Name and Address: |
|Elsie B. Cline (m. Adams)||Mrs. Albert Hinnant|
|Mrs. Carl R. Fuller||Troy B. Cline|
|William Craven Cline|
|Camp Blanding, FL|
|Camp Mackall, NC|
|Ft. Benning, GA|
|Carolina Rim and Wheel Co.|
|Promotions & Awards:|
|Death Details/Burial/Memorial Services:|
|He and 5 other paratroopers in Company I fought for 33 days without relief or replacement in Normandy. His mother reported that he was killed in the Battle of the Belgium Bulge. Paratroopers had jumped into a spot a day or so early to scout. They set up camp in an abandoned house. Neil was hit in the head by shrapnel. He was unconcoius for 3 days before dying.|
He was buried in Belgium, and his grave was "adopted" by a local Belgium girl.
A memorial service was held at the Tenth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte on 3-11-1945.
In 1947 his remains were shipped home, along with 6000 other servicemen. Before the memorial ceremonies in NY, an officer stepped forward and pointed to one of the bronze coffins. Cline became the Unknown Soldier that day in the processional before a quarter of a million people in New York City. His body was returned to Charlotte and he was the first soldier buried in the then new Evergreen Cemetery.