Don S. Martin
A Division
USS West Virginia

Don S. Martin, MEC, born Dec. 5, 1917, Mt. Olive, MS, received his high school education, and joined the USN on Oct. 8, 1938.  His naval career began Oct. 12, 1938, when he joined up in New Orleans, LA.  After the usual recruit training at Norfolk, the chief was ordered to the USS West Virginia.  Aboard her, he caught baseball for three years in fleet competition.  

On Dec. 7, 1941, the battle wagon was a sitting duck in Pearl Harbor, as were many other ships.  While at GQ station, Martin heard those fateful words passed to "abandon ship".  With another seaman, he swam out in the bay to an unmanned 50 foot motor launch, climbing aboard, started the engine and came back to the ship along battleship row, picking up as many swimmers as they could safely carry to shore side.

He finished his tour of sea duty in the Pacific on the USS Louisville, seeing action around the Marshall and Gilbert Islands and Guadalcanal.  He spent time also in a Land Base Unit, serving on the West Coast and in the Philippines, before sailing on various APAs and amphibious ships.  From 1948-51, he helped bolster the Navy's ranks as a recruiter in both Attisburg, MS and Alexandria, LA.

He was discharged April 21, 1958, with the rank of MEC.  He has been married to Mary Jon for 54 plus years and they have three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  He enjoys fly fishing and baseball.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing.


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L-R, W. A. Montgomery, Chandler, Barrett, Don S. Martin

L-R, Barrett, Chandler, Don Martin and W. A. Montgomery

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