Co. C, 5th Pioneer Battalion
5th Marine Division
Iwo Jima
26 March 1945

martinA concentrated enemy attack penetrated 1Lt. Martin’s sector of the 5th Pioneer Battalion bivouac area a few minutes before dawn. 1Lt. Martin instantly organized a firing line of marines succeeding in stalling the attack

Martin set out to rescue several of his men trapped in positions overrun by the enemy. He defied intense hostile fire to work his way through the Japanese lines to get to the surrounded Marines. Wounded twice in the process, Martin blasted the Japanese who attempted to intercept him, located his trapped Marines, and led them to the safety of their own lines.

When the enemy took possession of an abandoned machinegun pit and bore down on U.S. Forces, Martin, alone and armed only with a pistol, engaged the enemy position killing all the enemy occupiers. He then called to his men to follow and charged into the midst of the enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade.

1Lt. Martin permanently disrupted a coordinated Japanese attack and prevented a greater loss of life in his own and adjacent platoons.

USNS 1Lt Harry L. Martin

On 2, June 2000,  Eleanor Martin Abbott, 1Lt. Martin’s sister lifted a bottle of champagne and sent it crashing against a rail spewing foam and bubbles everywhere. This act officially named the Military Sealift Command ship “USNS 1Lt. Harry L. Martin” in honor of her brother.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s