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First Name: Harold

Last Name: Martin

Birthplace: Bay Mills, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Montgomery

Date of Birth: 18 January 1896

Date of Death: 03 December 1972

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served:
Harold Montgomery Martin

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1919


Harold Montgomery Martin
Admiral, U.S. Navy

Harold Montgomery Martin was born in Bay Mills, MI, on 18 January 1896. After a year at the University of Illinois, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in June 1918 with the Class of 1919.

During the World War I, he served in the destroyer USS Winslow (DD-53). Following the end of that conflict, Ensign Martin was assigned to the battleship USS Nevada until 1921, when he received flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator. He piloted aircraft in several ships and squadrons over the next decade, and commanded squadrons VS-2B and VP-10F in 1933-36.

After service with the Navy Department and on the staff of Commander Scouting Force, Captain Martin commanded the new Naval Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, HI, in 1941-42 and NAS Midway Island the following year. He was Commanding Officer of USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) during 1943-44, including combat operations in the Central Pacific. His next duty was as Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Rear Admiral Martin took command of Carrier Division 23 in March 1945, leading his escort carriers against enemy forces in the Okinawa area. He was then assigned to command Task Force 49, which was to support Soviet operations in the Northwestern Pacific. After the end of World War II, he commanded two fleet air wings, two carrier divisions and was Chief of Naval Air Technical Training.

Promoted in early 1951, Vice Admiral Martin briefly commanded the First Fleet, then took over the Seventh Fleet, which was conducting Korean War combat operations. He held that important post into 1952.

Later becoming Commander, Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral Martin also served as Commander First Fleet during part of 1953.

Upon his retirement in February 1956, he was advanced in rank to four-star Admiral. *

* The Act of Congress of 4 March 1925, allowed Navy officers to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. These promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred the prestige of the higher rank but not the additional retirement pay, so their only practical benefit was to allow recipients to engrave a loftier title on their business cards and tombstones. An Act of Congress on 23 February 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades.


Admiral Harold Montgomery Martin died on 3 December 1972 at Memphis, TN.

Honoree ID: 590   Created by: MHOH




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