Return to Naval Historical Center home page. Return to Online Library Listing

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 103909:  First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin

Online Library of Selected Images:

First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin, USMCR, (1911-1945)

Harry Linn Martin was born on 4 January 1911 in Bucyrus, Ohio. He attended Bucyrus High School and Michigan State College, East Lansing, Michigan. While at Michigan State, he was an avid athlete and served in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. In 1936, Martin graduated from college and began employment with the Hawaiian Construction Tunnel Company of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve in August 1943, after completing his training Martin became an Engineer Officer and was assigned to the Second Battalion (later the 5th Pioneer Battalion), Sixteenth Marines, Fifth Marine Division. In the June of 1944, his unit was transferred to Hawaii to prepare for Pacific Theater combat operations.

On 19 February 1945, as a platoon Leader with the Fifth Pioneer Battalion, Martin went ashore during the first day of the invasion of Iwo Jima. He was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant on 1 March. At dawn on 26 March, as the main fighting on the island neared an end, several hundred Japanese attacked his unit's bivouac area. Martin organized resistance, rescued surrounded Marines and, until mortally wounded by a grenade, led a counterattack. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, " he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Harry L. Martin is buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Bucyrus, Ohio.

USNS 1st LT Harry L. Martin, (T-AK-3015), 2000-____, is named in honor of First Lieutenant Martin.

This page features the only image we have concerning Harry L. Martin.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 103909

First Lieutenant Harry L. Martin, USMCR

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 221.
Harry L. Martin received the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life" on 26 February 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 48KB; 620 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of First Lieutenant Harry Linn Martin, USMCR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 221):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Platoon Leader attached to Company C, Fifth Pioneer Battalion, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 March 1945. With his sector of the Fifth Pioneer Battalion bivouac area penetrated by a concentrated enemy attack launched a few minutes before dawn, First Lieutenant Martin instantly organized a firing line with the Marines nearest his foxhole and succeeded in checking momentarily the headlong rush of the Japanese. Determined 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 to the surrounded Marines. Although sustaining two severe wounds, he blasted the Japanese who attempted to intercept him, located his beleaguered men and directed them to their own lines. When four of the infiltrating enemy took possession of an abandoned machine-gun pit and subjected his sector to a barrage of hand grenades, First Lieutenant Martin, alone and armed only with a pistol, boldly charged the hostile position and killed all of its occupants. Realizing that his few remaining comrades could not repulse another organized attack, he called to his men to follow and then charged into the midst of the strong enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade. By his outstanding valor, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacious determination in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Martin permanently disrupted a coordinated Japanese attack and prevented a greater loss of life in his own and adjacent platoons. His inspiring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

Page made 20 July 2006