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Martin, Harold M.

Martin, Harold M.

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Admiral, USN, (1896-1972)

Harold Montgomery Martin was born in Bay Mills, Michigan, 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 First World War, he served in the destroyer Winslow (DD-53). Following the end of that conflict, Ensign Martin was assigned to the battleship 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, Hawaii, in 1941-42 and NAS Midway Island in 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, VAdm. Martin also served as Commander First Fleet during some of 1953. He retired from active duty in the rank of Admiral in February 1956. Admiral Harold M. Martin died at Memphis, Tennessee, on 3 December 1972.

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