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Martin I (ScTug)

(ScTug: t. 25; l. 45'3"; b. 11'3"; dr. 5'9"; s. 6 k.; cpl. 9)

The first Martin, a screw tug, was retained a contraction of its former merchant name, James McMartin. The second Martin (DF‑30) was named for Luther Charles Martin, born 10 December 1903 in Indianapolis, Ind. He enrolled in the U.S. Naval Reserve 15 July 1920 to serve in an enlisted status until 4 November 1937 when he was appointed carpenter. Assigned to Astoria (CA‑34) on 5 November 1937, Carpenter Martin was killed in action on board the heavy cruiser in the South Pacific before she sank during the Battle of Savo Island, 9 August 1942.


The first Martin, a screw tug built at Albany, N.Y., in 1864 was purchased by the Navy as James McMartin at New York 16 June 1864; renamed Martin that same day; and commissioned later in the month, Acting Ens. Rudolph S. Sommers in command.

Equipped as a torpedo boat, on 20 July Martin was as signed to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for picket‑guard duty. On 27 July she was taken in tow along with sister tug Hoyt by screw steamer Monticello for convoy from Hampton Roads, Va., at Hatteras Inlet, N.C., arriving 2 days later.

Martin operated in the sounds of North Carolina, through 1864. On 29 September she accompanied gunboat Valley City upthe Scuppernong River to head off a group of Confederate conscriptors being chased by two Army steamers from the vicinity of the Alligator River. With Martin's assistance as a tug, Valley City was able to position her guns on the stragglers with telling results. Martin later joined in the operations which led to the capture of Plymouth, N.C., between 29 October and 1 November.

After overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard in early 1865, Martin returned to the sounds of North Carolina, in late February. She continued tug and picket duties through May before sailing north in June, to Philadelphia for decommissioning. Martin was sold there 10 August.

Published: Thu Aug 06 08:33:24 EDT 2015