Campaign to Bring Ens. Delbert LaRue Martin Home. He was from Fountaintown, Indiana.
This memorial day I have decided to start a campaign to bring Delbert Martin home. The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency mission is to “Provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.” Therefore, I would like to ask anyone who has any extra time to start a letter/email writing campaign to the DOD, your Senators and Congressmen, the political leaders in Indiana (Delbert’s home state) and any media outlet (newspapers, TV, etc. especially the ones located in Indiana). Please use the information below within your emails and letters:
Delbert was shot down over Yap Island on March 21, 1945, http://www.missingaircrew.com/yap/mac/21march1945.asp. He was listed as missing in action (MIA). While doing research in the National Archives (NARA) I located a document dated January 17, 1946 that clearly shows the American Military Headquarters with Task Unit 94.3.3. had identified Delbert’s grave on Yap Island. His name was even painted on the cross over the grave site.
The following April 8, 1947 document once again shows the correct grave site (#4) but someone has now listed his name as B.L. Martin not D.L. Martin. They also have the wrong date listed for his loss. Between January 1946 and April 1947 the US military lost the identification of Delbert, his unit (VF-12) and date of his loss.
Although Delbert’s grave was identified shortly after the war ended, his remains were essentially misplaced by the US Military and he was never returned home to his family. Delbert’s family had no idea in their lifetime that Delbert was actually identified and recovered on Yap, reburied for a few years at the Marine Cemetery on Guam and then sent to a mausoleum at the American Military cemetery in Manila, Philippines under the unidentified/unknown grave marked X-31.
Ens. Delbert LaRue Martin (364035) parents were Mr. and Mrs. J. Frank Martin from Fountaintown, Indiana. Delbert did not marry. He had one sister Scytha Martin Brown who died in 1993 and a brother Robert L Martin who died in 2003. Delbert's maternal first cousin is Maurice Eugene Boring. Maurice said Delbert was a little guy, light build but a ball of fire. He stopped by to say goodbye to Maurice before leaving for the service. His parents thought he was lost at sea and his dad walked the county roads in grief for years.
Delbert was a member of the US Navy VF-12 Squadron from the from USS Randolph. He was shot down while flying from the Marine Air Base, Ulithi due to kamikaze damaged to the USS Randolph on March 11, 1945.
VF-12 and VB-12 flew this mission from the Marine Air Base in Ulithi due to their carrier being damaged by a Japanese attack in the Ulithi harbor. They flew with a support package of Marine planes (F6F-5, TBM-3 and PBY-5A) from Casu-51 and VPB-23. Ens. Martin went into a dive with the other F6F-5 from VF-12 but never pulled out. It was not known whether he had been hit by AA, blacked out, or a structural failure caused the plane to crash near the Pelak harbor entrance on Gagil-Tomil, Yap.
Help me to bring Ens. Delbert LaRue Martin home or in the very least let’s identify his grave so he does not remain missing. This would be the “… fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel”.
Patrick T. Ranfranz Missing Air Crew Project Founder, www.missingaircrew.com 1473 21 1/2 Street, Cameron, WI 54822 Home: 715-458-0020 Cell: 612-282-5624 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Missing Air Crew Project and its web site, www.missingaircrew.com is dedicated to the mission to research and locate the unaccounted for men and planes who were lost near Yap Island during WWII. We should find our fallen men and bring them home, no matter where they fell, or how long ago they have been lost.
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