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"1Lt. Sammy A. Martin was a pilot
trained for the 'backseat' duties on the Phantom fighter/bomber
aircraft. His job included such things as navigation, bombardier, or
weapons systems operations, depending on the type of aircraft and
variety of mission. Martin was assigned to the 390th Tactical Fighter
Squadron at Da Nang, South Vietnam.
On December 27, 1967 Martin and his pilot were assigned an armed
reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Armed reconnaissance, in
combat terms, really meant 'look for targets and destroy them.' During
the mission Martin's aircraft was struck by hostile fire in the Quang
Binh Province area. Martin and his pilot were able to guide the aircraft
over water to facilitate rescue when they ejected.
Both Martin and his pilot ejected safely and rescue operations proceeded
normally. The pilot was recovered, but when Martin was hoisted out of
the water by rescue helicopter, he slipped out of the rescue sling and
dropped back into the water. Martin was lost from sight in a large wave.
According to the Department of the Air Force, 'evidence of (Martin's)
death due to drowning was received' on December 28, 1967. The nature of
the evidence is not stated, but Martin's body was not recovered.
Sammy A Martin is listed among the missing because his remains were
never found to send home to the country he served. But, for his family,
the case seems clear that he died on that day...." Source: http://www.pownetwork.org
In Memory of 1LT Sammy Arthur Martin.
*** First Lieutenant Martin was a member of the 390th
Tactical Fighter Squadron, Da Nang Airbase, South
Vietnam. On December 27, 1967, he was the
bombardier/navigator of a McDonnell Douglas Phantom II
Fighter (F-4C) on an armed reconnaissance in Quang Binh
Province, North Vietnam, when his aircraft was hit by
enemy fire and the plane flew over water, where he could
eject. His remains were not recovered. His name is
inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu
You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will
live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There
will always be a part of you living in those who knew you.
You will live on because we remember you!
SAMMY ARTHUR MARTIN - Air Force - 1LT - O2
Date of Birth Oct 16, 1942 - Abilene, Tx.
From: BRYAN, TX
Spouse: Susan Selby Martin and their
Daughter, Deborah Martin, both from Lubbock, Tx. Parents:
Father, Samuel Arthur Seth Martin of Ft.Worth, Tx and
Mother, Ina Louise Steele McDowell of P, N.C.(Divorced
then married Robert Lutz McDowell and they had a son,
Robert Lawrence McDowell on Nov. 26, 1946 in Harris
Samuel Arthur Martin
I met Sammy in the summer of 1967 at the DOOM
Club at Danang AB RVN. Sammy was a GIB on F-4s from
the 366th TFW, he was everyone's friend. He was just
completing one tour in Viet Nam, was promoted to Captain
and to the front seat of the F-4. He had just a few months
before the promotions took affect, so he extended his tour
for six months to take advantage of the promotions, if my
memory is correct after all these years..
On December 27, 1967 Sammy in the back seat and Major
Whitey Miller in the front seat were flying a night strike over
North Viet Nam.
They were hit by a SAM and flew that burning F-4 thirty
miles out to the South China Sea. They both bailed out and
parachuted down to the water.
A Jolly Green picked Major Miller up and proceeded to pick
Sammy out of the water. Just as Sammy reached the door
of the chopper he fell out of the harness! The Jolly Green
dove toward the water to save him, but the Sharks beat the
chopper to Sammy. There was a feeding frenzy and my
Brother in Arms was gone! It was a sad night at the DOOM
Club as word got out that our friend Sammy, from Bryan
Texas was gone!
Sammy, I miss our midnight requisitions, your Texas twang,
and our nights drinking Ba Muoi Ba 33!
I Salute you and I will never forget you Pardner!
Panel 32E - Line 78
Silver Star - Awarded posthumously for actions during the
Vietnam War - The President of the United States of
America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918
(amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in
presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First
Lieutenant Sammy Arthur Martin (AFSN: 0-3162589),
United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with
military operations against an opposing armed force as an
F-4C Pilot of the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron, DaNang
Air Base, Vietnam, in action near Ron Ferry, Republic of
Vietnam, on 27 December 1967.
Distinguished Flying Cross - Awarded posthumously for
actions during the Vietnam War - The President of the
United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress,
July 2, 1926, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished
Flying Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Sammy
Arthur Martin (AFSN: 0-3162589), United States Air Force,
for heroism while participating in aerial flight as an F-4C
Pilot in Southeast Asia on 22 December 1967.