In Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class
Carl Raymond Martin
Rapid City, South Dakota, Pennington County
October 26, 1942—May 21, 1969
Died of Wounds in a Helicopter Crash
Carl Raymond Martin was born October 26, 1942, in Columbus,
Georgia. He had one sister, Donna, and a brother, Glenn. He went
to Kemper Military Academy; he also went to one year at the
University of Kansas and a semester at South Dakota of Mines and
Technology. Carl worked at Benson Optical in Rapid City and
Minneapolis, Minnesota before he entered the service. He also
had a wife, Anne, and two children, Carrie and Shawn.
Carl entered the service in Minneapolis, Minnesota and
started his tour of Vietnam on July 29, 1968. He was in Troop B,
9 Cavalry, 1 Air Cav (Airmobile). He was stationed in Quan Loa,
Vietnam as a helicopter crew chief. In a letter to his friend,
Nick Heinen, dated May 14, 1969, a week before he was shot down,
…Things here are as usual. For the past
three days we’ve been hit by ground attacks. The first night
they did a real job on us. U.S. casualties were twenty-four
killed and ninety-four wounded. The second and third night
we took only a few wounded.
As for me, well I’m pretty lucky I guess.
I’ve been flying scouts for the past nine months and have
become rather kill crazy. As for my being lucky; well, there
has been only one guy to fly a full year in scouts and go
home under hid own power. I’m hoping to be number two. As of
yet I’ve never been shot down, but tomorrow is another day.
Specialist Fifth Class Carl Raymond Martin died on May 21,
1969, as a result of “third degree burns over 60 percent of his
body,” after his helicopter was hit by small arms fire and
crashed and burned. At first, his mother, Mrs. Aubrey (Marge)
Glore, was told that he had been wounded. Then she was told he
had been evacuated to a hospital in Japan before being informed
that he had died of his injuries. The body of Specialist Fifth
Class Martin was returned to the United States and after a
funeral mass at Blessed Sacrament Church on Monday, June 2,
1969, he was buried with military honors at Black Hills National
Cemetery near Sturgis. He was 26 years old.
He won many awards including the Bronze Star, Air Medal with
eleven Oak Leaf Clusters, and two Purple Hearts. His photo was
featured in Life Magazine, Volume 66, No. 25, June 27,
1969, in the section, “Vietnam: One Week’s Dead.”
This entry was respectfully submitted by Heather Ross, 8th
Grader, Spearfish Middle School, February 10, 2006. This
information was provided by Nick and Jackie Heinen, Rapid
City Journal, May 22, 1969, and May 29, 1969, issues and
www.vvmf.org. No family
contacts were made.