SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information



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, he wrote:

…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 No family contacts were made.


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