December 13, 1928 (Norwalk, CT) – February 7, 1951; 22 years old
Last local address: 477 New Canaan Ave, Norwalk
Service Number: 505344
Korean War Project Key No: 36701
Unit: USS Valley Forge (CV-45); Fighter Squadron 24 (FITRON 24)
Missing In Action (MIA); at sea; DPAA lists his case as “Non-Recoverable”
Born to George L. (1894-1982) and Marie L. Martin (1900-1977). One sister, Ruth Martin Wood (1922-2016).
Casualty location: off South Korea; aircraft crash, remains not recovered
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal
From the text of combat action reports for the USS Valley Forge (CV-45)
2/7/51: Weather conditions delayed flight operations until late morning. Close air support, bridge strikes, and photo missions were conducted in two events totaling 47 sorties for the day. Two F4U aircraft were lost, one on catapult take-off in which Ensign G. A. Martin, 0505344, USN was not recovered and the other on landing approach in which Ensign G. W. Stinnett, Jr., 0507B00, USB was recovered by helicopter.
Ensign Martin was the pilot of an F-4U4 Corsair fighter aircraft # 0976 with Fighter Squadron 24 aboard the carrier USS Valley Forge (CV-45). On February 7, 1951, on take-off from the carrier deck, his plane crashed. His remains were not recovered. Catapult launch accident off the East coast of Korea. A search and rescue helicopter from the USS Princeton participated in an unsuccessful rescue effort.
From The Norwalk Hour March 22, 1950
GEORGE A. MARTIN, NAVY FLIER IS CITED FOR A FINE RECORD
A high commendation for Officer Candidate George A. Martin has been sent to his parents Mr. and Mrs. George L. Martin of New Canaan Avenue, by the officer-in-charge of his training unit at Cabanas Field, Corpus Christi, Texas. Young Martin will be commissioned shortly in the grade of Ensign after he completes his training. The local Naval aviator was a popular student at Norwalk High School and has been in the Navy for the past four years. The commendation from Lt. Cmdr. C.A. Williams says: “It is with great pleasure that I inform you that your son has successfully completed the advanced training syllabus in AF ATU-2. While in this unit he flew the Grumman F8F “Bearcat” and was taught offensive and defensive fighter tactics. In addition to his flight duties, he was assigned to the Ordnance Department which has the responsibility of ensuring that all ordnance equipment and ammunition is maintained and ready for instant use. While attached to his unit, George proved himself a capable Naval officer and is making a fine Naval aviator. His pleasing personality, cooperation, and excellent disposition have won many friends and he is indeed the type of young man I would enjoy having in my command again.” Recent word from George, his parent’s report, is that he has been flying jet bombers.
From The Norwalk Hour February 8, 1951
GEORGE A. MARTIN, ENSIGN, KILLED
Norwalk Youth’s Plane Crashes in Korea Waters, Telegram Informs Family
Ensign George Alan Martin, 21, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot stationed on the USS Valley Forge off Korea, was killed Tuesday, according to word received Wednesday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George L. Martin, of New Canaan Avenue. A telegram from Vice Admiral John W. Roper, Chief of Naval Personnel, stated the following: “It is with deep regret that I officially report the death of your son George Alan Martin, Ensign, U.S. Navy, which occurred February 7, (Korean time) as the result of an aircraft accident while he was participating in an operational mission on take off from the USS Valley Forge. His plane was seen to go out of control and crash into the water. Although extensive searches were conducted, I regret to inform you his body could not be found. Your son died in the performance of his duty and while serving his country. I extend my sincere sympathy in our great loss.” Ensign Martin, a graduate of local schools, entered the Navy in May 1948, under the V-5 program. He attended the University of Connecticut for two years and reported to U.S. Naval Preflight School at Pensacola in July 1948. He took advanced training at Corpus Christi and was awarded his Navy wings of gold in 1950. Ensign Martin was awarded the Air Medal in action on the Valley Forge early this year in Korea operations. In October, November, and December of 1950, he flew more than 25 sorties in his Corsair from the flight deck of the carrier USS Boxer in the initial drive up through Korea. When the Boxer returned to this country in the winter for repairs, he returned here on leave, then was assigned to the Valley Forge. Besides his parents, Ensign Martin is survived by his sister, Mrs. Douglas A. Wood of New Canaan Avenue.
From the Norwalk Hour September 22, 1952
FLIER’S PARENTS GET AIR MEDAL
Mr. and Mrs. George L. Martin of New Canaan Avenue, parents of Ensign George Alan Martin, who was killed on February 7, 1951, in the Korean action when the Navy Corsair he was flying crashed into the sea during a bombing run from the aircraft carrier the USS Valley Forge, recently received the Air Medal which was posthumously awarded to the pilot by the Secretary of the Navy for the President of the United States. The citation which accompanied the Air Medal reads as follows: “For meritorious achievement in aerial flight as pilot of a fighter plane in Fighter Squadron 23, attached to the USS Boxer, during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 15 September to 16 October 1950. Completing 10 missions during this period, Ensign Martin carried out daring flights against enemy anti-aircraft gun emplacements, transportation facilities and lines of communication. By his skilled airmanship, courage, and loyal devotion to duty in the face of hostile antiaircraft fire, he contributed materially to the success of his squadron in the infliction of extensive damage on the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Planes from Carrier Air Group (CVG) 2 prepare to launch from USS Valley Forge (CV-45), circa 6 December 1950 –26 March 1951. Planes closer to the camera are F4U-4 Corsairs from VF-24 “Corsairs” (modex M400 series), VF-63 “Fighting Redcocks” (M200), and VF-64 “Freelancers” (M100). Skyraiders are in the background—an AD-2 from VA-65 “Fist of the Fleet” (modex M500 series) can be identified in the left background.
Memorial marker in Lakeview Cemetery, 352 Main Street, New Canaan, Connecticut; Section L, Plot 1. Photo by webmaster.
Memorialized Courts of the Missing, Court 8, Honolulu Memorial Honolulu Memorial, 2177 Puowaina Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo from findagrave.com.