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Sgt. James L. Martin

Company M

319th Infantry Regiment

80th Infantry Division

 

Sgt. James L. Martin, 319th Regiment, 80th Infantry Division-1945

 

From a loving son-in-law: "Sgt. James L. Martin from Indianapolis Indiana was 24 years old when he was drafted in the army.  He left to go overseas on December 30, 1944.  I don't think he joined the 80th until he got to Europe through the replacement depots ("reppel depples") used to fill openings in each unit.  I only say this because he was from Indiana and not the Blue Ridge States.

 

He told me stories of how he trained in Jacksonville FLA. because he was supposed to go fight the Japanese, and then the Battle of the Bulge began. He was sent to Europe in the winter of 1944 (Dec.) with only warm weather, south pacific gear and clothing.

 

On several occasions I was able to get him to talk to me about some of the pictures.  This always seemed to bring back a lot of memories.  Judging by his emotions, they were most likely memories he wanted to forget.  Like so many WWII vets, he was just a laid back, kind and caring soul that felt he only did what he had to.

 

 He told me the story of when his unit/squad crossed the Rhine River.  He thought they were near Worms Germany.  They would have crossed over near Mannheim Germany.  He said the Germans knew they were coming and as they crossed the river in rubber rafts, the Germans opened up on them and shot the rafts out from under them.  When Dad's raft was hit, he was hit in the lower leg and had to swim to a bridge abutment and hold on for dear life.  A couple of his buddies were hit worse than him and he swam out and retrieved them back to what was left of the bridge and kept their heads above water until help came.  This is how he won the Bronze Star.  He got a Purple Heart for his wound.

 

 I have his WWII service medal but I have no idea where the Purple Heart or Bronze Star are.  The last time I saw them, I found them in a drawer in his garage workbench.  Funny huh?

 

Again, I appreciate all you are doing.  What a blessing you've already been to our family, but countless others as well.  I look forward to seeing Dad's pictures on your web site.  Continued blessings to you!"

 

Should anyone remember Sgt. Martin, or have information of benefit to his family, please contact the webmaster and I will forward it on to the family.

 

 

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