Technical Sergeant
Albert Emil Martin

1918 - 21 June 1944

Scott County, Missouri - MIA


 

 

Albert Emil Martin was born in 1918 and from Scott County, Missouri, U.S.A. He had two years in college and was married to Helen Corvick, also from Scott City. They married in Seattle, Washington. They lived in Victoria, B.C. for a short while, where Albert worked as an English teacher. He was turned down by the U.S.A.A.F. but later enlisted with the R.C.A.F.  Just before he enlisted Albert won an art contest sponsored by Walt Disney, the grand prize being a job as a cartoonist for the Walt Disney Company. They agreed to hold his job for him until the war was over.

44 Squadron

Albert didn't have to fight in the war. He told his wife he wanted to make the world safer for his children and grandchildren. Helen became pregnant the one time he was able to come home on leave. He never saw his only child. His son John was about 5 months old when Albert was killed.After Albert enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he went through training in Canada and became a wireless operator. In England he was posted to 44 Squadron but transferred to the U.S.A.A.F. on December 2, 1943, while in training. He remained with the R.C.A.F. and was posted to 44 squadron on "Detached Service", meaning he was officially with the U.S.A.A.F., but was allowed to finish his tour of operations with his original squadron.

In June 1944 he was, for administrative purposes, stationed at the 12th Replacement Control Depot at Station 561, Chorley, Lancashire.

On 21/22 June 1944 he flew a mission as a wireless operator with his Lancaster crew of 44 Squadron. The crew consisted of:

P/O R Wood (RNZAF)
Sgt F W Such (RAF)
W/O A J Sargeant (RAAF)
W/O A M Leonard (RCAF)
T/Sgt A E Martin (USAAF)
F/S C J Phillips (RAF)
Sgt V McKenzie (RAF)

On the night of the 21st of June, 1944, the crew took off from their base Dunholme Lodge in Lincolnshire in Lancaster I LL938-S. They took off from their base at 23.23 and they were tasked to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Wesseling, close to Cologne. It was P/O Wood's third mission with 44 squadron. He had already 500 hours logged.

The Lancaster was shot down over the target area, crashing near the town of Oberempt. The pilot, P/O Wood, air bomber WO II Arthur Leonard and air gunner Sgt. Vincent McKenzie were killed and buried in the town.  Sgt Such, F/S Philips and W/O Sargeant were taken POW. The American wireless operator T/Sgt Albert Martin is still missing.

W/O A Sargeant RAAF, wrote: “Wesseling was our second op as a crew. After the skipper and I each took part in a familiarization trip to Aunay we went to Beauvais for our first op and attacked a V weapon site. Our next target was the oil plant, but we were hit by a night fighter shortly after entering Germany and had to get out.”

“George Phillips the M/U had opened the rear door when he spotted Tich Mackenzie, the rear gunner, struggling with an already opened parachute. While helping him to gather it up the door closed end jammed fast trapping them both. As Frank Such, the flight engineer, helped Russell Wood with his parachute he could see the skipper's face was covered in blood. Forwards in the nose Bud Leonard lay slumped over the bomb sight, and as Frank went forward and pulled the release handle it came away in his hand.”

“Meanwhile the aircraft entered a steep spiral and I found myself stuck fast by the accompanying forces. My salvation came when LL938 exploded blowing Charles, Frank and I clear. Our WOP Al Martin was an American who, having enlisted in the RCAF, had transferred to the USAAF during training. He died with the rest of the boys. We three survivors were quickly rounded up next day.”
(Above quote is courtesy and (C) of 207 Squadron RAF Association website)

After the war the three were taken from Oberempt by the American Graves Registration to Margraten American Cemetery were they were reburied. In 1947 they were moved to their permanent resting place at the Nederweert War Cemetery.

T/Sgt Martin is mentioned on the Margraten Wall of the Missing.

W/O Sargeant after war moved to Canada with his wife Mona. He passed away on 20 September 1998 in Gimli, Manitoba.

Margraten, The Netherlands

 

See Also:
WO II Arthur Leonard
Sgt Vincent McKenzie
P/O Russell Wood

Sources:
Mrs Vicky Overbey, Granddaughter of T/Sgt Albert Martin
Quote from Sgt Sargreant from 207 Squadron RAF Association website
Errol W. Martyn, For Your Tomorrow, Volume II, Christchurch: Volplane Press 1999
Mr. Martin Bull
ABMC

Acknowledgements:
RAF Squadron crest © Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

Updated 25 October 2005
Updated 24 January 2006
Updated 3 May 2009


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This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

 

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