Medal of Honor Citation

First Lieutenant Harry Linn Martin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry at the cost of his life, on Iwo Jima, 26 March 1945.

Harry Linn Martin was a member of the Ohio National Guard and graduated from Bucyrus High School and from Michigan State College in East Lansing, Michigan, where he majored in Business Administration. At State, he was on the football and wrestling teams and did some boxing and skiing. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Fraternity and served two years in the Cavalry unit of the ROTC. Following graduation in 1936, he worked in Honolulu, Hawaii, as an office manager for the Hawaiian Construction Tunnel Company.

On 25 August 1943, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. Following schooling at Quantico, Virginia, 2dLt Martin completed the Engineers School at New River, North Carolina, and was designated an Engineer Officer, 13 March 1944. Assigned to 2d Battalion, 16th Marines, engineer regiment of the 5th Marine Division, he joined Company C when the designation of the battalion was changed to 5th Pioneer Battalion.

Second Lieutenant Martin went overseas with his unit in the summer of 1944 and went into training at Hawaii. On 19 February 1945 - D Day - he landed on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands and before the day ended he had already sustained a slight wound. He was promoted to first lieutenant on 1 March 1945, twenty-five days before his death.

A few minutes before dawn on the morning of 16 March, the day the Iwo campaign officially closed, the Japanese launched a concentrated attack and penetrated the Marine lines in the area where 1stLt Martin's platoon was bivouacked. He immediately organized a firing line among the men in the foxholes closest to his own, and temporarily stopped the headlong rush of the enemy. Several of his men were lying wounded in positions overrun by the enemy and the lieutenant was determined to rescue them. In the action which followed, he was severely wounded twice but continued to resist the enemy until he fell mortally wounded by a grenade. He died ten days later.

The Medal of Honor and citation were presented to his parents by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal at a ceremony in the Navy Department on 6 May 1946.

First Lieutenant Martin was buried in the 5th Division Cemetery at Iwo Jima. At the request of his mother, his remains were returned to Ohio in 1948 for private burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Bucyrus, Ohio.


World War II Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University