From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Martin '67

Date of birth: February 18, 1945

Date of death: November 25, 1969

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1967 Lucky Bag:


From the February 1970 issue of Shipmate:

Lt.(jg) John R. Martin, USN , died 25 November as the result of an aircraft accident at Jacksonville, Fla. He was a pilot with Attack Squadron 172, based at the Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, at the time of the accident.

Lt. (jg) Martin, born in Youngstown, Ohio, was a member of the 35th Company at the Naval Academy and was graduated in June 1967. He had naval air training at Pensacola and in May 1969 joined Attack Squadron 172.

He is survived by his widow Linda and a son Richard Lee Martin of #113 Yorkshire Londontowne Apts., 1591 South Lane Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32210, and his parents Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Martin of 1814 Lovers Lane Terrace, St. Joseph, Mo. 64505.

From A-4 Skyhawk:

November 25, 1969
Lt(jg). John R. Martin and Lt(jg). Robert A. McLeery were killed when A-4C BuNo 149523 collided with A-4C BuNo 147839 at low level while in formation with a 3rd Skyhawk. Portions of one crashed into a home along State Road 13 about 30 miles south of Jacksonville, FL and the other cut a fiery swath through an orange grove in the Switzerland area of St. Johns county.
Ocala, FL, Ocala Star Banner, Wednesday, November 26, 1969.

John is buried in Missouri.


From the Class of 1967's 50th Reunion Yearbook, courtesy of William Belden '67:

John joined the brigade after graduating from high school in St. Joseph, Missouri. As a member of the 35th Company, he played on the 150-pound football team that won the national championship and exhibited his prowess for the wrestling team while maintaining a consistent 3.0 academic average. John was always the cool, calm and collected friend to everyone who knew him, showing that humility has a proud place in the Naval Service. After graduation John was ordered to flight school in Pensacola where he married Linda. His superior athletic ability and innate intelligence enabled John to screen for advanced jet training, his light at the end of the tunnel through four years at the Academy. After training in the A-4 Replacement Air Group, he reported to Attack Squadron 172 (VA-172), the Blue Bolts, flying the A-4C aircraft. During an ordnance training mission on the afternoon of 25 November 1969 both he and fellow classmate, Bob McCleery (26) died in a multi-plane, weather-related accident on their return to NAS Cecil Field, Florida.

A memorial service was held in Cecil Field where John’s fellow squadron pilots gath- ered to pay their respects to John and Linda and to think on the great aviator, wonder- ful friend and the fragile life of a Naval Aviator and Naval Aviator’s family, which John had worked so hard for so long to know. A funeral mass for John was held on 1 December in the Cathedral of St Joseph followed by interment in the Mount Olivet Cemetery. Three of John’s fellow Naval Aviators served as pallbearers at the funeral. John, the son of Councilman and Mrs. Richard Martin, was survived by his wife Linda and his son Richard Lee Martin.

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Michael Smith '67 and Hal Castle, Jr. '67 were also in 35th Company.

Robert McCleery '67 was the other pilot killed in the collision.

Class of 1967

John is one of 34 members of the Class of 1967 on Virtual Memorial Hall.