Lt. CECIL H. MARTIN USN, Retired
It is not often that the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest medal for heroism, is awarded. When the recipient is a Mineman, the occasion is rarer still. Mineman First Class, Cecil H. Martin received the honor at the Naval Schools Mine Warfare, Charleston, S. C. on 5 September 1969. It was presented by Rear Adm. Douglas C. Plate, Atlantic Fleet Mine Force.
Petty Officer Martin, with 11 years service in the Navy, played an important role as the commander of a two boat patrol with River Division 531 in Vietnam. While in the Mekong Delta on the night of 21 November 1968 Martin's patrol came under heavy attack from ambush. His cover boat was hit by two rockets aboard and causing the craft to run aground directly in front of enemy positions. Finding himself beyond the center of attack, Mineman Martin ordered his coxswain to reverse course to rescue the besieged crew. Re-entering the ambush area under increasing enemy fire, and while directing effective and tallying counter fire, Mineman Martin directed his boat to position between the helpless cover boat and the blazing enemy shore batteries.
Cecil H. Martin's boat, PBR-110
He then directed rescue operations and at crucial intervals personally manned a machine gun to suppress enemy fire. Boarding the disabled craft, he extinguished fire and helped transfer the casualties to his boat. While maintaining contact with the Naval Operations Center, and advising of the attack, he directed a success full withdrawal and rendered first aid to the wounded.
A native of Grandville Township, Illinois, and a veteran of 11 years in the Navy, Mineman Martin
is currently attached to the Naval Schools Mine warfare as a student in the Mineman Class "B" course. He resides in Charleston, S. C. with his wife, the former Kazuko Yamamoto, of Yokohama, Japan, and two children, Regina and Toby. He enlisted in the Navy on 23 July 1958 and completed his recruit training at NTC, San Diego, Calif. He was initially assigned to the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Va., from 28 Oct 1958 to 24 Apr 1959 as a student. Ordered to the Naval Schools Mine Warfare to attend the Mineman Class "A" school, he graduated as Honor man, first in his class, on 30 Oct 1959. He returned to the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Va., for duty form 16 Nov 1959 until 1 Nov 1960. From Yorktown he transferred to the Naval Ordnance Facility, Yokosuka, Japan (Azuma Island), where he served until 7 Nov 1962. From there he went to COMINERON Seven at Long Beach, Calif., and served until 30 Aug 1963. He served from 19 Sep 1963 to 30 Aug. 1966 at the Naval Air Station, Atsugi Japan. From 3 Oct 6 to Feb 1968 he was again attached to the Naval Ordnance Facility, Yokosuka, Japan. From 28 May 1968 to 24 May 1969 it was duty with River Squadron Five in Vietnam as a patrol boat captain. In addition to the Navy Cross, Mineman Martin has earned the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
In the words of the citation:
"His great personal valor in the face of heavy and sustained enemy fire was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Services." [The words of Admiral Douglas C. Plate as he presented the Navy Cross to Mineman First Class, Cecil H. Martin in Ceremony at Naval Schools, Mine Warfare, Charleston, SC]
Commendations received by Lt. Martin
Bronze Star - Combat V
Navy Commendation Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation
Navy Unit Commendation (2)
Good Conduct (3)
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
RVN Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star
RVN Presidential Unit Citation
RVN Meritorious Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal
courtesy of The Association of Mineman, http://minemen.org
Visit the 12 March 2010 Dedication of Martin Hall
Visit MineWar News Winter 2008-09
Visit Cecil's own web site
RADM Hoffmann biography
Derick S. Hartshorn -