Daniel Martin

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Daniel J. Martin

Major, USAF (retired) (1924-2013) 89 years old. Died at his home in South Windsor on October 25, 2013. A veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, Dan was a proud native of Holyoke, MA who never forgot his roots or his experiences growing up in the city's Ward 4 section during the last "great" depression. He often recalled with pleasure his memories of playing baseball in the sandlots of the city, walking to the Boys Club for basketball and indoor soccer matches and swimming in and across the Connecticut River.


Dan was born August 9, 1924 into a loving Irish family, the sixth of eight children born to Timothy and Mary (Kennedy) Martin both from County Kerry, Ireland. He was educated in the Holyoke school system, graduating from Holyoke High School class of 1941. In January 1943, Dan enlisted in the U.S. Army Aviation Cadet Program.


Like so many returning veterans, Dan took advantage of the GI Bill to further his education earning a degree in Public Relations and Communications from Boston University in 1949. After graduation Dan worked in sales in Houston Texas until being recalled to active duty by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Married now and with a young family Danny decided to stay in the Air Force as a career. He retired in 1968, his last tour of duty being in the Republic of Vietnam.


During the siege of Khe Sanh, in March 1968, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He and his fellow crew members of a C-130 made repeated air-drops of vitally needed supplies to the besieged United States Marine Garrison at Khe Sanh. Their calmness and courage were responsible for the perfect delivery of the cargo and the subsequent safe recovery of the aircraft and crew.


After the military he remained in Connecticut and built a real estate business. He was an avid Red Sox and UCONN Woman's basketball fan. He enjoyed playing bridge, reading books, watching movies and collecting random antiques with his wife as well as enjoying an occasional martini.


Dan is survived by his wife of 63 years, the former Mary Cadigan, daughter Barbara and husband Tom La flesh of Hartford, Kevin and Susan Martin of Avon, Brian and Suzanne Martin of Wilmette IL. Daniel Sean Martin and Angela Caruso of Manchester, Barry and Ann Martin of Farmington and Stephen T. Martin of San Francisco CA. Dan leaves many grandchildren, nieces, nephews as well as many cousins in both Ireland and England.


There will be no calling hours and burial will be at the convenience of the family. There will be a celebration of Dan's life at a future date. Memorial contributions can be made to the Friends of the South Windsor Public Library, 1550 Sullivan Avenue, South Windsor, CT 06074.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 1, 2013
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