Harry Charlemont MartinLieutenant Commander
FLEET AIR RECON SQDN ONE, 7TH FLEET
United States Navy
08 May 1921 - 16 March 1970
Battle Creek, MI
Panel 12W Line 007
The database page for Harry Charlemont Martin
My father, Harry C. Martin, served in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. He started as an enlisted man and was in almost 30 years.
From the son of a fallen fellow Patriot,
Mission NotesThe EC-121 Warning Star was a radar flight following and communications/electronics surveillance aircraft, a variant on the civilian Super Constellation. EC-121s from the Air Force and Navy routinely operated over the Gulf of Tonkin providing support to combat aircraft "over the beach" in North Vietnam. The EC-121 Warning Star was a large aircraft, far too big to operate from carriers, and was based ashore in Vietnam and/or the Philippines.
Shortly after 11 AM on 16 March 1970 EC-121 BuNo 145927 of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) approached Danang at the end of a ferry flight from Taiwan. One of the big airplane's four engines had been shut down en route due to a generator overheat problem, and the first one thousand feet of Danang's runway was closed for repairs; the combination of the two factors dictated an out-of-the-ordinary approach. At 11:25 the Warning Star was on short final when another aircraft taxied onto the active runway, forcing the EC-121 to attempt an aborted landing. The pilot banked while flying over a concrete revetment and caught the tip of the left wing on a shelter. The EC-121 immediately cartwheeled, striking a revetment containing an RF-4C, causing an explosion. The explosion's force broke the EC-121 into three sections. One of these flying sections hit a tar truck, knocking it into two power poles. The poles were severed and live power lines were strewn over the area.
Although ground personnel made heroic efforts to rescue the 31 men aboard the EC-121 - braving gasoline and jet fuel fires and the risk of electrocution - 23 men were either dead or fatally injured:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009