Y3c Hugh Lee Martin

Unknown Sailor

Y3c Hugh Lee Martin

Hugh Lee Martin knew loss from a young age. 

Born New Year’s Day 1921 in Idaho, he had just turned four when his mother, Elva Merrick Martin, died of a ruptured appendix. His 11-year-old sister, Frances, died the next fall of heart disease, kidney inflammation, and pneumonia.

By the time of the 1930 Census Hugh and three older siblings lived with their maternal grandparents in Blackfoot, a town of about 3,200 in southeast Idaho. The grandfather, Leander Merrick, died of pernicious anemia in 1933.

Though Hugh’s father, Victor Martin, was a sheepherder about 60 miles away in Lava Hot Springs, the boy remained in Blackfoot. He graduated in 1938 from the local high school.

Hugh enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 15, 1939. Mr. Martin was a yeoman and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.


Sources: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs master index; Idaho death certificates; the Salt Lake City (Utah) Telegram; Census; Navy muster roll; Blackfoot High School yearbooks. Yearbook photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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