New England Air Museum
Martin John Delling


Martin Delling, Tinian, 1945

Recent Address:

101 Cedar Ridge Drive, North, West Bend, WI 53095

Email:

 

Family Information:

Parents: Martin and Kuna; Wife: Lorraine

Hometown:

Milwaukee, WI

Date Entered Service:

May 31, 1943

Service Number:

36822775

Bomb Group:

444th; 313 Bomb Wing, 9th Grp.

Squadron:

676th

Location of Unit:

Pyote, TX (1945)

Missions Flown:

9

Hump Missions Flown:

 

Targets:

Utsonomiya, Namazu, Fukui, Tsu, Hachiogi, Shimizu, Hikari, Tokyo, Toyokawa

Awards/Decorations:

Purple Heart-Pacific Ocean Area,Air Medal,Distinguished Unit Badge,American Theater Ribbon,Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 4 Bronze Battle Stars,WWII Victory Medal,Overseas Service Bars (2)Eastern Mandates,Western Pacific Campaign,Air Offensive Japan,Ryukyus

Service Schools Attended:

Physics-Eau Claire St. Teachers Coll., WI 1943;
Aerial Radar Bombardier-Victorville, CA 1944;
Navigation Radar-Hondo, TX Jun 1945

Military Specialty(ies):

MOS 0141-Radar Officer, MOS 1037-Navigator-Bombardier, Radar, LAB

Rank Upon Discharge:

1st Lt.

Crew Type:

Flight crew

Airplane Serial No.& Name:

 

Were you a POW?

No

Were you interned?

No

Date Transferred from the 58th:

 

Date Discharged from the 58th:

September 30, 1946

Post-WWII Military Service:

 

Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):

Salesman; Lighting Fixture Designer; A.O. Smith Co. Supervisor Material & Control; Tool Comptroller

Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:

As an Army draftee in WWII, I was accepted to become an aviation cadet in 1943. After much college and pre-flight instruction and actually learning to fly a small Piper Cub, I was given a choice to go to Pilot, Navigator or Bombardier school. I chose Navigation and was graduated as a Lieutenant at Hondo, TX.

I returned to Milwaukee on leave and married my betrothed, Lorraine Roese. We lived in Texas where I stayed on as an Aerial Navigation instructor. In 1944 some of us were asked to learn bombing by radar. This was learned in California and it was not long after that I was assigned to a B-29 eleven-man air crew. After training together we joined the 58th Bomb Wing on Tinian Island in the Marianas.

We flew many bombing missions over Japan and our last one ended in the water near Iwo Jima. We usually refueled at Iwo but must have been hit and lost fuel. One engine after the other quit and then, being too low to bail out, we had to crash into the water. We still thank God that all 11 of us survived the ditching. We did not escape injury but the Navy located our rafts within an hour at dusk. We had good care at the makeshift hospital on Iwo and the Pacific war soon ended.

I helped to close down the two large air bases on Tinian, but instead of going home was sent to Clark Field in the Philippines. I was assigned to the 313th Bomb Wing and as a Flying Officer was at times also an Armament Officer and Executive Officer. Finally came home in September 1946 when a service man in uniform on a Milwaukee Street was a rarity. Beside my many campaign medals and unit citations and the air medal, I am very happy that my Purple Heart was not given to me posthumously.

Comments:

Member of Sea Squatters Club & Goldfish Club having come down at sea and used a rubber life raft. Picked up by a Navy ship near Iwo Jima in Aug. 1945. Stationed on Tinian in the Marianas, 1945. Also spent part of a year in Luzon, Philippines guarding Japanese prisoners in 1946.

Martin died on November 1, 1996, at 77 years of age. He is buried at Pinelawn Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI. Martin kept excellent records of his service time and I had trouble reading some of the details. In checking further in Martin's file, I found the enclosed write-up he had written many years ago. In it I think you will agree that he was very proud of his service to our country.

 


Martin Delling, Tinian, 1945

 


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