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Old 10th September 2023, 19:16
keith A keith A is offline
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Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

This actor served in the USN in WW2. The first part of this bio seems accurate. The second, at best, has issues. There is no way he fought as a pilot at Midway in 1942, and his time as a POW seems pure fantasy. Does anyone know if he actually saw combat?


Martin joined the United States Navy in 1940. In November 1942, he was one of a few enlisted sailors from Naval Air Technical Training Center Norman, Oklahoma selected for pre-flight training with the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer and become a naval aviator. In April 1943, he was transferred to pre-flight training at the CAA War Training Service School in Natchitoches, Louisiana. At the time of his transfer, he was an Aviation Metalsmith 2nd Class and served as the Aviation Metalsmith School storekeeper. In November 1943, he was transferred to Navy-Preflight School in Athens, Georgia. In June 1944, he was assigned to at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida after completing primary flight training in Dallas, Texas. He served as a fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of the war.

Dewey became a pilot and flew Grumman F4F Wildcat and Grumman F6F Hellcats in the Pacific Theater. He fought in the Battle of Midway and ditched his Wildcat in the ocean because his carrier was damaged. You don't get more heroic than that! But that's not all. He later was shot down in 1945 and became a guest of the Japanese until the surrender.

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Keith
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Old 10th September 2023, 19:53
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

Most sources state he flew the F6F late in the war and was a Japanese POW for seven months in 1945. That would argue he was shot down in January 1945.

K
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Old 10th September 2023, 20:27
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

I think that this man was Lt. M.V.D. Martin, a Hellcat pilot with VF29, off Cabot. His aircraft was damaged by AA while strafing a Japanese airfield at Takao, Formosa, on 3 January 1945. Forced to ditch on return to the task group, he was rescued by the destroyer Yarnell.
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Old 10th September 2023, 21:57
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

No one named Martin as a pilot in VF-3 ("ditched his Wildcat in the ocean because his carrier was damaged" - that would be Yorktown) . . . don't even have to look that up.

The only Martin in VF-42 (these the already resident enlisted crewmen supporting VF-3, there were no VF-3 enlisted men aboard Yorktown) was one Martin, GF, S1c who ended up aboard USS Fulton & shows up in the surviving VF-42 crew muster of 8 Jun 1942.

No one by that name as an aviator in VB-3, VB-5, or VT-3, either. Could he have been enlisted in one of these other Yorktown squadrons? Or even ships' company? No idea, but he was for certain not associated with VF-3/VF-42 aboard Yorktown in any way.

" . . . few enlisted sailors from Naval Air Technical Training Center Norman, Oklahoma selected for pre-flight training . . ."

Well, maybe from just that activity at NAS Norman, but enlisted men were selected for flight training all the time from all across the Navy, they were not some rare breed. Personally knew quite a few of them, most were proud of their enlisted service, but equally proud of becoming commissioned naval aviators. By the time I was smart enough to discern who was who, long about 13 or so, most that I knew were already commanders/lieutenant colonels or captains/colonels. Easiest way to spot one was to look at their ribbons, probably wearing an enlisted good conduct ribbon amongst whatever else they had.

Whoever contributed that to Wiki, well, that's some pretty loose writing and obviously not penned by someone with even a passing acquaintance of the subject.
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Old 12th September 2023, 17:31
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

It looks as if George has it, but it's weird that his Hollywood bio claims he was a POW. A bit of artistic license? The Formosa loss seems a very close match.

However his name was certainly Dewey Dallas Martin according to official records. Also WVD Martin is described as Lieutenant. If this was Martin then he is a twenty-one-year old Lieutenant USN. I doubt this. An Ensign DD Martin seems more likely if he was was flying combat less than six months after reaching advanced flight training.

As you say Rich, the Wikipedia entry is a bit loose but the various details seem to fit most of it. I expect the Hollywood fan mags expanded his active service to include well-known battles. Being born in December 1923 he would have been far too young to be a fully-fledged pilot in 1942.

Interesting. I am beginning to think the whole Navy flier stuff can be distilled into Aviation Cadet 1943-45 (He is discharged in 1945). He may have flown both the Wildcat and Hellcat but not in combat or on any active service.

K
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Old 12th September 2023, 20:33
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

Yeah, well, I don't even have a Dewey Dallas Martin in any of my USN, USMC, or USCG lists.
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Old 12th September 2023, 21:16
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

M.V.D. Martin was the only Martin I could find who came near to matching the exploits of D.D.. While he may have been a Hellcat pilot during WWII, perhaps the embellishments were the work of his publicity team?
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Old 12th September 2023, 22:55
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

Malcolm Van Dyke Martin (149029) was commissioned an Ensign, AV(T), on 5/23/1942. Looks a little early to be DD Martin. And an AV(T) designator usually means he learned to fly somewhere else, or served somewhere besides the USN, and was able to demonstrate his proficiency.
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Old 13th September 2023, 08:58
keith A keith A is offline
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Re: Dewey Dallas Martin - Hollywood Actor

Many thanks, chaps. I think the film studio did a bit of invention.

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