WWII Legend, Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin, dies at 101

Jim Martin was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles.” The 101st was popularized in 2001 by the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Martin was among the last of what are known as the “Toccoa originals,” the men who joined the 101st back in 1942 at its formation. At the time, paratroopers were a brand new concept.

Martin was with the 101st when they landed in Normandy on D-Day, fought in the battle of the bulge, liberated a concentration camp, and even helped seize Adolf Hitler’s Bavarian Home.

He has fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning a Bronze star and a purple heart, among their other honors, for his services.

WWII Veteran, Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin laid to rest at the age of 101

Martin passed away at 101 and was escorted from Sugar Creek Township to Dayton National Cemetery, his final resting place. He died on September 11. He was among the last remaining of about 6000 men who arrived at Currahee Mountain, near Toccoa, to train as one of the country’s first paratroopers.

In 2015, he told the American Veterans Center about jumping into Normandy on D-Day. He was a decorated WWII veteran and Greene County native who died at the age of 101.

Governor Mike Dewine on Jim Martin

Martin had personally requested Governor Dewine say something at his funeral, and Dewine did.

Dewine said: “I came here today first as a friend, a friend of 50 years,” and added, “But I also came here to represent the people of the state of Ohio because he was a hero, and we need to say Thank You.”

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Dewine also said: “I learned very quickly that you never want to have an argument with Jim unless you knew the facts unless you knew the law because Jim always knew the law and always knew the facts.”

Dewine also reflected on Martin’s devotion to his family, friends, and community. During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Martin had reached out to Dewine to give him some friendly encouragement.