Shannon Eick: This begins an interview with Mr. Daniel L. Martin on October 27, 2000 in New Brunswick, New Jersey with Shannon Eick and …
Sandra Stewart Holyoak: Sandra Stewart Holyoak.
SE: I want to start out with talking about your family. What is your father's name and where and when was he born?
DLM: … He has died now, obviously, but Clarence C. Martin was born in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, right outside of Trenton, on February 28, 1908.
SE: What was his education?
DLM: He didn't get too far. He was a very bright guy, but in those days, it was tough. He got through grammar school, and I think he had to stop in ninth grade in order to work. That's just the way it was. He was part of a large family, and his father had died and his mother had died before … The interesting thing about my father, in 1947, while I was at Rutgers as a sophomore, he went to the School of Advanced Management at Harvard Business School. His company sent him, because he had risen through the ranks, was personnel manager, personnel director or whatever, VP, and he was so good, and he was still young then, that they sent him to Harvard for three months to give him that experience. They had West Pointers, and everybody in his class was a college graduate except him. So I went up to visit him and met all those guys in the fall of '47. He was a great guy, my father.
SSH: What company did he work for?
DLM: It was, at that time, Sloan Blabon Linoleum, down in Trenton, which became, was merged into Congoleum Nairn, which is still around.
SSH: Did he talk at all about his family and their World War I experiences?
DLM: Yeah, his older brother, who he revered, because Bob had to take, my Uncle Bob, had to take the place of my, his, well, my grandfather and grandmother, his father and mother. So Bob got in right at the end of World War I. … I don't think he went overseas, but he had the uniform. He was inducted or drafted. Maybe he wasn't even drafted; he was just that age. He was born in like the late, the very end of the last century, next to the last century. That's awhile ago, about 1898, 1899, so he would have been like seventeen, eighteen, nineteen in World War I. He got in there, but he didn't have to go overseas.
SSH: What was your father's family involved in? Were they farmers in Hamilton Township?
DLM: No. A lot of people were, though. Hamilton Township was still very green. Now it's all suburban sprawl outside of Trenton. It's bigger than Trenton now, more populous, and geographically, naturally, a lot bigger. They were descendents of a family that came over from England. They were potters.
DLM: … They were from the middle part of England, Nottingham, Staffordshire, places like that … even a little bit north of Birmingham, England, I think, and so there was a whole neighborhood that had, that these people had come over, but that was an even earlier time. … I think all my grandparents were born here, and then their parents, some were born overseas … but it goes way back to like the 1850s or '60s, when they all arrived. … They were there to work in ceramics [and] pottery. Trenton was a big pottery center at that time. That was my father's side. … My mother's side could be very similar. They weren't potters, but they were, my grandfather was a painter, a professional painter. … His father had been in the Civil War.
DLM: … It would be my great grandfather, my grandfather's father on my mother's side, John Keiper, I have the mug that he had in the Civil War, the shaving mug. It's like a coffee cup, but you wouldn't use it. It was cracked and repaired. But he was shot up at Antietam, which was early in the Civil War, 1862, and my mother always told stories of taking care of him, because he had lost a leg at Antietam, and then, of course, treatment in those days wasn't so good. But he had a stump of a leg, and … one of her chores as a young girl was to help take care of her grandfather, and she just told it matter-of-factly that this was what everybody had to do, because there were an awful lot of Civil War veterans around at that time.
SE: What about your mom? What was her name?
DLM: Marion Theresa Keuper. And it's interesting, K-E-U-P-E-R, a German name, my grandfather was, obviously, Joe Keuper, but his father, the one that was at Antietam, the shaving mug, is K-E-I-P-E-R, and why they did that, I don't know. It's just a family story. … Then around the country, Keuper is not a common name, but there are plenty of them. If you look at that name, you'll see it's K-E-I or K-E-U in different places. Even in our family, my mother's brother Walt was a very famous racing car driver in the '30s, before he went into the Navy, the Seabees, and Walt [was] always K-E-I-P-E-R, and his father was K-E-U-P-E-R, figure, go figure, right? [laughter]
SSH: A race car driver in the '30s. Can we ask you if you have other stories along that line?
DLM: Oh, lots of them. He was really well known. He won a lot of races. He was just before World War II. Of course, racing automobiles, Indy cars these were, and our, we lived right near the fairgrounds in Hamilton Township, which everybody said was the Trenton Speedway, but it wasn't. It was Hamilton Township. Hamilton Township now has its own identity, but in those days, you always said you were from Trenton. But he would race cars. We could just walk there and see him go race and the others, and the races went on quite often. No, he was, he's in the, if anybody ever looked up the old Trenton papers, you'd see his name a lot.
SE: What was his name again?
DLM: Walter. Walter W., I think. … Walt Keiper, what a great guy. But he got into the Seabees in the Navy. He went through the Pacific War and he came home. He was in the VA hospital for a while, and he was never quite the same, although he could still work. He also was a painter and a paperhanger like my grandfather, my mother's father. … So Walt shot darts real well, like we all did. That was the English tradition down there. … But he really suffered in World War II, and so he was in and out of VA hospitals for a while, but he lived most of his life without having to go to the hospital. But he was very quiet, never talked about it, and really, really, you know, when you're in the Seabees, you're right there as soon as the attack is made, and you're putting down the landing mats and, you know, the construction stuff that is absolutely essential if you're going to take an island, so he was in that stuff for a long time.
SE: Can you talk about your mother's education?
DLM: She also got through eighth grade, Saint Francis School in, that was in Trenton. That's just on the Hamilton-Trenton border. … She, again, was very, very smart. Both of them were extremely natural students. But she did get, she always talked about two years at Heimback Business School, which also could be looked up. It's in Trenton, and it might even have become part of Rider. Rider University was in Trenton, at that time, and now it's outside in Lawrence Township, but that business school most likely was folded into Rider. Rider was just, everybody thought, "Hey, this is just, almost just a graduate secretarial school." But it was always on the grow. So she went there, and then she was a secretary for a little while, but she wasn't a secretary for too long, because she got a lot of kids. [laughter] … I was the first one, and I was [born in] 1929, and she was … born on May 25, 1908 … so, she was only twenty-one years old when I came along. So … then my brother Roland came along fifteen months later. My brother Joe and Jim came along two more years after that, so she had her hands full. My father worked, and here we are.
SE: How many siblings did you have all together?
DLM: I'm the oldest of seven sons.
SE: Seven. All boys.
DLM: All boys. No, no we got plenty of girls into the family later, but we grew up with seven of us.
SE: How did your parents meet?
DLM: I don't know exactly where they met. He was Episcopalian, and she is Roman Catholic, and it was in those days "never the twain shall meet." I mean, I remember the stories about my grandmother, my redheaded, Irish grandmother, my mother's mother, did not like Clarence Martin at all. He was an Episcopalian, "What are you doing? There are good Catholic boys around." [laughter] … How they met, they were very young. They got married when they were twenty. They got married, they had two dates, April 7, 1928, and June 9, 1928, so they're only twenty when they got married, and they had been going out secretly, I think, but … I don't know that whole story, where they met. All I know is that they [were] hanging around the candy store, maybe. I don't know. [laughter]
SSH: I assume since there are two dates, one would have been a civil ceremony and then the other in the church.
SSH: Did your father convert then?
DLM: They, no, he didn't. They eloped to Maryland. Everybody, in those days, you eloped, you didn't, no big weddings. So they eloped to, not Hagerstown I think is further out, but [Elkton, Maryland]. I have their wedding certificate, marriage certificate. But they did … talk about that a lot. They got his best friend, Howard "Polly" F-R-A-N-T-Z, and … they were all buddies, so it might have been his wife, but she was my mother's great friend, too, so Emma and "Polly" Frantz, and they had the car. My parents didn't have a car. So they drove down there, they got married, and that was that. My grandmother on my mother's side was not very happy, but my father was a charming, great guy. They were now married. There was not much she could do about it, so they had a pretty quick reconciliation. So then there was a Catholic ceremony. They got married in the church in June, June 9, 1928. The reason I know it so well is that I arranged for their fiftieth wedding anniversary party, which [laughter] my father kept trying to interfere with. I said, "Dad, we know those stories, we know what to do …" at Forsgate Country Club. Now, what a jump up from their origin, back in 1928, and by this time, all the sons are grown, we had lots of grandchildren, and we have pictures of it. We put on a great party for them, and they danced to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," which was their favorite song. [laughter]
SSH: [laughter] Sure.
DLM: [laughter] Yeah, I know, and he was always going around singing it, so that was obviously, 1978, and they were still pretty young.
SSH: Great, great story.
SE: You were born in 1929, and that was only six months before Black Tuesday. How did the Depression affect your family?
DLM: We were in the Depression big time. Everybody was. That was, my earliest memories are of not having any money at all and doing things to make money, and, you know, we did live in Hamilton Township, [in] which there were farms all around. We lived in one of the original subdivisions, you know, houses that were built close together ... It was probably a farm, but this had already been built quite a few years before I was born. So we had produce, and we saved. We canned. My mother canned veggies, etcetera, and my father was lucky to have a job as a laborer at the beginning, in the '30s. This would be in the, well, the late '20s and the early '30s. So, I think, when they bought their first house, they paid 3,000 dollars for it, it's just so incredible, and this would be in the late '30s. I mean, I remember that house. I remember it, you know, because it was so small. Now, I look at it, I've gone back to look at it, and all of us were in that house. [laughter] … It's really something. But I remember the Depression. I remember going outside, picking the unburned coal, because we had a coal furnace, and we, the older boys, Roland, my brother Roland and I, had the chore of taking, emptying the ashes, getting them out, spreading them out on the street, and then you picked out the unburned coals and brought them back in, because it was so important to have coal. So that's tear jerking, [laughter] not really. I mean, this is what everybody did in those days. It's just, you knew you had to work. My first job was selling Saturday Evening Post for five cents a copy. I was nine years old. [laughter] … I'd say, "Can I do this?" "Yeah, sure." They were very happy to have somebody ambitious. So I would go out and sell my Saturday Evening Post, knock on doors and got rejected a few times. I saved my own money, you know, the little pennies you got, because you had to give the Saturday Evening probably four cents of the five. … I might have gotten a penny. Isn't that amazing? … To look back at that, maybe a half a cent, I don't know … but it added up, you know.
SSH: Do you remember how the Depression affected your extended family, your mother and father's families?
DLM: Well, they all were, everybody was poor. The whole country was poor, as far as we knew. Well, everybody worked, and everybody was glad to have what they had, and everybody helped, not, you can't say everybody, but many people helped others in times of sickness, in times if you'd need some food. It was close-knit, but families kept to themselves. I mean, you had your privacy. But we had a lot of gatherings, you know, the firehouse. The people knew each other's stories, and they actually helped each other, and then they passed the word if somebody needed a little extra help, they would do that. My mother was like one of the ringleaders of all that stuff. Years later, I took her back to that neighborhood and … just [said], "Mother, would you like to see the old house again?" because she was getting pretty old by that time. "Yeah, yeah, sure, Danny." So we drove by it, and she looked across the street, and she said, "Look, there's Elva Voorhees" That was the name of this lady that was still surviving. … Then there was the daughter. Now, the daughter looked just like the mother. The daughter was there with, I think, it was Elva. It wasn't Elvira, 'cause that's a great song, but Elva Voorhees is sitting there, and she says, "Look there's Elva," and then we looked a little closer. She had spotted the daughter, who looked like the Elva that my mother remembered, but Elva was there, too. She was there. So we went up on the porch, and you should have heard those stories of the Depression, and that's what they wanted to talk about, because my parents had moved away from that neighborhood out to Hamilton Square, which is like a step up economically and all that, but they still kept in touch. So they went on and on about who helped whom, and God ... Now, my brother Jimmy was with us, too, he was still alive then, so Jim was there, and we're looking at each other and we did not want to interrupt this conversation at all. … They'd come back, "Hey, Danny, remember when you came to Halloween? You had great legs then." [laughter] They just remembered like we were their kids, and 'cause that's how close it was. They were right across the street; it was a narrow, little street.
SSH: Too bad you didn't have a tape recorder.
DLM: That would have been something, yeah. … Then I would tell my other brother, "Oh, so what," because they were glad not to be living in that neighborhood, which was right at the back of the fairgrounds. We always called ourselves, "We're from the back of the fairgrounds," and it wasn't necessarily a complimentary term either, but we stuck together and we got through.
SE: Were your parents big supporters of FDR during that time?
DLM: Everybody was.
SE: Do you remember when he was elected for the third time?
DLM: Sure. We were all hanging on the radio, everybody did, 1940, and so we just hung on the radio, and everybody was betting, you know, choosing up sides. By this time, FDR wasn't too popular, you know, running the third time, that was, but he had done so much that he was still God-like in the American voting populace. … Then who was his, Wendell, was that Wendell Willkie that election? So Willkie was, I always remember, 'cause that's what I became, "a poor, barefoot, Wall Street lawyer." I mean, isn't that a great [line]. Have you ever heard that before?
SE: No, I've never heard that before.
DLM: Wendell Willkie from Indiana, I think, or from the Midwest. He ran, but he had become a Wall … In fact, one of the biggest and best Wall Street law firms is Willkie Farr Gallagher etcetera. … That's [how] he got very famous in politics, and so even as today, Nixon, how many others have become partners of a Wall Street firm? But I always remember, "a poor, barefoot, Wall Street lawyer," and I just, I love that expression [laughter], and that just shows anybody can do it.
SE: You were only twelve years old when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Do you remember that day?
DLM: Yeah, sure. Everybody remembers where they were then, just like the day Kennedy was shot, everybody remembers where they were then. But we were out on a Boy Scout … I was a, by that time, I was a First Class Scout, which was quick, because my father was the Scoutmaster. [laughter] A bunch of the guys, the younger men, were already being drafted or volunteering, so there were fewer and fewer, even, this was at Pearl Harbor, there were fewer and fewer, and so my father, who was not exactly young in terms of Boy Scouts, but he was the Scoutmaster, or maybe he said, "I'll do it, don't call me the Scoutmaster, I'll be the acting Scoutmaster until the boys come home." So we were out on a hike, and I can take you right to that spot, and … the sirens went off. … We looked at each other, "What's going on?" Something had happened, and we looked around and there's no fire, so the sirens, and this is a Sunday afternoon, and I'm not going to remember what time, but I think the hike was almost over. I think my brother Roland was with us, who became one of the ushers at my wedding when I got back, Joe DiMemmo, who is still around and remembers all this stuff, he went in the Army, he's still around, he was the other usher, and a bunch of other kids. I'm not going to remember any of their names. But we came back, and it was all, as soon as we got back into town, it was into the, you know, everybody was talking about it. So, yeah, I remember the beginning, and from that moment on, everybody was intent upon supporting the war effort, and they, Roosevelt left no doubt in his opening speech, that, "We're in it. It's going to be tough and get ready."
SSH: Before the war started, did your family discuss the events that were going on in Europe?
DLM: Yeah, we talked about it, and, of course, I'm, you know, I read the papers. I mean, I read the sports page first, but I remember following the, in the papers, they always had maps and following the advance of the German armies in Czechoslovakia and Poland, which was, that's before, a couple of years before in September of 1939, I think. So, yeah, it was a common discussion, and whether we're going to have a war, we're going to be in the war, and I remember a lot of people saying, "Well, yeah, we have to go support them. We can't let this turkey you know, rule the world." But it wasn't, we were running our own lives, too, and we still had the Depression. So we had to work, and we had to go to school. There was not an overriding, you know, you didn't worry about the impending war everyday, but it was, sure, I remember the history of it.
SE: Do you think your parents were less concerned because you were the oldest son and there wasn't really a chance for you to be drafted, since you were so young at the time?
DLM: I don't …
SE: There wasn't a sense of immediacy.
DLM: I don't remember any discussions along the, if they talked, they, you know, they didn't share it with me. I had no intention of being a soldier. I was going to watch the other guys for a while. I was only twelve at that point and ten when the Nazis invaded Poland, but we thought about it. I mean, we played soldier, we played war games, we built trenches, we built bunkers, we covered, we got pieces of tin, corrugated and put it over this big hole in the ground, put dirt and grass on top so nobody could see us. We had great times. [laughter]
SSH: Were there any Bund activities in Hamilton Township?
SSH: Bund activities.
DLM: Not that I remember. The German American Bund, we called it Bund, was known, and people were disgusted at it, I remember that. But I don't, I didn't see any activities like that, or, you know, it was in the paper. I mean, I have still have a decent memory, and I can remember a German American Bund, and that was … bad. … Even, you know, my grandfather on my mother's side … had a German name, and he was about as American as could possibly be. The German American community was just a thousand percent behind whatever had to be done to take care of, to defend the country. … There was the Fifth Column. That was another thing you read about in the paper all the time, the Fifth Column. "Who among us is a spy for the Nazis?" you know, and it did exist. They had to find out who they were and put them in jail. That would be another, I mean, that's obviously a separate study, but, I mean, there were a lot of them that were caught. … I don't remember of hearing of any firing squads or hangings or anything, but they caught them, and they broke up the Fifth Column. It did exist.
SSH: In your small community like that, what activities did you and your brothers and your mother and your father participate in as far as the war effort?
DLM: Collected newspapers. My father was an air raid warden. I think my mother was, too. … They were already very active in the fire department. The volunteer fire departments were very big then, not only for necessary fire protection, but, you know, for social activities. They built the firehouse. My father was in the group that built the firehouse, and it was only a block away, but he became fire chief at one point. My mother was president of the ladies auxiliary, so they were already involved, and, of course, a lot of the civil defense effort revolved around the firehouse. It was a meeting place. … We collected tin foil, you know, the cigarette, inside the cigarette pack. I don't know about today, I don't smoke at all, except cigars once in a while, when I have something to celebrate, but in the cigarette packs there was aluminum foil, and ...
SE: Unfortunately, I know they're still there.
DLM: It's still there, really? … We saved …
SE: It's not real, but it has the appearance of aluminum.
DLM: Okay, so … that was true aluminum at that time. … You could save it, I mean, we saved it, and everybody smoked at that time, except I didn't, not too much. But you would collect it and get a big bundle and it was, after a while, it would, it got to be pretty heavy, but, of course, each piece of aluminum was very, very light, but you got a whole stack together and took it in. I think everybody got paid a certain nominal amount for that. Newspapers, we collected newspapers. I always remember collecting as much as you could carry, and then getting some twine and wrapping it this way and this way, lugging it. … We had newspaper drives pretty often. You get a truck, and all the young boys would be running after the truck, or be in the truck. We'd get up in the truck and sit on top of the bundles of newspapers. We'd throw them up, just like hay. But activities like that were [common]. Gas rationing, I remember. We grew our own vegetables. We had a little extra lot just behind the garage, and we got out there, everybody pitched in, and dug and weeded, that was, and everybody had their little victory gardens. We all had victory gardens, so it went on and on like that.
SSH: What about politics, being so close to Trenton? Did your family pay attention to what was going on in the New Jersey legislature at that point, or were they involved in politics at all?
DLM: They always were involved. They were county committee, they both were. County committee is each district, each town is divided into so many districts, and each district has a male and female county committeeperson. So they were always, as Democrats in the '30s, they always went to the polls. They were poll watchers, which is part of being county committeeperson. I'm still county committee in Glen Ridge, just only a Republican. … Then they became county committee Republicans years later, after the war, because he, in the meantime, had become management, he became part of management, so he became a Republican, a pretty rabid Republican, too. … My mother was, she wasn't as active in politics as my father. My brother Jim, who lived with them, became county committeeperson in Hamilton Township. So, yeah, we always have been, and then we naturally discuss all the issues. We grew up with a steady dose of politics.
SE: What schools did you attend while you were young?
DLM: Klockner Grammar School, which, at that time, was on Klockner Road. It's become quite a busy road now, but I was only about a half a mile, the school was about a half of a mile [away], which we walked to every single day, no rides, in the rain or snow or whatever, and you'd better be there. But Klockner was K to eight, which probably doesn't exist much anymore, except in the suburbs, in the rural areas, but that was K to eight. … I graduated from there in 1942, then went to Hamilton High School, which was a very long walk, but, at least, we had a bus to get there. That was about, I'd say about four or five miles away, over on the Clinton Avenue, just inside Hamilton Township from Trenton. It was like the first expansion, well, Trenton expanded out Clinton Avenue. Clinton Avenue, of course, is in the "Burg," which has the greatest restaurants in New Jersey, right in Chambersburg, but you just keep going south on Clinton Avenue into Hamilton Township, and you see great, big Hamilton High School, which is still there. Then the other expansion was Nottingham Way out of Trenton, and that's where we lived, way out Nottingham Way, [to Route 33, to Klockner Road], but it was like spokes of a wheel. So if you missed that bus back from Hamilton High, you had a long, long walk.
SSH: What activities kept you busy in high school?
DLM: I was in sports. I was in different clubs. I've got all my high school stuff someplace. I've got the yearbook, but it has a long list of clubs. Just history, well, no, wait a minute. I don't think about this very often. Whatever, current affairs, I think it was, current affairs was one, photography, but I gave that up, stamp collecting, they were all clubs. There was debating, was another one, but it was mostly it was going to school and making sure you got that bus, or going to the games, but figuring out how to get a ride all the way back over to the back of the fairgrounds.
SSH: When you were going to high school, were you focusing on going on for higher education? Was that expected, or did you expect to go right into the military? What was your focus?
DLM: Definitely going to college, definitely getting the best grades. That was expected. That was, my parents were very bright. They knew they had missed out on higher education. … I'm the oldest one, and I happened to be bright and I just have to say it. I mean, I was first in my class and became Phi Beta Kappa here and all that stuff. It's just, I was lucky. But they left no doubt of their expectations, and it was okay with me, because I knew, and I wasn't the biggest kid in the class. I was coordinated. I could play sports, but I wasn't going to be a fullback on the football team, or the center on the basketball team. So I could stand out by being the first, you know, the A student and all that. … It was just no doubt. … The only question was, "How do you pay for it?" … Anyway, throughout high school, I definitely strived for good grades, because that would be the ticket.
SSH: Were your brothers focused in the same way, being so close in age?
DLM: [I can't tell whether they were more or] less focused, let's put it that way. They're all very, naturally bright, and they've all gone through college, one way or the other, GI Bill, etcetera, but they weren't as driven [laughter] as their older brother, and they bring it up all the time. [laughter] But they [were] fine, good students.
SSH: In your high school, did a lot of students go onto higher education?
DLM: Yeah. It, you know, it's a public, a big, public high school. At that time, it was the only high school in the township, and a lot of people had moved out of Trenton already, so you had doctors and lawyers and business executives. You had their kids, and there was just no doubt that they were going to go to a college, and, you know, because of my grades, there was no doubt that I was going to go. It's just a question of when and where the money was coming from, but I was lucky to get a state scholarship to good old Rutgers …
SE: Was that what made you come to Rutgers, the scholarship? Was that a big factor in deciding to come here?
DLM: Yeah, that and the convenience, because you could just get on a train in Trenton and come up to New Brunswick. It was, you know, you just made up your mind that's what you're going to do, so I commuted that first year. But I went down to Drexel in Philadelphia. The same thing, you could get on a train and go down to Philly and walk over to Drexel, so I was considering it. … My grades were very good in math and physics and, you know, sciences, so there was a lot of push on me to, you know, become a science major or an engineer, which would be Drexel, or Rutgers, which you could definitely be an engineer at Rutgers. In those days, you had to take, you took a lot of common courses in your first year, and you didn't have to declare a major when you first started. Some people did, but you had to take your English and your math and your history and literature, English. So I just came to Rutgers because I had a state scholarship. My father worked very hard on that. You know, we needed it, you know, what better excuse? You've got six more coming along, and they never made a lot of money …
SSH: Did you apply to other schools and then look at the package, or did you only apply to Rutgers?
DLM: No, I had applied to Drexel. Princeton, of course, was out of the question, even though that's near, too. Temple, I think, Temple is Philly. But I didn't really save much of that stuff. I mean, it was like Rutgers, once the state scholarship, we knew we could get it. You had to go through, believe it or not, I think, if your congressman became interested, now this is federal, you know, US congressman, if he became interested, that would be a big help. He wrote a letter of support … D. Lane Powers. How could you ever forget that name? … It's D. Lane Powers, and he was the long-time congressman from Trenton, Mercer County, so he wrote a letter. … I got this letter and that was the end of having to apply any other places. "Go to Rutgers. What's wrong with Rutgers?" Nothing was wrong with Rutgers. [laughter] It was fine.
SSH: Had you thought of West Point or Annapolis, trying for an appointment?
DLM: Yeah, you know, yeah, you just reminded me. Sure, I applied for … Did I put that down?
DLM: No, I didn't put it down. I was the first alternate to go to West Point, and I did apply. That was the other choice, sure. I don't know why I forgot that. Because it's the Army, I guess, and I became so imbued with the Air Force later. But I did apply and passed everything, and then it came time to take the physical exam at Fort Dix, and like everybody in New Jersey, I don't think there's any exceptions, everybody has sinus problems because of this weather. … I remember the term, this is okay for the tape, acute purulent sinusitis. Now, that's the medical term for just the normal New Jersey sinus, but that was like a "no no," so I didn't get the first appointment, which I would have … but I was named first alternate. It came about, let's see, when I was a freshman, that spot became open, but, by this time, I'm at Rutgers and I would have to wait a year. This, the 1946 college year had started, so I could actually spend a year at Rutgers and then start over again, because West Point, they're not going to give you credit, because the courses are so different. So I actually could have gone to West Point the next year, and, you know, by this time, the war is over. Well, it had been over for quite a while now, and, you know, I had a year in already. You can't dawdle your whole life. [laughter] You've got to finish what you started.
SSH: What were the discussions at your high school about the war and current events? I was just wondering because you were young when you were in high school.
DLM: Yeah, I just had turned seventeen when I got out of high school in 1946, so I was like the baby of the class with all these returning veterans, [laughter] and I really was.
SSH: Those are great questions that we really do want answers to, but I just wondered because you're also very young in high school.
SSH: How was World War II presented to high school students when it was going on?
DLM: We studied it. That was current history. We followed that all the time. It was part of, I guess, current events, [which] is a course, also, at high school. I don't know if it still is.
SSH: Yes, I believe it is in New Jersey.
DLM: … I guess you don't take it every year, but you had history. You had American History, you had in high school, American History was a big one, that was a mandatory course, eleventh grade, I think, and current events, might have been the twelfth grade, but whatever it was, it always came up, the war, the progress of the war, just the facts that these things were happening. … I probably, because we grew up in that time, we know about World War II. We read it everyday in the paper, and we talked about it at school. We knew our geography because of the maps. We knew our history, the dates, like they don't know anymore, [laughter] if I may.
SE: [laughter] You're right.
DLM: We have kids in our law firm, they don't know where Alaska is; they don't know where Hawaii is. … There was just something recently [about] Pearl Harbor. "What does Pearl Harbor mean?" This was on December 7th. Now, if they read the paper the weekend before, [they would have known]. So a fellow that was a few years after me, but an Army veteran, so we go around, just, "What does Pearl Harbor mean to you?" "Huh?" "Where is Pearl Harbor?" "Huh?" Nothing. I mean, just, this is December 7th of the year 1999, we went around asking. The younger ones knew nothing.
SSH: I think Shannon had a follow-up question.
SE: Did you know older kids who went off to fight in the war?
DLM: Yeah, a couple of them were killed in our class. That would have been in our, 'cause they were eighteen, well, they would have been eighteen had they graduated, because a lot of kids, you know, maybe they were ill when they were younger, they lost a grade, so our class, I mean, I was really about the youngest, had to be the youngest, but there were kids [that were] two years older, so they were caught up. … Especially [in] the classes just ahead of us, like my cousin, Phyllis Martin, my Uncle Bob's oldest, no second oldest, she was in high school like two years ahead of me. Her brother, my cousin, Bobby, was three years ahead of me. He went in. Phyllis' boyfriends all went in. I mean, they were just a couple of years older.
SSH: I know a lot of people wrote to GIs. Did your school get involved in any of that?
DLM: Yeah, yeah, sure. V-mail. Did you ever hear of that one before, V-mail? Envelopes, they still have them today, with, it's like a light blue, they could be white, too, but then you had these blue diagonals all around, and this, you still see these envelopes, airmail, via airmail. Everything is airmail now, but that was a special rate that you had to pay for postage. But V-mail, victory mail. Yeah, we wrote. [laughter] … I remember writing to my uncles, and several of them were in at the same time, and there was a big effort. It was talked about. "You got a letter from Bobby," or whoever, and that was very important, and it was stated at that time, "It's important to write to these guys. Let them know they're not forgotten." … When you got a letter, that was, "Hey, he's still alive." … When somebody got a letter, they would share it with other families. We heard, you know, because all the neighbors were in it together.
SSH: What about the way reports came back from Europe and from the Pacific? Did you notice any difference? Did you hear more about the European Theater than you did about the Pacific?
DLM: We knew we were in a war on both sides, and there were people that were in it that we knew, so, no, we tracked it. It depends upon where the biggest battle or maneuver was going on, like when, I remember, when we invaded Africa. That was gigantic news, 'cause finally we were taking the offensive. But the same thing when Doolittle bombed Tokyo. What great news that was, and that's about the same time, that was 1942, so, you know, those stories. You just give me a place, I'll tell you when in like 1943, '44, you know, all the, like Midway was gigantic news. … All the newspapers had big mastheads of, you know, when something decent happened, or if, even if something not so good happened, they just touted it. You had to remember it.
SSH: I was just going to ask to about the Bulge, the Battle of the Bulge, and how that was perceived. Do you think that the press covered that openly?
DLM: Well, we knew there was a big battle going on. That's a hard question, because, you know, "We're not going to lose this war now." That was the common …
----------------------------------END OF SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE---------------------------------
SE: Side two, tape one.
DLM: I guess we were on the Battle of the Bulge, and we were not going to lose. But it was bad news and people paid a lot of attention to it, and that lasted for a while. I remember Bastogne. There was [the] headline that General McAuliffe said, when they asked him, the Germans asked him to surrender, "Nuts." That was headlines, and that was a great answer, because relief was on the way. We had already gone that far. … The Army Air Corps, I mean, were just pulverizing Germany, and, of course, that was in the paper a lot. There was just no way they could keep it up, but that, historically, turned out to be their last, big gasp, and they were great fighters. I mean, I wanted them on our side. [laughter] But D-Day, we mentioned D-Day in that pause, that was much bigger news, and that was when everybody's heart was in their mouth. I mean, you just didn't know what was going to happen. We were praying, everybody prayed to get off the beaches, and we didn't learn everything. Let's see, either Utah Beach or Omaha Beach, the one where we really got massacred, I'm going to forget right now, but I think it was Utah Beach, wasn't it, that we really, the Twenty-Ninth Infantry. In Virginia, there's a, this breaks your heart, you drive down the Twenty-Ninth Infantry Highway. … I know a guy that was in that, and he just said, "We didn't know if we were going to live any day," and they lost, I don't know, a tremendous percentage of the Twenty-Ninth Division. … So we didn't know, the public, certainly you had to shield the public from that, but we knew, every day it was inching forward. I remember St. Lo, we broke out there, and … we just weren't going to lose.
SSH: You had said that people were praying. Was this discussed in church or in school?
DLM: Oh, I haven't even thought about this stuff, but, yeah, that was a large part of it, yeah.
SSH: The movies, what kind of movies did you see?
DLM: Oh, We Won Every Battle. [laughter] You had songs like Let's Remember Pearl Harbor, and we can't remember anything now, but ...
SSH: Did you go to a lot of movies as a kid?
DLM: Yeah, that was the …
DLM: … Newsreels were full of the war. That was another way you found out. Saturday afternoons, you went to the movies, if you could afford it. I think it cost a nickel. [laughter]
SSH: Like the Saturday Evening Post, right? [laughter]
DLM: I had to sell a few of them. Yeah, there was a lot of praying, and it was in the churches and, you know, especially since people were getting killed all the time, so the families were losing people. It was part of common talk.
SSH: Did you know people who served on the draft board?
DLM: My father was on the selective service board for a while, so he knew them, so I would meet men, but, of course, I'm still twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen at that time. He could tell stories about that, because there were all sorts of appeals of who's going to go and who isn't. … Since he had, you know, this huge brood and was in a defense industry, they converted to defense … so he was exempt … but he was part of the decision-making process as to who went. … I remember him saying, "The guy's got to go. He's single, and, you know, he's not in a defense job. He's got to go." But people were looking for excuses, yeah, a lot of people. That influenced me a lot, too. I always felt everybody should be in it. I still think today there should be a draft. Not that we're going to have to teach everybody to be a machine gunner or a stealth pilot, but we should be trained to defend ourselves, if, say, the Chinese jump us. If they take Taiwan, what are we going to do? We're just going to sit by and let it happen. And they decide, "Well, let's go get the Philippines." We're going to sit by, maybe, but pretty soon, we better be ready to defend ourselves. [laughter] We can't guarantee that they're not going to start something, and that's against, I know that's against all the thinking. I just came back from the University of Michigan for ten days, and I come here once in a while. Academia just thinks it'll never happen, but practical people know … something's going to happen bad, that we're going to have a tough time mobilizing again. It's just my opinion.
SE: Do you think that would be a problem with the technology now? The military establishment is so technologically based, so that most of the fighting would not be done by the infantry, like in World War II. Do you think opponents of preparedness, in the sense of actual manpower, are hiding behind the technology?
DLM: … Well, people who truly do not wish to serve and are truly of the opinion that there never should be a war, you know, peace first, yeah, they can make up all sorts of excuses, but you still need people who are trained in weaponry and computers and satellites. Suppose we get a few satellites shot down that we don't even know how important they are, you know? … What's our backup thinking? You know, all of that. You know, anyway, I'm a little bit too old to be called, but I've just, all I can do is express my opinion. We just have to be ready to defend ourselves.
SSH: Let's talk about V-E Day and when you were almost out of high school.
DLM: Well, V-E Day was gigantic, and V-J Day was even more gigantic. I mean, these were celebrations. Everybody was happy. You can't be much happier, you know, to have that over with. I mean, that's just tears of joy all over the place. It had ended. I was still in high school. Let's see, the V-E Day was in May, so we were in school, and that was celebration time. … I just finished my junior year of high school when V-J Day, that's in the summer, early August, and people are in the streets, sirens are going off, horns honking, I mean, everything. It was just a major, major event. You just can't get much happier.
SSH: When V-E Day was announced, did people think that war in the Pacific would be quickly resolved? What was the response to the Pacific War at that point? Did anyone talk of the invasion of Japan?
DLM: Fear, great fear. They were far from beaten. There's just so much territory out there in the Pacific and Asia, and we had to take it inch by inch, really, as it turned out. I mean, the battles for Kwajalein and Iwo Jima and Saipan, Tinian, all those, these are names you can never forget. But each one involved the loss of a lot of Americans and Brits, too, etcetera, give them due credit, but, you know, [there were] more of us, and that was our burden …
DLM: Well, there was that three month period was, I mean, we had a formidable adversary still to defeat. They were not, the Japanese were not going to be easy to defeat. They were dug in. We were still flushing, we took an island and then weeks later, they were still flushing Japanese soldiers out. They were very determined. … Then the common topic was, "Well, how do we defeat Japan?" We just can't bomb them into submission. We have to take the islands of Japan. … They are determined just like the British were, when Churchill said they were going to fight on the beaches, you know, wherever they had to fight. He meant it, and the Brits meant it, and they proved themselves in that war, and so the Japanese were of the same mind. … The war was nowhere near over, in our minds. I mean, it was just going to go on, and, there, another dominant thought was, and the prayers continued, "How can we get it over? Something's got to happen to get it over." Obviously, something did.
SSH: How aware were you of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How was the public informed of that? Did you realize it was any different than any other bombing that had taken place?
DLM: Truman came on the radio right away and very solemnly, and you must have that tape around some place, but Truman's speech was like Roosevelt's speech at Pearl Harbor. It was that something extremely serious and significant had occurred, and I forget the exact way he described it, but we knew this was a breath of fresh air. I mean, there was, terribly tragic. I mean, right away everybody was talking about, "How about all the civilians?" Well, yes. But it was not to be repeated, if the Japanese would just surrender and come to the table, truce or something, and then we had to do it a second time. Then, who could stand up to that? The breath of fresh air was there, but it took the second one.
SSH: During your high school years, the war was the entire focus. Can you describe the mood once the war was over?
DLM: You could start thinking normally again, not worry about the war and going into the service. You know, it was just a new world, and then the guys started coming home. There was great joy, but there was a need, "Where are they going to work?" "Where are the jobs?" Now we don't have, everybody was working in the defense industry, now we don't have that. "What kind of economy is there going to be? Where will we put them all?" So, obviously, that all got solved, but it was common discussion, you know, "The war is over, but that's not the end of economic problems or job problems." So there was a lot of discussion [that], I guess, turned more to economics and the postwar. There were a lot of people that came back very injured, mentally and physically, so they had to be taken care of.
SSH: The economic problems that were involved here also reminded me of another question. You said your father was involved in the defense industry. Did he discuss any problems with union organizers during the war at all? Did he encounter any of that?
DLM: Before the war, my father actually was a union organizer. He became, he was secretary of his, I think, it was Local 107 of the United Rubber Workers, 'cause this was linoleum and related. But he had risen through the ranks in the '30s, you know, as, you know, he's a bright guy, I mean, learning all about the business, and he's an athlete, a good soccer player, so everybody liked him. … So he gets to be elected, and, of course, everybody had to be in the union, so he was in the union, and he gets to be elected to be the secretary of the union. The secretary of the union is "the man." I mean, the president keeps changing, but the secretary is the guy that keeps the records and is in the middle of the negotiations, which he always was. He would talk about that at home. This is, I remember in the late '30s and early '40s, about the strike, and not only a strike at his place, but other places, because the labor leaders around town would talk together, I mean, "How do you handle this wage issue, or how do you handle this health issue? How do you handle this safety issue?" They were very much concerned about safety, 'cause there were a lot of industrial accidents. In the war, nobody was fighting the war effort. I mean, there was a lot of overtime. They paid, you know, the time and a half for overtime, but they were, the unions were a hundred percent behind the war effort. There was not a problem. By this time, however, my father in 1940, I believe it was 1940, he asked my advice. One day, we were driving in his car, now he had a car, he said, "Danny, I've been asked to become personnel manager of the company." He's asking me what I think of it, I'm like eleven years old, or twelve years old, but I'm the oldest son, and we were imbued with the unions, you know, 'cause the unions were good. The unions did a lot of good, even though they were all for Roosevelt, and in those days, everybody was for Roosevelt. We didn't think there was anybody else capable of being president. So he took the job, naturally, because it's a big step up, and now he's going to be part of management. So by the time the war started, he was already in management as the personnel director, personnel manager, they called him, and he had the total respect of the union, because he came from the union, so that's how it worked beautifully. Then his buddies, some of his buddies, also became part of management, one by one, because he brought them out of the union, the guys that really had some management talent, so it was a common effort. Well, that was it. It was not a big problem. With all the gearing up for the defense industry, where were they going to get people? They've got to trust people. People got promoted a lot faster. The older ones weren't going to go in the service, so they just had to find a few more of the older ones who didn't, maybe didn't have the education, but they still had management ability or personnel ability to keep the place going.
SSH: Did they talk about women coming into the plants to work at all?
DLM: Women, we had, there were a lot of women that worked at that time, sure. Women were always on a pedestal. [laughter] They've dropped back now. They were so much better off in those days [laughter] among the good guys, among the real men. The trouble is that there are a lot of men that are jerks. But all the abuses … they get the press and all the ire of the feminist movement, but how about all the guys that women were always first, women and children, among the real men. I mean, that's why we're dismayed, people of my generation, we're just dismayed, and so now we, some of us, don't always hold the door open, although I can't help myself. I just hold the damn door. [laughter]
SSH: We were talking about the economics of bringing back all the returning veterans and finding jobs and housing and that sort of thing. So women were mobilized and were asked to help with the war effort.
DLM: They had jobs. They were in the war effort.
SSH: I was thinking, with your father being right there and now personnel manager, did he ever discuss what it was like when the veterans came back to work? Did the women willingly step back out of these jobs for the veterans to come into them?
DLM: [laughter] … A lot of the women wanted to get married as fast as they could and stay home and raise children. That's why we have the baby boom in 1946. I have two brothers that were born in 1946. I mean, it was no accident. [laughter] So it was more of a common, a spirit of common help. You didn't have confrontations like we now have, whole groups have to fight whole groups. It wasn't that way. It was like, yeah, the veterans had the right to their jobs, no doubt about that, so there was some adjusting there, but nobody's going to fight them. I mean, look at what they had done. … Then the women, you know, they got married, you know, many, many [got married]. … I would say a lot of women were working only because they had to, you know. We just needed all that extra help in the war effort. They didn't necessarily want to. In those days, women, you know, some got higher education, became doctors, lawyers, etcetera, but the majority, the vast majority, got married, raised children, or if they didn't like men very much, they became nurses or schoolteachers and [laughter] inflicted pain on the little kids. [laughter]
SE: [laughter] They found an outlet somewhere.
SSH: So after graduating in 1946, I believe …
DLM: Forty-six, yeah.
SSH: When you were applying to and getting accepted to Rutgers, did you come here for an interview at all?
DLM: I wonder if I did. So that would be in the spring of '46.
SSH: Probably as a graduating senior.
DLM: Well, I had, we certainly had plenty of interviews at the high school level, and I know I went down to Drexel and, I believe, Temple. … There was something, there was a system of initial interview and then a further interview, but … if your grades were good, and they just took one look, "Hey, this kid's obviously college material." You didn't have to come back for an in-depth, you know. They just selected, you got the word right away.
SSH: Had you ever been on Rutgers campus before you came that fall?
DLM: Never, never. [laughter] … I don't remember if I ever came up. My father may have driven me up in the spring … I just think I had the state scholarship, [and] I had all the recommendations from the teachers at Hamilton high. The first time I ever set foot on Rutgers campus may have been when I got off the train for my first day of school in September of '46. … I'm a pack rat; I can probably look that up. [laughter]
SSH: Can you also tell us what you did in the summer between your senior year and the fall?
DLM: Work, work.
SSH: What did you work at?
DLM: That summer, let's see. Well, my first job after selling the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal, so I always had a couple of extra dollars from my magazine routes, but probably the first summer job was a job my cousin Phyllis, who I mentioned before [and] was a couple of years ahead of me at high school, and she worked at Bayer Aspirin, which is part of the big Bayer, German Bayer Company, and that had been taken over by the US government, because it was German owned. They had a big, big plant on East State Street in Trenton, and that might even be in Hamilton Township. … East State is another street that comes right out of Trenton. … So she was there, and she knew there was a job. You had to be a strong, young fellow to lift up these, you don't know how heavy these things are, and how I didn't get a hernia, but they're boxes about two foot square and about, you know, maybe eight inches high, full of tins, the little tins of Bayer Aspirin. Now, that little tin is not very heavy, but you put, there's thousands of these little tins coming off the assembly line, and my job was to lift up that, [laughter] 'cause the girls couldn't do that, was to lift that up and carry it to another conveyer. But it had to be done, maybe to the inspection there, whatever. Anyway, but that was my first job. That was the summer of, it happened to be the summer of '45, between my junior year and senior year at Hamilton High School. … So that was one year. Then the next summer, I think I got to work at Sloan Blabon, where my father happened [laughter] to be the personnel director, and I worked in the chemistry lab. I don't think I wanted to go back to Bayer Aspirin for another summer. … Then chemistry was a possibility, for I had all As in chemistry, so that was a possibility of that would be my major, so why not get some experience in the chemistry lab at Sloan Blabon, 'cause you needed, plastics were coming in. Linoleum needed a certain amount of chemistry; they had full-time chemists. You know, you could see the liquids and the different materials that are glued together. Plastics, I learned a little bit about plastics right at the beginning there and worked in that lab, after I graduated from high school in the summer of '46 and, I think, the summer of '47. … It could have been that I did something else in the summer of '46, but it would be at Sloan Blabon. The next summer, after chemistry lab, anyway two summers, now, I was between my freshman and sophomore years, and then I had a summer working in a metal plant, a metal stamping plant, making chairs, aluminum chairs, the kind we still use today, with the fabric, and this was Arndt Metal, A-R-N-D-T Metal, maybe something like that. But I got a tremendous injury, not, you know, it seems to me, it … almost cut a thumb off. You can see the scar someplace. Anyway, so that, now I spend the rest of the summer [laughter] walking around with my arm in a sling and not making money. You didn't get paid for almost slicing your thumb off. So then the next summer was at West Point for basic training in the United States Air Force.
SSH: Well, then we'll back up and start with Rutgers.
SE: Let's start off by discussing ROTC. I know you went into the Air Force. At that time at Rutgers, was Air Force ROTC still a part of Army ROTC?
DLM: … That was just when the Air Force became a separate service. At first, everybody, all male entering students at Rutgers, except those who had been in the service, this is 1946, all non-veterans had to take ROTC. That's part of the Land Grant Act of 1864, Civil War Act, where the federal government gave certain land to universities, but in exchange, the universities had to have ROTC to train these young guys to be officers in the event of conflict in the future, which I spoke about before in a much different way, so it's universal military training. Every week you got in a uniform. Probably today, they're still walking around here with ROTC uniforms once a week. So that's your freshman and sophomore year, no options, all non-veterans had to be in. So what was your question?
SE: Air Force ROTC.
DLM: Oh, it was all Army then. … It was all Army. … Then the Air Force came into being in 1948 or '47, '47 or '48, I should remember, because we just had the anniversary of the creation of the Air Force. So it makes a difference, because at the end of my sophomore year, which would be April, May 1948, there was something called the Berlin Airlift. The Soviets had sealed off the truck routes between the western-occupied zone in Germany to Berlin, and we decided, I guess, Truman, no, Truman, was he still president? [He] must have been. Yeah, Truman was, 'cause he was there when Korea started, sure. Truman's president, and we still had all the great Air Force generals left, and so he said, "Can we supply Berlin by air?" So we had this famous Berlin Airlift. … The Russians were readily rattling the sword. They were taking over the eastern European governments and imposing more and more restrictions, and so communism was on the march. … There was great talk about everybody being drafted again, another war. So the line, I can still see the line right outside this building, Bishop House, people signing up for Advanced ROTC. Now, that you didn't have to [do that] when you're a junior and a senior, and nobody would do it before. "Who the hell wanted to be in the service?" But I had already signed up for Advanced, and I chose the Air Force, because in the event I ever went into the service, I sure didn't want to be in a pair of muddy boots, so I had already signed up for Advanced Air Force ROTC. The Air Force had just come into being, so this could even being the first year of Air Force ROTC here, and I never thought of that before. … It was Air Force, it was definitely Air Force ROTC. It might have been the first year we had it. So I'm walking into this building to a class, and I see all these guys lined up, and I said, "What are you guys doing?" "Well, we want to get into Advanced ROTC. We want to be officers in case we get drafted. We want to already have a leg up by getting our," you get your commission at graduation. So I'm just grinning, because I had signed up, not because I wanted to go into the service, but you got twenty-seven dollars a month to be in Advanced ROTC, so I wanted the twenty-seven dollars [laughter], and I didn't mind. Hey, the idea of being an officer in the Air Force, that was all right, but I didn't intend to make it a career. So that's Air Force ROTC. That's why I was already in it. These guys are lined up, and some of them, oh, then they were very selective. There was only a certain number who were good enough to become an Air Force advanced student or an Army advanced student. I look back and grin. That's the beginning of my Air Force career. [laughter]
SE: Okay, let's talk about more like a social aspect of Rutgers. What activities were you involved in, besides ROTC?
SSH: It must have been difficult to be a commuter.
DLM: Well, that was only the first year, so I commuted the first year and decided I didn't want anymore of that, so no matter what else happened, I was going to live on campus or in New Brunswick, which I did. … Well, I always worked. That's one of the ways I spent my time at Rutgers, all the way through, always had a job. … But money, you know, twenty-seven dollars doesn't sound like very much, but that went a long ways. I mean, I paid for fraternity out of that. I paid meals, I mean, the whole, plus, you know, other jobs. … Where were we? I'm lost.
SE: Clubs …
DLM: Oh, clubs, oh, yeah.
SE: Activities, extracurricular activities.
DLM: They just came along. I ran cross-country for the fraternity. I joined the fraternity when I was a junior, Sigma Phi Epsilon. I can sing the song if you want. [laughter]
SSH: [laughter] If you'd like.
DLM: [laughter] … That's still around, except it had a little sidetrack for a couple of years. … This is a real digression, but it's amazing how a couple of rotten apples can spoil. Sig Ep was a fraternity here from 1944 to just two or three years ago, and a couple of punks, really, it had to be, got in there. I won't even, 'cause they could be identified, but they really fouled up the fraternity, so that the University was going to force us to close, and we said, "No." We're the alumni board. I'm not on the alumni board, but I'm active, and the story has been told to me in person several times. So we said, "No, we'll close it for you. Don't worry about it, and then, but, we're going to come back." … We are, and just two short years later, we have another chapter for, we had the chapter reinstated. It doesn't have a house. We had our own house. We built that real nice, new house right down by the lodge, or ledge, Bishop, this is Bishop Place, no, the street where the seminary is, the back of the seminary.
SE: Okay, yeah.
DLM: Right off the corner of George Street.
SSH: And Bishop Place.
DLM: Bishop Place, it's the only, or maybe it is. It's not Seminary. Seminary is the next one over, Holy Hill, okay. It's that new fraternity house. It's the only fraternity that has ever been "on the banks." We have this great song On the Banks of the Old Raritan, the only fraternity. When I was here, we were at 590 George Street, which is where a dorm and office building is now. On the, it would be the north side of that street and the, well, whatever, east or west of George Street. … Then we bought two old houses on the opposite side of the street, used them, connected them, used them as the fraternity house, and then we tore them down one by one and built a new fraternity house. … Now we sold it to another fraternity; it's sitting in there in our place. We all contributed, you know, a fair amount of money to do that, and then these guys screwed up badly. But now we're back, and, you know, we've just, we have a lot more supervision by the alumni [laughter] than we ever had before, but how they ruined something that good. But anyway, the fraternity took time, and it was very social, dances and, you know, just hanging out with the guys. I always belonged to … a whole bunch of clubs but, you know, just kept busy.
SSH: Was the fraternity started here at Rutgers?
SSH: Was it just brought into Rutgers?
DLM: Sigma Phi Epsilon was formed in, you always have to learn the histories, Richmond, Virginia in like 1901, 1902, a beautiful headquarters building down there, and it's one of the largest, if not the largest, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon, they're among the two largest fraternities in terms of number of chapter houses. So in 1944, it was already very large, nationally. So a bunch of the guys, how they ever started anything in 1944, you're in the war, but Frank Reynolds was in it, and then he, maybe he had come back from the war already, but Harry Cyphers, whose brother Bob was in my class, a whole bunch of guys got together. … The Raritan Club had existed here from the '20s, so the Raritan Club members affiliated with Sigma Phi Epsilon. Maybe because their numbers were down, they needed some kind of change, or maybe the day of the independent, the Raritan Club was an independent fraternity. I don't know if there's one in the country now, but there may be. So that's how it came about.
SSH: As a freshman, did you come in as an engineering major?
DLM: You didn't have to make up your mind in the freshman year, and I really wasn't ready. I seriously thought about engineering. Chemistry, I'd had a little experience by this time in the chem lab. History and political science was always at the top, and then English. I mean, they were all possibilities to have as a major. … I think there were five major courses in your freshman year, plus you had the mandatory ROTC, plus you had mandatory gym, you know, that [was] just mandatory, and it was fine, but your time was taken up. The reason, to get to your next question, I can see in your mind, why I did not become an engineering major or a chemist or chemistry? … My first year, I think, I had all A's at Rutgers, except what doesn't ever show on the transcript is that I had already signed up for calculus. … I took about three days of calculus, and it was just beyond me. I mean, I had all A's in trigonometry and second-year algebra, geometry, solid geometry. Calculus was just, "I'm going to spend my life doing this?" "No." [laughter] So then I told the professor that I'd like to audit this class. Well, that was, I audited it a few more days, and that was the end of calculus. But I already had, I guess, I signed up for that as an extra course. In those days, you were very brave; you can handle anything. So then that resulted in my getting all A's when I was a freshman, and I didn't have to worry about calculus. [laughter] … I had just enough time for … everything else. … Then I was, little by little, [I] got more and more into the history and political science, English and …
SSH: Was there a certain professor that really sparked you in that direction, or was it just your interest?
DLM: Just my own interests. As I got into it, the deeper thinking, like Western Civ was a great course. That's a freshman course. I don't know if it still is, [with] the big fat book, and I still have it, and you can find out anything in that book, Samarians, Syrians, I mean anything. You just dig it out. I just looked it up for something, some very obscure historical event, [and] it was right in there.
SSH: Well, one question that I wanted to ask, you had said that after the first year you knew you wanted to be on campus. Where were you housed your sophomore year?
DLM: A boarding house … on Redmond Street in New Brunswick, which is a bit of a walk. It's out [on] Livingston Avenue, out that way. … It could be a mile away, but a mile is nothing. We all walked every place, even as far as NJC, Douglass.
SSH: That's another question we'll ask you.
DLM: We walked all the way over there, gladly, and it didn't bother anybody. But … Mr. and Mrs., I'm not going to remember their name, but there were, they had room in their big old house for Dick Frost, who was in my class, Richard Frost, who I remember very well, and I think he was even at this reunion, and a guy named Bill Runyon, I think it was Bill Runyon. They lived in this house. We each had our room. [There was] another guy that had gone to Blair, Blair Academy. He was a character. He was from such a different background, but we all got along. I remember the World Series that year. It was the Yankees and the Dodgers, the fall of '47. I remember Dick Frost, who was from Hackensack, he went into a Broadway show. "Now what's a Broadway show?" A fellow from Hamilton Township, New Jersey never heard of Broadway shows. So he came back, it was High Button Shoes, which is about Rutgers. There's a great song Nobody Ever Died for Dear Old Rutgers. You remember that? You've heard that. I'm sure somebody has broken into song about that. … Then, of course, another thing famous that year was the nearsighted Mr. Magoo [in Ragtime Bear], and he would say, "Rutgers, you've never heard of Rutgers?" nearsighted Mr. Magoo. But anyway, High Button Shoes, so Dick Frost came back from actually going to New York. It was great. You know, your eyes start opening. I'm already a sophomore in college. Now the kids in fifth grade know more than I did then. [laughter]
SSH: Speaking of opening your eyes, had your family done any traveling at all? I know there was the rationing and the restriction of gas. Had you done vacations and trips and things like that before?
DLM: Yeah, we went down to Philadelphia. We went to Washington. I mean, New York, they would go into New York sometimes. I mean, my father was a labor organizer, really, and the secretary of his union, so he got out so that my eyes opened as far as travel. He got out to Detroit for a union convention. He got to La Crosse, Wisconsin for a union convention, this was in the late '30s, and several others, Atlantic City. I have this greatest, I mean, I wish I'd brought this. This one is priceless. This is a union AFL-CIO convention in Atlantic City in 1940, and this is about the end of my father's tenure in the union. He was about to become a company officer. It's a huge long, maybe about a foot, fourteen inches high, about two feet, maybe three feet long, one of these montages. It's all black and white, and it has the leaders, the labor leaders, who were at this convention on the boardwalk, and there must be 300 faces. I could pick out my father. He's a skinny, little guy with a wide-brimmed hat, looked like he's got a rod on him. John L. Lewis is in that picture. Walter Reuther is in that picture. Jimmy Hoffa is in that picture. I mean, it is history. I keep thinking, I'm going to get this one framed. I mean, it's beautiful, and these guys, they all have hats. There are some women; there are women in the picture that were in the union. Amazing, but anyway, that's a digression, too. Now, how did we get back to Atlantic City?
SE: I have no idea.
SSH: You had mentioned before how willing you were to walk to campus and to the other campus. Did you call it the Coop at that time?
DLM: Yeah. Chicken Coop.
SSH: What kind of activities were you involved in there?
DLM: Chicken Coop, that's where the chicks were [laughter] and the hens, sometimes.
SSH: Tell us about the interaction with NJC.
DLM: We knew it was there. We had discovered girls. [laughter] Most of them were over there. It was totally separate. It was all female, and we were all male at that time. So the older guys had been used to going over for dates, and we'd get over there and get introduced. Usually, you went with a group until we'd separate, as they still do today, I'm sure. Boys and girls have a way of singling themselves out. So I just started walking over for dates, and I went out with a lot of different NJC ladies and went to dances. It was mostly, you know, a dance sponsored by some group, and then you'd walk to that, and then you'd walk back, and then you'd walk back to Rutgers. [laughter]
SSH: I know that you commuted your freshman year. Was that because there was a shortage of housing here due to the returning veterans on the GI Bill, or was this a true money-saver for your family?
DLM: Money. It was a money-saver. We figured it out, you know, jointly that, you know, with the cost of getting back and forth was cheaper than the cost of renting, you know, getting into a dorm. It was impossible to get into a dorm on campus. That was upper classmen. You had to earn the right. But a lot of the freshmen that didn't commute, we had something called Raritan Arsenal, and there are many stories about Raritan Arsenal, which I don't know, because I didn't have to live there. But that was a commute. Raritan Arsenal is still around. It's called the, right across the river. It's just, it's not far away. But they had to take a bus from Raritan Arsenal. Well, if you're going to take a bus from Raritan Arsenal, which we knew, I said, "Well, why don't I just take a train from Trenton until it opens up." Then by my sophomore year, it was still, housing was very, very tight, just a jammed, crowded campus. People were living, no, they had Quonset huts out there. They were living in Quonset huts.
SE: Nothing's changed. [laughter]
DLM: Nothing has, you said, right?
SE: Not much.
SSH: Tell us about what it was like to come as a very young seventeen-year-old to campus. I'm assuming that your classes, even as a freshman, had a lot of returning veterans in the classes.
DLM: Ninety percent. We were ten percent. That's what keeps me forever young. Us little kids, seventeen or eighteen years old, were in such a minority. I mean, the whole thing was geared to getting veterans or getting everybody educated, we were certainly not discriminated against, but it was geared to getting maximum amount of class hours, maximum amount of professors. Classes were very big, but it was like almost an assembly line. I mean, it was a rushed, rushed time. You had no idea where your next class was. You had to learn the routes, and you had to walk fast between the classes, rain, snow, doesn't make any difference, you had to get there. Attendance was, at the beginning, it was pretty much mandatory, you had to have an excuse …
---------------------------------END OF SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE---------------------------------
SE: This continues an interview with Daniel L. Martin, tape two, side one.
SSH: We were just talking about the activities and the interactions between veterans and the other freshman.
DLM: Right. They were, well, they were crawling all over campus, and most of them had Army or Navy or Marine or Air Corps remnants. They had these fleece-lined helmets from the Air Force, khakis, combat fatigues, everything. But I was saying before, there was no discrimination. We got along. These were great guys and they were hungry for education, very few wise guys. The wise guys might be the young kids that came from prep school, but they quickly were in such a minority. [laughter] You had to be a regular guy, just like in the service. You have to be a regular person. You have to be considerate of others. You cannot monopolize. You certainly can't have everything your way, because you've got to get in line. So I remember being in class with them, and once in awhile some grizzled, old veteran would say, "Hey, kid, move your arm." "Hey, kid, move your arm." [laughter] … You know, hey, if they want to be that way, it wasn't my job to rat out on them, but … that was rare. I mean, you know, of course, that's, they were just so desperate to get caught up on what they had missed out on. A lot of them never, ever would have gone to college. I mean, we, the ten percent of us that got in, only got in because, you know, we had the grades, so we were college bound anyway, but these guys were, a lot of them, I mean, it changed America, because of the widespread availability for higher education because of the GI Bill, and they took advantage of it. I mean, they were, a lot of them were very good students, fit right in, they loved college. The professors loved them. You know, they had saved our bacon. I mean, there was a feeling of gratitude, a feeling of giving them lots of room, a feeling of giving them a break. On our end, the young guys, "Gee, we missed that." We missed that. Well, guess what? We had Korea waiting for us. So there, almost everyone who had missed, of that class entering, Class of '46, who missed, were too young for World War II, got into Korea one way or another, almost all, so that's a common bond. When we come back to reunions, it doesn't make any difference if you were, if you were a veteran of, a lot of them at this Class of '50 reunion in May, they recognized that, you know, we're all the same. I mean, it's just something you had to do, be in the service, and the ones who never were in, I still think they feel a little bit [like] they missed something. There are a few around that missed everything in terms of service, and they [say], "Well, I'm glad I didn't have to go." But deep down there's that little bit, they missed that tremendous bonding experience, a joint effort. … That was the atmosphere in 1946 at Rutgers. I think it did the college a lot of good, because before the war, before World War II, we were just a little, old, colonial college, tiny little classes, and then suddenly, the Class of '49, the Class of '48, I think is a pretty big [class], because they had a lot of catch-up guys there, too, and '51, '52, you know.
SSH: How much interaction did you have with the administration here at Rutgers as in incoming freshman?
DLM: Fair amount. Dean Crosby. Howard Crosby, his name must have come up in these tapes. He was around. Dean Boocock, Cornelius Boocock, was around. Yeah, you ran into them. Let's see, I worked at the registrar's office for a while, so I met some of them that way, but they were around, and especially [for] any little infraction, you had to go see Dean Crosby. I mean, I saw Dean Crosby a couple of times. He was a good guy. A little discipline never hurt anybody. [laughter]
SSH: Had mandatory chapel on Tuesdays at that point dissipated?
DLM: Yeah, I remember having to go, and it was fine. There were speeches, lectures or speeches or whatever. You're right. Before, you said Tuesdays, I forget what date it was, but I remember, I think Tuesday might have been ROTC day, and I think several times, we showed up in uniform, because you wore your uniform, once a week.
DLM: Okay, once a week on ROTC day, and I do remember sitting there with a whole bunch of guys with their Army uniforms on. That didn't last the whole time I was at Rutgers, the convocation or whatever we called it. I think it became voluntary, they still had it, but it became voluntary. I know I went more than once to hear a certain lecture, but it was a relief, because your schedule was so crowded anyway, not to have to go all the time. That was a vestige of the old days, in the '20s and '30s and way back, when it was a very small college, and that was one way to get everybody there as a group. But there were just too many people on campus to continue that tradition.
SSH: You talked about the different jobs you had while you were living here on campus. You said you worked for the registrar's office.
SSH: What other jobs did you have?
DLM: At the fraternity, I washed dishes and was a waiter, both, so that was probably my senior year, my junior year and senior year, that was like partly, and you got food, that was a really good thing. Before that, I worked at something called Nat's Luncheonette, and if I could find the stuff, Nat's Luncheonette was across College Avenue from here, a little luncheonette. Nat was just a kindly, old restaurant owner. He had a counter, he had some booths, and so I was the counterman there, cooking a little bit and serving. … Then before that, I had the same job along Livingston Avenue, up near where the State Theater is … there was another luncheonette, and I worked there. That was when I was a sophomore, and you got good food there, and I learned how to cook hamburgers and draw Cokes and making milk shakes. These are great talents that come in handy, so I did, you know, a lot of stuff like that to make money. I did a lot of things to make money. [laughter] ROTC for twenty-seven bucks. [laughter]
SSH: Did the Air Force ROTC have their own building at that point?
DLM: I just thought of that on the way over, because I walked right, I parked at the alumni and faculty club, and the Army ROTC is there. It's very, we had, yes, we did have a separate Air Force ROTC. Major Sturgis and Captain Frisco, those were the guys, and they were true Air Force guys. They loved the Air Force, and, you know, we had these great books about the air war in World War II and what you had to learn to be in the Air Force. It seems to me it was right along College Avenue someplace. We were separate, that was a, that's why they had a separate Air Force, get them separated, and as it turns out, if you look at your old diagrams of the, that they're in the same building, I'll be surprised. I think it was a separate building. But we certainly, we had classes there, right at where the Air Force ROTC officers were. Anyway, next question?
SSH: Okay, who was your favorite professor?
DLM: Oh, it's hard to say, but I liked Dick McCormick, of course. He must be instrumental in this. Professor Richard McCormick, what a great guy, he was and is. I had, when he retired, I wrote him a letter, and he wrote me one back in little, scrawly handwriting, neat guy. Ardath Burks, International Law was the course. Ardath Burks had traveled a lot. One of my favorites was Bennett Rich. He was a professor of Public Administration, a political science course, and he's the one that got me interested in Michigan, going out to Michigan. He touted Michigan, because I had been admitted to Harvard Law School and Columbia, and, of course, Rutgers, but I didn't want to go there. I wanted to get to the best law school I could get to. This was when I was still a junior and the early part of my senior year at Rutgers. But Bennett Rich said, "Why don't you apply to Michigan? You'd be great. Get out of the East Coast. Get out to the Midwest. See the great part of the country," and he said, "You'd fit in there. You'd be a natural for Michigan." And, of course, he knew that Michigan wanted to get East Coast graduates there, too, so that's what got me to Michigan.
SE: Do you want to move on to when you graduated?
DLM: Oh, I want to tell you about Professor Bertin, B-E-R-T-I-N, Spanish. He was great. He would, I was very good in Spanish, so he would say, "El Martin, what do you think of that?" in Spanish, and I would say, "El Profesor, can I call you El Bertin?" "Yes, of course." I still call myself "El Martin" sometimes, but he was very good. And there were some of the English profs. I can see a fellow right now, but I can't get his name. There was Nichol, I think one, there was an elderly English prof, Nichol, he was very good. It goes on and on. There were just so many great ones.
SSH: You had a double major from what we read in the preview of your survey, history and political science. How did you ride that fence?
DLM: You took a lot of courses in both, and then I took psychology as a minor.
SSH: When did you decide that law was something that you were going to pursue?
DLM: When I was well into my senior year. It was like, "What am I going to do next?" Besides being in the Air Force ROTC and having a lot of fun at the fraternity, I had already been elected Phi Beta Kappa, so, I mean, education, more education, and law was always, you know, people, my parents, you know, "Great to have a lawyer in the family." I'm the first one in the family ever graduated from college. That's how things were in those days.
SSH: Did your brother follow you here to Rutgers?
DLM: Yeah, Roland, Class of 1953. He was an Army, I can always see him in his Army ROTC [uniform], and then he went into the Army. He was three years, he's only a year younger, but he was three years behind me at Rutgers, because he had had an injury to his eye when he was real young, so that kept him back a year, and then they had promoted me ahead from sixth grade to seventh grade in the middle of the year, so I was now three years ahead of him, which was good because we, you know, we're different personalities but always friendly. I was with him when he died and, you know, that type of thing, but he was three years later, yeah.
SSH: Was he a freshman when you were a junior or when you were a senior?
SSH: Did you have any interaction between the two of you?
DLM: Yeah, I brought him over to the house and, you know, I tried to get him to come up to campus, but he was a true Trenton Hamilton Township, he liked to go home. He had his buddies down there. Of course, he's, even though he's a year younger, he was, he was older in relation when he was in college. He was, you know, two years, three years [older], so he had older friends, and he liked to be, so he commuted the whole four years until he graduated from here.
SSH: Did any of your other brothers come to Rutgers?
DLM: No, we must have scared them off. They went to, well, the next two are twins, Jim and Joe. They graduated from high school in 1950, when I graduated from here. The Korean War was on, so they both volunteered. One went into, Joe went into the Air Force, and Jim went into the Navy, but they're only high school graduates, so by the time they get back, they both got married while they were in the service, they both had kids while they were still in, they were in like three or four years each. A lot of us didn't get to each other's weddings, because we were traveling out of the country and all that.
… They started going to college, they all knew they were going to college, but they started going to like Rider down in Trenton, and there was a Mercer County Community College, but I don't think that was there when Jim and Joe came along, but, later on, the other brothers went there, but they all got through one way or the other.
SSH: You said when you graduated the Korean War was already on. Tell us about how Rutgers academia discussed World War II and then the coming Korean conflict?
DLM: Well, nobody knew when I was at Rutgers in 1950 and graduated, nobody knew there was going to be a Korean War. They jumped us on June 25, 1950. The North Koreans invaded the South Koreans, and we were pledged to, you know, keep that, that was a division, North Korea was allocated to the communist side and South Korea our side, and so that was a total surprise …
SSH: Well, you had talked a little bit about the Berlin Air Lift and how the Cold War was already beginning.
DLM: … Churchill had made his speech in Missouri.
SSH: Right. So I'm just wondering how this was discussed here at Rutgers, if you remember any of that?
DLM: I was intending to go to law school in September of 1950. I graduated from Rutgers [on] June 10, 1950 with my political science degree, my second lieutenant bars, and then I had a summer, I was ready to start a summer job, which never took place. On June 25, the North Koreans invaded, and [on] July 1, 1950, I'm in uniform at Stewart Air Force Base. That's bang, bang, that's it. So that was a surprise. I was going to go to law school. I went to law school three years later. [laughter]
SSH: Do you have questions before we go on to military?
SE: Questions about the military.
SSH: Okay, then start up.
SE: Well, you said you went to Stewart Air Force Base. Did your ROTC background have any effect on your background and enlistment at that time?
DLM: Sure, you walk in as a second lieutenant. That was the whole purpose. I never spent one minute as an enlisted person. When I got up there, the only thing wrong was I had, the only uniform that I had, which you had to report in uniform, was the uniform that they gave you at graduation. Well, I had worn it, so it's the uniform I had worn for two years, the old, great-looking uniform, pinks and greens. You see pictures around of the guys in them. So I show up, and it's like, it has to be a hundred degrees, and I have got this winter, pinks and green uniform, looking great, but by this time, I was sweating. So the first thing, I reported in. They showed me where the BOQ was, the bachelor officer quarters, BOQ, and the sergeant said, "You know Lieutenant, the first thing I would do is go down to the [laughter] PX and get some khakis." "Thank you, Sarge." [laughter] Which I did, and I was much more comfortable. July 1, I'll never forget that trip, took the train up, my father is saying, "You don't have to do this." I said, "I already did." [laughter]
SE: Were you in an officer's training program?
DLM: The summer between my junior and senior years. Well, the whole two years, the whole four years really. That's why ROTC exists, Reserve Officer Training Corps. So starting as a freshman we, four years, like if you ever went in, you knew you were going to be an officer, and you were being trained for that. There were some very good courses. I mean, it's part of your education really. The real basic training, you know, using a weapon, was between junior and senior year at Rutgers, that summer of '49, at West Point. That's where we happened to go. We got our six weeks, I think it was, six weeks of basic training. That's all you need. This was a long six weeks. [laughter]
SSH: Being in the Air Force ROTC and being at West Point, were you being trained by regular Army or were you under regular Army Air Corps?
DLM: We had both. We had, you know, for the ground things, you know crawling on your belly. It doesn't make any difference whether you're in the Air Force or the Army, you've got to learn how to shoot that M1 accurately. I'm left-handed and everything is right-handed on these guns, so I had to learn to do it their way. I tried to fiddle around with it, but, no, you've got to do it their way. It's much better to do it their way, conform, and then you might stay alive. No, there were Air Force officers up there, too. They were very compatible, because of a lot of what you need in combat, if the air base gets overrun, you'd better have some Army training. [laughter]
SSH: Were any of your fraternity brothers in the Army or Air Force ROTC, or were you the only one?
DLM: No, Bob McGilvray was Air Force ROTC. We went to summer camp together at West Point, so Bob was up there, and there were others [in the] Air Force. Yeah, we all, all of us went, everybody. Like you mentioned Frank Sullebarger, if he was Air Force, he had to be there. I don't remember him being there, but if he was Air Force ROTC, we all had to do that.
SSH: When you were sent to Stewart, and during the rest of your Korean service, were you ever in contact with any of the Rutgers men?
DLM: Later on, in Japan, I ran into Jim Simpson, he was Air Force. Okay, he, definitely, I remember him, so we're in the, we had just flown some missions, and we're on R&R, rest and recuperation, and we're in the, our R&R in Tokyo. We had a special BOQ, bachelor officer's quarters, at Tokyo Electric. Now, this was a building that survived World War II, you know, it was just a well-built building, so it had been all refurbished. I'm in the BOQ in the Tokyo Electric, and who walks in but Jim Simpson, and he was fighter pilot by this time. We were flying bombers. … What a great reunion that was, but that's the only time I ran into a fellow Rutgers Air Force ROTC or any ROTC guy that I can recall. We met guys from all over the country, but Jim's there, and we had a couple of drinks. He had been flying in Korea, and we had been flying in Korea, and we were alive, and now we knew how to be happy. [laughter]
SE: Did you ever run into any family members over there, cousins or anybody?
SSH: Let's leap back to your training at Stewart and your assignments, and tell us please about that part of your military service.
DLM: When I first got to Stewart on July 1, 1950, they didn't know what to do with you. The Korean War had just started. They were scrambling. Anybody who had been in World War II, any kind of flying experience, was being quickly reassigned. They were forming squadrons. The Army was getting kicked around. There's a lot of stories about this. We had Air Force in Japan. They were being shuttled down to Korea as fast [as they could], but it takes more than a day or two to get, you know, a decent military capability in place. So the same thing was going all the way back through whatever commands existed. So one of my buddies I first met at Stewart that summer, we were both in, first, I guess, the first job was personnel, recruiting. Here I am, just in, and we're out recruiting already, and this could have been a little bit later, maybe a month or two. He had gone through the aviation, flight cadet, program at the end of World War II. He had his wings, and so he knew he was going to be in Korea. I don't think he flew much combat, 'cause he got in at the end of World War II, but he knew. He disappeared pretty soon. He got his orders and went over there. I never heard from him again or what happened to him. I was in personnel, but mainly I was trying to figure out how to get onto flight status. Now I was, this was when you're young and foolish, I don't want to be in an office someplace as a young second lieutenant. All these combat veterans had their wings. I wanted to get my wings, and so I took all the exams, and I couldn't become a pilot, because I didn't have twenty-twenty vision, like twenty-thirty, but, you know, you're not supposed to have any glasses. So then I wanted to be a navigator. That sounded pretty jazzy, you could tell everybody where to go. So they gave me a physical, gave me a color-blindness test, and I couldn't pass it. So you had this AOC Abridged Dot test. I mean, it's all these little circles with different colors. You've taken it. Women are not colorblind, only guys are colorblind. Very few women are colorblind. I couldn't see the numbers, and the ones that I did see showed that I was red-green colorblind, not in the sense that I, you know, I can see that there's yellow on the cup over there, and I can see there's blue on the bottle of water, I think it is, and I'm sure it is, so I was so motivated. I said, "You can't deny me my right to go to flight school." So I was so persistent, and I still have this letter, so the flight surgeon, the colonel who had been through World War II, he interviewed me. He said, "Why do you want to do it?" "I just want to do it. It's my job, my duty. I'm qualified." So he said, "Well, I'll tell you what, Lieutenant," and he got a box like this, and it's full of yarn, little balls of yarn, and he said, "Pick out three blue ones." Boom, boom, boom, I picked out three. "Pick out three red ones." Boom, boom, boom. "Pick out three green or yellow, green." He said, "You can see true colors, and that's all you need." … So he wrote this letter and recommended me. He said, "Because of the high motivation of this young lieutenant, I recommend that he be allowed to go to radar school." Oh, I couldn't be a navigator, because I couldn't, maps are in all sorts of shades, right, so I couldn't be a navigator, but I could be a radar observer. It's all black and white. So I wound up quickly going down to Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi, commenced ten months or eleven months, at least ten months, of intensive radar training to get onto a SAC combat crew. So that's what happened.
SSH: How new was radar in 1950?
DLM: Well, we had it during World War II.
SSH: Well, I know that, but do you know how it had changed at that point?
DLM: We learned about that, yeah. While we were flying, we had advanced, for that time, advanced techniques. We had receivers that could detect the radar that was being transmitted from a radar station, and they're all different, different sounds, you learn all the sounds, different intervals, you know, it was a lot to memorize. Then, when you got up in the air, and you're actually receiving with your own earphones, and we had monitors, just like today's computer monitors, and you'd see these blips, and then you could see the intensity of the blip location on the screen. We had these little maps, where we would put dots down, draw lines, and then where those lines intersected, that's on the land map, that's where the radar was. Then if we had to go bomb in that area, we'd send somebody in first to take out that radar, so that the radar of the communists wouldn't be detecting our pure-spirited, brave Americans. [laughter] It was in its infancy, in terms of what exists now, but it's the same stuff that goes on, detecting, counter measures. We had radar jamming. We flew in sometimes ahead of the B-29s, ones that were going from Japan to North Korea. We'd fly in first with transmitters that would go right down the throat of their radar, and it would just, they would just see a white screen, just like your television set sometimes, nothing there for them, they can't see what's, they couldn't see us even, because if we jammed their radar first, they couldn't see us. If we didn't jam it, then they could see us, and we'd be all over. [laughter]
SSH: When you were in Biloxi, were your instructors, in radar, civilian or military?
DLM: All military. I think they were all officers or enlisted, I think so. It was all Air Force. It was top secret. We all were top secret. We couldn't talk for years and years and years. That's what all this stuff is all about, and now it's de-classified …
SE: That's where my next question is.
DLM: We couldn't talk. We were forbidden. When we left in 1953, we signed papers that we would never disclose what we did, where we were, and it remained top secret. You could imagine that it should. I mean this was a Cold War. This was a shooting Cold War. And so years later … [there was] a newspaper account, "A Russian," whatever it was, "Ilyushin Bomber was seen flying across Alaska, and we chased it away." … The same thing would be what we were doing against the Russian and China coasts, but we never talked about that.
SSH: How secure was the base where the training took place and the training facility itself? Can you describe those conditions?
DLM: You were very secure. There were armed air police all over the place, and you only got admitted with your, you know, your ID card. We always had a little plastic ID card. I think I still have it around someplace, picture [ID].
SSH: Were your family and friends interviewed back here in New Jersey for your security clearance to be allowed into this radar school?
DLM: I don't know. Nobody ever said anything. You know, some people are just so obvious here. They grew up here. They know where it is. You went to this college. You're so young. You don't know anything anyway. You're crazy enough to get on this airplane. [laughter] "Let him on." [laughter] "Why should we check any further? We've got a nut here."
SSH: [laughter] To go back to the radar school and the training that you had there, you were housed at the BOQ.
SSH: Did you spend any time in the town in Biloxi?
SSH: What did you think of the conditions, being raised in Hamilton Township, New Jersey?
DLM: It was different, but we were ready, because, you know, we had the Amos and Andy stories. We listened to the radio. [laughter] We were educated. We were college graduates by now, so we were knowledgeable. The civil rights debate was already well underway. It was underway before World War II. It was underway long before the Civil War. I mean, this whole thing is nothing new. It's just a long pattern of American history. But, by this time, I mean, we were enlightened northerners, and we don't like this segregation. I always remember one guy who, actually, I go to SAC reunions every now and then, every couple of years, anyway, Harold Trabue was one of our favorites, and I think he is a black engineering graduate of Southern Illinois [or it could have been the University of Illinois]. Now, Southern Illinois is important in Rutgers history, because they beat us in the NIT one year … in the '70s, I think. But, anyway, so we always remember the University of Southern Illinois [it could have been Illinois], but Harold Trabue was a graduate, the same path that we took. He was down in radar school with us, electronic countermeasures. The first time we went off the base, a few of us with Harold, we were told very politely by the gentlemen behind the bar, just in Biloxi, we could walk there practically, although we all had cars by then, so we probably drove, but we said, "Well, he is with us. He is our friend. We're United States Air Force officers." And the guy, he was very polite. He said, "We know that there are a lot of fellows like him. They are great people, but not in here." So we said, "Okay, thanks." We went back to the officer's club in Biloxi, and that's where we drank most of the time, just wouldn't go there.
SSH: So, in fact, the radar class was integrated?
DLM: Oh, yeah. Yeah, we had other black officers, sure, sure.
SSH: Where did you go then from Biloxi?
DLM: Ten months there, got my wings. That's what you get at the end of that. That's what you're looking at here, and then orders, which back that up, and then we went to, we were now full-fledged electronics countermeasures officers, 7888, and we were about to be assigned to crews. Each one of us went to a separate crew with an aircraft commander, sixteen guys on the crew, all performing different jobs, but you had to get trained. So we all went to Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, ninety miles west of San Juan, Aguadilla, and there's a lot of stories about that, the Hotel Borinquen, which is an Indian name, right outside the gates at Ramey Air Force Base. We were assigned to crews, and then we commenced flying, the very stuff that we had learned at Keesler. We now flew mock missions all over the Caribbean and all over the States.
SSH: What were you training on, what plane?
DLM: B-50s, we always flew B-50s. That's a suped-up B-29. It's the same airframe as a B-29, but it's got a bigger tail, the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, because the plane was more powerful, and the engines were a lot bigger than B-29s. They were like thirty-four/sixty horsepower, and B-29s were thirty-three or thirty-two/something. But it was just a bigger, faster version of the B-29. It was designed to replace the B-29, but we never built many B-50s. We built a few hundred, maybe, whereas B-29s, there were thousands and thousands of them. B-29s were still flying. The B-36 was in existence. We got on that a couple of times, but we flew B-50s, and we had the same crew, except one "character," who had a relative who was a general who got, as we were going to go to Korea, he got off the plane. He was our navigator, our lead navigator, gets himself off. Now, we're about to go where it's serious, and we came up with new navigator, but he turned out to be one of the best guys you could ever want in your entire life to be on your airplane with you. So we had sixteen guys, we flew together, ate together, drank together, saw the, you know, the US and the Caribbean together. Then we went over to the Pacific, and we saw that together. We went to Alaska, we went to Okinawa, [and] we went to the Philippines. We saw the world together.
SSH: Of the sixteen, how many were officers and how many were enlisted?
DLM: You had the pilot and co-pilot. [They] were officers. You had the navigator as an officer. You had, there was another radar navigator, a guy that wasn't colorblind, he was an officer. Then you had five, you had six of us at our radar. The whole mission was radar, you know, that we were doing, the rest of them were just there to fly us around.
DLM: So we had the four officers who were the flight crew, then the six of us officers who were the radar guys, who had gone through Keesler, and that's what the mission was. The rest of them were there to fly us around and protect us. Then we had six enlisted men. We had a tail-gunner. We had a CFC, central fire control airman, who was in the middle, who directed the guns in the top. The tail-gunner was the tail-gunner. We had a radioman back there in the center. We had a nose-gunner, and probably a couple more, gunners and radio. What else would there be? Six enlisted men, mostly for defense, armament, radio. So that was it, ten officers, which is very unusual, but we were all highly trained, ex-ROTC guys that were too dumb to realize. We were treated like kings. I mean, we were the "flyboys." That's all there was to it. We had our wings on. … We stayed together the whole time. … It didn't necessarily always happen this way, but our crew stayed together. We were all buddies. … The crew chief, the master sergeant, Ford, his name was Bill Ford. He was like the main man. He's the guy. He flew with us, and it's a great comfort, if you're flying an airplane, to know that the guy who is in charge of servicing the plane, keeping you up in the air, is right there flying with you. It was wonderful. [laughter] He was our buddy, yeah.
SSH: How relaxed was the Air Force in Korea at this point as far as interaction between enlisted and officers?
DLM: Very. Air Force salute, you can't see it on the tape, but Air Force salute goes something like this. It's a wave above the right eyebrow. Army and Marines and the Navy, they give you these real sharp [salutes]. We were loose. We did salute. Enlisted men had to salute officers, junior officers had to salute senior officers, but it was almost like picking your eyebrow. That's an indication that we, our lives depended on each other. We just had to be friends, as well as superiors or inferiors … The pilot was the aircraft commander, Dave Holdsworth. He had been in World War II. A lot of our guys, the navigator, Hoss Walker, the navigator had been, he must have six or seven air metals, you know, he had flown so many missions. We had several of the enlisted men who had been Air Force in World War II. A couple of our radar officers had been on B-17s, flying from England in World War II … The mission and the attention to detail is so important that you don't worry about the formality, but it was respectful, and Air Force is Air Force. [laughter]
SSH: Where were you stationed to fly your missions over Korea?
DLM: We were at Ramey … in late '51, early December or late November of '51 to July of '52 training, flying with the crew we just described, so we knew each other very well. We knew what the airplane could do, we knew a lot, and then we left. I left leaves out, by the way. There was a leave every now and then, in between these duty stations.
SSH: Well, tell us.
DLM: July of '52, we embarked to go to Japan, and our duty station there was Yokota, very famous in Air Force lore, Yokota Air Force about thirty miles outside of Tokyo. That brought us into Tokyo a lot, high-speed trains, even then, 1952. They had rebuilt from the devastation from World War II. We got to Yokota by flying across the US. Now, we only had a limited amount of mileage, unless we were refueling. We did get a lot of refueling. We went to McDill Air Force Base in Florida. We went to Barksdale Air Force, another famous Air Force base in Shreveport.
DLM: I think we had gotten to Barksdale, and then … we jumped off from the US at Travis Air Force Base outside of San Francisco.
DLM: So we got to Travis Air Force Base outside of San Francisco, went to Hawaii. For some reason, Master Sergeant Ford, our crew chief, who was flying with us all the time, determined there were some problems with the engines, so we had to stay at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu for two days, but since we were going in that direction toward Japan, they would not tolerate much of a delay, so the crew worked around the clock to get us airborne again, but we had two days. That was my first time ever in Honolulu. What a beautiful place. So we then left after a two-day delay. We went to Kwajalein. We saw the devastation that was still there from the fight to take over, to take Kwajalein. It's a tiny little place, rusting vehicles, half-tracks, landing mats, all piled up. I mean, imagine, human bodies were in the middle of all that stuff, just incredible. So we spent, probably spent, an overnight there, but that's like spending a week, if you're spending an overnight at Kwajalein, hot as blazes. So then we went to Guam from there, this is all long distances, went to Guam and saw where the Japanese soldiers still, there was reputed that there was still some hiding in the holes in the ground, the caves. We didn't see any, obviously, but we were driven around, so we spent the better part of a day there. Then we went onto, from there we flew, from there, from Guam, we flew right over Iwo Jima. We flew right over that little piece of rock, saw the flag flying there, still, and then landed at Yokota, near Tokyo, and then we were on our way. Then we got some more briefings. Tell you one story [from] the first night we got [there]. Now, we've got an airplane full of World War II veterans, and they are very careful. Everybody's careful. We landed and our mission, one of our squadrons' planes was at Yokota at a time, that was all, and we relieved each other. So the plane before us had flown probably the same number of combat missions as we did, twenty-five, twenty-seven. We flew twenty-seven. They're waiting for us anxiously to get there, because when we get there, they fly no more missions. That's the end. If we don't get there, they have to fly another one, or another one, so that's why we were chased out of Honolulu so fast, because these guys called, you know, "When are they coming? When are they coming?" So we get there, and we're all in the bar at the officer's club together. This is the very first night. Suddenly, there is this loud explosion. I mean, it rocked the ground, rocked the building, tremendous explosion. We had a lot of B-29s on that base. They were bombers, and we were search, reconnaissance. We all walk outside, now I wasn't sure of this, I thought I dreamed this. It is true. We all walk outside, run outside, and at the end of the runway there is this huge ball of fire, a B-29 had crashed on takeoff with all bombs onboard. Now, you can imagine the hole. We stood there just watching; there's nothing you can do. So one by one we went back into the bar and drank. We were relieving this crew, and they're happy it wasn't them, they were happy to be going home. We were a little bit shook. I thought this was a dream, until I went to my first SAC reunion in 1989, in New Orleans.
----------------------------------END OF SIDE ONE, TAPE TWO--------------------------------
SE: Tape two, side two.
DLM: I never knew that SAC, the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of SAC, I never knew we had reunions. I finally discovered it through American Legion Magazine and Air Force Magazine. Both of them had, "There's going to be a reunion." So I call up, and indeed there is, and I went, "Where the hell have you guys been?" So I go down there. Now, most of the people that show up at SAC reunions are career officers. I was only in for three years, and the Reserves for another few years, but these guys stayed in for their entire careers, twenty, twenty-five, thirty years, so they're all there. I don't know anybody, "Why am I here?" I'm not a true Air Force career guy. That's obviously what it is, just to promote, you know, their retirements. Suddenly, I find [that] the co-pilot, Charlie Ward, is there. The head navigator, Hoss Walker, Major Walker, was there, and at another reunion, Gordon Storm showed up. He's one of the others. I mean, you really do know these people. So we're standing, when I first got there in New Orleans, we're standing around the bar, and all the guys are talking. Now, I find myself with Hoss Walker and Charlie Ward and about three other guys, and Charlie Ward starts, and he never drank, he starts talking about the first day that our crew got to Yokota. … He said, and it was his practice, being a very careful pilot, he always went to the control tower of any new field we got to, to check out conditions, get to meet the traffic controllers, or whomever was in charge of it, you know, just to know where the hills were, 'cause you always wanted to be sure that if you had problems that you didn't go toward the hill. You wanted to land on flat [ground]. So he starts talking about the first night we were there, and he's up in the control tower, and this B-29 takes off and aborts, but crash lands right at the end of the runway, and I looked at him. I practically had to cry. I said, "Charlie, you have just answered. I always thought …" I wrote about this. I wrote a story in the early '60s, just to get it out of my head, about a young lieutenant and the same thing that it happened to, and I had an ending line and everything. He said, "Dan, that's just as true," and he said, "and you guys," he said, "I didn't see you guys, because you were in the bar, and I never drank, as you well know." We called him "Tarzan," a great big guy, big, barrel chest, a wonderful swimmer, right, always in the pool. Tarzan never drank, and if you saw him in the O-Club, it was to eat. So this was a true story, and that's the first night we're there. Then the second, that was a nightmare, and then second one was the next morning. All these lockers, we all had a great, big foot locker, which is, you know, three feet by two feet, enough to get a lot of stuff in, and they're all piled up in our BOQ, right outside our doors. This is not nice, so I put that behind me. I never thought of that. I mean, it came up much later. I would dream of it. "Was that real?" Well, obviously it was real … and that happened. Well, we had a lot of B-29s. We had B-29 bombers, and they were fighting against Migs, and they were no match. That's when we had to develop the F-86. Then we could take them on, but the earlier jet fighters we had were no match for the Migs. The B-29s certainly weren't. So anyway, that was the beginning of before we even flew one mission. [laughter] That was like a reminder.
SE: Why am I here, right?
DLM: Well, that's why every morning I wake up, "Hey, enjoy, enjoy." Survivor, you've got to be a survivor. So then we flew a few training missions around Japan, and we flew toward Korea a couple of times, just to get used to that idea, and then one day we flew our first combat mission in North Korea. The next day we flew another one. [laughter] We would land, and … they'd have intelligence officers, and these were, you know, pilots and, you know, experienced Air Force people, and when we landed, they would sit us down at a nice long table, 'cause there's a lot of us, and there'd be hot steaming coffee, 'cause we were usually out for sixteen hours, more or less. … They'd have all the booze you could ever want, and we'd have to start talking. We'd turn in our logs, we'd have written logs, and then, "Oh, Lieutenant, would you like?" We got coffee right away, but, you know, "Do you want anything in that coffee?" Well, that's where I learned how you can put VO into coffee, and it tastes really, really good. [laughter] We would be in there for a half hour, forty-five minutes, and then we'd stumble back to our BOQ, and we'd all have a bottle of scotch or VO or something under the bed, and we would sit around drinking, 'cause we didn't, you couldn't fly, usually, you didn't fly two days in a row. It's just too much. You couldn't, so you were off duty. They would always give you twenty-four hours. So there was a rule, "No drinking, once you're put on alert." Well, the alert could last twenty-four hours, it could last thirty-six, [or] it could last four days, so you couldn't drink, which is fine. It showed you didn't have to drink, but at the end of that next mission, "Give me that VO." [laughter]
SSH: What did you do while you were on alert, if you had that kind of time basically on your hands?
DLM: Play baseball, go to the pool, if, you know, it depends upon the [season]. We were there both winter and summer ... You could go into the nearby town, because there was a little town right outside the base, haven't gotten to my airplane yet. Tachikawa was not far, so you could get there, but you had to keep calling, but twenty-four hours, I mean, as long as you were back, I mean, you had to be around, because then you had to plan, you know, once we knew where we were going to go next. We always went in different directions because of the nature of the missions. They didn't want us, you know, being, like baseball, don't always throw a fastball, because the batters get used to it. Well, don't always go right at Pyongyang, or wherever we were going, Sakhalin Island, we went up there, and Vladivostok, we went flying around there all the time. That, if you've got a map, I'll show you some of the routes, like the Arctic Circle, but some of the missions, half of them were across North Korea, and then sometimes we would get out of North Korea, and then we'd head up toward Vlad. We called it Vlad. Of course, that's not Korea, but as long as we stayed, we always figured, twenty miles out, then we were in international waters. Well, they're not supposed to come out there. Unfortunately, they did sometimes, and then we'd go back to Japan. Then other times we would just fly up along the Siberian Coast, one way to Alaska to Ladd Air Force Base, Fairbanks, Alaska. We flew a couple of missions from Ladd over the North Pole, the northern coast of Siberia, that's very hairy, but twenty miles out. Now, we would never think of invading their air space, but they would turn on their machines, and we would catch them, so if we ever had to fly across the North Pole to get at any target, then, presumably, we had discovered where their search radar was, and then somebody could come in and take that out. We did the same thing along the China Coast, because they were part of the communist empire. So we flew down, if you go along the China Coast in the Pacific, you'd come down to something called Hainan, a great big island, Hainan Island at the, where the border of China and Indochina or Vietnam is, and then we'd turn around and come back. Sometimes we'd land in the Philippines. So we got quite a little tour, and then a lot of times just to North Korea and back.
SSH: Now were you flying with other planes, or were you by yourself?
DLM: [Alone]. That was the whole idea. We were supposed to surprise them. We flew in real bad weather, so that they wouldn't be able to come up and get us, and we flew at night. We flew very high, as high as we could get. Of course, the fighters couldn't stay up very long, if they did intercept us. So it was just, you got used to it. You just get used to the feeling. [laughter]
SSH: How long could your plane stay up without refueling?
DLM: I was thinking about that, because I was comparing that with somebody recently, like thirty-four hundred miles was the flight, without refueling, of some airplane. I don't know if it was the B-29, or the B-50, it might have been the B-50, B-36, but we all, so that would only be ten hours or twelve hours maximum. Then we got refueled, and that was, that was always a nice chancy thing to do, but you'd sit there and you'd watch these guys come down and tank, the hose would go in, drogue and probe was the name.
SSH: Is that a pretty dangerous point, refueling in the air?
DLM: Yeah, it is. It's very, very dangerous. We had a couple of dents put in us, because this thing is swinging in the air, and finally it's supposed to be guided into our intake for the fuel, but I think that's the only dents we got. I don't think we ever got a hole in us from antiaircraft or fighters. I think we were, you know, we saw these dents, but it was like it had to be something on the ground or the refueler. But we flew twenty-four hour missions, the Alaska one, for example. In order to get as far out up in this Siberian, northern Siberia, Arctic Circle, we could never go as far as Finland, but, you know, we went a long way, a tanker would meet us when we're leaving Alaska, refuel, and then when we got back, they would meet us again and refuel. … At that point, a fighter would show up, taking us back to Fairbanks, and he would wave and he'd wiggle his wings, and we'd go like this, and [laughter] that meant that we were out of any danger for the moment, interesting stuff. Twenty-four hours in the air. Do you know how you feel? Dry, no shower, no shaving, no nothing, you know, relief tubes you had to use, you know. It's just, you're so dry, and you're so tired, and then you'd get interviewed and get some water and relieved, and then you'd drink some more coffee and some more VO or scotch. Scotch right out of the bottle isn't bad at that time. [laughter]
SE: After twenty-four hours.
DLM: Twenty-four hours, that was only a couple of times, and then we flew twenty-two hours, then we flew twenty hours, but we had a lot of refueling. It was … common. And then if we just went to North Korea, we could get from Japan across North Korea and back without refueling.
SSH: This refueling in the air, was this new in the Korean War?
DLM: Yeah, exactly, exactly. I have a great photo in one of my offices of the tanker just above us and the line connecting. It's a B-50, and it's great, it's just a great shot.
SSH: Were you aware, as a crewmember, of the controversy that had happened surrounding the strategic bombing during World War II of Europe? Was that discussed within the crew?
DLM: Well, most of the crew were not historians. [laughter] … You might wonder why I was a history and political science major and pre-law. What the hell was I doing on this airplane to begin with? [laughter] I was the resident historian. In fact, when I go to the reunion, I meet up with Gordon Storm, who was a University of Nebraska graduate, but he had been a Navy flyer in World War II. He had gone to his GI Bill and got his degree at Nebraska and then decided to go back in for Korea, and he wound up as an officer with our crew. When we meet at the reunion, he always says, "That Danny Martin, he was always telling us about historical things, and we didn't give a damn." [laughter] … I forget whether it was, I think it was in law school that I actually wrote a paper on that very subject, international law at UM Law School. It's a seminar. It's about ten or twelve law students, and we all had to write a thesis. So having been fresh out of the Air Force, and the professor knew that, so he presented a list of topics, and one of them was aerial bombardment and the carpet-bombing, deliberate bombing like the Brits did, and we did, too. So I grabbed it. I mean, I said, "That's my article." So I wrote this long, long article and did a lot of research in the law library, The Legitimate and the Non-legitimate Targets of Aerial Bombardment. … I went back to Spain and the Spanish Civil War, and the Germans were on the side of the Royalists, and they were bombing just for terror, and that was like a "no, no." There were actual, there were articles in the newspaper you could find. There were legal discussions. International law complaints don't go very far, because it's a jungle in-between nations, you know. There's not much law. We try to make law, but it's not too good. So I wrote this long, long article. I still have it someplace, but that was at law school, but it was on my mind. Here we are, we were not bombers, we were, you know, search, but we were supporting bombing that might occur, or did occur in Korea, and we were actually defending against if they attacked us, then we would have to attack them, and we would get the information. … We just did what we had to do; we were in the service. You know, we're not making the rules. I guess I was more aware, because I was a history student, but it didn't bother me too much. I remember when we got out, you know, taking a train, that's how you did it in those days, taking a slow train. I wanted to go visit my best man, who was about to become my best man, in Madison, Wisconsin and another buddy in Chicago, both of whom had been on the same missions. [There was] this old porter, right from the beginning of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and we're celebrating, we're on this slow train up to Chicago, and he says, "You guys, where were you?" "We were in Korea." "Well, how did you enjoy bombing those defenseless people?" [laughter] Right out of the blue, and we said, "Get lost. Get lost." He was an old, old fellow, and it was on his mind. We hadn't done that, but we weren't going to explain that to him. We had our ribbons on, our wings, uniforms.
SSH: I just wondered whether that was conversation during World War II or when you were in the Air Force.
DLM: Back before World War II, before. I'm going to give you the article now. Now, I haven't thought about this for a long time. Way back when artillery was new, 1600s, 1500s, there were armies that would come up to a town and just lob shells in there until they capitulated. Well, there was international law even then. You're not supposed to bomb or fire artillery at a defenseless city. There's open cities. If you think they are concealing military weapons, then you can bomb that, but if it's just civilians, you can't bomb them. Now, this is centuries ago, so it was like everything we do, it's like following previous history.
SSH: I wanted to ask you about the controversy between Truman and MacArthur.
DLM: Great, great.
SSH: Serving in Korea, what did you know about this controversy, as opposed to what hindsight shows you now?
DLM: Well, that had occurred when we were still at Keesler. That was 1950, or was it '51. No, '50, I was still up here. I started in Keesler in November, early November, I guess, of '50. I'll just think about all this. It was the spring of '51, because MacArthur had already led the landing at Inchon, which made us, we had outflanked the North Koreans. Now they were on the defensive. It's before the, no, the Chinese had already come across the border. … We had the Inchon landing early, so we had outflanked them. I guess MacArthur, no, then the Chinese, MacArthur was still in command when the Chinese invaded across the Yalu River, sure. No, now I haven't thought about that sequence of events, but MacArthur wasn't fired until the spring of '51, and he just had a different view. He wanted to go on the offensive, wanted to win the thing, and Truman said, "No, we have the policy of containment," another subject which I had to study, I wanted to study. The policy of containment was Dean Acheson. [There was] a famous history professor, who is not around any longer, but he lasted a long, long, long time. He wrote articles on containment, and books, not Ford, but somebody like that. But anyway, I have some of those books. We all believed in the policy of containment, but we also wanted to win the thing and get it over with. I always remember Old Soldiers Never Die, and that was on the radio at all times, because a lot of Americans supported MacArthur, wanted him to be president even, and, "Old soldiers never die. They just fade away," and MacArthur said that in his speech to Congress when he left. He was so respected that even though he had been relieved of command, he was given great honors. I don't know if they gave him a New York ticker tape parade, but they should have.
SE: I think that was one of the pictures I saw, that he might have been given one.
DLM: He should have been.
SSH: Was there any discussion while you were stationed in Japan about what had taken place?
DLM: Yeah, we were in a stalemate, by the time we got there. We were in a stalemate, and everybody wanted it to be over with. Number one, we wanted to live. We wanted to survive, so we just, you know, did everything we could in that direction. But it was clear that that truce, that 38th parallel, the war wasn't going to go much either way, and whatever we did was just to keep them pent up where they were, where they couldn't attack any more. We talked about it all the time. We had the Air Force Times, I think it was the Air Force, or maybe it was the Army Times. There was an Army-Navy Times. There's a famous newspaper that existed through World War II and into Korea.
SE: Stars and Stripes.
DLM: Stars and Stripes we had. There were always discussions. A lot of that was details, I mean, which unit was attacking which hill. Of course, you felt sorry for those guys. But we weren't big strategic thinkers. We were down there in the trenches. [laughter]
SSH: Or thankful that you weren't.
DLM: [laughter] That's right. Well, that was the whole idea. One of the most brilliant thoughts I ever had was, "Get that twenty-seven dollars a month, but don't make it Army ROTC." [laughter]
SSH: All right. Tell us about your life, the end of the Korean War and the Reserves. Talk about those R&Rs and what you did.
DLM: Oh, yeah. Well, we got leaves. One leave I got, I was able to hitch a ride as a radar officer on another crew. The aircraft commander was Jig Easy Smith, James E. Smith. J for Jig, E for Easy, slang, so Jig Easy Smith, great crew. He had as the head radar guy Jose Nin, N-I-N, Puerto Rican officer, a major, World War II vet. He was the lead radar officer onboard. So we get to, it wasn't New Orleans, it was Eglin Air Force Base, along the, near Pensacola Florida, Panhandle. So I say to Jig Easy, "I'd like to just hop on another Air Force plane and go up and see my girlfriend," which I did, and he said, "Okay, but be back. If you're not back, you're AWOL." So I got MATS [Military Air Transport Service], or whatever they call it, an air transfer command, or whatever, I got a plane up to Washington, had to carry my parachute. Every Air Force plane you get on, you have to have your own parachute, or you have to have a parachute, so I took the parachute that I had brought from Puerto Rico, stuck it in my B-4 bag. A B-4 bag opens up like this, and you can stuff, not much room left for clothes, but I wasn't going to be gone long anyways, so I left my clothes down there. I don't think I ever got them back. … I got to Washington, I get a train from Washington up to New Jersey and met, I got to see my parents, I got to see my girlfriend, and I'm allowed to drive the car, so I get to see my parents and I get their car, and I drive up to New Brunswick to see my eventual wife at Douglass, or NJC, and I'm able to spend like an overnight at home. Then I go back to Washington, I get to Boling Air Force Base, and there are no planes down to Eglin, and I'm going to be AWOL. I call up [and] get Jig Easy. He says, "Get back as fast as you can. At least we know you're not intending to be AWOL. That'll count." But I was AWOL, because I was trying to get up to see my parents and girlfriend, so that was one leave, which was unauthorized. Then between, okay, between finishing radar school in Keesler in November, early November of '51, we had about three weeks. Now, we're all going to go to Ramey. That's our next [station]; we already had our orders. How you get to Ramey, Puerto Rico is you take a boat from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and you stay at Camp Kilmer, while you're waiting for the boat, 'cause the boat is full of dependents and other Air Force, Army, Navy people. So I get to spend three weeks, including Thanksgiving at Camp Kilmer, which guess how far NJC is? So some of the guys start dating NJC girls with, you know, a girl from my, no, she wasn't my finance yet, but legendary stories, three weeks. We have cars. [laughter] So, anyway, that was a great leave. I bring my crewmembers back to my house, my parents' house, some of them, four or five of them, and they always talked about it after that, "Boy, what great guys they were." [laughter] We all had Thanksgiving, my mother always had, you know, she had a giant family, so she knew how to cook. So that was one long leave. Then the next one, I'm probably, you know, I didn't have many leaves. I had an awful lot of TDY pay when I got back, because you get temporary duty when you're not at your regular station. I got married on that, really. The next leave was in July, early July or late June, early July of '52. Now we know we're going to Yokota. We don't know exactly when, and they kept it a little bit of a mystery. This book here will give you a good kick about that one. The leave was, that's when I got engaged. I came back to New Jersey, got my parents' [car], no, I had a car. I had a car. I had left it. That's why I always had a car, because I left it in the driveway, and my younger brothers learned how to drive on it. [laughter] That's how I know I had a car. … When I got back, this car was, you know, it's not going to last much longer, but it was sitting in my parents' driveway for a long [time]. There was enough, a little extra room where they could park it. So I drive up to NJC, we go out, and we get down to the serious question. She's saying, "Well, what am I waiting for?" You know, she's now about to graduate. She had just graduated. She graduated in June of '52 from Douglass, from NJC, so I popped the question. So that was the official, no ring or anything. The fraternity pin once again served its purpose. [laughter]
SSH: [laughter] I love that.
DLM: [laughter] Bad, huh? [laughter] So then she was waiting. Then we got the phone calls from Japan back to New Jersey. When I was in Alaska, breeching all kinds of security, couldn't tell her where I was, but she could tell. I don't know how she knew, maybe the operator, but anyway, I'm at this secret Air Force [base], flying these super-secret missions, and I'm talking to my fiancé from Alaska. [laughter] So that's the way it was. So that's the only leaves really. In Japan, we got R&Rs between missions, when we didn't have to stand by. Quite a bit, I could get a Jeep, drive around Japan, you know, a half of a day. I don't think I ever stayed, never stayed out in the suburbs or anything, but went out for the day and came back. Tokyo, we got in, we stayed overnight. I stayed at Tokyo Electric several nights, went to the shopping in the Ginza Area, probably still exists.
SSH: Were the Japanese very receptive to the Americans?
DLM: They were very respectful. They didn't give us any trouble. I never felt, I would take this Jeep and drive up into the countryside and never felt threatened. [I was] all alone. Maybe [it was] the fact that I had a forty-five on me. [laughter] No, you didn't, you didn't go off, you didn't carry the forty-five, except when you're flying combat missions. Otherwise, you checked it in and checked it out. You didn't have it in the BOQ, in case somebody went nuts, "check those weapons."
SSH: When did you officially start your Reserve duty, or get out of the regular active duty?
DLM: Immediately, you're in. You're honorably separated. You're not honorably discharged. Discharged, you're totally out.
SSH: I was trying to figure out what the word is.
DLM: Separated, honorably separated, that's my paper, and then finally I got an honorable discharge, after my Reserve ended [in] like 1961, something like that. But I did it mostly by correspondence courses, Air Force University. I took the squadron officer's course, in case I ever went back in, and so I did a lot of that. … I was almost called up. I was in law school. In French Indochina, something flared up. Something called Dien Bien Phu, which anybody knows about from those days, which was the siege of Dien Bien Phu. We were about, our president, who by that time was Eisenhower, I'll tell you about Eisenhower in a second, too, was about to declare an emergency and send some Americans to help the French, and on the top of the list were 7888, you know, our missions to help them with their reconnaissance, in case the Russians decided to help the Communists too much. I got my orders. I was on alert at the university. I was married now, in law school, and I always remember my former bride, she was not very, very happy about this. I said, "I don't want to go either. I've done my share. There's lots of other guys that, you know, have less time then I do over there." So it passed. I didn't actually [go], but I was on alert. I had the orders to go back in, in 1954.
SSH: Let me remind you, tell us about Eisenhower.
DLM: Eisenhower. Anybody who wants to know about the 1952 presidential election, Truman and Eisenhower. I always say, "Well, that was my first vote." That's when I was now old enough to vote. In '48, I was not old enough, Truman, Dewey. I had opinions then. [laughter] They are the same as they are now. [laughter]
SSH: Oh, really?
DLM: [laughter] Well, we didn't think Truman was so bad. You know, I always was a Republican. I've never voted for a Democrat in my entire life, and I vote all the time. [laughter] You know, there are a lot of great Democrats, too. But anyway, Truman had a great reputation. He's the man that said, "The buck stops here." You have to respect that. Eisenhower said, "I will bring the troops home from Korea," and, guess what, I was one of the boys in Korea, and guess who I voted for in November of '52? … We went around talking like that, "Well, we're one of the boys in Korea." [laughter] So Eisenhower won, but the truce was already a stalemate. The end was going to happen. The Korean War didn't really, officially, the shooting war didn't end until the end of July '53.
SSH: Well, to move ahead then, please tell us about when you went to the University of Michigan to law school and about your wedding.
DLM: Got married in uniform. We ended our missions in February, got back here. The phone was ringing between, naturally MJ and her family had, he's a doctor, the father of the bride, so he had it at Gene Boyle's in Clifton, first time I'd ever been there. They had all the arrangements made, and they were just waiting for me to get there. Well, then I stop in Madison, Wisconsin. I stopped in Chicago, and then I get on the train from Chicago to Grand Central Station, and there's this cute, little girl running down the platform. [laughter] She must have jumped from that coat rack into my arms. So we got married.
SSH: [laughter] Ten feet.
DLM: Ten feet, at least. Broad jump. So we got married in March of '53. I'm still in uniform, not out yet, so then our honeymoon trip is driving down to visit my aunt and uncle. [My] uncle [was] a career officer in the Navy, down in South Jersey at that time, Atlantic City Naval Air Station. Then we went down to Williamsburg, when Williamsburg was, you know, new. Then we went across the country, West Virginia, and whatever states are on the way. I remember being in St. Louis on that trip. Finally, we wind up in Topeka, Kansas, 'cause our whole squadron had been moved from Ramey Air Force Base, which was our home base, to Topeka, Kansas, Forbes Air Force Base, and we had a month there of getting the next step. They're trying to talk me, the Air Force is trying to talk me into staying in. One day the personnel officer called me in and said, "Dan, we really like your crew and you guys, and we would like to make a few offers. The offer to you is that you will be promoted to captain, right now. All you have to do is get on the next 7888 mission to England. You don't have to go to Korea this time." Korea was almost over, anyway. "But you can go to England. You will fly the same missions, only this time it will be Siberia from England, across." Probably would meet our buddies coming from the other way. "Your wife can go with you. We know you're married. You'll love England." I thought, "That's a very handsome offer." I wanted to be a captain, and so I went back to the motel and told Mary Jean. Her name was Jean then. Her name was really Mary Jean, but she always wanted to be called Jean. "Jean, guess what? I can be a captain. We can go to England. We'll have that great experience, and then I'll go to law school." No, I didn't say that. I said, "And then maybe we'll stay in, maybe not, be an Air Force couple." She looks at me and says, "But Dan, you said you were going to law school." That was it. That was the end of my Air Force career, right then and there, and she was right. She was right. So we finished the rest of the discharge, and so I went back to New Jersey with her, April, the end of April, early May of '53. … Then in early June of '53, we went out to Ann Arbor, and I went through the eleven-week summer, went through the next year, went through another eleven-week summer, went through the whole next year, and went through another eleven-week summer, and I was out, two years and three months. Out of one of the best law schools in the country, because everybody was in a hurry to catch up in those days. World War II guys were the same. We all thought the same, and, of course, we saw how much of a hurry those guys were in. They studied like crazy. They wanted to get out. They wanted to make up for those years they had missed. We just thought the same way. The guys at the law school reunion I just came back from, "Would you go through that damn three summers again?" because that's thirty-three weeks, and that's a whole year. "I don't think so." I think I would have stopped and smelled the roses in Michigan a little bit more, or whatever. [laughter] But no, that's what we did, so then I'm out of law school in August of '55.
SSH: Did you, I can't believe the answer would be yes, but did you work while you were going to law school?
DLM: I had the GI Bill, tuition paid, and there were living expenses, and MJ worked at the registrar's office at the University of Michigan, which was right across the street from the law school. It was great. No, I didn't, I don't think I did. Well, law school, you don't have time to work, especially when you …
SSH: You had worked in so many other different places and venues when you really didn't have time, and I just thought I'd check. [laughter]
DLM: No, I did not work, as I remember. I know I had a couple of odd jobs, but there was enough, you know, income from the GI Bill subsistence pay, plus what she was earning, and it worked out. And I had that TDY pay, don't forget. That was in the bank. That was in the bank.
SSH: Well, briefly outline your family and your career since then, before we finish up.
DLM: I went to, right out of the University of Michigan Law School, went right to a Wall Street firm, Chadbourne, Parke, Whiteside and Wolfe, and that's still in existence. It's Chadbourne and Parke now, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, but was down at 25 Broadway then in New York. I spent eight years there, and I did a lot of government contract work. Sperry Rand was one of our main clients. We had a lot of government contracts, so I was thrust into that, and then I got some securities, a lot of securities law, contract law, a lot of business. Then that led to three years as assistant general counsel of General Dynamics, which was military, also. So here I am, eight years doing government work, plus, you know, a lot of civilian work, too, at Chadbourne, and then three years, and that was all military, General Dynamics, was a major military, and still is, contractor. I got in on the F111, the famous TFX in Fort Worth, Texas, which crashed a few times before they finally learned how to make it run right. I got down there, got there, got to San Diego. Convair was part of General Dynamics, got to work on Convair stuff. Chicago, Henry Crown was in General Dynamics, so we got to Chicago a few times. Electric Boat up in Groton, Connecticut, the nuclear submarines were in, and we worked, we had nuclear contracts. I did a lot of acquisition work. We bought the Quincy, Massachusetts shipyard from Bethlehem Steel, and I was one of the counsel on that. So, you know, a lot of good stuff. Then I've continued in, see, after GD, back into private law firms in Manhattan, one law firm, and then another one, I became a partner. Then I became a name partner up on Madison Avenue, 555 Madison, at McKenzie, Cabell, Martin and Greene. That was great. I was only thirty-nine years old. I thought I was a hundred. [laughter] I stayed in private practice, until I started working in 1980 for a French steel company, Creusot-Loire Steel, which, Creusot-Loire Steel is based in LeCreusot France, near Lyon, made the cannon for Napoleon's Army and a lot of other things of very fine steel. We had imported steel, steel warehouses, distribution, so that was 1980, and it goes on and on. Here we are, still practicing law, still doing mergers and acquisitions and buying and selling businesses and trying to stay out of court. [laughter]
SSH: Well, tell us about your family then before we end.
DLM: Oldest son Mike, born in '56, second oldest son Ken, born in '58, daughter Laura, who I'm going to see over the weekend with my little granddaughter, Natalie. Laura was born in '64; Natalie was born four and a half years ago [March 4, 1996]. I'm going to carve up the Halloween pumpkin for Natalie, because she thinks Granddad does the best job. Mike is married, but they haven't had children. Kenny has managed to stay unmarried out in California [Ken married on May 25, 2002]. Mike's down in Washington, and Laura's right here in Dover, New Jersey, and they're great people. As I say, they're my best friends.
SSH: Well, that's wonderful. Are there any questions that you have, Shannon, before we end?
SE: Actually, I just wanted to record this briefly. Could you just say what awards and citations and medals you received? I think that deserves to be recorded.
DLM: It says, "Lieutenant DL Martin, January 20, 1953." That's a long time ago. [laughter] Then with that you get, there's two more oak leaf clusters. This is the first one, that's your medal, and then you get oak leaf clusters if you stay in and you fly more combat missions. This is after ten. You have to fly ten combat missions to get that.
SSH: The Air Medal.
DLM: Yeah. Then you get oak leaf, except that I don't have them. I have a lot of others besides this, but this is the UN, you know. You know this stuff. That's the UN Service Medal. You've seen it. This is the Korean War, and these are two battle stars, because of the length of being there during that war, and this is the Air Medal. Of course, we have the Good Conduct Medal, which I don't know if we deserve. [laughter] … We have the South Korean Presidential Unit Citation, which is another ribbon. There's a big move now that Americans, who were in the Korean War, are invited en masse to Korea, and they treat you like royalty, but I have to find my South Korean Ribbon, because they just fall down in the street. I mean, they just still think we're the greatest thing that ever happened to them, which we are. We saved them. Then we have some others. I mean, there's a whole bunch of them. That mission over Siberia was supposed to be a real special one, but I've never seen it. Every time I go to a SAC reunion they say, "Just apply. Just let us know you want it." But I'll do it sometime. It's the way you are after a while, yeah.
SSH: Well, are there any thoughts that you want put on tape before we end?
DLM: I would like to make a donation to this project in the form of a book that was written by Colonel Bruce Bailey. … This book is in here, and it's really great. This is the Uidemus Omnia, We See All, and it's the chronicle of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of SAC, and I've put a few, little, yellow pieces of paper, which, you know, you'll see. My name, they have a roster of, these are orders to go to Ramey, and so I'm right here. This is when we got our wings at Keesler, and this is a list of, you know, and, "You now have your wings, and you're now going to go to Ramey to get on a crew." This'll give you a lead into a lot of things. This is all SAC. Most of the names in here are World War II veterans. Most of our crew were guys that had flown in the 8th Air Force in England or elsewhere out in the Pacific. They flew B-29s. That's why they were with us, because we were essentially suped-up B-29s. That first reunion I went to of SAC in New Orleans in 1989, Colonel Bailey, compiled by Bruce M. Bailey, Lieutenant Colonel USAF, he, on his own, took it upon himself to collect newspaper articles over the years, like here, it's up to '66. This goes up to probably the late '60s, when the B-47s were flying the same missions we had flown in B-50s. That's what we were, the 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. There's all sorts of gory pictures in here of airplanes.
---------------------------------END OF SIDE TWO, TAPE TWO--------------------------------
SE: This is tape three, side one.
SSH: We're looking at a book that Mr. Martin's presented to the project, and you were telling us about what's in here.
DLM: Yeah, I guess we just got through with, you'll just have to sit down and go through it. It encompasses from the end of World War II, and bear in mind, most of the guys in here and the names, and there are many, many names and pictures, and they look like World War II-types and they look like Korea-types and they are. They look very young. … Our squadron was moved from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana to Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico to Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, and then we had sojourns all over the world, and it's all in here. We had planes stationed in North Africa, England, all over the Pacific. I'm just looking at a page with General LeMay, which I've marked "The Mission," and that tells you everything you need to know about why we were doing what we were doing. Then back a little bit earlier, you asked if we ever had any fun. We used to have fun, too. These are our orders. I'll just read it to you for one second. This is Bruce Bailey, who wrote, who pulled the book together, made all the subjects. He says, "I have stacks of orders like this, dating from 1950 to 1963. As you can see, the crew didn't know where they were going or why. Later they even (five asterisks), the length of the TDY," temporary duty, "but this crew was even in worse shape, as they didn't know which base they were going to when the TDY was over." That was us; they had shifted us from Ramey to Topeka. "I think you will agree with me that this order reveals nothing and imparts little or no information. Yet, it was still marked restricted." Now, I have the original. These were our orders that somebody had given him, probably Major Walker at one of those other earlier reunions, but this, it just doesn't tell you. It's all asterisks. "Following airmen, USAF origin, indicated this station are placed on TDY for approximately two hundred days and will (WP) proceed from this station to X for purpose of X and then return to X." You can't find out anything from this. Anyway, but these are our crew's orders when we left Ramey in July of '52 to return, we knew we were going to Yokota, but they wouldn't say it in here, and we didn't know where we were going to come back to. … Then the other interest, if you can pull up the US News and World Report of June 21, 1993, this was when we could talk again. Up until then, we'd never, we couldn't talk about any of this stuff. This was top secret, but this crew was shot down. It was the crew that relieved us. I told you that we had one crew at a time. So when we left Yokota in February of '53, Stan O'Kelley, he was the aircraft commander, Stan O'Kelley's crew replaced us, and then in July, which was only a few months later, Korean War was still on, the Russians decided to get one more. So the following incident in July '53 proved the point only too well. "Stan O'Kelley's crew, TDY to Yokota," they were in our bunks after we left, "was flying a routine, for the 55th, recon mission along the Soviet coast. Russians Migs attacked the B-50, causing it to burst into flames and shooting off one wing. Only co-pilot John Roche survived. An account of the rescue begins on page 47." … Roche writes a letter of thanks to the Navy boat that saved him. The other fifteen guys were killed or captured. We are never sure whether they were picked up by the Russians. But Roche the co-pilot, he shows up at these reunions. John Roche, isn't that something. I mean, he survived, talk about surviving. But the guys, I have a letter about these guys. They were in Keesler with us. They were in the next class after us, so you talk about luck. But anyway, this US News is all about a guy named Sanderson, Warren Sanderson. He was in our class, and he was on this crew. … His family showed up at Omaha one time about four years ago at another reunion, and they were all there, the kids, the wife, so it's pretty sad. This is all true stuff.
SSH: Thank you for the donation of the book. This is wonderful. I accept it on behalf of the project. Do you remember a Captain Darby? Have you been asked?
DLM: Silence, pause. I'm a packrat, and recently I saw an article, the Atlantic City, Korean War, I'm going to go down to that November 14th. I don't go to a lot of things, but my brothers were both in Vietnam. So they, Marines, both of them survived the Vietnam battle, Khe Sanh, stuff like that. So anyway, I've got to go with them. Here, now this article, and I was going to write anyway, but it says that he was killed in combat on October 27, 1952. Guess what today's date is? It's ironic. [He was killed] while flying a mission over Korea. He is, according to Captain Paul Pigeon, the only known alumnus of the Rutgers detachment to have died serving in the Korean War. Now, I was officer of the day at Yokota. Officer of the day, you're on duty twenty-four hours a day, even if you're only a first lieutenant. Somebody has to be there, eyes and ears for the whole day. I was on duty that night. I'd already been on duty for, you know, practically the whole twenty-four hours, but this was the end of the [shift], maybe nine or ten o'clock at night. I'm still on duty, and all of a sudden, I don't know how, a radioman came in, "Lieutenant, Lieutenant, a B-29, one of ours from Yokota, had been shot down." This is the same date, and it had to be the plane. What I remember next, I'm getting this terrible news, and five minutes later, of course, I'm saying, "Call the base commander, call the head of the Ravens," which, we were called Ravens, you know, the reconnaissance, "Call everybody." And a major ran in, "Lieutenant, are you the OD?" "Yes, sir." "You're relieved. You don't have to do anything more." So I was ushered [out]. I could have stayed, but the room was filling up with guys that were running the B-29s. So I just wonder if it was the same guy, if he was on that crew. You can make copies. The clue would be, I mean, this says, "Yokota." This says, "Yokota." I was there. I know this plane was shot down. I guess the question was, "What?" "Any family members, friends or people who served with him are asked to contact Pigeon ..." You have to identify that he was on that plane. That's the thing. See, they seem to know that already, so what's the mystery?
SSH: Well, part of the mystery is that the Air Force ROTC here was totally unaware of Darby and what he had done and even why their chapter house is named after him, so they've been investigating all that.
DLM: Which chapter house?
SSH: Air Force.
DLM: Is that right? That's neat stuff.
SSH: It's named after Darby. It has a portrait of him, from what I understand.
DLM: I've told this story to so many people, that I was the OD and that I was relieved by a major, and I didn't have to serve the whole twenty-four hours as the officer of the day. But anyway, there you have it. I don't know what more I can tell you.
SSH: Are there any other thoughts you want recorded?
DLM: There's so much stuff. It just goes on and on, and on.
SSH: Well, we thank you very much for taking the time to do this.
SE: Thank you.
SSH: Mr. Martin will now read a poem that we found in his stash.
DLM: … Anyway, I got a letter from my daughter in 1989. This is a long time ago already, but she had discovered a typed poem that I had written, and this was all very therapeutic. In the early '60s, I was having lots of memories, so I would go down into the basement. I made up a little workroom and had a typewriter, so I had typed this up. … She sent it to me with this letter in 1989, and then she surprised me at Christmas two or three years later, with my, we have an annual family Christmas party with like forty or fifty Martins and those who have been foolish enough to marry into the Martin family, and so she presented this to me. Now my two youngest brothers, Dave and Doug, who are Marine Vietnam veterans, were there, and all I can do, I took one look at it, I knew what it was, 'cause, you know, but she had now put this all together. She has a [picture of a] B-47, which is not exactly the right airplane, but she can be forgiven, but I just gave it to Dave and Doug in this. I walked away and let them read it. Anyway, this was my expression in the early '60s, '63 or '62, when I was still writing about this stuff.
A Night Mission
"A long night of flying straight to target
Buckled and cramped
Tense and waiting
Staring at controls
Turn for home
Free now to climb to the astrodome
Round, convex, plastic, cold
Observe four engines housing
Four propellers spinning
Bright metal wings
Not yet shining
Lifting and falling
Slowly against the raw horizon
We are heading straight toward the dawn
Streaks of purple now
Some orange, some red
One ragged yellow-edged cloud
Far away there
The end of the long black night
Is this moment of beginning light
The dark and solid mass
We've lived through
Will soon be burn away
And in the new azure morning
We shall again become fearless."
DLM: How about that?
SSH: Thank you very much.
DLM: That's it.
-----------------------------------------END OF INTERVIEW--------------------------------------
Reviewed by Kathryn Tracy 4/26/02
Reviewed by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 5/6/02
Edited by Daniel L. Martin 10/17/02