ELWOOD — USAF Airman 3/C Howard Eugene Martin, age 21 of Elwood, died on Nov. 22, 1952, near Anchorage, Alaska, following a tragic military airplane crash. He was a passenger aboard a C-124 Globemaster military air transport when the plane impacted Mt. Gannett killing a total of 52 servicemen. There were no survivors, and recovery was never possible. His remains were recovered from Colony Glacier by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) during the summers of 2012 and 2013 — 60 years after the accident following the melting of the glacier at the crash site. He was officially positively identified on his 83rd birthday, April 18, 2014.
Howard was born April 18, 1931, in Alexandria, the son of Lester and Mona “Ruth” (Baker) Martin. He grew up in the Dundee community, just east of Elwood. He had graduated in 1949 from Frankton High School and worked in production at Delco Remy in Anderson briefly while attending Ball State University. Howard proudly enlisted with the U.S. Air Force on Dec. 14, 1951, in order to serve his country, and lost his life in service less than one year later. His family has never forgotten his sacrifice.
Howard’s family includes six siblings, Paul (wife, Pat) Martin of Frankton, Charles “Max” (wife, Clara Lou) of Wabash, Kay Marling of Anderson, Ray (wife, Janice) Martin of Converse, Fran (husband, Mike) Williams of Elwood, and James Martin (companion, Marsha Minthorn) of Alexandria; and numerous nieces and nephews.
His death preceded both his father who died in 1972 and mother who died in 1999.
Howard’s family is grateful that his remains will be flown from U.S. Military facilities in Hawaii to Indianapolis International Airport and be returned home to the Elwood community on Thursday, July 10, 2014. His casketed remains, along with his family in procession, will be escorted by the Elwood Police Department, the Indiana State Police, and members of the Indiana Rolling Thunder and Indiana Patriot Guard the entire way from Indianapolis back to Elwood. The procession’s arrival into Elwood is estimated to be around 1:15 p.m. and several veterans’ organizations along with local residents plan to line South Anderson street from “P” Street to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral home to welcome him home.