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Robert Thomas Martin, Jr.

Robert Thomas Martin, Jr, the son of Robert T. Martin and Ruth E.H. Martin was born on August 12, 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee. Tom was killed in action in Vietnam while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam on June 19, 1969.

Certificate of Selection Columbia Military Academy

Robert Thomas Martin has been selected to the Hall of Honor

Robert Thomas Martin

Tom Martin entered Columbia Military Academy for summer school in 1963, and Colonel G.G. Edson predicted a bright future for this promising young man. Continuing as a sophomore with the new school term in September Tom soon distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete on the CMA Track team. He demonstrated his versatility in sprints and relays, but was unrivalled in the region in the low and high hurdles, winning the Mid- South Prep School Award and leading CMA to victories over many opponents including The Darlington School, Sewanee Military Academy, and perennial rival Castle Heights.

As a senior at CMA, he was scouted by the University of Tennessee, Austin Peay University, Middle Tennessee State University and Memphis State. Many observers considered him to be the best hurdler in the country, and that he might qualify for the United States Olympic team in 1968. After graduation from CMA in 1966, he entered the University of Tennessee for two years on a track scholarship.

Robert Thomas Martin enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on August 28th , 1968 in his home town of Memphis, Tennessee. He arrived in Vietnam on March 14th , 1969 and was assigned to India Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (The Magnificent 7th), First Marine Division (Rein) FMF.

Tom’s Marine Platoon Patrol Base near Hill 112 and near the Dong Bich village complex in Hieu Duc District was attacked by the enemy firing a barrage of 60 millimeter mortars and a volley of rocket-propelled grenades on June 19th, 1969. Tom Martin was one of three marines killed as result of fragmentation wounds in that attack. He was awarded the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.

The image of Tom that most of his CMA classmates would remember was the friendly, bespectacled young man clearing the hurdles with the grace and speed of a gazelle. His inspiring athletic record and potential, and his dedication and sacrifice in service to the United States distinguish him in a manner worthy of induction into the Columbia Military Academy Alumni Association Hall of Honor.