USAF Airman 3/C Howard Eugene Martin, age 21 of Elwood, died on November 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 & 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 Corporation in Anderson briefly while attending Ball State University. Howard proudly enlisted with the U.S. Air Force on December 14, 1951 in order to serve his country.
Howard’s family includes 6 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 military installations in Hawaii to Indianapolis International Airport; and then be returned home to the Elwood community with a full Elwood police escort including the Indiana Rolling Thunder and Indiana Patriot Guard riders on Thursday, July 10, 2014. The time of his remains returning to Elwood will be announced in the Elwood Call-Leader. A Funeral Service honoring Howard’s life and sacrifice will then be conducted at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home in Elwood with Pastor Gary Cable of the Anderson First Church of the Nazarene officiating; and remarks by Mayor Ron Arnold on behalf of the City of Elwood. Burial will follow in the Elwood City Cemetery and will include full military honors by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard from Scott Air Force Base, and will include tributes from the Indiana Patriot Guard, the Elwood V.F.W., and Elwood American Legion members. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM prior to the funeral at the funeral home. There will be a reserved area for Elwood residents to view the committal service military honors at the Elwood City Cemetery at 2:00 PM on the South side of the Elwood Mausoleum. Online condolences to the Martin family may be made at: www.cophferslermay.com.