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John Barthlome Martin


Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Nuremburg on 25 Feb 45 in B-17 #4338558



  • Keith Farley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)

  • James Jamison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    completed 35 missions 'Ready Maid'

  • Othello Smith

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102559

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/3/44; Gr Island 1/4/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 8/4/44 STAR DUST; battle damaged Berlin 26/2/45 with ?; force landed Thionville A/fd, Fr; Salvaged 9/3/45. MY TRUE LOVE.

  • 42-97210 Jamaica Ginger

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/2/44; Kearney 27/2/44; Grenier 9/3/44; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 22/3/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 28/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 43-38558

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/8/44; Lincoln 27/8/44; Grenier 18/9/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 19/9/44; Missing in Action Munich 25/2/45 with Keith Farley, Ed Gillmeier, Virgil Bohm, Don Rohloff, John Giokaris (5 Killed in Action); Leon Klein, John...

  • 43-38782

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 20/9/44; Grenier 11/10/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 17/10/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 24/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 27/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 8/11/45....

  • 43-38933 Dear Mom II/Weary Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 14/10/44; Dow Fd 26/10/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 29/10/44; while on navigation exercise 17/5/45 with H.J. Cole, cp V. Ferguson, two navigators and two grounded crew, on as makeshift ttg and r/op (6 Killed in Action); crash...

  • 44-6574

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 17/9/44; Grenier 1/10/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 3/10/44; Missing in Action Neuburg 9/4/45 with Rex Berwick, Earl Glancy, Nick Iannelli, Morris Thompson (4 Killed in Action);Warren Perkins, Lorenzo Arthur, Bob Hancock, Leroy...

  • 44-6582

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 13/8/44; Grenier 26/7/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 28/9/44; Missing in Action Mannheim 21/1/45 with Winfred Lenocker, Dick Jackson, Don Blair, Stan Roof, Lou Rotella, Bob Roth, Clayton McClelland, Jack Putnam, Heine Reiser (9...

  • 44-8504

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 4/10/44; Grenier 7/10/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 19/10/44; Missing in Action Munich 9/4/45 with John Carroll, Joe Diaz, Casimir Formella (3 Killed in Action); Jack Martin, Julius Conison, Arthur Crist, Olgie Latwen, Ralph...

  • 42-97328 Heaven's Above

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/2/44; Gr Island 5/3/44; Grenier 22/3/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 23/3/44; on mission to ? 31/7/44 with E.F. Fowler (9 Returned to Duty); Bombardier: Jim Wilkie (Killed in Action); taxi accident with Herbert Shule 3/5/45;...


  • 715

    16 November 1944

  • 729

    29 November 1944

  • 745

    10 December 1944

  • 746

    11 December 1944

  • 748

    12 December 1944

  • 750

    15 December 1944

  • 8th Air Force 760

    24 December 1944
    1. Decision. ...

  • 770

    30 December 1944

  • 772

    31 December 1944

  • 811

    29 January 1945

Show more

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...


Event Location Date
Born Preston, ID 30 March 1921
Enlisted Pocatello, ID 15 September 1943
Shot Down/Captured Munich, Germany 25 February 1945

"Lt. Farley in a/c 43-38558 was hit by flak on the bomb run, just before bombs away. It was a direct hit in the right wing. The wing caught fire and a few seconds later, exploded. The ball turret was blown with the gunner (John B. Martin) still inside. He had his chute along side one of his guns with a static line to one side of his harness. While the turret was falling he was able to climb out and parachute down to Munich. He walked around for two weeks before being captured.
(note: by the time he was captured the German army was being rapidly pushed back and the infrastructure for handling POW's was failing. It doesn't appear that Martin ever made it to one of the Stalag Luft camps.)

Died Preston, ID 1 May 2014

Preston - John Barthlome Martin, 93, peacefully passed away at his home in the morning of Thursday, May 1, 2014. he was born March 30, 1921 in Preston, Idaho to Ezra Samuel and Louise Bartlome Martin. he lived in Preston all of his life and graduated from Preston High School in May 1939.

He married Fern Seamons on July 22, 1941. They had three children John Brent, Sandra, and Scott Dee.

John served his country in WWII. He was in the Air Force and flew as a ball-turret gunner in a B-17 bomber. His crew suffered casualties over Germany. He was shot down and parachuted into the Munich area. He was eventually taken as a Prisoner of War and was in prison camps until being liberated by Patton's forces in 1945.

John was a mechanic by trade. he worked with his father at Martin and Hone Garage until 1958 when he opened his own business in Preston. he also had a business in Smithfield and worked for West Motor Co. and Bowen Ford. He was a volunteer firefighter for Preston Fire Department for many years. His wife, Fern passed away in 1985 after a lengthy illness. Louise Keatley became part of his life along with her two daughters and their families. John and Louise spent their retirement together until she passed away in September 2003.

John loved hunting, fishing, golfing and pulling the trailer to the canyon and to Arizona and Mesquite in the Winter. He was a member of the Preston Elks Lodge and a Past Exalted Ruler. He was a very honest person, a good friend and Samaritan to all and he could fix just about anything.

John is survived by his two sons John Brent (JaNae) Martin, Scott Dee (Vicki) Martin, and a daughter Sandra (Stephen) Biggs, 14 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren, a sister Betty Smith, many nieces and nephews, and Louise's daughters Cindy (Glen) Champney, and Tina (Jared) Clawson, and Louise's sister Dolores (Arlin) Buttars. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Alice Fern Seamons, and companion Louise Glover Keatley, two brothers Don S. Martin and Ezra Dee Martin, and two grandsons Jerry Stephen Biggs and Brooks Scott Martin.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 12:00 noon at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 South 800 East in Preston, Idaho. A viewing will be held Monday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Preston Cemetery.

Buried Preston, ID 5 May 2014

Preston Cemetery
Preston, Franklin County, Idaho, USA


Date Contributor Update
02 October 2020 18:54:28 466thHistorian Changes to middlename, service number, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
"The 388th At War" - Edward J. Huntzinger, page 214

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:43 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 12718 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database