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Jim "Pee-Wee" Martin laid to rest

Family and friends carrying the casket of Jim "Pee-Wee" Martin
Garrett Reese
/
WYSO
Family and friends carrying the casket of Jim "Pee-Wee" Martin

Martin was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles.” The 101st was popularized in 2001 by the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Jim “Pee-Wee” Martin, a decorated WWII veteran and Greene County native who died Sept. 11 at the age of 101, was laid to rest Wednesday morning.

Martin was a member of the 506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles.” The 101st was popularized in 2001 by the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Martin was among the last of what are known as the “Toccoa originals,” the men who joined the 101st back in 1942 at its formation. At the time, paratroopers were a brand new concept.

Martin was with the 101st when they landed in Normandy on D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, liberated a concentration camp, and even helped seize Adolf Hitler’s Bavarian home.

Martin had personally requested Governor Mike DeWine say something at his funeral, and DeWine did.

“I came here today first as a friend, a friend of 50 years,” DeWine said. “But I also came here to represent the people of the state of Ohio because he was a hero, and we need to say thank you.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine watching the procession leave the Sugarcreek Administration Building for Dayton National Cemetery.
Garrett Reese
/
WYSO
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine watching the procession leave the Sugarcreek Administration Building for Dayton National Cemetery

The two met 50 years ago when the governor had been a prosecuting attorney in Greene County and Martin had been a concerned citizen. While DeWine can’t quite remember what the issue Martin had raised had been,

“I learned very quickly that you never want to have an argument with Jim unless you knew the facts, unless you knew the law, because Jim always knew the law and he always knew the facts,” DeWine said with a laugh.

DeWine also reflected on Martin’s devotion to his family, friends, and community. During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Martin had reached out to DeWine to give him some friendly encouragement.

“At the height of the pandemic, you know, he wrote me several letters, just words of encouragement,” DeWine said. “That meant a lot to me that Jim would do that.”

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.