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Northeast Times | January 28, 2023

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Congressman Marchant Presents Overdue Military Decorations to World War II Veteran

Congressman Marchant Presents Overdue Military Decorations to World War II Veteran

Today, U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) presented 91 year-old Johnny Wayne Martin of Fort Worth with long-overdue military decorations he earned for his service during World War II. The presentation was hosted at Marchant’s District Office in Irving. Mr. Martin was accompanied by his family, which included his daughter, Bonnie Sue Story, and her husband, former Bedford Mayor Jim Story.

In 2014, Bonnie Sue Story contacted Marchant’s office to inquire about her father’s military decorations. Like many World War II veterans, Mr. Martin did not receive all of the decorations he had earned. After 59 years since Mr. Martin’s honorable discharge, his family has been eager to complete his collection of decorations to preserve his history of service. With the assistance of Marchant’s office, Mr. Martin was able to successfully retrieve his earned military awards.

“Assisting veterans in retrieving their overdue military decorations is a wonderful privilege,” said Marchant. “The awards they earn in the line of duty represent their valor, sacrifices, and experiences. Mr. Martin and his family will now be able to share his legacy for generations to come, and I am happy to have helped preserve his history of service.”

For his service in World War II, Johnny Wayne Martin earned the following decorations, which Marchant presented to him today: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, World War II Victory Medal, and Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.

Mr. Martin’s family was ecstatic following the presentation of his overdue military decorations. “We love him dearly and have always been proud of our ‘Daddy,’ who raised us with much love and kindness,” said Mr. Martin’s daughter, Bonnie Sue Story. “While he has always been our hero, we feel so blessed that he is being honored with such dignity and respect for his service to our country.”

Johnny Wayne Martin was born and raised in St. Jo, Texas. After graduating from high school in 1942, Mr. Martin volunteered for the United Stated Army Air Corps. He served as a Crew Chief on a C-46 during World War II in the China-Burma-India Theater with the primary objective of supplying Allied Forces. He logged in over 750 hours of service flying over the perilous region known as “The Hump.” These supply missions were incredibly difficult because “The Hump” consisted of the Himalayan Mountains, which were poorly charted, absent of radio navigation, and treacherous due to dangerous weather.

During one mission, Mr. Martin and his C-46 crew encountered engine trouble and had to land on a grass field in the mountains. While down, Japanese aircraft strafed the C-46 and stranded the men for three days before a rescue plane was able to locate them and deliver the necessary parts to repair the plane.

Following his military service, Johnny Wayne Martin worked for Convair, now known as Lockheed Martin, as an Electronics Inspector for 40 years until retirement. Mr. Martin and his wife Eleanora were married almost 67 years at the time of her death in 2011. They raised three daughters, have nine grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.

Congressman Marchant has been committed to honoring veterans by utilizing federal programs that recognize the men and women who served in the military. The District Office works with the National Personnel Records Center to research and locate entitled military decorations. To date, Marchant’s office has successfully assisted 174 veterans in retrieving their military awards.