Captain Lawrence H. Martin, U. S. N.

Captain Lawrence H. Martin, USN, was born the 12th of July, 1902 in Lancaster County, Smithville, Pennsylvania.
After completion of his education he entered the Naval Academy in 1922 and was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy, the 3rd of June 1926.
Captain Martin's duties in the fleet have been primarily in Ordnance and Gunnery, serving in the battleships Pennsylvania and Oklahoma from 1926 to 1930. He was ordered to the destroyer Upsure in 1930 and served as Torpedo Officer and Engineer Officer, winning an E in torpedoes and the Red E in Engineering for the year 1932-33. For the next year he attended Post Graduate School (Line Course) and served as an instructor at the Fire Control school, Washington, D. C., in 1935. The ensuing three years were spent as Gunnery Officer in the destroyer USS Monaghan, and from there he went to the Department of Ordnance and Gunnery at the U. S. Naval Academy as an instructor.
In 1940 he was assigned as Squadron Gunnery and Operations Officer on the Staff of ComDesRonTHREE, and assumed command of the destroyer USS Clark in 1942. During his tour on the Clark Captain Martin participated in air action off Bougainville and Salameu Lee Rabaul. He was also in the Task Force under Admiral KinKaid during the Third Savo action off Guadalcanal on November 11-15, 1942. In January, 1943, the Clark was assigned to patrol operations off the West Coast of South America and Panama.
In 1944, from March to November, he placed the destroyer USS Lowry in commission as Commanding Officer, and in November assumed command of Destroyer Division 42 with the USS Fletcher as division flagship. In this capacity, he participated in all landings in the Philippine Islands until March, 1945. For his service in the Corregidor Island and Mariveles Bay landings, Captain Martin was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat V.
After spending two years in the Bureau of Ordnance, Washington, D. C., he assumed command of DesRon 17 in Sasebo, Japan. In June of 1948 he was ordered to the Bureau of Naval Personnel where he served as Captain's Detail Officer for one year and was then assigned duties as Head of the Officer Distribution Branch in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. He served in this capacity until ordered to the Helena.
On the 2nd of August, 1951, Captain Martin relieved Captain H. O. Larsen as Commanding Officer of the Helena. This change of Command took place during a lull in the bombardment of Wonsan. Immediately after taking Command, Captain Martin brought the eight and five inch guns of the cruiser back into the thick of the bombardment.
Captain and Mrs. Martin (the former Ethel Robbin) now make their home in LaJolla, California. They have one son, Lawrence, age 11.

(This short bio was copied from the USS Helena CA-75 1951 cruise book)



Commanding Officers

CA-75

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