John George Martin J37648

1921 (Approximate) - November 19, 1944

John George Martin John George Martin John George Martin John George Martin

439 Squadron

John George Martin was the son of Charles Hammond and Florence B. Martin, of Simcoe, Ontario. He had one sister. The family was Anglican. Mr. Martin was the MPP of Haldimard-Norfolk serving from 1944 to 1951.

John wanted to return to university, having been a student at University of Toronto, working on his Bachelor of Science for three years. He was COTC with qualifications as Lieutenant. He listed photography and woodwork as his hobbies, with squash, tennis, golf and swimming as the sports he enjoyed. He had had a left tibia fracture when he was a child, chicken pox and mumps, and whooping cough, as well.

He signed up with the RCAF in August 1942 and was posted to 439 Squadron by the fall of 1944.

S/L K. J. Fiset wrote the circumstantial report. "At 1115 hours on 19.11.44, eight aircraft of this Squadron took off to bomb a railroad...between Rheydt and Erkeleng in Germany. Heavy and accurate flak was encountered after crossing the Meuse into enemy territory and F/O Hiltz (Blue Four) was see to turn back towards our lines. The Squadron continued to the target and dive-bombed it through a light barrage of light flak. At least one bomb out of the track and the others were very near misses. Red Four (F/O Martin) was seen to be lagging with smoke pouring from his engine so that he must have been hit during the dive. He was followed by Red Three and Blue Three. As he gradually lost height, he baled out at about 1500 feet at approximately 1200 hours at a large forest...His parachute streamed but did not open until the moment he hit the trees. The aircraft crashed nearby."

On November 23, 1944, S/L Fiset wrote to Mr. Martin to tell him of Johnny's death. "The Squadron was detailed to carry out a dive-bombing mission over enemy territory. Upon going into their dive, the Squadron was heavily attacked by light and heavy anti-aircraft fire. Coming out of the dive, your son's aircraft [Typhoon PD 607] was seen to be streaming smoke and he was gradually losing height. He baled out at approximately 1500 feet, but we presume that his parachute must have been damaged as it did not open as soon as it should have. It was seen to finally open just as John was extremely close to a wood. The rest of the Squadron cannot say for certain whether it opened in time or not, and all we can do now is wait for definite information. Johnny joined us just a few months ago, and was rapidly showing his ability as a pilot and also as a commanding leader. He was a valuable member of our Squadron and was very popular with the rest of the pilots and airmen."

136 L M Unit, Roermond, Germany was sent a message to investigate the location of Typhoon PD607. "P/O Martin crashed near a large forest....Pilot baled out, but chute did not fully open. Was seen to land amongst trees. Request you investigate re: trace of aircraft and possible fate of pilot."

In August 1945, Mr. Martin wrote asking for more information about his son's death. John Martin has no known grave and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial, along with 20,249 others, including 3,050 Canadian airmen.


  • Additional information on 439 Squadron Website
  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial