D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

By Joe Guzzardi

Baseball fans who came of age during the 1950s, the National Pastime’s Golden Era, remember Morrie Martin as a journeyman left-handed pitcher who had limited success during his ten-year career. Pitching mostly for the basement-dwelling Philadelphia A’s, Martin’s career record was 38-34. Martin was credited with 23 wins as an A’s; the remaining 15 were spread out among the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals. The stout lefty from Dixon, Mo., made brief appearances for the Chicago Cubs, but didn’t earn a decision.

Martin was much more than a middling MLB hurler who walked more batters, 252, than he struck out, 245. Before Martin was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 2, 1943, he compiled above-average minor league credentials, 16-7, in Grand Forks, N.D., with the Class C Chiefs and in St. Paul, Minn., with the American Association’s Saints, two Chicago White Sox affiliates. Martin’s pitching stints with the Saints represented the last times he touched a baseball until his return home from WWII in 1945.

As Gary Bedingfield reported on his “Baseball in Wartime” website and pursuant to information drawn from Stan Opdkye’s Society of American Baseball Research essay, “Morrie Martin,” Martin entered military service with the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and then served overseas with the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion where he took part in amphibious landings as part of Operation Torch at North Africa, Operation Husky at Sicily and Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A's

As an engineer, Martin was among the first to reach shore. Shortly after the D-Day landing, and while on guard duty near Saint-Lô, France, Martin was hit by shrapnel in his neck, left hand and arm. Despite his injuries, Martin remained on the front lines. Late in 1944, he was engaged in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Mountains of Belgium and suffered frostbite in the bitterly cold temperatures. Nevertheless, Martin remained with his unit until 1945 when he suffered serious, near-fatal injuries.

After Martin took two more rounds of shrapnel wounds, he was buried alive in Germany when the house he took shelter in was shelled. Left for dead, Martin and two other soldiers clawed their way out to rejoin their battalion. At the Battle of the Bulge, Martin suffered a bullet wound to the thigh, and nearly lost his leg when gangrene set in.

Evacuated to a hospital in Saint-Quentin, France, Martin caught a big break. A nurse looked at his chart, saw that he was a professional ball player, and urged him to reject the doctors’ advice that he give his permission to amputate his leg. Instead, more than 150 penicillin shots saved Martin’s leg from amputation, and he slowly worked his way back to the big leagues. Discharged from the Army in October 1945, Martin joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, and worked his way up through Branch Rickey’s fiercely competitive minor league system.

On April 25, 1949, Martin made his first MLB start against the Boston Braves, the 1948 National League champions. Martin pitched seven quality innings, but his opponent, Bill Voiselle, who pitched a complete game shutout, was better. For the balance of his career, Martin shuffled back and forth between the majors and the minors. Martin peaked in 1951 with the A’s when he compiled an 11-4 record.

On May 25, 2010, in Washington, Mo., Martin died from lung cancer at age 87. For his service in World War II, he was awarded two Purple Hearts, four battle stars and an Oak Leaf Cluster. Prior to his death, Martin told a newspaper reporter how much he valued his wartime service to his country: “We had a job to do, and we did it. I don’t have regrets about the time I missed in baseball. I’m proud of what we did. I’d do it again.” Until that interview, Martin, like most of the Great Generation, was always willing to talk about baseball, but refused to speak about his war heroism.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

D-Day Hero Morrie Martin Pitched For The Philadelphia A’s

Time’s Up Joe Gotta Go

Time’s Up Joe Gotta Go

The Resident in Chief checking his watch during an Aug. 30 ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for the 13 U.S. military personnel killed during a terrorist attack in Kabul on Aug. 26.

Time’s Up Joe Gotta Go

Chinook Block II Will Keep Delco Plant Busy Until 2035 Says Boeing

Chinook Block II Will Keep Delco Plant Busy Until 2035 Says Boeing — Boeing Defense has been boasting on Twitter that the latest version of it Chinook H-47 helicopter will keep its plant in Ridley, Pa. busy for the next 15 to 20 years.

Boeing says 542 aircraft will be coming to the plant for upgrades which include new rotor blades, a new drivetrain, an enhanced fuselage and redesigned fuel tanks.

The Block II will replace the F model and carry 2,000 pounds more bringing the maximum load to 22,000 pounds.

The Chinook first flew on Sept. 21, 1961.

Chinook Block II Will Keep Delco Plant Busy Until 2035 Says Boeing
Chinook Block II Will Keep Delco Plant Busy Until 2035 Says Boeing

Trump Ballots Discarded In Luzerne County

Trump Ballots Discarded In Luzerne County — If you missed as is likely, the United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Pennsylvania released this statement, today, Sept. 24.

On Monday, September 21, 2020, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.

Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence.  Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative. At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded.   Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time.  Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot.  Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, 7 were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those 2 ballots are unknown.

Our inquiry remains ongoing and we expect later today to share our up to date findings with officials in Luzerne County.  It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted.

Vote in person. Even the Democrats are saying this now.

Trump Ballots Discarded In Luzerne County
Trump Ballots Discarded In Luzerne County

Multidimensional War Includes Cyber War

Multidimensional War Includes Cyber War — A fascinating video was uploaded to Youtube, March 3, apparently with permission of the U.S. Army.

In describes how new war will include space and cyber battlefields. It describes how this includes manipulating the perceptions of populations.

It shows the sinking of the USS Racine in a multinational military exercise held off Hawaii last July and features a long interview with four-star General Robert Brooks Brown.

This would have been a big story in mainstream journalism circa 1980.

Watch it below.

Multidimensional War Includes Cyber War

2018 Freedom Medal Honorees Announced

2018 Freedom Medal Honorees Announced — The Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association announced the 2018 Freedom Medal Honorees at a Flag Day ceremony this morning at the Memorial, 4599 W Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073.

The honorees are Marsha Four, US Army Nurse Corps, Vietnam; John Schaffhauser, US Navy, Vietnam; Jeffrey White, US Army, Vietnam; and US Marines Allan Maculey, Lou Camilli and Joe Hinderhofer.

A special presentation of The American Flag was presented in memory of Linda M. Houldin, who was instrumental in creating the Memorial, and it was announced that an education fund of the DCVMA Veterans Education Project in cooperation with Delaware County Historical Society would be made in her name.

2018 Freedom Medal Honorees Announced

2018 Freedom Medal Honorees Announced

Russell Boyko ‘s Year As Nazi Prisoner

The article was originally published Oct. 17, 2009. Russell Boyko passed away in December 2013.

Russell Boyko 's Year As Nazi Prisoner
Russell Boyko

Sgt. Russell Boyko thought the smoke over Berlin was from anti-aircraft shells at first. It was his 17th mission and would have been his seventh over the burning Nazi capital. At 30,000 feet the smoke was near the ceiling of his B-17.

Boyko, who now lives in Upper Darby and attends Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Clifton Heights, was a waist gunner manning a 50-caliber machine gun. His plane was at the front of the formation. As they neared the city, the aircraft began to shake. Water had mixed with the anti-freeze causing an engine to lockup. With just three engines left his pilot chose to forgo the bombing run, break formation and return to Great Ashfield, England, the ETO base of the 548th Squadron of the 385th Bomber Group.

“Not very safe,” said Boyko.

A lone B-17 was extremely vulnerable to enemy fighters.Bomber formations were organized in a way to allow guns from many planes to be concentrated on an attacker. American fighter escorts, of course, would stick with the formation for as long as the gas in their tanks allowed.

“We came close to Bremen. I remember seeing a body of water. I don’t know if it was the North Sea or the Channel.  I remember starting to have hope.”

He then saw a German plane with two engines in the distance. It would not have been a front-line fighter and did not attack. It did apparently report the bomber’s position. Nazi fighters soon  arrived.

“I don’t know if they were Fock-Wolfes or Messerschmitts,” Boyko said. “They attacked our plane. Our plane went down in a dive.”

The pilot had given a pre-flight order to bail if such an event should happen, which the crew did. The other waist-gunner, Carter, was hesitating at the escape hatch. Boyko gave him a nudge and then followed him out at about20,000 feet.

Boyko said the directions they were given for a bailout were that a count of three before pulling the ripcord would allow them to clear the plane while a count of 10 would make it harder for the enemy to follow his path to the ground to capture him.

He said both he and the other gunner counted to 10 albeit it made little difference. About a half-dozen German militia and civilians managed to get a bearing on them. Boyko said his chute was blossomed on the ground and he had trouble unstrapping it. He heard a gunshot and heard a bullet whistle past his ear. There was a bit of woods a few yards away and he ran into it.

“The Germans kept the woods nice and clean,” he said.

He said a small girl saw him and started screaming. He found himself surrounded and surrendered. He didn’t have a gun and had no intention of resisting.

It was May 8, 1944.

The Germans fed them after surrendering.

“They gave us pea soup,” he said. “It was delicious. The lady was polite. I guess she worked for the Luftwaffe. I looked in her eyes. They were green like pea soup.”

Boyko’s next stop was a prison camp.

He said the camp had four “lagers”, or sections, with 10 barracks to a lager and 300 men to a barracks.

He isn’t sure where the camp was although it was near the North Sea.

“I remember the North Sea during a thunder storm. The lighting would come straight down. It wouldn’t fork like we are used to”.

Camp life was not like Hogan’s Heroes. Each barracks had only two doors at the front and the back. To get to roll call, men would try to beat the crowd by climbing out the large windows. The Nazis gave an order forbidding this. “One or two” who ignored it were shot, he said.

After six months, they heard Russian artillery. The Germans piled the prisoners into boxcars and sent them west. After a few weeks they heard the artillery again. This time the Germans didn’t use boxcars but had them walk.

During one meal break he saw a familiar face. It was Albert Goodman with whom he attended Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia.

“He was in the chow line  ahead of me,” Boyko said. The meal was chicken. “He came back in the line. Is aid ‘Albert you are looking good’ and he was. He was in the ground forces not the air forces.”

Goodman was Jewish. Boyko asked if he said any prayers like the Our Father. Boyko said Goodman told him he said something like it.

Boyko said that during the walk he saw a large group of young girls in Ukrainian costumes but didn’t get a chance to talk to them. He said a few prisoners stole chickens for food. He said in April1945 they were told President Franklin Roosevelt had died. The prisoners went to attention out of respect.

Russell Boyko was freed on May 8. He was promoted to staff sergeant during his time in the camp. He lived in Southwest Philadelphia for 50 years attending Protector BVM, a church his mother was instrumental in starting, before it was combined with Saints Peter and Paul.

He would eventually work at the Philadelphia Navy Yard from which he would retire.

Mr. Boyko passed away in December 2013.

Russell Boyko ‘s Year As Nazi Prisoner

 

Trump Audits Pentagon, Trillions May Be Missing

Trump Audits Pentagon — The Pentagon is to be audited reports ZeroHedge.com. It is something that has never been done. It will be conducted by 2,400 auditors from independent public accounting firms.

How much missing money will be found?

“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said on Sept. 10, 2001 in response to a whistleblower report.

Of course, priorities changed the next day and it is reasonable to believe the number has become much larger.

The national debt  (12:11 p.m., 12/11/17) is $20.596 trillion.

Trump Audits Pentagon, Trillions May Be Missing

Trump Audits Pentagon, Trillions May Be Missing

Dennis James Murphy Flag Raising Sunday

Dennis James Murphy, who was killed in action in Vietnam, will be honored with a casket flag raising ceremony,  5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Delaware County Veterans Memorial,  4599 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pa. 19073.

Murphy, who was graduated from Darby-Colywn High School in 1966, is a recipient of the Silver Star.

Dennis James Murphy Flag Raising Sunday

Dennis James Murphy Flag Raising Sunday

 

 

2017 Freedom Medal Honorees Interviewed

2017 Freedom Medal Honorees Interviewed— Barbara Ann Zippi has let us know that John Ricciutti interviewed this year’s Freedom Medal Honorees at the Delaware County Veterans Memorial rather than at Radnor Studio Channel 21 where he usually conducts them for his Veterans speaks program.

You can wait for it to appear on public access Channel 21 or watch it on YouTube embedded below.

This year’s program was done in loving memory of Linda Houldin who was instrumental in causing the memorial to come to be.

 

2017 Freedom Medal Honorees Interviewed

2017 Freedom Medal Honorees Interviewed

 

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