MARTIN, James Hunter ("PeeWee" "Jim")

James H. Martin, age 101, passed away peacefully at his home on September 11, 2022. A renowned World War II veteran, Jim was one of the last remaining Airborne "Toccoa Originals" of 1942.

Jim "Pee Wee" Martin was born on April 29, 1921, to the late James A. and Beatrice L. Martin in Portage, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Indiana when Jim was six months old, finally settling in Dayton, Ohio, in 1931.

After graduating from Kiser High School in 1939, Jim worked in the precision tool manufacturing industry and was employed by the Johnson Tool and Engineering Company. In 1941, when the United States became fully engaged in the Second World War, Jim refused a deferment from military draft because he felt "…it was unjustifiable for a young guy (such as me) with no family ties, not to join the Army." Jim enlisted in the Army in June 1942.

Jim trained and served in the 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion/G Company from 1942-1945. In July 1942 Jim was one of 6,500 men to arrive at Currahee Mountain, near Toccoa, Georgia, for training as a new type of soldier – a paratrooper. He was one of Colonel Sink's original "Toccoa Men" who were preparing to defend the free world from the German offensive that was World War II. Being the lightest man in the regiment he was given the nickname "Pee Wee" which he was proud of.

In 1943 the 506th traveled to England by ship and Jim's battalion was stationed in Ramsbury in Wiltshire where they completed their pre-invasion training. Jim participated in three pivotal battles of the war: Operation Overlord – the battle of Normandy, France (D-Day, 6/6/1944); Operation Market Garden, Holland (9/17/1944) and The Ardennes Offensive, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge, 12/16/1944).

The 101st Airborne Division ended their war by occupying Adolph Hitler's mountain home (Eagle's Nest) in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, (May 1945).

After the war Jim returned to the tool manufacturing industry. He married Donna V. Veverka, of Newton, Iowa, in 1946. Shortly after, they purchased 52 acres of land in Sugarcreek Township, Greene County, Ohio, where with their own two hands, they built their dream home. Jim and Donna raised five children. After nearly 73 years of marriage Donna passed away in 2019.

Over the years Jim helped keep history alive by attending many speaking engagements and traveling to events commemorating the war and celebrating freedom, such as the anniversaries of D-Day in Normandy, France and Market Garden in Holland. At the ages of 93 and 98, respectively, Jim recreated his jumps in those historic engagements of WWII. At the age of 99 Jim made his last jump in October of 2020 at an event sponsored by the Round Canopy Parachute Team USA in Palatka, Florida.

Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife Donna, sons David J. Martin and Donald L. Martin; and daughter Debra K. Martin.

He is survived by daughter Linda S. Martin (Don) and son Roger J. Martin (Sharon): 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, and a host of friends.

You can share in Jim's great history and adventures on his Facebook page. Search: Jim "Pee Wee" Martin (G/506).

Memorial services for Jim Martin will be at the Sugar Valley Golf Club (1250 Mead Road in Bellbrook, Ohio). A visitation is scheduled there from 4 to 7 pm, September 20, with a celebration of life service set for 7:15 pm. On September 21, an escort to Dayton National Cemetery will begin at 9 am. The escort will begin at the Sugarcreek Administration building, (2090 Ferry Road in Bellbrook).

Jodi Martin, his granddaughter and part of leadership for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Education Foundation as component to the Community Foundation, states, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Greene County Community Foundation, Jim "Pee Wee" Martin Memorial (941 West Second Street, Xenia, OH 45385, or online at

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