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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County’s “Greatest Generation” has one fewer member after the passing of John William Martin.

Martin, 97, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 1 and was one of a handful of surviving World War II veterans from Trousdale County.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Family members pose with John Martin (seated) at last year’s state football championship game. Martin, one of the last surviving World War II veterans in Trousdale County, passed away Aug. 1 at the age of 97.

Martin’s son, Kenny, told The Vidette that Billy Woodmore and Budgie Oakley are also WWII veterans. Jimmy Anthony said his stepfather John Gregory, a Trousdale County native who now resides in Madison, also served in WWII.

Martin’s obituary lists him as a three-time recipient of the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement or service. Born in 1922, he entered the U.S. Army on Jan. 10, 1943 and trained at Camp Bowie, Texas.

According to Kenny Martin, his father trained in lining up artillery and saw extensive action in the European theater, including engagements in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe.

John Martin returned to America in January 1946 and was discharged in February of that year with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He later worked for the U.S. Post Office for 35 years.

Kenny Martin said his father seldom spoke of his wartime experiences but was always ready to talk about the Trousdale County Yellow Jackets, calling him “the No. 1 Yellow Jacket fan.”

John Martin played football at TCHS in 1938 and 1939 and “probably watched more Trousdale County football games than anyone ever,” according to his son.

Funeral services for Mr. Martin were to be held Saturday at Anthony Funeral Home and he was to be laid to rest in the Stalcup Cemetery.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.