MARTINI, Frederic [Frederic Cosmo Martini]

Name: Frederic Martini [Frederic Cosmo Martini]

Born 18 October 1918

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York

Age at arrival in Buchenwald: 25

Died 21 September 1995, Bradenton, FL, age 76

Service: USAAF

Service ID: 32163997

Service Rank: Staff Sergeant (discharged as Tech Sergeant)

Duties: Left waist gunner, second flight engineer

Air Group: 8th Air Force, 93rd Combat Bombardment Wing, 385th Bomb Group, 551st Bomb Squadron

Airbase: Great Ashfield, England

Aircraft: B-17G 42-31762 “Junior,” aka “Crashwagon III”

Date shot down: 12 June 1944

Fate of crew: 1 KIA, 7 captured after parachuting, 2 evaders captured later (Martini and PENNELL)

Evasion summary: Sheltered for several days in Chauvremont by VICTOR BROWN, transported to Hacqueville by Maurice Daviaud, DVM. Hidden by Max Raulin spent nights in the local church. Two others, WILSON and MACPHERSON were at the same location. All left Hacqueville together to get to the Comet Line via Paris.

Date captured: 5 August 1944

Capture summary: Transport to Paris by Desoubrie, taken to La Prélude, Hotel Picadilly, in Paris. Picked up by Maurice Grapin in his car, taken to Gestapo HQ. After interrogation, sentenced to death and taken to Fresnes Prison handcuffed to JD HOFFMAN.

Boxcar Transport: 15-20 August 1944, in boxcar 3 with PENNELL, PERRY, BASTABLE, GIBSON, HIGH, HODGSON, PRUDHAM, SONSHINE, ROBB, R MILLS, WHELLUM, SPIERENBURG, TAYLOR, ALLEN, HARVIE, LARSON, MCLAUGHLIN, MOSER, PETRICH, ROBERSON, STEVENSON, VINECOME, CARR, and ZEISER. After transferring to another train, the men were joined by LAMASON, WATMOUGH, SCULLION, JA SMITH, HEAD, WATSON, and HOFFMAN.

Buchenwald ID: 78299

Notes on Buchenwald internment: Severe injuries to feet, dysentery, malnutrition, acute appendicitis (burst), loss of most teeth, extreme weight loss. Beaten. Received multiple experimental injections. Witnessed executions in crematorium basement.

Transferred from Buchenwald to: Stalag Luft III, South Compound 19 October 1944

Kriege ID: 8177

Notes on SLIII internment: Assigned to Barracks 127 with RITTER, PAXTON, and HORRIGAN. Continued weakness, acute pain probably peritonitis related to burst appendix

Subsequent transfer to: Stalag VIIA, Moosburg, by train from Spremberg after forced winter march, 27-30 January, arriving 4 February 1945.

Notes on SVIIA internment: Forced labor under fire, clearing bomb damage in Munich

Liberation: 29 April 1945 by Patton’s Third Army. Transported by air to medical facility at Fliegerhorst Salzwedel on 7-8 May 1945. After evaluation, sent to Camp Lucky Strike near Le Havre. Interviewed by OSS. Went AWOL 10-16 May to search for Desoubrie and check on families at Hacqueville.

Repatriation from ETO: Boarded transport ship from LeHavre to Southhampton to Boston on 25 May 1945. Arrived in Boston at 2200 on 11 June 1945. Hospitalized for abdominal pain and signs of renal failure in late July 1945.

Discharged: 8 October 1945

VA status: Long-term 10% disability for anxiety and foot problems assumed to be psychosomatic. (Foot problems were due to peripheral neuropathy, a condition unknown at time of discharge.)

Notes on Post-War period: Severe, acute PTSD for 6 years. Dental claim initially denied. Abdominal surgery to repair damage from burst appendix denied. POW payment for period at Buchenwald denied, Army stated no evidence of his internment at Buchenwald. Later acknowledged arrest on 5 August but not consignment to Buchenwald. Developed uncontrollable hypertension in 1950s. First stroke in 1980. After reformation of KLB Club in 1980s, became involved in campaigns to get Congressional recognition. Death resulted from a combination of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, kidney failure, and liver failure.

MARTINI, Frederic [Frederic Cosmo Martini]

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