John Murray Martin
17 June 1931 – 20 November 1967
On 20 November 1967 two F-4Cs, CRAB 1 and CRAB 2, from the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Danang were tasked against a suspected SAM site north of the DMZ. CRAB 2, F-4C tail number 63-7680, was flown by Captain John M. Martin and 1st Lt James L. Badley..
The target was identified by a COVEY FAC, and the two F-4s began their attacks. Following his third pass at the target CRAB 2 was hit by anti-aircraft fire. With one engine out and his F-4 on fire, Martin headed for the nearby coast line. Badley ejected as the aircraft crossed the beach, but Captain Martin was not seen to leave the aircraft before water impact.
1st Lt Badley was picked up by a SAR helo, returned to flight status, and was killed in action four months later, on 27 March 1968.
The SAR forces failed to locate Captain Martin and he was classed as Missing in Action. He was promoted twice while in MIA status before the Air Force changed his status to Killed in Action/Body not Recovered.
As with most losses at sea, the wreckage of 63-7680 and Lt Col Martin’s remains have not been located.