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Joseph P. Martinez



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Ault Cemetery

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Born:  July 27, 1920 at Taos, NM

Entered Service in the US Army from Ault, CO

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War II For heroism May 26, 1943 at Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, AK

Died:  May 26, 1943 at the age of 22

Over several days, repeated efforts to drive the enemy from a key defensive position high in the snow-covered mountains between East Arm Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor in Alaska had failed. A trial coordinated attack on this position by a reinforced battalion was launched and, though initially successful, the attack hesitated. In the face of severe hostile machinegun, rifle, and mortar fire, Private Martinez rose to his feet and resumed his advance. Occasionally he stopped to urge his comrades on. After a difficult climb he eliminated resistance from part of the enemy position by BAR fire and hand grenades. This success partially completed the action. The main Holtz-Chichagof Pass rose about 150 feet higher, flanked by steep rocky ridges with passage barred by enemy fire from either flank and from tiers of snow trenches in front. Despite these obstacles Private Martinez again led the troops on and up, personally silencing several trenches with BAR fire and ultimately reaching the pass itself. Just below the knifelike rim Private Martinez encountered a final enemy-occupied trench and as he was engaged in firing into it he was mortally wounded. The pass, however, was taken, and its capture was an important preliminary to the end of organized hostile resistance on the island.



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