Edward Martin was born in 1931 in Savannah, Georgia. He was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy through the U.S. Naval Academy on June 4, 1954, and he was designated a Naval Aviator on November 30, 1955. Martin served in several carrier based squadrons in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets, including a period with Carrier Division 7 in Southeast Asia, before going through Naval War College from June 1964 to June 1965. He then went through A-4 aircraft training and was assigned to Attack Squadron 34 in November 1965. Martin began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with Attack Squadron 34 in 1967, and he was forced to eject over North Vietnam on July 9, 1967. He was immediately taken as a Prisoner of War and spent the next 2,065 days in captivity before being released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. After hospitalization, he went through the National War College in Washington, D.C., and then served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare from June 1974 to August 1975. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of USS Canisteo (AO-99) from October 1975 to July 1977. He then went through a series of schools and training before becoming Commanding Officer of USS Saratoga (CV-60), from January 1978 to July 1979. After serving as Chief of Current Operations for the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Pacific Command from July 1979 to November 1980, Ed Martin was promoted to Flag Rank and became Chief of Naval Air Training, where he served from November 1980 to January 1982. His next assignment was as Commander of Carrier Group 4 from February to August 1982, Commander of Carrier Group 2 and Commander of Task Force 60 from August 1982 to May 1983, and then Commander of the United States Sixth Fleet from May 1983 to February 1985. In February 1985, Admiral Martin became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare, serving until January 1987. His final assignment was as United States Commander, Eastern Atlantic, and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, where he served from January 1987 until his retirement from the Navy on June 25, 1989. He was awarded the Commandeur de L'Ordre Du Merite, France's second highest non-combat award given to non-Frenchmen, which was awarded for his significant contributions in developing closer relations between the U.S. and France in the Mediterranean. In February 2008, Admiral Martin was presented the prestigious Society of the Cincinnati's 2008 George Washington Award for Patriotic Achievement. Ed Martin died on December 22, 2014.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam on 15 July 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.