Martin Steen was born on February 20, 1936, in Forman, North Dakota. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program on June 8, 1958, and went on active duty beginning March 13, 1959. Lt Steen next completed pilot training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, in April 1960, followed by F-100 Super Sabre Combat Crew Training from June 1960 to March 1961. His first assignment was as an F-100 pilot with the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina, from April 1961 to June 1963, and he then attended F-105 Thunderchief Combat Crew Training from June to August 1963. Capt Steen next served as an F-105 pilot with the 23rd and 53rd Tactical Fighter Squadrons and the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing at Bitburg AB, West Germany, from September 1963 to April 1966, when he deployed to Southeast Asia. He served as an F-105 pilot with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from April 1966 until he was killed in action on May 31, 1966. Capt Steen was officially listed as Missing in Action until being declared dead on January 24, 1974, during which time he had been promoted to Major. His remains have never been recovered.
His 2nd Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
Captain Marin W. Steen distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight against an opposing armed force on 31 May 1966. On that date, Captain Steen was an element leader of a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs tasked to destroy a vital supply complex and railroad yard in North Vietnam. Despite extremely heavy and accurate flak Captain Steen dropped his ordnance directly on target and destroyed two large warehouses and damaged several others. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Steen reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.