Martin, Roderick III

Roderick “Rod” Martin III

Roderick (Rod) Martin III, Lt. Cmdr., USCG (Retired)

April 30, 1938 — Oct. 1, 2022

Lt. Cmdr. Roderick (Rod) Martin III (U.S. Coast Guard, ret.), 84, passed away peacefully after a brief illness in Ocean Park, Washington.

Rod was born April 30, 1938, in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to Roderick Martin Jr. and Sylvia (Rotunda) Martin.

Rod graduated from Plymouth High School in New Hampshire in 1955 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Hampshire in 1959.

Rod entered military service as a second lieutenant with the Army (Armor Branch) in 1960 and later transitioned to aviation, flying helicopters in 1961. Rod left the Army as a captain in 1964 and transferred to the Coast Guard in 1965.

A highly skilled and respected pilot, Rod distinguished himself by his expertise and professionalism. Stationed at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, Rod earned his first Air Medal flying rescue missions during Hurricane Betsy. Rod subsequently served at Coast Guard Air Station Annette Island, Alaska, San Diego and Astoria.

In 1970, Rod volunteered for duty in Vietnam, and was one of only 11 Coast Guard pilots to fly as members of an exchange program with the Air Force. Stationed at Da Nang, and flying the HH-53C “Jolly Green Giant,” Rod conducted combat search and rescue missions (SAR) from 1971 to 1972 with the famed 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron. During this time, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven additional Air Medals.

In 2003, Rod and the 10 other Coast Guard aviators who flew combat-SAR in Vietnam were inducted into the Coast Guard Aviation Hall of Honor. In combat and in peacetime, Rod and his aircrews saved lives – hundreds of lives.

Rod retired from the Coast Guard in 1981 and resided in Astoria, where he spent his time fishing, reading, socializing and enjoying his beloved dogs, Wyatt and Elmer.

Rod is survived by a daughter, Laura Martin. There will be a graveside service with full military honors at 1 p.m. Thursday, October 20, 2022, at Fort Stevens National Cemetery in Hammond, OR.

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

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