Special Forces Association
Chapter XXIII - 23
PAT (Hulk) MARTIN


PAT (Hulk) MARTIN

Born: September 21, 1939
Death: October 3, 2009

Organizations: US ARMY, SPECIAL FORCES, B-36, CSEA FOLSOM PRISON TEACHERS ASSOC.

 

For information on funeral arrangements, please click on the website below.

http://www.greenvalleymortuary.com/

The following is website traffic concerning Pat:

For info & photos on Patrick as well as directions, or to leave a comment, you can click on the funeral home’s great website below. I know Charlie Inot from San Diego will be coming up, Pat Barret, and I will also attend the ceremony w/Beret, plus any others that want to make the day. Pat would like it that way. We served in Training Group together, then about 25 SFA Reunions, and some years with our SFA Chptr XXIII. Happiest times were while his wife Cookie was still alive, and of course with the B-36 Reunions with their over the border memories into Cambodia and Laos. - PETE L.

Service on Pat Martin sent by his family follows.

Bernie Sends

Gentlemen,

The service is planned for Saturday Oct. 24, 2009 @ 1000 hours. The service will be held at Green Valley Mortuary & Cemetery; 3004 Alexandrite Dr. Rescue, Ca 95672

I will forward local hotel/motel information asap. We truly appreciate the beautiful flowers sent to Jolie by B36 group. It touched us both deeply.

If you could pass onto the men that if they wish to send flowers, they can send them to the mortuary, for the service, close or closer to the date above. It would greatly be appreciated.

We will be having a catered reception after the service FYI. It will be from Pats favorite BBQ establishment. I just wanted to get the date to you both for dispersal. We would love to have as many people as possible.

I have arranged for the Local Army Honor Guard to conduct the 21 gun salute, Taps, and the flag folding. If for some reason they are unable to conduct this for us, I have the local Marine Corp. Honor Guard on hold. The reason for this is one of the men in that group was Pats neighbor and I know he would be honored. If I can keep it Army, that is our preference.

Anyways, there will be more info coming soon. As always, thank you so much for your help.

Jeff and Jolie

 

THE FOLLOWING FROM BO GRITZ

Subject: Hulk

Bernie. Would you please send this remembrance of Hulk to our Forcemen? I don't know how to send it to the group. Thanks. Got your message. Couldn't help but weep. Couldn't help it. I love Hulk -- special. He was special from the first day I saw him pull the Slick out of the air climbing a rope ladder. I got on him something awful when he was trying to eat with bandages covering his rope-burned hands. I didn't have much hope for him until Picnic I. The 25th ID CG at Cu Chi asked if I could penetrate an enemy controlled area north of the Oriental River. The 25th ID had twice tried and been routed out of the AO. I informed the 25 that we were busy preparing for some specific special ops, but I would take time during that weekend to find, fight, and finish their bad guys.

I figured our new B-36 could use a light combat shake-down, after all picking up after the 25th ID couldn't be that difficult.  It was also a chance for me to battle test some of the new boys I wasn't sure were cut out for B-36.

We borrowed some LVCPs from the navy and after dark floated the Task Force down the Vam Co Dong (Oriental River). Following the current allowed two columns to silently and invisibly convey us to a location near the NVA base. We debarked just before dawn. The plan was for my main element to move north into a thickening jungle. Captain FM Ritchie would move a second unit along the east hoping to flank and envelop the target. I split Hulk's team off to the west as flank security with orders to "keep me in sight" as the jungle tightened up. For a short while I could see them snaking along parallel to us -- then they were gone!

I called over the HT-1 for Hulk and asked if he had me in sight. After a pause he assured me that he was no longer flank security and requested instructions.

"Just press-on Hulk. Let me know if you see or hear anything." Surprisingly, Martin soon informed me that he had intercepted a main-trail. "Press On!" His breath came faster and deeper as he reported Vietnamese voices and seeing a large gate. "Open Fire! and Attack!" We'll guide on your assault!

Almost immediately the roar of M-16 and M-60 fire barked Hulk's position -- not far from the main column. We altered course and crashed across the brush on the double. The squelch on my radio broke, but all I could hear was gunfire and deep breathing. I knew it was Hulk. I advise he take a deep breath and speak. His words voiced elation and anticipation, but no fear: "You'd better get up here fast! You're missing a WONDERFUL FIREFIGHT!

About that time I broke out on the trail just a few steps from the Gate littered with dead and dying VC and Forcemen. Beyond, in the camp, I saw Hulk, sans tiger-shirt, heft a screeching Communist soldier in the air and throw him head-first down a well. Martin had run out of ammunition and resorted to doing what he did best -- kill Communist -- bare handed!

Martin's small unit's attack had been so sudden and so violent the sea of startled fish-head eaters bolted like a spooked herd and fled their camp defenses and wildly into a meeting engagement with FM's outnumbered encircling column.

Several facts became clear from Picnic I: I was overly brassy and arrogant in risking a large mix of untested Forcemen in sarcastically accepting as "dinner on the ground with an all day sing" the CG's offer of an impossible mission as routine. SSG Patrick Martin proved himself to be of immense value to Special Operation Task Force Rapid Fire -- as long as he was neither inserted by rappel, nor extracted by rope ladder!

We had won a great victory in fixing the secret base of and mauling a large conventional enemy force who had twice turned back a U.S. Army Infantry Combat Division. We lost the battle because SFC William G, Ferguson was killed in action that day. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for being in the tip of the spear in slicing through the retreating enemy as they crashed into FM's block.

Several other irreplaceable Forcemen were wounded executing acts of brave wonderment. When we finally split the enemy in half and I joined with FM, he demanded that a small grovel of SF NCOs be COURT-MARTIALED for disobeying orders. I was amazed. As I surveyed the heroes, Dirty Ernie Duke Snider commented with a crooked smile: "Well, sir, somebody had to stay and overwatch the Captain. All the men had been WIA. Ritchie had called in a medivac and ordered the Forcemen flown to Cu Chi MASH. They all got aboard, but then dutifully unloaded on the opposite side! It was then I noticed the right-rear area of Ritchie's tigershirt was matted flat with a huge area of drying blood. I could see several holes in the battle garment through which blood was oozing. WHen I questioned FM, his response echoed that of his sergeants: "Well someone had to stay and keep command of this rabble!"

It was with this peerless unity of pride, camaraderie, and ;conspicuous gallantry that B-36 went on to establish itself as without equal as a special operations unit. Again, it was my own pride and arrogance which prevented B-36 from being recognized as a most magnificent miracle of men and valor. Colonel Blackjack Kelly, CO of the 5th SFGA assigned a Captain to chronicle the history of the Taskforce. I sent him back to Nha Trang. As a result B-36 went unsung. I'm somewhat consoled by a Hulk original. When asked about a lack of medals, Hulk responded: "Me and Jesus know!"

Pat Martin was wonderful. My son Jim and I went to see him and I'm glad we did. Except for the wheelchair, Hulk remained larger than life. Pat, like all the true "Forcemen" will forever remain brothers. We will see him again as he was -- Perfect! God is Perfect and it wouldn't be perfect any other way! God gave us a perfect gift in His Son and in our Brotherhood. God Bless Each of You which is to say All of Us.

 

SOME PHOTOS OF PAT