James Pfohl Martin
A celebration of Mr. Martin's life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 3, at the Mayodan Moravian Church with Reverend Richard Spaugh officiating. Interment will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens with military honors.
James was born on August 25, 1920, in Rockingham County, the son of the late Walter B. Martin and the late Loula Hairston Donavant.
From April, 1942 to September, 1942, he was a professional baseball player with Oshkosh Ball Club in Oshkosh, Wis., a division of the New York Giants.
In 1942, James was admitted to the Junior College division of Oak Ridge Military Institute, where he studied academics and excelled and set records in sports. On April 17, 1943, he was called to active duty in the Army Air Corps, where he served until 1963 as a navigator and bombardier. During his military career, he and his B-29 crew were shot down on their 17th mission over Yokohama, Japan on May 29, 1945 in a new airplane, "Sitting Pretty". All parachuted safely and survived Japanese Prisoner of War camp. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Upon being repatriated, he returned to marry Josephine Smith from Leaksville, N.C., on December 9, 1945. They were married at Home Moravian Church in Winston Salem, N.C.
In 1951, James served his country once again where he flew 55 missions in the Korean Conflict. In the latter part of his career, he went into the jet age with the Strategic Air Command until retirement in 1963.
In 1964, he launched a new career teaching school at Martinsville High School, Martinsville, Va., utilizing his Bachelor of Arts degree from Sacramento State University. During his 19 years of teaching, he led the Martinsville High Bulldogs baseball team to a second place state victory. He retired in 1983.
He was baptized into the Mayodan Moravian Church in 1983, where he was an active and supportive member.
James was a member of Forest Park Country Club, where he served as president, a member of the board of directors, and was instrumental in the beautification of the course.
In 2003, he divided his time between his daughter's home in Orlando, Fla., and his daughter's home in Greensboro, until his death. He will be greatly missed by his family, his country, and his friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine Smith Martin; and brothers, Harry, Walter Jr., William Harvey, and Marshall Martin; nephews, Marty and William Harvey Martin, II.
He is survived by his daughters, Lynn Martin Crawley of Greensboro and Cynthia Martin Finsie (Brian) of Orlando, Fla.; sister, Patricia Ann Martin of Mayodan; grandchildren, Stephanie Crawley (Eric Smith) of Liberty, N.C., Jessica Crawley of Greensboro, and James Finsie and Leah Finsie both of Orlando, Fla.; great grandson, Steven Smith of Liberty, N.C.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 7 until 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at the funeral home and all other times at the home of Patricia Martin, 201 S. 7th Ave., Mayodan, N.C.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mayodan Moravian Church, 104 S. 3rd Ave., Mayodan, NC 27027.
Ray Funeral Home in Madison is serving the family.