Veteran Paratrooper "Pee Wee" Martin of the 101st Airborne Will Celebrates His 101st Birthday with a Jumpfest

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GREENE COUNTY, OH -- Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, a WWII Veteran Paratrooper of the 101st Airborne 506th PIR, will be turning 101 years-0ld at the end of April. And, while he doesn't live in Warren County, he is our neighbor and has many family and friends in the Waynesville area. 

Jim at his home last week autographing a DVD.

To kick off the week long celebration, Martin has been named the Grand Marshall for the 42nd Annual Sugar Maple Festival going on this weekend (April 22-24) in downtown Bellbrook. On Saturday morning, Martin will fulfill one of his duties as Grand Marshall by riding in the parade.

"I am honored to serve as the Grand Marshall of the 2022 Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival this coming weekend. I will be riding in the parade beginning at 10:30 this Saturday morning. The weather forecast is excellent," Martin said on his Facebook page.



Then, next weekend the largest WWII tribute of 2022 is coming to Skydive Greene County to celebrate WWII paratrooper Jim “Pee Wee” Martin’s 101st Birthday. “Screaming Eagle” Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, a Toccoa original, got his nick name “Pee Wee” for his small stature during training. 

To this day, Pee Wee serves as a reminder that the magnitude of a man is defined by the resilience of his soul, not measured by his appearance in size noted  W&R Vets Founder and CEO Dave Krasner.

On both Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30,  2022 parachute drops flown by historic aircraft, “Tico Bell,”  “Placid Lassie” and “Beach City Baby” are planned to honor our great hero.  These aircraft served in WWII. And, some flew missions on D-Day. Also, The U.S. Army 101st, 82nd Airborne Divisions are expected to participate, hosted by W&R Vets. 

Pee Wee, who served with the 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), and G Company, parachuted in Normandy on D-Day and Operation Market Garden in Holland, and he survived the Battle of the Bulge.

Pee Wee’s 101st Birthday Jump Fest is a tribute to a member of the famous101st Airborne Division, “Screaming Eagles.” This division saw action in most of Europe during WWII Liberating parts of France, Belgium, and Normandy... and remembering to this day... freeing them from Nazi Germany.

Many WWII Veterans have been invited to participate including “Vince Speranza" of 101st Airborne WWII, Jack Hamlin of Coast Guard DDAY WWII Vet, and Many More!

"This could be the last time all of them will be together in such great numbers due to COVID travel restrictions and other factors," Krasner noted, adding that, “We want to honor them while they’re still with us.” 

Last year "Pee Wee" did a tandem jump at the event to celebrate his 100th birthday, but this year he said he was just going to watch from the ground.

im “Pee Wee” Martin’s Jumpfest last year at Skydive Green County Xenia Ohio celebrating his 100th Birthday

During WW2 the 101st Airborne Division wore stencils in the form of playing card suits on their helmet to easily distinguish between units, and make it easier to quickly gather together on the battlefield. Many units across the US Army used helmet markings (including the 82nd Airborne), but none have survived as tradition like that of the 101st.

Throughout Vietnam and into today, the 101st Airborne Division continues the tradition by wearing a card suit “patch” on their helmets to distinguish between units.

To hear a interview done with Pee Wee by the Americans Veteran Center watch the Youtube below or visit AVC's site by clicking here.

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Schedule for the Pee Wee Jumpfest

Friday 29th April

  • 0700 Manifest call at the DZ
  • 0800 Parachute issue DZ
  • 0900 0930 Sustainment 
  • 0930 Get It On! and JMPI (All Teams)
    Posting of the colors Pee Wee, WWII Veterans, participants, and Units to be in attendance.
  • 1000 Get It On! JMPI (All teams)
  • 1030-1100 first Chalk 
  • 1120 1130 second Chalk etc…. static line
    Parachute turn in and Jumper Check in all parachutes turned in to rigger shed as you come off the field or if you are packing yourself, packed and placed back in a safe area out of the weather. (Will have Riggers there packing for a Fee $25. You can purchase tags in advance.) We will continue static line jumps once all parachutes are repacked for second jump Friday. Look for your sign to drop your gear. Collect your D-Bag and place with your chute. Freefall operations begin after last static line of the morning Drops.

Afternoon Events: on own for dinner with food trucks available

  • 1150 third Chalk Parachute turn in and Jumper Check in
  • 1300 Tandem and freefall operations 
  • 1400 continue packing and checks
  • 1530 continue ops and account for all parachutes and jumpers packers get on parachutes
  • 1600- FUEL fill if necessary keep prepping for entertainment 
  • 1700 begin preparation for festivities, Veterans will be secured and if not already at DZ again, brought in for Birthday celebration. Bring Aircraft to Xenia if Jump ops complete
  • 1800 Keynote addresses VIP’s tributes to Pee Wee
  • 1830-1850 Pee Wee, addresses Audience, Cake is brought after remarks,
  • 1900 (Karen Waldrup, Nashville Singer) to Sing Normandy Tribute song created for Jim “Pee Wee” Martin and Brothers in Arms.

We begin taking Veterans back to the Hotels after a meet and greet and food (on own)
2000 -2030 after show, on own to return in the morning WWII Veterans to their group liaison

Saturday 30th April

  • 0900 manifest call at the DZ
  • 0930 Parachute issue DZ
  • 1000 Get It On! JMPI (All teams)
  • 1030 1040 first Chalk 
  • 1120 second Chalk
  • 1150 third Chalk Parachute turn in and Jumper Check in
  • 1300 Tandem and freefall operations 
  • 1400 continue packing and checks
  • 1530 continue ops and account for all parachutes and jumpers packers get on parachutes
  • 1600 continue ops turn in parachutes etc
  • 1700 continue ops turn in parachutes etc
  • 1800 festivities, Veterans will be secured and if not already at DZ again, brought in 1800
  • 1830- Aircraft Fly in when done with Jump operations
  • 1900 Food / Fun
  • 2020 meet and greet and food (on own) food trucks etc, then we begin taking WWII Veterans back to the Hotels
  • 2000 -2030 Veterans / Jumpers return to Hotels, check equipment wrap up operations.
    Sunday 25th April (only if all jumps are not done)
  • 0900 Manifest Call at the DZ
  • 0930 Parachute issue DZ
  • 1000 Get It On! JMPI (All Teams)
  • 1040 First Chalk etc
  • 1120 1130 second Chalk etc…..
  • 1150 1200 Parachute turn and Jumper Check in

This event is open to the public and all attendees must comply with COVID protocol. Parking will be at Ceasers Ford and a Shuttle will Bring you to the Skydive Green County area for drop off and pickup. A $10 Fee for transportation one time for the shuttle and parking is considered a donation to help pay expenses of transportation, Thank you! The event and all the various artifacts etc are free to view and attend.

For more information contact wandrvets.org. W&R Vets, a veteran owned, non-profit 501c3 dedicated to honoring our veterans.

  • Wish “Pee Wee” a Happy Birthday by purchasing an e-card by clicking here.
  • Sponsorship packages are available here. (Accepting donations via Pay Pal. All proceeds will go to support Pee Wee’s 101st Birthday Jump Fest.)
  • Help Our Veterans Get Back to Good. For more information click here.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM!

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