In memory - Martin Friedman passed away on October 26, 2008
Major Martin M. Friedman US Army 31st Infantry Division (Dixie Division), rifle company commander company of the 155th Infantry Regiment.
the time his photos were taken, Friedman held the rank of Captain. During April 1944 he arrived at Oro
Bay on the north coast of New Guinea, then moved to Aitape during July
1944. He was not at Drinumor River (that was the 124th Infantry Regiment
of the 31st Division) but he well knows the engagement.
Battle of Sawar Drome
During July 1944 he fought in the Sarmi and Wakde island area and earned the Bronze Star. The area surrounding Sawar
Airfield (Sawar Drome) was enemy held at the time, his outfit protected
the outer perimeter from the Japanese for a number of
weeks. For his role in the Battle of Sawar Drome, he was recommended for the Silver Star. He doesn't
remember if it was captured by Allied Forces in the long run.
His was a patrol that turned into an ambush.
On September 15, 1944 Friedman participated in the initial amphibious landing at Morotai then supported and protected the airbase development.
During the middle of April 1945, he landed at Cotobato in central Mindanao,
fighting up through the interior of the island along the Sayre highway, & pushing
up the kibawi-taloma trail. his company liberated the town of Malaybalay.
He then proceeded up the interior of Mindanao fighting to Butuan. During this period, his rifle company was re-supplied by air drop for 30 days due to no places to land the cargo aircraft.!!! ammo, rations, medicine etc
For the rest of the war he commanded a forward supply base with over ten thousand
soldiers, including an air wing, hospital unit. This base supported
US troops in the upper Agusan Valley their up to the surrender. He has a lot of pictures of the Japanese surrender on Mindanao. This was quite a feather
in his cap to be in command of a base that size, as an operation such
as that was usually
given to a Colonel or General. It was a forward supply base
He came home in 1946, stayed in reserves
prior to Korea, retiring just before that war. dad is currently 88
years old, very active, still golfing, playing tennis, fishing,
working in his yard, & is still quite active in the family business giving
his children hell in the running of it. he started the family
business 44 years ago.
U.S. Army Center of Military History - World War II Divisional Combat Chronicles - 31st Infantry Division