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RG1553.AM:  Mark T. Martin, Jr., 1916-1981

Scrapbooks:  1940-1947

Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa:  Journalist; Soldier

Size:  Two volumes on one reel of microfilm


Mark Tracy Martin, Jr. was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1916. The Martin family lived in Omaha, Hollywood, California, Washington, D.C., and several other cities during his childhood, and Mark attended fourteen grade schools and high school at St. Louis University High, St. Louis, Missouri, graduating from there in 1934. Martin worked for the St. Louis Star-Times while attending St. Louis University. After graduating from college, he and a classmate established an advertising firm, Peter-Tracy. After that partnership dissolved, around 1940, Martin wrote for the Des Moines Register and joined the Iowa National Guard. Many of his articles reported on the U.S. defenses during the early war period.

With the National Guard, Martin served as Public Relations Officer for the 34th Division, which included 18,000 men from Iowa, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. On March 7, 1942, 1st Lt. Mark Martin was assigned as Managing Editor of Stars and Stripes. Martin’s job was to resurrect and plan the new format of this newspaper which hadn’t been in publication since 1919, when U.S. troops last served in Europe.

After completing this assignment, Martin’s request to be relieved of duty on Stars and Stripes was granted and he was assigned to the 168th Infantry. Soon after he joined the British Commandos and received training in Scotland. He was sent into Algiers in 1943 and saw action in North Africa. At the end of that campaign, Martin was assigned to the 5th Army Headquarters under Gen. Mark Clark and participated in the Anzio, Italy campaign. During his military service, Martin received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the British Military Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Italian Cross of War Merit. He returned from Europe as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Martin and his wife, Olive Bowes Martin, whom he had met and married while stationed in England, returned to Des Moines after the war. He again worked for the Des Moines Register before moving to St. Louis, where he commanded a National Guard Unit. After service at the Pentagon in 1948-1949, he spent the next fifteen years working in advertising. From 1970 until his death in 1981, Martin operated his own company, Purebred Herds of America.


This collection consists of a reel of microfilm containing two scrapbooks dating from 1940-1947. This material relates to the military career of Mark T. Martin, Jr. Of particular interest are those items relating to his involvement with reviving the military newspaper Stars and Stripes and his service as a commando. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, photographs, handwritten notes providing the chronology and details of his military service, correspondence home, and military correspondence and documents. A 1946 series of articles about veterans’ problems, written by Martin, is also included.

Note: These materials are on microfilm only.


Reel 1


  1. Scrapbook, 1940-1944

  2. Scrapbook, 1944-1947


Subject headings:

Des Moines Register



Martin, Mark T. (Mark Tracy), Jr., 1916-1981

Stars and Stripes


War correspondents

World War, 1939-1945 — Campaigns — Tunisia

World War, 1939-1945 — Commando operations

World War, 1939-1945 — Journalism, military

World War, 1939-1945 — Journalists


AIP\ksa                 04-1993

Revised TMM       05-14-2007


Accession Number:  1992.210