Some Remembrances of Martin O. Gilbertson LCI 976
Martin O. Gilbertson
LCI 977 and 976 Landing in the Negro Islands
Martin O. Gilbertson
Awards Asiatic-Pacific Medal with two stars, Philippine Liberation medal with one star, American Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal, and China Service Medal
LCI 976 as many other LCI’s went through many Kamikaze raids and also some very hot landings.
Martin O. Gilbertson shared many stories of his life in WW ll some of them are briefly listed here:
He remembered very clearly the Typhoon of Sept. 26th 1945 just out of Buckner Bay, Okinawa on there way to Shanghai, China after the Japanese cease fire. During the typhoon they lost there port main shaft also the port generator. He remembered how hard it was to repair them during the typhoon.
Martin was also the target of some Japanese snipers in the Philippines. he only later learned that what he had heard were bullets hitting the deck and or the water after the shore patrol came to there ship asking if any one had been hurt, because the snipers were shooting at some one on there ship . On there jeep they had the dead snipers.
Martin also remembered the time he had island hopped to see his brothers. He was on his way back after getting a ride on a TBF plane when three Japanese zeros jumped them. He remembered getting almost sick from the twisting, turning, rolling, and diving the pilot did tell some U.S. plans came and saved them shooting down the zeros.
They also like other LCI towed there share of LCI’s off the beaches under landings. They also were towed off them self’s when they were stuck on the beach at Ormoc bay, Philippines.
Martin Also remembered when he was in the bow gun tub on a landing having a very large snake drop in the tub with him.
Later in life Martin became good friends with the captain of LCI 976 who’s name was William C. Lawton “Bill” Martin found him in the local phone book one night when talking about WW 2. His wife picked up the phone book and there in the same small town also lived the captain of his ship.
The #976 ship was one of the few turned in to a mine sweeper after the war and was finally sold for scrap in 1960.
I feel not only lucky to have a father who served his country during this time of world strife but also to have gotten to sit and listen to him and his old captain talk of there life on the LCI.. I know I will not forget the stories nor will I not pass them on to my kids hoping they do the same .I know I live as I do because of men like this and that my kids can also enjoy the same freedoms because of men they well never know. In honor of my father and all who served in WW ll
Martin J. Gilbertson
Martin O. Gilbertson LCI 976