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Martinson, Clelland

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Clelland "Kelly" Martinson was born 7 March 1924 in Annandale, Minnesota. From age eleven Kelly lived in Minneapolis with his sister and mother; he graduated from Minneapolis Vocational High School in 1942. Kelly enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in November 1942. He was trained as a gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers. In early 1944, Kelly joined a B-17 crew which was sent to England and assigned to 366th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. By late March Kelly had completed fifteen combat missions, operating as the plane's tail gunner. But on 24 March 1944, while on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany, Kelly's B-17 was shot down. Captured by the Germans after bailing out, Kelly spent the remainder of the war as a POW. His time as a prisoner was spent at these camps: Luft VI Heydekrug; Luft IV Grosstychow; XIII-D Nuremberg; and finally VII-A Moosburg. This final camp, which Kelly arrived at in early April 1945, was liberated by advancing American troops on 29 April 1945. Following evacuation from Moosburg, Kelly was transported back to the United States. He spent some time recovering from his time as a POW, then was discharged in October 1945. Again a civilian, Kelly got married in 1945 (wife Joyce) and helped to raise three children. He worked many years as a factory representative in the machine tool industry, self-employed as the Kelly Company.


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Kelly Martinson - Transcript.pdf (1506 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Kelly Martinson