Retired Navy Seabee C.B. Martin, A Hometown Hero

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As a young boy, World War II Veteran C.B. Martin learned his way around his father's construction business, and also intricate wood-working.

It wasn't long before he could build pretty much anything you can think of--from clocks, to bookshelves, even buildings. Little did he know, by the age of 19 he would take part in building a better future for the people of Guam, and later, one for young students here in Lubbock.

The inside of his Lubbock home is rich in history, culture, and most of all, memories. There is not much that Martin hasn't seen.

Martin was born and raised right here in the Hub City, and even spent a semester at Tech back in 1942. But not long after America declared war on Japan, Martin heard about the Navy Seabees, a group of war volunteers with backgrounds in architecture. Martin headed to Guam as a Navy Seabee the very next year, where he helped build the necessary tools to protect and enhance the American military's war efforts.

Almost two years later, in July of 1944, Martin, alongside his friends and fellow veterans, helped liberate the island from Japanese control.

Martin arrived back home in Lubbock in the spring of 1946, where he continued his passion of "building the future" with the help of his new construction business. With this business, he built many schools you may be familiar with, or may have even attended, such as Rush and Guadalupe Elementary.

Martin even built the home he lives in now, which is decorated with artifacts from his time in Guam and other countries around the world.

Martin says he hasn't talked much about his experience in the war up until now. He's a man who remains humble not only about the time he became a hometown hero, but also an American hero, when he dropped everything to serve our country.

Since World War II, C.B. Martin has traveled back to Guam several times for Liberation Day reunions. Although the island is quite different than it was nearly 70 years ago, Martin says he is always welcomed whole-heartedly by the people of Guam. People who are forever grateful to him, and veterans like him, who helped return their freedom.

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