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Remembering World War II
Name: Martin John Bohin Rank: Seaman Second Class Service No: 6071575 Service: USS John W. Brown, US Navy Date of Birth: November 29, 1920 Place of Birth: Nova Scotia Date of death: October 24, 1942 Age at Death: 21 Cemetery: Corozal American Cemetery, Panama Grave Reference: Plot D, Row 9, Grave 10 Marker 16053 Seaman Second Class Martin John Bohin, was born in Nova Scotia on November 29, 1920. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving as a Seaman, Second Class, U.S. Naval Reserve aboard the Liberty Ship "USS JOHN W. BROWN" during its maiden voyage to the Persian Gulf. The Brown departed New York October 15, 1942 bound for the Persian Gulf, where it would unload its cargo for delivery overland to the Soviet Union. The ship was to deliver two Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft, tanks and other supplies. The first leg of the journey was to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as part of a convoy. The Brown then joined a second convoy to cross the Caribbean Sea to the Panama Canal. Martin Bohin died of a non-battle related fatal injury sustained as the ship passed through the Panama Canal on October 24, 1942. The declassified Armed Guard Log of the SS John Brown recorded the cause of Martin’s death. A bunk mate accidently shot him with a pistol he thought was unloaded. Martin was the only casualty aboard the SS John Brown which completed its subsequent missions without the loss of life of any of its crew. He was buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery then re-interred at the Corozal American Cemetery in 1979. The SS John W. Brown is a Liberty ship, one of two still operational and one of three preserved as museum ships. As a Liberty ship, she operated as a merchant ship of the United States Merchant Marine during World War II and later was a vocational high school training ship in New York City for many years. Her construction began July 28, 1942 and she was launched on Labor Day, September 7, 1942 at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland. The Brown was named after John W. Brown, a labor leader from Maine who had died in 1941. Designed as inexpensive and quickly built cargo steamers, the Liberty ships formed the backbone of a massive sea-lift of troops, arms, materiel and ordnance to every theatre of war. Two-thirds of all the cargo that left the US during the war was shipped in Liberty ships. Two hundred of them were lost, either to enemy action or to a range of maritime mishaps such as collision, grounding, fire or sea, but there were simply so many of them that the enemy could never hope to sink enough Liberty ships to close the sea lanes, and the supplies got through.
Martin John Bohin
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Sources: US Battle Monuments Commission SS John Brown background photo: Corozal American Cemetery, Panama