“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Last Line-of-Duty Deaths on Gettysburg Battlefield

The Last Line-of-Duty Deaths on Gettysburg Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, April 15, 2018
1. The Last Line-of-Duty Deaths on Gettysburg Battlefield Marker
Inscription. On June 26, 1922, Captain Hamilton and Gunnery Sergeant Martin perished in the crash of their de Havilland DH-4B dive bomber on the property of the William Johns Farm, near the location of this marker, during the U.S. Marines training maneuvers and reenactments of the 1863 Pickett's Charge.

The William Johns farmhouse was a witness to the tragedy on June 26, 1922. The house sat in close proximity to where the de Havilland DH-4B crashed on the farm 20 to 50 feet behind the Lew DuFour Carnival, which had been set-up fronting on Steinwehr Avenue.

Captain George W. Hamilton died on impact, and Gunnery Sergeant George R. Martin died shortly thereafter at Warner (now Gettysburg) Hospital. Hamilton was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, while Martin was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Rochester, NY.

The deHavilland DH-4B served as the primary light dive bomber of the U.S. Marines after the end of WWI and through the 1920s. The DH-4B was armed with four machine guns, two in front and two facing the rear, primarily for self-defense, and could carry up to 322 pounds of bombs.

Thirty Marine aircraft took part in the 1922 Gettysburg maneuvers including the de Havilland DH-4Bs.

Dedicated to Their Memory

Captain George W. Hamilton (1892-1922)
Decorated World War I Hero
Fifth Regiment (Marines)
Awarded Croix de Guerre, Navy Cross, and Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in action at Chateau-Thierry, St. Mihiel, Belleau Wood, and in the two Meuse-Argonne Offensives in 1918.

Gunnery Sergeant George R. Martin (1899-1922)
Rear seat gunner/observer/mechanic
Served in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Awarded Good Conduct Medal
Hamilton and Martin photos, Buffalo Evening News, June 27, 1922
Erected 2018.
Location. 39° 49.182′ N, 77° 14.139′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Johns Avenue and Culp Street, on the right when traveling north on Johns Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Culp Brothers Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gold Star Mothers Memorial (about 400 feet away); A Tale of Two Brothers (about 400 feet away); "The Great Peace Jubilee" (about 400 feet away); "Four score and seven..." (about 400 feet away); Better Than a Tent... (about 500 feet away); July 1, 1863 (about 700 feet away); Second Brigade (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
Categories. Air & SpaceDisastersWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2018, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on April 15, 2018, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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