Keith Martin, 86, a long-time resident of La Cañda-Flintridge, died at home on October 28, 2010 of bladder cancer. Keith was born in Los Angeles on June 2, 1924.
Keith was a veteran of World War II, serving from April 1944 to October 1945 in the 3702nd Army Air Force Base Unit. He was a Bombardier-Navigator and the youngest officer of the crew of the Liberty Belle, a B-24 bomber. In October 1944, the crew was forced to bail out over Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia where the plane met a fiery end. After parachuting out of the plane, one crew member was captured as a prisoner of war. The remaining crew, including Keith, spent nearly two months trekking to safety. The experience is recounted in the book, Goodbye, Liberty Belle: A Son’s Search For His Father’s War, by J. I. Merritt. Keith, a First Lieutenant, was honorably discharged on October 6, 1945.