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