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Flag raising honors Superior veteran, police chief

Roy MartinsonAn American flag will be flown at 9 a.m. Friday in front of the Richard I. Bong Veteran's Historical Center to honor Superior's Roy T. Martinson, who served in the United States Army during World War II, later becoming Provost Marshal for the Wisconsin Army National Guard and Superior police chief.

Roy T. Martinson was born in Superior on June 19, 1921, to Trygve Martinson and Ellen Schold. He was a lifelong Superior resident and graduated from Central High School. Upon graduation, Martinson completed initial Army training and was transferred to Europe with the famed 101st Airborne Division during World War II.

Martinson earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant in May 1942 and was awarded a number of combat honors including a Bronze Star for multiple war campaigns in Belgium and France. Additional awards included the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Parachute and Glider Badges.

In May 1942, Martinson married June L. Swanson and they had two sons, Roy D. and Randy.

Upon Martinson's return to Superior after the war, he began his career with the 32nd Infantry Division of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

He rose through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel. Martinson eventually became Battalion Commander of the 724th Engineers headquartered in Superior and Provost Marshal for the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Martinson retired from the Army in 1969 after 29 years. His chosen civilian career was in law enforcement.

In 1947, Martinson joined the Superior Police Department as a patrolman and was promoted to chief of police in 1973. He was one of a select number of officers who graduated from the National Police Academy at the FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.

Martinson retired as chief of police in 1981. During his retirement, he loved spending summer days at the Nemadji Golf Course, grilling with family and tending to his beloved dog Heidi and parakeet Cleo. At the time of Martinson's death on Nov. 4, 1985, he was serving as 9th District city councilor for the city of Superior.

Martinson is survived by his sons Roy D. ("Pepper") and Randy, his granddaughter Tracy, daughter-in-law Jane and many nieces and nephews. "Papa Roy" is greatly missed by his entire family. They are proud of Roy's service to his country and city and are happy to have a Flag of Remembrance flown in his memory.

The "Flag of Remembrance" program, sponsored by the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post 435, honors the life and memory of one deceased veteran every week. A flag is lifted at 9 a.m. on a Friday and lowered the following Friday. Information on that veteran is displayed at the center throughout the week.

For more information about the program, contact John Vaski at (715) 394-7693,; Scott Markle at (218) 269-4675, leave a message at the Center, (715) 392-7151, or email info@bvhcenter.org.

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