Family plans statue of WWII vet Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin; country singer performs at funeral

The family of World War II veteran James “Pee Wee” Martin is raising funds for a life-size bronze statue of Martin in Veterans Memorial Park in Sugarcreek Twp.

ExploreWWII veteran James ‘Pee Wee’ Martin laid to rest in Dayton National Cemetery

Martin, who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, was one of the last living “Toccoa Originals” of 1942, made famous by the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” He died Sept. 11 at 101 and was buried Wednesday with full honors in Dayton National Cemetery.

ExplorePHOTOS: WWII vet James 'Pee Wee' Martin laid to rest in Dayton National Cemetery

Credit: Ron Kaplan

Credit: Ron Kaplan

The statue in Martin’s likeness will be at the corner of Pine Court and Feedwire/Upper Bellbrook Road, placed in the middle of the memorial. Visit for more information.

The statue would include a button to press to play the song “Normandy,” which was performed by country singer/songwriter Karen Waldrup during his funeral services. The song was released in June in honor of the 78th anniversary of D-Day. It was written by Waldrup, Martin and Hunter Jergens after Waldrup met Martin during his 100th Birthday Jumpfest in March 2021, according to a release.

ExploreWWII veteran and paratrooper Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin dies at 101

“He is a true American Hero (even though he says he isn’t) and was a sweet friend to me,” Waldrup said. “I admire Jim’s patriotism, faithfulness and dedication to family, community and our country. It was an honor of a lifetime to perform at his services. This is a memory that will stay with me forever.”

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