Geraldine and Martin – Can you help?

In this blog post Archive Assistant and B-26 Marauder fan, Neil Wiffen, seeks assistance with some research.

For years I have known a story about Geraldine and Martin who lived in the vicinity of Great Sailing. ‘And who were they?’ I hear you ask. Well, in Roger Freeman’s B-26 Marauder at War (Shepperton, 1978 – copy in ERO Library) there’s a picture (p. 109)Cover of publication called B-26 Marauder at war by Roger Freeman of a crashed B-26 Marauder named Geraldine, with some of the crew that flew it, and the following caption: ‘Wake over Geraldine … Parents of the real Geraldine returned the naming gesture by having their baby son christened Martin!’ This marauder was part of the 322nd bomb Group based at Andrewsfield near Braintree.

‘Interesting’ I thought, and I stored that piece of information away. Fast forward almost 40 years (really!) and in preparing for the forthcoming Welcome to Essex: remembering the USAAF mini-conference, I was looking through the picture resources at the National Archives of America (National Archives NextGen Catalog) and I came across the photo mentioned above, along with another of the actual Geraldine which, with information from it, enlarges on the story of the naming.

Geraldine examining “her” B-26
(US National Archives reference 342-FH-3A45703-52864AC)

Text that accompanies the photograph:

Little Miss Geraldine, pretty British youngster who lives next door to a 9th Air Force base in rural England, watches a ground crew Sgt. [Sergeant] paint the 80th bomb on the fuselage of “her” B-26 Marauder. Geraldine almost daily inspects the bomber bearing her name, watches from her bedroom window each time it takes off on missions. Geraldine’s baby brother carries out the bombing motif – he was christened “Martin”, for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Baltimore, M[arylan]d., builders of B-26 Marauder medium bombers.

Now, a couple of us at the Record Office have had a look to see if we can find a relevant birth for a Geraldine (not at all a common name in the 1940s) with a brother Martin, who lived in the vicinity of Andrewfield, and failed! Not having a surname doesn’t help but, knowing how many of you are out there working away on family trees and research across the county, can you help? We’d love to hear from you if you have any further information.

And not only on this, if you would like to share any memories you may have of when the Americans were over ‘ere then please do get in contact. And, perhaps we’ll see you on the 27th April as well – tickets are selling fast.

Over to you!


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The Essex Record Office holds records about the county, its people and buildings and provides a useful resource for individuals interested in family, house and local history.

2 thoughts on “Geraldine and Martin – Can you help?

  1. I have located the surnames of Geraldine and martin i believe. Can you contact me?

  2. Neil
    only two or three houses next to Andrewsfield and a farm my mate knows a lot of farmers about there and will ask around.

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