Eladio Martinez

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When Eladio Martinez was growing up in Dallas, Texas, education was a priority. His father was a laborer and inspired his children to learn. Like his three younger siblings, Martinez graduated from Dallas Technical High School. Growing up, the Martinez children enjoyed outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting.

Martinez was in the ROTC program in high school and involved in sports. He aspired to be a chemist and took correspondence courses during high school. He had the only bike in the family, so the others couldn’t participate in after-school activities because they couldn’t walk all the way home.

Martinez’s brother, Enrique, remembers the day Eladio left for the Army.

"We were always together. I missed him greatly when he went off to war," Enrique said. "I remember getting up early that morning to gather his personal belongings. We were greatly saddened by this."

Martinez was drafted into the Army and sent to fight in the Pacific Theater. His younger brother Filiberto, who often followed in Martinez’s footsteps, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was sent to the Pacific with the 13th Air Force, where he helped build an airstrip in New Guinea. After 18 months overseas, Filiberto found his older brother, and they had a short-lived but happy reunion in the midst of war. Filiberto stayed with Martinez's unit for three months, but Martinez encouraged him to return to his unit, so they wouldn’t both die in the case that something happened. They’d meet whenever they could and try to get around the censors. Filiberto was the last member of the family to see Martinez alive, who was killed March 23, 1945, by a sniper in the Philippines.

His family, especially his surviving brothers, Filiberto and Enrique, were grieved by the loss of Martinez. Since his own educational aspirations were cut short, his brothers honored him in 1990 with the opening of a new school, The Eladio R. Martinez Learning Center, in West Dallas, the part of the city in which Martinez grew up.

By Jaime Margolis, based on information provided by the Martinez family

Eladio R. Martinez School Song

Eladio Martinez, you’re the center we hold near

Eladio Martinez so marvelous so dear

We keep your standards high

each day of every year,

So your light will shine so bright and so clear.

Eladio Martinez success will be our task,

And we’ll forever strive to do

For you our very best.

Eladio Martinez success will be our task,

And we’ll forever strive to do …….

For you our very best.

-- The sixth grade class of 1990-1991