The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl announced today that Vice Admiral Edward Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired), will serve as Honorary Chairman of the 34th annual Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. In honor of this year’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation, the Honorary Chairman title was awarded to an individual who has contributed to the Navy and our society in a meaningful way. Martin also was named Grand Marshal of the bowl game’s parade, the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by the San Diego County Credit Union.
A native of Savannah, Georgia and a 1954 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Vice Admiral Martin was designated a Naval Aviator in 1955 and subsequently served in numerous carrier based squadrons in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. While on a combat mission over North Vietnam on July 9th, 1967, he was shot down near Hanoi by a surface-to-air missile and held there as a POW for nearly six years.
Following repatriation in 1973, he rapidly resumed his career. Upon his promotion to flag rank in 1980, he was assigned as Chief of Naval Air Training; then, as Commander Carrier Group FOUR, and following, as Commander Carrier Group TWO and Commander Task Force SIXTY, the Striking Force of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
In 1983, he was promoted to Vice Admiral and appointed as Commander, United States Sixth Fleet; and, Commander, Allied Striking Forces, Southern Europe. In these capacities, he was responsible for all U.S. Naval Operations and NATO activities in the Mediterranean and Levant during the military activities in Lebanon and littoral near Libya.
In 1985, Admiral Martin returned to Washington upon his appointment as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare). Subsequently, in 1987, he was appointed as the United States Commander, Eastern Atlantic and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. He served in this capacity until retiring from active duty in June 1989. He is married to the former Sharron Handly of Coronado, California. They have two adult children.
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl kicks off at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium at 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 28th. The game matches teams from the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences. The 2010 game featured a 19-7 Washington Huskies victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in front of 57,921 fans and a national ESPN television audience.
The Parade steps off at 10 a.m. PT on game day morning along downtown San Diego’s scenic waterfront on Harbor Drive. The event is recognized as America’s Largest Balloon Parade, having more giant character balloons than any other parade in the United States. Street-side viewing is free, though reserved grandstand seats are available. The parade is televised live locally on Channel 4 San Diego, and broadcast nationally on the USA Network on a tape-delay basis.
For tickets and information for both events, visit BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com.