Marty Robbins joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in 1943. He saw action in the South Pacific and participated in the landing at Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands. Marty said his job was to raise and lower the ramp on landing craft as they approached or left the beach often under fire. Marty’s unit was assigned to Cape Torokina for some time and then he spent 15 months at Noumea. He was honorably discharged in February 1946.
Marty’s maternal grandfather “Texas” Bob Heckle joined the First Texas Regiment of the Confederate Army at the age of 14. He claimed to have joined the Texas Rangers for a time following the Civil War and later became a rancher in Utah. A philosopher, poet and story teller, Heckle published two books “Rymes Of The Frontier” (Volumes 1 & 2) His stories were a great influence on his young grandson Marty who later wrote and recorded many songs of the old west including his own composition “El Paso.”