Marlin F. Groft was born in Lebanon,
Pennsylvania, worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1939 to 1941, and
then became a silk-screen printer in a textile factory. He joined the Marine Corps after Pearl Harbor and, following boot camp, volunteered for the First Marine
Raider Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson, serving with that unit
until its dissolution. Assigned to the Twenty-Ninth Marine Regiment of the newly formed Sixth Marine Division, he served beyond the end of the war, seeing duty in China
until the end of 1945. Groft and his wife, Vivian, live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.