New England Air Museum
John L Martin Jr
John L. Martin, WWII
John L. Martin, WWII
Recent Address:   San Antonio, TX
Family Information:   Parents: John and Blanche; Wife: Bettie; Children: John, Teri
Hometown:   Spartanburg, SC
Date Entered Service:    
Service Number:    
Bomb Group:   444th
Squadron:   677th
Location of Unit:   Great Bend, KS
Missions Flown:   14
Hump Missions Flown:   30
Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Service Schools Attended:  
After Primary flight training at Hicks Field, Basic at Randolph Field, and Advanced at Kelly Field, he graduated in Class 41-B and was commissioned Second Lieutenant as a flying instructor.
Military Specialty(ies):  
Gen. Martin held Command Pilot and Master Missileman ratings. His career flying experience totaled over 5000 hours as pilot of many types of aircraft, including lightweight trainers, heavy propeller-driven bombers, and a supersonic fighter flying at more than twice the speed of sound.
Rank Upon Discharge:   Major General
Crew Type:   Flight crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name:    
Were you a POW?   No
Were you interned?   No
Date Transferred from the 58th:    
Date Discharged from the 58th:    
Post-WWII Military Service:
His subsequent military career included earning a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, serving in the 509th Bomb Group, and earning an M.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was on the faculty of the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and then was the first Chief of the Flight Control Laboratory at Wright-Patt, developing new flight control systems, cockpit instruments and flight control techniques for high performance aircraft.

He served in the Pentagon as Deputy Director of Advanced Technology and in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force as Deputy and then Director of Space Systems. He was promoted to Brigadier General and led a field office of the Secretary of the Air Force in El Segundo, CA as Deputy and then Director of Special Projects. He was promoted to Major General with responsibility for development, testing, launch, and operations of satellite reconnaissance programs. He retired from the Air Force in 1970. He then worked at Communications Satellite Corporation in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for technical and operational aspects of the COMSTAR, MARISAT and AEROSAT satellite communication programs. He retired again in 1981 as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations, COMSAT General Corp.
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
After his second retirement, he completed building an experimental airplane based on a design by aeronautical pioneer Burt Rutan and won many awards. He and his wife enjoyed flying around the country, and traveled internationally. He pursued other passions as well, including golf, photography, science and astronomy.
Mr. Martin passed away December 15, 2009. He is buried at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.


John L. Martin
John L. Martin


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