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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Martin, August H. (1919-1968)


Biographical Note

August “Augie” Harvey Martin (1919-1968) was an American pilot and Tuskegee Airman. He was the first Black airline pilot in the United States.

August Martin was born on August 13, 1919 in Los Angeles, California. He learned to fly in California, circa 1940 and in 1943 joined the Army Air Corps. Martin had flight training at Tuskegee, Alabama and earned his wings in September 1945. However World War II ended prior to his overseas deployment and he was discharged in January 1946.

Post-World War II, he struggled to find full-time work as a Black pilot. Martin took an aircraft maintenance job with Willis Air Service in Teterboro, New Jersey so he could remain close to the aviation field. Between 1946 and 1955 he was a part-time pilot for several smaller carriers, including World Airways. In 1955, August Martin became the first Black pilot to captain a United States commercial airline when he was hired by Seaboard World Airlines. He flew the DC-3, DC-4, and Lockheed Constellation for Seaboard World Airlines.

On July 1st, 1968, while flying a supply mission to Biafra, Africa, August Martin was killed in an airplane crash while trying to land during a rainstorm.


Found in 1 Collection or Record:

David O. Hill Seaboard World Airlines Collection

Identifier: 2014-12-20
Abstract David O. Hill (1939-) was a pilot for Seaboard World Airlines (SWA). Hill was also SWA's archivist and historian. The collection relates to the company history, personnel, and operations of Seaboard World Airlines (SWA), from its establishment in 1946 to 1980 when it merged with Flying Tigers Line and is comprised primarily of textual materials, the bulk of which are scrapbooks; but also includes photographic materials, including prints, slides, and negatives; and a single DVD.

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