FlyingTypers Logo
Feed The Children Ad

   Vol. 23 No. 2
Wednesday January 17, 2024

The Man Who Changed Color On The Bridge

August Martin

     If you want to learn about August Martin, the great air cargo pilot who flew for Seaboard World Airlines during the 1950’s, the name August Martin as an internet search, most often comes up as “August” 28, 1963, the day “Martin” Luther King whose birthday we celebrated this past Monday delivered his never to be forgotten “I Have A Dream,” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
     August Martin was a gentle man, who would be remembered in history as the first African American to serve as Captain on a U.S. scheduled flag carrier.
     Put another way, before “Augie” as his friends called him, there had never been a black airline captain on the bridge of any U.S. airline.
     Although he flew for other carriers, including EL AL Israel Airlines and a company called Buffalo Skylines between 1946 and 1955, it was Seaboard World Airlines, an air cargo company, that hired Augie, breaking through a glass ceiling in American aviation.
     Air cargo put a great aviation pioneer, who happened to be black, in the left seat.
     August Martin, who was born in 1916 had aviation blood in his veins.
     He worked all his life to be a pilot, training as a youngster to fly small prop jobs and later during World War II as a front line Mitchell B26 bomber pilot.
     He also took training at the Tuskegee, Alabama base, which spawned the legendary black pilots who gained fame as The Tuskegee Air Men.
     While awaiting his big break Augie worked as a stevedore on the New York docks to make ends meet.
     But when SWA came a-knocking, August Martin was ready.
     For the next thirteen years Martin piloted the legendary all-cargo aircraft of SWA, including the Lockheed Constellation, Canadair CL44 swing-tail freighter, Douglas DC-4 and DC-6 among others.
     August Martin was not just about breaking through for himself. Augie also gave back big time.
     Often, he would donate his off time and vacations, flying supplies to the impoverished in Africa, and other points of emergency and need around the world.
     On July 1, 1968 August Martin was killed aboard just such a flight when his cargo-laden aircraft crashed in a blinding rainstorm as he attempted to land in Biafra, Africa.
     Today, in modern air cargo circles not much is known or said about August Martin. You can find this children's activity book centered on his life on Amazon, but sadly that is about it . . .
     Can't International Air Transport Association (IATA) that has awards and recognizes outstanding performance, or The International Air Cargo Association TIACA Hall of Fame, or The Airforwarders Association and some others, open their hearts and honor Augie?

FlyingTalkers podcastFlyingTalkers

A Late Alitalia Tale

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
FT121523Vol. 22 No. 44
Saigon Never Bygone
Chuckles for December 18, 2023
Letter To Santa
100 Years To Hel & Back
Up On The Roofstops
Vol. 22 No. 45
A Christmas Story

Vol. 23 No.1
A Late Alitalia Tale

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

Send comments and news to geoffrey@aircargonews.com
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of FlyingTypers Media.
Copyright ©2024 FTMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More@ www.aircargonews.com

recycle100% Green