Martin, Al 1982-10-07

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Al Martin, retired Air Force officer, tells of his 30-year military career and involvement in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as effects, attitudes and changes in Lubbock and Reese Air Force Base.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Albert Martin

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: October 07, 1982

Location: None Given

Interviewer: Mark Wells

Length: 1 hour


Tape 1, Side 1: Albert S. Martin, Born: 1925 in Fort Worth, Texas, First aviation experience, High school, Flying, Building models, Army Air Corps (February 1943), Age requirements, Pilot training, Primary training, Uvalde, Texas, PT-19s, Basic training, Waco, Texas, BT-13s, Advance training, McAllen, Texas, T-6s, Pilot training (1943), No difficulties, Crash, Anecdote: Crashing during flight training, Graduated, Transfers for further training, Florida, Virginia, Rhode Island; P-47 training, Graduated (1944), Transfers (again), India, Fighter pilot vs. bomber pilot, Assignment to India, Feelings about assignment, Wanted to go to Europe, Description of aircraft, Residence, Flying "the jug", Take-off, Response of aircraft, Maneuverability, Speed, Fire power, Convergent firing, Duties in India, Flying P-40 over the "Hump", Weather problems, Formation led by B-25, Problems experienced, Flying radio range, Primary mission of 10th Air Force, Interdiction and protection of the Burma Road, Protection of ATC cargo planes from Indian to China, Conduct of missions, Japanese technique, Burma Road, Japanese strikes, Feeling in combat, Confident, Aggressiveness, Discipline problems, Flight times and frequency, Life in India, Living quarters, Weather, Living and working in Burma Jungle, Runway, Landing approach, Attrition rate, Operational losses, Combat losses, Duties and responsibilities when not flying, Animals, Leeches, Apes, India during war, Corache, Calcutta, Food, Burma (again), Food, Morale, Jungle animals (again), Length of stay, Coming home after the war, Planes after returning to the states, Actions after returning to the states, Transfers, Tyler, Texas, Military record upon return, 138 combat missions, 366 combat hours, 700 flight hours, Age 20, Wanted out of military, Reasons, Forced to sign in reserves, Flying T-6s, Started college, Graduated, Korean War, Called and wanted to go, Reserve time counted for retirement, Stayed in Air Force 30 years, 27 years active, Military schooling, Finished (1950), Korean War, Sent to Okinawa, Rank, Airborne Electronics Officer, Assignment: Okinawa, Japan.

Tape 1, Side 2: Korea (continued), Primary mission, Need for instrument flying, Night flying, Weather, Left (1952), Wife joined him, Assignment transfers, Tucson, Arizona 86-D, Base facilities, Red light, Decided to stay in service when called back in Korea, Came to Reese Air Force Base, Reasons, Family interests, Career interests, Pilot instructor training in San Antonio, Texas, Instrument problems, Rank: Major, Reese Air Force Base (again), Duties, Rank, Lubbock, Texas (1964), Population, Boundaries, Roads, Texas Tech University, Size, Boundaries (again), (1964) Reese Air Force Base (again), Location, Base facilities, World War II base, Temporary buildings, Headquarters, Wing commander, General Faver, Assignment, Squadron sizes, Wanted squadrons broken up by aircraft (1966), Reasons, Economics, Management problems, Test Base, New buildings, Specifics of training, Students—instructor pilot ratio, Workloads, Paperwork documentation, All manual, Runways, Vietnam (1964-1969), Relationship between military and community, Supportive, Tech protests, Public relations efforts, Returnees, Discipline problems, Problems with graduating military students, Eliminated, Preferences, Served as commander three years, Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (1966), Rewarding duty, Characteristics of people worked with, Flying environment of Lubbock (late 1960s), Safety, Areas integrated, Big Spring training establishment, Interfacing, Vietnam experience, Assignment, Training, Avoidance possibilities, Experience, Efforts to change assignments, A-1 airplane, Description, Altitudes, Speed, Accuracy, Characteristics, Technology, Primary mission; Interdiction, Helicopter escort, Rescue mission, Enemy tactics, Vulnerability to ambush, Value of training, Personal perspective, Background experience, Training, Instructing, Kill ratio of fresh pilots, Selection of people for missions, Background helped him judge pilots better, Flying experience imported, Pilots killed, Retrospect of war, Disappointment in outcome, Believed in war, Domino theory, Moral conflicts of some, Belief in running war, Military runs war, Problems with clearances, Timing, Military incompetence, Careerism, Problems in decision making in mission planning, Decisions made in too high a level.

Range Dates: 1925-1982

Bulk Dates: 1943-1969

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