George Fredrick ‘Sarge’ Martin
1943 ~ 2021
Captain George Fredrick “Sarge” Martin, age 78, was born in 1943. He began his airline career at North Central Airlines as a DC-3 First Officer (F/O) in May of 1966. During Sarge’s flying career at North Central he flew as F/O on the DC-3, Convair 340/440 and 580 and the DC-9. In March of 1973 he checked out as Captain on the Convair 580 followed by the DC-9 in 1981. He became an instructor pilot for North Central in both airplanes shortly after first checking out as Captain.
North Central merged with Southern Airways and became Republic Airlines in July 1979. Sarge checked out as Captain on the MD-80 in 1981 and the B-727 in 1982. He became an instructor pilot on both aircraft soon after his Captain checkout.
In October of 1986 Republic and Northwest Airlines merged and Sarge became the Minneapolis Chief Pilot in April of 1987. In 1989 he moved up as NWA Director of Flying (DOF). Shortly thereafter he underwent a Captain checkout on the B-757 and B-747-400. He remained the DOF until January 1999 returning to the line until his retirement in July of 1999.Upon retirement Sarge joined the ranks of RNPA.
Sarge passed away March 29, 2021. He is survived by children: Todd (Judi) Martin, Kelly Martin; 5 grandchildren: Connor, Bella, Parry, Mollie and Ally: Sister; Ginger Norris. His wife Cheri preceded him, passing away in April, 2020. His son Todd is currently flying the B-757 for Delta Airlines.
The above four paragraphs sum up the pilot George Frederic Martin and his 33 years of flying, but they don’t tell much about Sarge Martin the man, so I will attempt to do that drawing on the few years we worked together at Northwest.
From October of 1986 until I retired in July, 1992, Sarge and I worked together in the management offices of Flight Operations at NW and later when I went to NATCO. Merging the two airlines of RC and NW was an interesting task and it could not have happened as it did without the help of people like Sarge and Bill Hunches, his assistant, helping to bring the two pilot groups together. Sarge always had a great love and concern for the pilot group; he worked unabashedly to represent both pilot groups (RC & NW) in their relations with management and the FAA. He was always firm but understanding in his decisions and in the way he solved the problems that came across his desk. He truly cared about both the pilots and the Company he represented. When it is my time to take that last flight west, I hope he is there to meet me.
Capt. Tom Schellinger, Retired
NW System Chief Pilot
NATCO VP, Pilot Training