MARTIN H. MAHRT (USAF)

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Colonel Martin H. Mahrt was born in Rapid City, he moved to Custer in 1941.  He graduated from Custer High in 1951 and the University of Notre Dame in 1955, where he was commissioned a 2nd Lt through the ROTC program.  He married Colleen Wood of Pringle during the summer of 1955 and subsequently entered the service September 1955.  After graduating from pilot training in December 1956, he began his Air Force career as a fighter pilot.  He flew the F84F, F100 (A,C,D, and F) and the F105 D and F.


In December 1965 he was assigned to 333rd TFS [Tactical Fighter Squadron] in Thailand, and was shot down over North Vietnam and rescued.  In 1968 was deployed to Korea when the USS Pueblo was captured.  After graduating from the Air War College in 1974, Mahrt was assigned to the DAO [Defense Attache Office] in Saigon.  When Saigon fell to the Communists on April 30,1975, he was evacuated by Air Force choppers and taken to the USS Midway.  His next assignment was Nellis AFB to the TAC Fighter Weapons Center.  At this time, he started RED Flag and was RED Flag Commander until 1978.  He was also deployed to Canada and helped start Maple Flag.

 

In 1978 he was assigned to the Philippines as Vice Commander of the 3rd TFW [Tactical Fighter Wing], and subsequently Vice Commander of the13th Air Force.  His next assignment was toWheeler AFB in Hawaii as Commander of 326th Air Division.  Upon retirement in 1984 Col Mahrt returned to his home place, a ranch west of Custer.

 

Award include Legion of Merit (2OLC), Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Aware (2 OLC) Air Medal (4 OLC) and the Purple Heart.

 

Colonel Mahrt has 5 children, 10 grandchildren.  He and his wife sponsored a Vietnam refugee in 1975, who is now married and has six children.  He is now involved with Operation Black Hills Cabin which provides a camping opportunity for recovering wounded veterans and their families.

 

F-105D Thurderchief

Fall of Saigon, April 30, 1975

Red flag exercises--Nellis AFB

Red flag (Wikipedia)

Wheeler ceremony photo 1983

 

Seven people were inducted into the Combat Air Crew Memorial section of the SD Aviation Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Black Hills Airport / Clyde Ice Field, Spearfish, on September 7, 2013.

Captain Alfred Dymock (Rapid City) was an F-86 pilot and flew 100 missions (126 hours of combat) between September 1951 and March 1952 during the Korean War.  He had two confirmed MIG kills and one damaged MIG.  He served in the 334th Fighter Squadron at Kimpo Air Base.
Major Robert C. Liebman (Rapid City) was a B-1B Weapons System Officer in the 34th Bomb Squadron.  He flew 40 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003-2004.  Robert received many citations / metals including the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Combat Action Medal, and others.
Colonel Martin Harvey Mahrt (Custer) was a F-105D pilot during two tours of Vietnam.  He was shot down on his 102nd combat mission, and was rescued by a Jolly Green Giant crew making the farthest north rescue of the war.  He received the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and many more medals.
Captain Kim Morey (Rapid City) was a Tsgt while serving as a B-52 tail gunner during the Linebacker II Operation in Vietnam and flying out of Guam.  Later, he was commissioned as an officer.  Kim received many medals including the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
Msgt. Robert C. Schilling (Custer) was a “weapons mechanic” (i.e., gunner) on an AC-47 “Spooky” Gunship during Vietnam during 1967-70 flying out of Bien Hoa.  He received many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster.
Lt. Colonel Les Snyder (Rapid City) flew combat missions as a B-29 Navigator out of Tinian in 1945 (weather reconnaissance missions over Japan in preparation for the atomic bomb drops), and A-26 Navigator / Bombardier in Korea in 1952 flying night operations.  He received many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters. 
Lt. Colonel Ron Steel (Rapid City) was a Chief Warrant officer piloting a C-7 Caribou in 1966-67 in Vietnam.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and many other medals.