Inducted in 2005, William Knox Martin began his flying career in 1912 at the Sloane Flying School. In 1916, Martin joined the newly formed Pacific Aero Products Company of Seattle, Washington as Chief Instructor for William E. Boeing at their new flying school. He later conducted initial flight tests of some of the new Boeing planes, staying there until the outbreak of WWI. During the war he was commissioned as Lieutenant in the Aviation Section, U.S. Marine Corps. In the spring of 1919 he sailed for South America taking a Curtiss OXX-powered “Jennie” for sales demonstrations. He flew to Puerto, Columbia with a bag of mail and a passenger, both firsts for that country. Martin then took his plane to Bogotá and on August 9, 1919 made the first flight ever over the capital city. After eleven months of flying in Colombia, Martin returned to the U.S. to pick up a new Curtiss “Oriole”. While in the United States, Martin organized the Campania Bogotana de Aviacion. Upon his return to Colombia, he opened a Curtiss Flying School. Martin remained in South America for some time where he was credited with laying the very early foundation of aerial service in that part of the world.
Posted on Fri, August 20, 2010