Martin Kammerer


k2Martin Kammerer passed away peacefully at his home in Renton, Washington on March 17, 2013 at the age of 87.  He was born in Rapid City, South Dakota to Albert and Agnes Kammerer.

Martin grew up in a rural area and for eight years rode a horse to a one-room, white country schoolhouse.  As an early sign of his courage, ambition and work ethic, he left home in 1941 and moved to Sturgis, South Dakota to complete his high school education.  He believed he could get a better education there but had to work very hard to support himself once he left home.

Martin completed high school and joined the Army Air Corps in 1943.  In March 1946 he passed the entrance exams to West Point and with the recommendation of a congressman was admitted  to West Point. After graduating from West Point he took basic flight training at Connally AFB, Texas in 1950.  He completed multi-engine advanced training at Reese AFB, Texas in 1951 and all weather fighter interceptor training at Tyndall AFB, Florida in 1952.

Then Marty was assigned to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska where he flew F-94Bs and F-89Ds.  He flew  in lousy weather, frigid temperatures and the long northern nights and loved it. He moved from line pilot to squadron operations officer and was promoted to Captain during his four years at Elmendorf.

In 1956 Martin went to Moody AFB, Georgia as officer in charge of flight testing and commarder of an aircraft maintenance squadron.  While at Moody he applied for attache duty and was assigned as an attache in Beirut, Lebanon in 1959 and Brazzaville, Congo in 1961 after completing Arabic language training at Georgetown University, Washington,D.C. and  a one  year course at the U.S. Army Strategic Intelligence School in Washington, D.C.

In 1963, now a Major, Martin became a student once again at the Army Command Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  He was assigned to U.S. Strike Command Headquarters, McDill AFB, Florida in 1964 as Middle East Desk Officer and retired as a Major in 1968 with 20 years service.

About six months prior to retirement from the Air Force Martin began flying C-47s extensively in preparation for his exams for a commercial captain’s ticket. He passed these exams just before retirement.

After a brief stint a personal pilot for the president of Zaire, Martin was hired by Saudi Arabian Airlines in 1969 and graduated from flying  DC-3s to planes sk1uch as the CV340A, Boeing 707A, Lockheed 1011A and Boeing 747.  He retired from Saudi Arabian Airlines in August 1983.

Once retired, Martin moved to Renton, Washington.  He loved flying his Cessna L-19, archeology, gold panning, photography and trout fishing at his cabin in Canada.  In 1992 he spent a great year in Prague, Czechoslovakia as a volunteer teaching English to General Staff officers of the Czech Army and Air Force. He crossed the Atlantic a number of times on cargo ships and enjoyed touring Europe, especially Germany. He put many miles on his Prius travelling all around the States and Canada.

Martin had a quick wit, a great sense of humor and a kind and gentle heart.  He maintained warm ties with fellow service men, colleagues, friends and relatives.  He was a humble man and a generous and loving husband and father. His Catholic faith was always a part of him.

He told many wonderful stories of his life experiences. For example, Martin once got into a bit of trouble in Saudi Arabia. He was jogging and the police thought no one would be running in such heat unless he were running away from something. So they wanted to arrest him. Good thing he could speak Arabic and explain things! If anyone has other Martin stories, please mention them in the comment section.

Martin was predeased by his wife of 37 years, Hannah Kennelly in 1993, his older brother, Joe.

Martin is survived by his second wife, Catherine, and his son, Marty (Kim), his younger brother, Bob, nieces Nona and Joan, nephews Russ, Doug, Don and many of Hannah’s nieces and nephews.

We love him very much and will miss him always. May he rest in peace.

10 Responses to “Martin Kammerer”

  • Bonnie Kennelly Damey says:

    Uncle Martin ~ May you rest in peace.Warm memories of your gentle nature, quick wit, kindness,interesting life and the trademark Uncle Martin mustache!! God Bless!!!

  • Jake Kammerer says:

    Condolences and prayers for family upon Marty’s death from distant South Dakota; his birthplace. He had quite a flying career and the pic of him fishing was great. Last saw him at my sister’s funeral in Spokane.

  • David Otto says:

    A life lived very well…. my condolences on your loss:

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air….

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    – Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

  • Ken Liston RN says:

    Kim, Catherine and Bob; I am sorry for our loss. Marty was a great guy to visit, travel and discuss the world with.
    He will be missed in many places.

  • Doug Carmichael says:

    Marty and Hannah were my wife’s and my friends and bridge partners in Jeddah and again in Seattle after I joined Boeing. Hannah’s brother John Kennelly was my very helpful landlord in Renton when I first moved there. Marty’s family and friends should know that he performed clandestine services for this nation in both Africa and the Middle East for many years at no small personal risk. He was a very courageous man of great moral character and depth, and I am honored to have known him. May he rest in peace.

  • LT Commander George Prater III ret Kenmore WA says:

    On behalf of the Saudia /TWA and US Navy family of the George Jr Praters (OPS Saudia and WWII Navy) I express our condlences. I had once talked to Capt Marty back in 1994 or so from my No Seattle home. He told me some good stories. My father George Jr of Saudia Ops always wondererd why Marty showed up when not on the flight schedule to fly at Saudia Ops…. My dad Geo Jr was also Top Secret from TWA it turned out when he turned down the FBI for a job….I got his clearance from his boss in full Navy Uniform at his funeral…I know the apartment of the Christies we lived in later at Ashours was where the thwarted coup de tas of King Faisal happened too…It was spy vs spy and Marty and my dad were in the mix… and they knew it as friends. Boys scouts were great of course. I went through US Navy AOCS and Flight School and H 46 helicopter training with Jeff Kuhn who’s family also was there at the same time. Greg was my age PCS grad 1973 for 9th grade but Doug Kuhn cousin was the same age and a leader in Marty’s boy scouts. with Mr Kopp. We all have many facebook groups and belove our experience there which our parents gave us, on a wing and a prayer. What a life we were able to have so early on. I cut off my mustache, but in the words of my father George Jr of Ops for Saudia, I also retired as a O4 because I was also a “bold pilot”. Some of us were not practitioners of any thing but flying….. Marty fair winds and following seas, we could have shared many more flying tales. I have a squadron mates wedding to go to this weekend, at over 50 yo, I have a six year old son and 4 yo daughter and I am telling them all the many stories that I recall. What a life we have been privaledge with. Not Boring for sure.

  • LT Commander George Prater III ret Kenmore WA says:

    Hi Doug Carmichale give me a call I am now at Boeing… George III Prater 787 and much more… live in Kenmore 2066125958 my dad and mom are gone now. there are TWA website for past veterans of TWA and Saudia.

  • Tim Statler says:

    I just saw this while Googling for Kim. RIP Martin. If someone should happen to still monitor this I would love to hear from Kim. Call 231-838-4686.

    All the best,

  • Doug Kammerer says:

    Hello Tim
    Martin was my favorite uncle. Always had a wealth of stories. I can tell you about his son Kim, but it’s 12:30am here on Fox Island, Wa.
    You can call me on my cell at 206-459-0675
    Doug Kammerer
    Fox Island, WA

  • Doug Kammerer says:

    Hi all. I’m Martin’s nephew. My dad was Martin’s big brother. I’ve inherited all of Martin’s West Point text books and other items. One book I want to keep is the West Point directory showing future astronaut Buzz Aldren as class of 51. I would like to donate this to some place that would appreciate the collection. Any ideas call me
    And if you can get Buzz Aldrens signature, for me, extra bonus.
    Doug Kammerer 206-459-0675

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