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“M” is for Martin, Dexter Charles (1897-1982)

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“M” is for Martin, Dexter Charles (1897-1982). Aviation pioneer. Born in California, Martin obtained his pilot’s license in 1924. In 1927 he joined a barnstorming flying circus that held exciting exhibitions in North and South Carolina. Martin settled in Greenville and pushed for the creation of the State Aeronautics Commission and became its first executive director. When the Civil Air Patrol was created in 1941 Martin became its first wing commander. He organized a coastal patrol to escort ships leaving South Carolina ports. During World War II Martin and the Commission cooperated with the federal government to identify sites for military airports in South Carolina, which resulted in the development of McEntire, Myrtle Beach, and Shaw air bases—among others. In 1976 Charles Dexter Martin was inducted into the Aviation Pioneers Hall of Fame.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.