Retired July 1, 1979.
Lieutenant General Abner B. Martin is director of the Defense Mapping Agency, Washington, D.C.
General Martin was born in Fairforest, S.C., in 1927. He attended Clemson College for 18 months and then transferred to North Carolina State College, where he also served in the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps. He received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree in military engineering and a commission as a second lieutenant. He earned a master's degree in weapons systems engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954, a master's degree in international affairs from The George Washington University in 1965, and graduated from the U.S. Army War College in 1965 and the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School in 1968.
He completed flight training in November 1950 at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., and then was assigned at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, as an instructor and flight commander in the Air Training Command. From June 1952 to June 1954, he attended graduate school at MIT, under the Air Force Institute of Technology Program, and earned his master's degree. From June 1954 to February 1958 he was assigned to the Air Force Armament Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and participated in the testing of guidance and fire control systems. He also was associated with aircraft armament problems and in 1957 was Armament Test Project Officer for the F-105 aircraft.
In February 1958 General Martin began an eight-year association with the Air Force Ballistic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command in California, at Inglewood, Los Angeles and Norton Air Force Base. He managed the development and procurement of guidance systems for the Atlas and Titan missiles and served as chief of the Airborne Integration Division in the Minuteman Systems Program Office, with additional duty as director of the Minuteman Mark 12 Program. He attended the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., from August 1964 to August 1965. Upon graduation, he returned to Norton Air Force Base.
In early 1967 General Martin spent approximately five months as Air Force Systems Command liaison officer in the Republic of Vietnam. From August 1967 to January 1969, he served as director of technical operations, Office of the Deputy for Limited Warfare, in the Aeronautical Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. During 1968 he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He was appointed commander, Air Force Armament Laboratory, at Eglin Air Force Base, in February 1969.
General Martin was appointed deputy for reentry systems for the Space and Missile Systems Organization, at Norton Air Force Base, in August 1970, and became deputy for Minuteman, SAMSO, in August 1971. He returned to the Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in January 1974 for duty as the B-1 system program director.
General Martin assumed his present position as director of the Defense Mapping Agency in September 1977.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He has the aeronautical rating of command pilot and wears the Master Missileman Badge. He is the author of papers on technical matters and international affairs.
He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant general Sept. 21, 1977, with same date of rank.