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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Polish roundel
13.06.1983 Lazy Eight Flying Club Bellanca 8KCAB N50352 Edward W. Martens

Operation: Flying Display

Date: 13th June 1982 (Sunday)

Unit: No. Lazy Eight Flying Club and school.

Type: Bellanca 8KCAB

Serial: N50352

Base: Memphis International Airport, U.S.A.

Location: Memphis International Airport, U.S.A.

Pilot: Edward 'Ted' Wladysław Martens (whilst in PAF: P-2817 - 792239) Age 25. Killed


We have very few details on this former Polish fighter pilot but delighted that he should have a page dedicated to him.

We are indebted to Bruce Robertson for sending details of his loss to us. Bruce was trained as an aerobatic pilot by Ted Martens. Peter Sikora kindly supplied the photographs used on this page.

Ted was owner of the Lazy Eight Flying Club, based at Memphis International Airport, U.S.A. On Sunday 13th June 1982 he was performing at a benefit air-show for the local fire department in Kentucky.

After about 7 minutes in an 8 minute act, the pilot performed an 8-point roll at about 200 ft., then pulled up into a hammerhead stall.

After a hammerhead turn to the left, the aircraft entered a spin and crashed, killing the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the probable cause of the accident to be clearance misjudged - pilot error.

A friend reported that about one month prior to the accident, the pilot had complained of having blackouts while flying aerobatics, however, a pathological examination revealed no medical problems that would have caused a blackout.

Report No: ATL82FLQ66 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation. Aircraft first registered 26th January 1976.

Ted Martens sitting 1st right. (courtesy Peter Sikora)

Edward Martens standing on the wing (courtesy Peter Sikora)

Edward Martens was a former fighter pilot serving with both 303 and 306 Polish Squadrons.

Burial details:

Edward Wladysław Martens. Born on the 08th August 1920 in Warsaw, Poland. The son of Jan Martens and Maria (née Daab), husband of Barbara Rose Martens (deceased 2002) Father to Barbara Marie Martens Vinberg and Susan Helene Martens Walker.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Peter Sikora, Bruce Robertson. Also to Marissa Vinberg who contacted us with further details on her Grandfather in October 2017.


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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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