Austin W. Martenstein was born in Richmond, Va., in February 1894. He attended Virginia Mechanic Institute and entered Federal service with the Virginia National Guard as a private on June 21, 1916. He was accepted in the Signal Corps as a Flying Cadet and was commissioned a temporary second lieutenant of Air Service on July 13, 1918.
He served during the Mexican border crisis with the Virginia National Guard and his first station as a commissioned officer was Scott Field, Ill., where he served as a flying instructor. In September 1920, he went to Richmond, Va., as Assistant Quartermaster at the Aviation Supply Depot. In June 1934, he went to Mitchel Field, N.Y., for service with the 61st School Squadron.
In May 1926, General Martenstein was assigned to the Philippine Islands for service as a Supply Officer at Camp Nichols (later Nichols Field). He returned to the United States in July 1928 for assignment to Wright Field, Ohio, as Chief of the Field Supply and Technical Control Branch of the Materiel Division. He became Chief of the Administrative Branch of the Field Service Section there in September 1931.
From August 1932 until August 1933, the general was stationed in Washington, D.C., while attending the Army Industrial College from which he graduated. He then entered the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Ala., and graduated in June 1934. He remained at the Air Corps Tactical School as an Instructor until April 1937 when he went to Washington for duty on the Aeronautical Board of the Office of the Chief of Air Corps.
General Martenstein entered the Army War College in Washington in August 1937 and graduated in June 1938, returning to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps as Assistant Chief of the Finance Division until December 1941. He was then assigned to Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C., serving there until March 1943. From March to April 1943, he was Chief, Depot Section, VIII AF Service Command, England, and was Commanding Officer, Headquarters Advance Air Service, England, until July 1943.
From August 1943 to January 1944, the general served as Chief, Supply Division, VIII AF Service Command, England, and from February 1944 to December 1945 was the Commanding Officer, Rome Air Service Command, N.Y. He was assigned as Chief, Supply Division, Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Ohio, from December 1945 to September 1947. In October 1947, he became Chief of Staff, Japan Air Materiel Area (Provisional) until February 1948, and then served as its Commanding Officer until June 1949. From July to September 1949, General Martenstein was Deputy Commander, Far Eastern Air Materiel Command and 13th Air Depot Wing. He was then Commanding General, Mobile Air Materiel Area, Brookley AFB, Ala., from November 1949 to April 1952.
He is rated a pilot and combat observer.
(Biography compiled from information in a 1942 War Department biography; and USAF Historical Study No. 91: Biographical Data on Air Force General Officers 1917 to 1952.)