George J. Marrett was
born in Grand
Island, Nebraska in 1935 and graduated from Iowa State College in
1957 with a BS in chemistry. Shortly thereafter, he entered the United States
Air Force as a Second Lieutenant in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He
graduated from pilot training in 1959 at Webb, AFB in Texas, where he flew the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. He
went to advance flight training at Moody AFB in Georgia where he flew the North American F-86L, SabreJet. After four years in the 84th Fighter
Interceptor Squadron at Hamilton AFB, California, flying the McDonnell F-101B Voodoo, he was
selected to attend the USAF test pilot school in 1964. Here he flew the
Northrop T-38 Talon, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and
General Dynamics F-106 Delta Dart. After graduation, he transferred to the
fighter test branch at Edwards AFB, where he flew the McDonnell F-4C Phantom,
Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter and General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark.
During the Vietnam conflict, Marrett flew
the Douglas A-1 Skyraider as a"Sandy" rescue pilot in Thailand. He completed 188 combat with missions, over 600
combat hours and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf
Clusters and the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters. Later, he published
a non-fiction book about flying combat in Southeast Asia, titled Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos.
from the war, Marrett joined Hughes Aircraft
Company as an experimental test pilot. For twenty years he flew test programs
which helped develop attack radar and missiles in F-15, F-16 and F-18,
aircraft and an early version of the B-2 Stealth bomber. He has flown over 40
types of military aircraft and logged over 8,500 hours.
Marrett is the author of
three Air Force flight test reports and fourteen stories for aviation
magazines, including Wings, Tailhook, Flight
Journal, Air & Space and Aerospace Testing International, a British
book, Howard Hughes: Aviator, was published in October 2004. Marrett appeared on the History Channel programs, “Boy’s
Toys and Modern Miracles” about Howard Hughes. He was also in “Man, Moment
& Machines” talking about the Spruce Goose. Marrett
was in both versions of the “Making of the Aviator”, that aired on several
channels. He was a talking head on the DVD of the movie, “The Aviator”.
His third book, about his twenty years with Hughes
Aircraft Company is called Howard Hughes’ Test Pilot. Marrett retired from Hughes in 1989 and lives in a small
town, Atascadero, Ca. He is founder of the Estrella Warbird Museum at the Paso Robles airport where he flies his 1945
Stinson L-5E Sentinel and 1946 Aeronca L-16 Champ.
He is the chief pilot for DP Industries flying their King Air C-90 and is on
the board of trustees of the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA.