Official Nebraska Government Website
Official Nebraska Government Website

NDOT, Division of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

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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.

Upon returning 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 magazine.

His second 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.


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