Mark Francis Meyer was born on August 3, 1948. His photo-journalist career began as a stringer for hometown newspapers when he was a high school student in Smyrna, Delaware and spanned the years and miles of geography to stints in the Soviet Union and other parts of the world for Time Magazine.
In 1977, he was assigned to the White House Press Corps from Time's Washington Bureau. His photographs from the USSR were widely published in the Time-Life "Library of Nations" Series in 1984. That same year, Mark's first book "Wings" was published with an introduction by General Chuck Yeager and contained air-to-air, cockpit and ground photographs representing all the major commands of the U.S.Air Force.
During the remaining years of the eighties, Mark covered the Space Shuttle launches for Time, and was the magazine's representative in the People to People Aerospace Education Delegation to the People's Republic of China June 12-July 3, 1987. In some of Mark's freelance opportunities, he conducted a seminar for Leica Camera aboard the Cunard MS Sagafjord on a Caribbean and Panama Canal Cruise in 1985.
"Classics", Mark's second book, published by Howell Press in 1987, featured archival photos, histories and specifications on twenty-seven aircraft types, and interview with veteran WW II pilots. He shot most of the book from the back of a B-25 Mitchell bomber, not through a window, but from a large opening created when the B-25's tail turret was removed. He sat on the edge of the fuselage with his legs dangling off the end, strapped on a safety harness so he would not slide out, and shot away.
Mark Meyer served as a photo-journalist with the U.S.Navy during the Vietnam War and he has traveled all over the globe on assignment as well as freelancing. He has been called one of the leading aviation photographers in the world and has established an international reputation by contributing magazine cover pictures and articles pertaining to aircraft to publication in South America, France, Germany and Japan as well as the United States.
A third book, "Racing. The NASCAR-Winston Cup Stock Car Racing Series", published by Howell Press in 1989, is the only non-aviation project he has participated in. Mark Francis Meyer died on January 4, 1994, at the age of forty-five. At the time of his death he was actively engaged in the restoration of OV-1 Mohawk planes with the American Wings Air Museum Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The following is a summary of Mark Meyer's visit to the 380th Bomb Wing, by Dick Iversen, 528th Bomb Squadron Commander;
"The year was 1981 and Mark submitted a letter addressed to me as the 528th Bomb Squadron Commander. Someone had suggested that he writes me. At any rate, in his letter he explained that he was a photo-journalist for Time-Life Magazine and wanted to do a photo story featuring the FB-111A and could I help. I called Mark and discussed his request and then delivered it to the 380th Bomb Wing Commander, Colonel Charlie Searock. Colonel Searock responded by letter inviting him to come and be guest of the wing and assigned me to the host officer and primary responsible person.
Mark arrived with all his equipment and we adopted him at the 528th and 529th Bomb Squadron as well as the 4007th CCTS. He stayed at the VOQ on base and virtually followed the three squadrons around for about two weeks. At the time, the two other squadron commanders were Lt.Col. Charles T. Robertson and Lt.Col. Brett M. Dula. Mark flew with all three squadrons and the tanker squadrons as well as taking photos and learning about our mission and operation. He was a superb individual and I made him an 'Honorary Commander' of the 528th Bomb Squadron and as I recall, Brett and Tony did the same.
Mark was a gentleman and a scholar and we became very fond of him by the time he departed. Later, he forwarded numerous copies of his book "Wings" which contained beautiful photos he took while living with us."