|Manufacturer||Glenn L. Martin Company|
|Maiden Flight||18 February 1939|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
In 1937, the Glenn L. Martin Company designed a new twin-engined flying boat meant to compliment the Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft already in military service. On 30 Jun 1937, Martin received an order for a single prototype, followed by an order for an additional 21 examples on 28 Dec 1937. The prototype, XPBM-1, took flight on 18 Feb 1939. To defend itself, the design called for five gun turrets; meanwhile, the bomb bay was large enough for 1,800-kilograms of bombs. They first entered service on 1 Sep 1940, with the US Navy Patrol Squadron VP-55. They operated in neutrality patrol roles prior to the American entrance to the war. After the war began for the United States, they mainly operated in anti-submarine roles, sinking their first German submarine, U-158, on 30 Jun 1942. Throughout the course of the war, they were credited with ten German submarine sinkings. They were also used in the Pacific War, operating in forward areas such as Saipan and Okinawa after seaplane bases were secured. In additional to the US Navy, the US Coast Guard also operated PBM Mariner aircraft. In early 1943, the USCG acquired 27 PBM-3 aircraft. The number increased by 41 PBM-5 aircraft in late 1944, followed by another delivery in early 1945. They operated in patrols off the US coast during the war, and remained in service until 1958. After WW2, US Navy continued to operate PBM Mariner aircraft for patrol missions, including during the Korean War. The last US Navy PBM was taken out of service in Jul 1956.
32 PBM Mariner aircraft were leased to the British Royal Air Force, but they were not deployed operationally; some of them were later returned to the US Navy. 12 PBM-3R aircraft were transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force during the war; they served in transport roles during WW2.
After the war, in late 1955, 17 PBM-5A Mariner aircraft were sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy; they were deployed to New Guinea. The Dutch examples remained in service until Dec 1959.
During the production life of the design, a total of 1,366 PBM Mariner aircraft were built.
PBM Mariner Timeline
|16 Sep 1941||5 PBM Mariner aircraft and 1 PBY Catalina aircraft received radar to help these American aircraft conduct their neutrality patrols.|
|Machinery||Two Wright R-2600-12 14-cylinder radial engines rated at 1,700hp each|
|Armament||8x12.7mm M2 Browning machines guns (2 in nose, 2 in dorsal turret, 2 in tail turret, 1 in each of 2 blisters), 1,800kg of bombs or 2x Mark 13 torpedoes|
|Wing Area||131.00 m²|
|Weight, Empty||15,048 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||25,425 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||330 km/h|
|Rate of Climb||4.10 m/s|
|Service Ceiling||6,040 m|
|Range, Normal||4,800 km|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945