Martin JRM "Mars"
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Bryan Bradford, e-mail, 12.01.2021 11:10

Was the Hawaii Mars No. 823?

Bryan Bradford, e-mail, 12.01.2021 11:07

Did you know Bryan E. Bradford, Mars pilot?

Bryan Bradford, e-mail, 12.01.2021 11:03

My father, Bryan E.Bradford, flew the Mars in VR-2. Did you know him?

Bryan Bradford, e-mail, 12.01.2021 11:01

My father, Bryan E. Bradford flew the Mars during his time in VR-2. Did you know him?

DANIEL JOATHON, e-mail, 16.12.2020 22:43

I love this plane and many other French people love it too ! I hope to do it as a 1/19 scale flying model. I have the four engines and 10.5x8 propellers but I must draw and build the rest !.. I hope and wish to you a long life four all the veterans, men and plane !!!
An old man who is always 12 ...

Don Hoover, e-mail, 07.10.2017 21:22

I flew as 3rd/2nd flight engineer on the Mars in VR-2 NAS Alameda, Ca,1954/55. I was on the panel on Hawaii Mars when the picture of the four in formation was taken.

Tom Pearson, e-mail, 04.06.2015 22:31

My first airplane flight was with my mother at the age of 2 aboard a JRM-3 MARS from Alameda NAS to Pearl Harbor in 1946. We were going to join my Marine Corps father who was stationed at Pearl Harbor.

TORBJÍRN KAMPE, e-mail, 01.06.2015 23:35


Donald Wilfahrt, e-mail, 06.04.2015 03:36

As an Ensign at Sangley Point in the Philippines my job was to meet the Marianas Mars and others weekly as they arrived at the VR 2 Navy Seaplane Base and calculate their loading with a slide rule. It had a sliding chain hoist underside the wing to unload spare engines. Have pictures of it from 1945.

Robert W Gruebel, ACMM USN Ret, e-mail, 16.03.2015 06:04

I Flew as Flight Engineer in VR-2 on Mars out of Alameda in 1952. She was a beautiful aircraft. Access to the engine accessory section for inspection inflight when necessary was an amazing thing. After fling TBD's and TBF's off USS Enterprise 1942-1944, transport aircraft (R4D, R5D, JRM, R6D, and the Connie)were a pleasure to fly, but none were as impressive as the Mars. My children enjoyed watching the Mars land and take off in Keehi Lagoon at John Rodgers airport(now Honolulu International)

H. Fraser, e-mail, 05.06.2013 20:02

I flew the Martin Mars for 32 years in it's fire fighting role. Most of my flying career has been with these A/C.
It is hard to explain the thrill and excitement when ,at low levels in mountainous terrain, 7,205 US Gals. [60,000lbs] are released onto a fire.
In the 70's-80's-90's we regularly flew on operations with an all up weight of over 175,000lbs. [][8766US Gals.] The Mars is not only big, it is a workhorse that packs an incredible load!
The Martin Mars is truly a pilot's airplane! A real pleasure to fly.

Don Chance, e-mail, 23.02.2013 20:09

I went to work for the Martin Co. out of engineering school in 1955. I work at the seaplane base on Middle River, MD. There were several Mars there being refurbished from time to time. Great looking plane. I also worked on the P6M 4 jet seaplane.

L smith-novosad, e-mail, 03.01.2013 23:33

Looking through my Dad's wallet, I found a dollar with the names of 17 men from the Mars. It took a while to find out what it was talking about. The names are the "First Passengers voyage of "MARS" Aug.8-9,44" Honolulu - Alameda. Does anyone know anything about the sighing of the dollar? Some of the names are Allen B. Larkin, C. F. Carr, Ray Morris, C. W. Gilmore, Fred Riggs, Fisher. I

stanley strazza, e-mail, 31.12.2012 21:25

the co-ordinace for the wreckage of Marianas Mars water-bomber crash site near the Mt Morierty range is: 49 degrees, 12 minutes North lattitude 124 degrees, 23 minutes West longitude....wreckage-site was logged over twice since, but lots of bits and pieces still scattered everywhere.

born2clearcut, 12.12.2012 19:09

Does anyone know what year the mars water bombers were painted red /white ? thanks in advance

Scott, e-mail, 28.11.2012 21:05

Hi, I am doing a project involving the Mars and I was wondering if any former pilots remembered what the stall speeds were?

Paul Willson, e-mail, 22.08.2012 04:24

PHILIPINE MARS is being retired to museum @ NAS PENESECOLA once check over is done

Penny J. (Hassett) Larson, e-mail, 25.06.2012 00:11

My mom, sister, brother and I flew on the Philippine Mars from Alameda to Hawaii in 1952 to meet my dad who was stationed in the Navy at Hickam Air Force Base. I think she said the flight was about 14 hours, but very nice.

John, e-mail, 02.03.2012 20:53

March 1 2012
The history channel Had the program about the Mars
water bomber fighting fires in Mexico Badlands. As
an Canadian I hope it stays in Canada. Quite a site
in it;s Red and White paint scheme.

Paul Barager, e-mail, 02.01.2012 21:07

In fire season Martin Mars Hawaii was parked at the end of the lake(Lake Elsinore Ca) and ran up engines every day. Check out the pics when you "wiki" it. Seeing this plane in 2009 still working for a living is like seeing a living dinosaur. But one that you can Love.

sales, e-mail, 12.12.2011 16:59

did the jrm mars haul bodies durning the war

Scott Fiske, e-mail, 04.10.2011 03:44

Looking for anyone who might have known / flown with a C. O. "Larry" Fiske - was a Navy pilot in WWII - flew these out of VX-2? I think. I am his son - looking for any remembrances of that time

Tom Knight, e-mail, 27.09.2011 13:23

My dad flew the Mars during WWII as a member of VR-2. He was Lt. Olyce Thomas Knight.
He flew from Kwajalein to the Japanese held island of Truk on one flight. He bombed the port there, and was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for that action. He was in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1945.
The plane shown here is bigger than the one my dad flew though, although both were designated as the Mars.

Gary Mourning, e-mail, 19.06.2011 18:57

In the summer of 1960 or 1961? I was part of a group of employees of Bay Aviation Services at San Francisco Airport who went to Alameda NAS and towed (with tug boats) 2 Mars Flying Boats across the San Francisco Bay to SFO. The beaching gear was installed so we could tow the aircraft up the Coast Guard ramp and then down the north taxiway to the parking area on the old decommissioned 18/36 runway. The aircraft sat there for several years and then were brought to airworthy condition and flown to Canada for use as aerial fire fighting tankers.

John Hughes, e-mail, 19.06.2011 09:28

As a child we lived in Asuncion, Paraguay and I remember flying the Mars flying boat to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I went to school. I think the airline was DOdero. Do you have any information about this or maybe it was another simular flying boat.

Herbert M. Pink, e-mail, 13.03.2011 21:10

If anyone would like to see the only Mars aircraft still flying (as water bombers) they are still active at Sprout Lake B.C. Canada. I also have a scratcth built 1/72 scale model on display in the Alberta Aviation Museum , Edmonton Canada

Bill Farmer CTTCM(SS), e-mail, 26.02.2011 20:12

I had the pleasure of being a passenger on this aircraft early in my Navy career (1955), flying from NAS Alameda to Hawaii on the first leg of a PCS transfer to Japan. The seats for passengers were very plush and covered with kind of blue velvet material - felt like I was some sort of VIP ...

Bryan E. Bradford, e-mail, 11.02.2011 21:47

My father, Bryan E. Bradford, flew the Mars from Alameda when we lived in Oakland in the early 1950's. I remember being in the aircraft several times, and still have my father's log book of flights. What great memories I have.

Sig, e-mail, 20.01.2011 20:17

Still in action click the link

Gale Scribner Gill, e-mail, 13.12.2010 17:32

My husband, John Ellis Gill, was the flight surgeon for VR 2 from 1951 to 1953. I've since lost track of friends we had in the squadron, but I remember well coming to pick him up at the dock when he returned from his periodic flights to serve the squadron members in Hawaii. I was thrilled to get a glimpse of Walter Pidgeon along with others deplaning one morning.

Frank Loughridge, e-mail, 12.11.2010 06:43

My Grandfather was an aircrewman on the mars in the early 50s or late 40s My mom has told me stories she heard him tell about engines falling off and such, sadly he passed before I was born, Did anyone know a Frank Stapleton?

dale smith, e-mail, 08.11.2010 21:38

After watching 10 PBM's go up in flaming crashes in Manila Bay while stationed at Sangley Point P.I. 1950-1951 logging a lot of hours to Clark and Subic on our Amphibian PBM and crewing one on a Congressional VIP trip to Hong Kong, I vowed never to fly Martin again. However, after cumshawing a flight to Hawaii at the end of my tour, the only flight I ever found was on the Martin to NAS Alameda. I thought it was fantastic especially being under water before takeoff, and watching that water recede. What a great airplane. That's my era, the best ever. Dr. Dale Smith

Tom Waldrop, e-mail, 11.10.2010 06:42

In 1944 I was an ART 1/c, assigned to AROU#1 (Aviation, Repair& Overhaul Unit #1; We shipped to Marianas soon after. While there I frequently saw them tied up near the Essex carrier at Oakland. That's all I know, but they were certainly impressive ships!

Daniel E.Carr, e-mail, 02.10.2010 23:01

I flew as an Aviation Radioman in VR-2 and logged 559.6 hours in these aircraft in 1949-1950.The basic mission was between Alameda ,California and HNL and flight time was about 14 hours per leg for the JRM-1 and about 12 hours for the JRM-2 (the Caroline Mars #76824).

Bill Vawter, e-mail, 14.09.2010 04:59

I was stationed at at NAS Alameda in 1949 with VA-154. After a short deployment, we returned to San Diego and the entire air group, if I remember correctly, consisting of over 300 personnel returned to Alameda on one of the MARS. It had set the record at that time of transporting this many men. It was really a miserable flight. Sweating while on the water and then freezing at cruise altitude. There were no seats available, so 90% were seasted in the cargo hold on our luggage.

Alfred Mabey CDR USN (ret), e-mail, 08.09.2010 00:01

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a tour of duty assigned to VR-2 flying the Mars aircraft. After having served flying seaplanes in a VP squadron and as an instructer in PBM's the Mars was heaven to fly. The squadron's check system was based on the old Pan Am system. Proud to have qualified as a Transport Plane Commander in Hawaii Mars 823.

Emmett Evans, e-mail, 04.08.2010 00:13

During the Korean War it was my good fortune to be assigned to VR 2, the MARS
squadron. It was my second tour with VR 2 & I was able to qualify as TPC (transport PlaneCommander) I remember having to return to base after losing # one engine. With the wind coming from the west we had to back into the berthing lagoon.

Tom Sulo, Jr., e-mail, 27.07.2010 04:58

I was a YN2 in the Navy and in 1948 I was at Honolulu after spending 2 years on Guam. I had the privelage of flying from Hawaii to Alameda on the Philippine Mars on my return to the states in 1948.

Benny Rutledge, e-mail, 19.06.2010 18:05

I flew in the "Hawaii" MARS with my Sister and Mother from Oakland bay (NAS Alameda)to Hawaii in 1954.My Dad was attached to the squadron(VR-2) @ the time as a flight engineer.

Don Dixon, e-mail, 06.05.2010 18:51

My mom and I flew back from Guam on one of these when i was 6. Cabin was NOT pressurized and I had a heart condition as a kid so they had me on Oxygen for about 4 hours of the flight. A HUGE airplane,especially to a 6 year old. The JATO take-off was a hoot. Still remember the noise!

Don Safer, e-mail, 24.04.2010 05:09

I forgot to mention I worked on P-5 Marlins an Airman Aprentance with VT-31 1962-63. I would climb up on the wings to wash them. I also got to jump in the bay to launch and beach them. Those were impresively large but those Mars dwarf them. More on my Navy time at www dot Donsafer * com.

Don Safer, e-mail, 24.04.2010 05:03

My Dad had a 14 foot outboard we would Launch in San Leandro Bay along side of
Doolittle during the Korean War. The area near the south side of Alameda Naval Air
Station, where the Hornet currently is, was off limits. I remember one day we went out
the estuary, did some fishing, and tried to return around the south side. There was a
Mars out there that cut us of repeatably. We could out maneuver it but not out run it, so
back to the estuary. I supose it couldmave been a Marlin I I think it had 4 engines.
Were any Mars kept at (ex) Oakland NAS in the late 50s or 60s? A friend says yes but I think he saw a couple of British flying boats kept there.

stanley strazza, e-mail, 26.03.2010 18:38

I am a avid wreck-chaser andI have followed the Marianas Mars from assembly to her present demise on a mountain top in the Mt Moriarty range near Parskville BC Canada...I had seen her fly over my school in Nanoose Bay BC on her last and fatal flight to drop water on a fire for Northwest Bay Logging Division...she was an awesome site to see flying overhead and the sound of those massive radial engines I'll never forget.....stanley strazza

Patrick Chambers, e-mail, 03.03.2010 23:09

There are links online for a Mars that had an engine fire resulting in the total loss of the aircraft, but it was near Hawaii, not Maryland. There are pictures of the crew on the aircraft somewhere. The plane sank, and was rediscovered a couple of years ago during a survey of Hawaiian coastal waters in search of answers about additional Japanese invasion forces on 12-7. Just search for "Martin Mars" and you'll come across it.

Bob Dore, e-mail, 01.03.2010 07:03

I visited the site of the crash of the "Mariana Mars Water Bomber" as a young boy. I believe it crashed in Northwest Bay, BC in the summer of 1961. Can anyone help me with the coordinates? I have been trying to find the site again and have had no luck so far. Thanks, B. Dore

Julie, e-mail, 20.02.2010 20:59

My father-in-law was one of the design engineers who did the conversion of the Martin Mars. And if anyone is interested on Feb 23 & 24 the Martin Mars will be in Stevenston, British Columbia as part of a 100 Years in Aviation (part of the Olympic festivites).

fROGGY, e-mail, 08.02.2010 19:13

Still haven't heard of anyone who saw one of these beautiful ships that was burned to the waterline from engine fire at Middle River, Maryland. May have been secret that my father in law should not have known about and sure shouldn't have taken a photo.

Dan Cook, e-mail, 05.02.2010 04:40

Yep there are a couple left on Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island have been fishing there and when it rains you can always go and troll under the wing. Might be an exaggeration!
Had one come and do a scoop in front of my cabin a few years ago they appear to move slow due to the size. We also were up in fighting fires in the interior in 2003 and they were there. Lately they have been farming them out to Clifornia, must be like a visit home for the old gals.

Dan Cook, e-mail, 05.02.2010 04:39

Yep there are a couple left on Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island have been fishing there and when it rains you can always go and troll under the wing. Might be an exaggeration!
Had one come and do a scoop in front of my cabin a few years ago they appear to move slow due to the size. We also were up in fighting fires in the interior in 2003 and they were there. Lately they have been farming them out to Clifornia, must be like a visit home for the old gals.

Noland Brook, e-mail, 21.01.2010 22:21

I worked in the beach crew as a Aviation Boatswain Mate striker on these aircraft in late 1955 and early 1956.

Froggy Worden, e-mail, 21.01.2010 12:42

My father-in-law took pictures of one of the boats moored at Middle River MD. One is a photo of the boat burned to the water line from an engine fire. Anyone have any knowledge of this. I didn't find the photo until after my father-in-law had passed away. Thanks.

keith miller, e-mail, 01.06.2009 20:52

My father flew the flying boats Van B. Miller, he talks about flying into Honololu Hawaii when an engine fell off. He advised he was flying at about nine thousand feet when it happened. He advises that then they landed in Honololu there were pictures taken of the plane and the crew. My father is about to pass away at the VA in Huntington WVa and I am trying to find those pictures before he passes. Can anyone advise me where to find them if they are still around. Keith Miller 502 839-3526 cell 502 403 8755

Jerry Avallone, e-mail, 24.03.2009 00:57

In 1959 while attached to VP-47 at NAS Alameda, there were 4 MARS A/C in storage near the estuary side of the base. Word came down that someone had purchased these aircraft to use as aerial firefighters. They all needed a lot of engine and prop work to get them in shape to fly again. The Navy had given the purchaser 30 days to get them off the property.Well it took a lot more time to return these planes to serviceability so they were barged over to SFO and brought on land at the US Coast Guard station. We worked on these planes there each day after our normal duty was over for extra pay. Great experience to see the inards of these magnificient airplanes. Especially climbing out to the outboard engines inside of the wings.Interesting to learn at least 2 of these birds are still around.

Daniel L. Berek, e-mail, 22.03.2009 23:43

During World War II, Martin envisioned airliner versions of this graceful flying boat. Alas, it was to prove just a fantasy, as there was little need for large passenger-carrying flying boats after the war. Anyway, here is a copy of the advertisement:

Rodney Bittencurt, e-mail, 18.03.2009 04:29

I flew as radioman on these aircraft during 1955-56 at /VR-2 NAS Alameda, CA.
The most exciting moment was one early morning on our way to Hawaii off Is. Hawaii we hit air pocket & dropped 2,000 ft. All the parameters were such that we had zero gravity on board. Anyone not strapped in floated. True story.

Kevin Newell, e-mail, 15.03.2009 04:34

These planes still exist. I see them float on Sproat Lake in Canada in British Columbia. The Philippine and the Mighty Martin Hawaii Mars are still here. The last of their kind. Very few people know that they are still around.

John Nichols, e-mail, 27.10.2008 08:41

My father passed away in 2005, he was an Aviation Radiomen, and flew in the Mars from 1943 thru 1946. His name was James Nichols, he was from Illinois. I still have his flight log. An interesting note is that in the summer of 1945 he was flying to Tinian and Saipan. The flight page for those flights are stamped top secret in the passenger and cargo blocks. I have always wondered.

Everitt M. Mahon, e-mail, 10.10.2008 04:16

I flew twice on the MARS. Once to get some flight pay around Alameda and Oakland Bay after it had some in-hanger maintenace, and once when I deployed to the Philippine Islands. It went from Alameda to Hawaii with a full complement of sailors during the Korean War. Also all their personal gear. It had to use JATO to take off from San Francisco Bay.

Don Hoover, e-mail, 21.04.2008 04:11

I flew as flight engineer on these arcraft during 1955-56 at VR-2 NASAlameda, Ca.

Peter Hamel, e-mail, 09.01.2007 00:01

Watch for the web-site:

frank slavin, e-mail, 08.01.2007 23:29

where can I find a large photo or print of this

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