Martin P4M "Mercator"
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01.02.2023 20:36

01.02.2023 06:54

31.01.2023 20:36

31.01.2023 15:55

30.01.2023 10:29

30.01.2023 10:23

Grumman S-2 Tracker

30.01.2023 03:08

30.01.2023 02:26

Avro 685 York

29.01.2023 17:15

Ilyushin IL-76

29.01.2023 06:42

Ilyushin IL-20

28.01.2023 17:54

28.01.2023 15:16

North American P-64

27.01.2023 04:54

27.01.2023 04:34

27.01.2023 00:07

26.01.2023 04:20

25.01.2023 10:41

Piper PA-46 Malibu

25.01.2023 02:03

24.01.2023 20:21

Gloster Gauntlet

24.01.2023 00:34

Convair 240

24.01.2023 00:29

Potez 36

23.01.2023 16:51

Short S.23 Empire

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

21.01.2023 08:27

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Brian Canfer, e-mail, 20.11.2022 13:18

Yes, I'll send them to your hotmail address

John herndon, e-mail, 20.11.2022 04:32

Brian I run the VQ2 Accident Information and the Vq2 facebook pages can I see the accident pictures, and the call out report

Thx John

John herndon, e-mail, 20.11.2022 04:32

Brian I run the VQ2 Accident Information and the Vq2 facebook pages can I see the accident pictures, and the call out report

Thx John

Dogukan Guvenmez, e-mail, 29.10.2022 11:50

Hello. I'm a director on duty investigating a plane crash on January 19, 1960. I went to the accident site about 2 weeks ago. I took images of the debris field and conducted interviews with those who saw the incident. I would be very happy if you would contact me quickly to exchange information about the accident. You can reach me by email or on my Instagram account. My Instagram account is @dogukanguvenmez. My Email

Dogukan Guvenmez, e-mail, 29.10.2022 11:41

Hello. I'm a director on duty investigating a plane crash on January 19, 1960. I went to the accident site about 2 weeks ago. I took images of the debris field and conducted interviews with those who saw the incident. I would be very happy if you would contact me quickly to exchange information about the accident. You can reach me by email or on my Instagram account. My Instagram account is @dogukanguvenmez. My Email

Gina Mouer, e-mail, 05.07.2022 17:56

Norm, would you happen to have any images of the crew? Apologies for the second email, but there seems to be so little information out there and am doing my best to hunt down a picture of AT1 Marvin Radtke for my family. Cheers.

Gina Mouer, e-mail, 05.07.2022 17:53

Thank you for replying Pat. I hope you are able to find some information on your father. Best wishes.

Patricia Hampton Kinzie, e-mail, 05.07.2022 03:07

Hi Gina, no I haven't found further into about the crash but just wrote the archivist of the RAF team who went to the site of the crash. I was only 13 yr. old at the time so didn't know many of the men.

Patricia Hampton Kinzie, e-mail, 05.07.2022 03:04

I forgot to add my father's name: LCDR Warren Jack Hampton, VQ2

Patricia Hampton Kinzie, e-mail, 05.07.2022 03:00

My father was co-pilot on the Jan 19, 1960 air crash from Spain to Incirlik. I sent for his naval record but have no details about the recovery of the bodies. I was 13 yr. old at the time and have always wondered more about why "radar failure" was the reason for the crash. Anyone with details to help me to write my father's story? Thank you.

Gina Mouer, e-mail, 03.07.2022 01:33

Hi Patricia. Did you ever find any further information about your fathers crash? I am researching this awful crash and trying to find a photograph of another serviceman also tragically killed on board that awful fateful day. His name is Marvin Radtke.
Thanks for any information anyone who reads this might have.

Gina M, e-mail, 19.06.2022 14:11

Hello Norm, would you happen to know of Marvin Radtke who was also tragically killed upon that flight on January 19th 1960. Our family are searching for an image of him. Thank you.

Anonymous, 12.11.2021 20:34

The P4M was eventually rejected in favor of the Lockheed P2V Neptune. Although only a few Mercators were ever built, they enjoyed very active operational careers. However, most of their activities were of a classified nature, so that the activities of these aircraft were not highly publicized.

Jo Ann Hofhine, e-mail, 04.10.2021 02:07

Trying to find crew members with Duane Hofhine

Anonymous, 04.10.2021 02:06

Hello Bob thank you so much for your comment. I sent you a private email with an update.

Jo Ann Hofhine, e-mail, 03.10.2021 22:31

Trying to find crew members with Duane Hofhine

Jo Ann Hofhine, e-mail, 27.09.2021 05:52

Duane was 20 when he received his Wings in June ‘50. He met all the qualifications and was selected for that duty. He was in the squadron for 4 yrs. he served 25 yrs. I met him when I was in the Navy. We’re married 50+ yrs. Thank you.

Bob Tucker, e-mail, 19.09.2021 00:15

Thanks to all who wrote about the great P4M-1Q. Ex Navigational Radar Operator 1951-1953, Sangley Point Naval Air Station, Bob Tucker.

Bob Tucker, e-mail, 19.09.2021 00:05

I flew several patrols with your husband from Sangley Point Naval Air Station in the Plilippines and Okinawa, 1951-1953 as a navagation radar oprerator,
assisting him when he was the navigator. As you know the two junior pilots alternated their duty, flying as copilot one patrol and as navigator the next patrol. A great group of air crews and ground crews.

Connor, e-mail, 07.12.2020 05:05

Hello, my grandfather was with the crew of this aircraft right before he took Christmas leave in December 1959. He knew the men on board. I am looking for any information I can find on this crash on his behalf. Please contact me with details, thank you.

Brian Canfer, e-mail, 23.08.2020 12:36

I am the archivist of the RAF Mountain Rescue Association and we have an original copy of this callout, with photos and George Murphy, one of those most closely involved in the recovery of the dismembered bodies, recently privately published his memoirs giving details and stressing how carefully the crew were recovered. Please contact me for further details.

Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 03:39

The P4M Mercator was named for Gerardus Mercator, the Flemish cartographer who created the Mercator map projection.

Norm Anderson, e-mail, 31.07.2020 18:35

For anyone interested in th P4M, a good book is 'The last boomerang' written by John McIntyre a former P4M pilot with VQ-2. It is fiction but know it is mostly factual especially the missions.

roger reid, e-mail, 02.03.2018 00:08

Norm Anderson: Regarding the January 1960 Mercator P4M crash in Turkey, in which you lost your best friend. I am so sorry. My close friend was in the British RAF MR SAR party that effected to retrieval of the USA servicemen. They were treated with the greatest dignity and respect.
There were reports in two British MR books. If you are interested, please contact me.
Might you have any Official Crash Report of this crash on Karanfil Dag, or other "American perspective"? If so, that would be greatly appreciated

Donald R. Sullivan, Jr, e-mail, 25.11.2017 18:20

Sitting here with my brother, Kevin, talking about the P4M and the one shot down June 16, 1959. Our father, LTJG Donald R. Sullivan was a pilot on the aircraft that day (he was acting as a Navigator that day from what we can tell). Noticed Mr. Owen Farley said he was also part of that crew. Wish we'd come across this page earlier. Anyone else with knowledge of the shootdown? Understand they landed (or crash-landed) at Miho. Please feel free to email me... thanks!

Ned Rankin, e-mail, 10.10.2017 04:55

I was co-pilot with C.O. CDR Sparks in Napler,Italy in 1957 on a P4M-1Q when the gear collapsed upon landing at Naples

Bill Bonney, e-mail, 18.08.2017 00:46

Flew as a ecm operator on P4M1Q. Port Lyauty French Morocco in 1952-1954. The plane was owned by Sqadron and we flew as passengers since we were in cumminication unit 32g. Had to fly in uniform and change to civies before getting off plane. Have seen cowl flaps broken in powered dive in Black Sea

steven biffoni, e-mail, 18.04.2017 20:38

Having always been fascinated by the rarer aircraft that the Navy had over the years, after reading a book about it,
I wonder if more would have been manufactured had the plane been proposed as an electronic warfare.reconnaissance aircraft for its era, instead of being a rival to the Neptune.

Omer Tuzel, e-mail, 12.02.2017 16:18

I would appreciate anyone who is knowledgeable regarding the engines used on the P4 MQ1 to inform me whether any type of hybrid engine with three propeller blades were fitted on any P4 MQ1 and if so whether the propeller blades would have been out of wood or metal?

Jo Ann Hofhine, e-mail, 09.02.2017 05:35

Husband, Duane Hofhine was one of the original pilots of the P4M from June 1950 for the next 4 yrs. Retired after 25+ years of Naval service.

Grif Drew, e-mail, 30.01.2017 23:36

My father LT Joseph Cole Drew was a pilot of this aircraft and was stationed in Port Lyautey French Morocco from around 1950 to 1954. Could never speak about why we were there because it was classified. I was very young but still remember our time there. He was very fond of this plane.

Joe L. Stauffer ADR-2, e-mail, 19.05.2016 08:57

2PC on P4M-1Qs 56/58. Saw Tom Glovers post and remember him well.He was one of the first PCs on the first 2 A3Ds in the Navy. Want to let him know I am still in San Diego where I saw him last, 1959. The Mercater was an amazing A/C for it's time and remember my last flight, Iwakuni to Atsugi, enroute back to the land of the "round eye". Wish there was one I could go see!

BOB H., e-mail, 03.04.2016 20:37


William Woodcock, e-mail, 17.02.2016 22:09

Ya, I remember you Gerald Tripp. I was there the same time as you. I was a machinist on the p4m. I was stationed in Patuxent River after that when Peterson got killed when they were bring his plane back to the states for over hall.

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 23.08.2015 07:59

Stationed at North Island, San Diego, in 1953. Every time one of these would call tower for landing instructions the tower would TRY to direct them to sea plane tower thinking it was a flying boat!

Klaatu83, e-mail, 21.07.2015 04:31

The main reason why only a few of these airplanes were produced was because the Lockheed P-2 "Neptune" could perform the same mission and was far less expensive.

Gilbert C. (Van) Vandling, e-mail, 10.04.2015 20:06

I was an Aviation Electronics technician assigned to a communications Unit in French Morocco between April 53 and Nov. 54. Our unit flew missions aboard the P4M-1Q. I would like to contact other members of our unit that served during that time.

Jim Price, e-mail, 19.12.2014 05:54

I was in VQ-1 from 59-61. I worked in the ECM office and flew on many of the missions. I remember many of them. The WV-2's we started flying after the P-4's were bigger and roomier. Many years ago.

Roy Wolfe, e-mail, 24.10.2014 20:03

Interested in contacting Mark Baker Jr. Flew with his dad during Port Lyautey

Willis E.Vanderberg, e-mail, 08.01.2014 21:13

The squadron in Port Lyautey was a VP not a VR.My error.

Willis E. Vanderberg, e-mail, 08.01.2014 21:07

I was stationed in Port Lyautey French Morocco in 53-54 VR-24 was flying this type of aircraft.I was a member of the crash crew when one P4M landed with the gear up and smashed the radar dome all to pieces.Because of the J-33 in the Nacelles the landing gear was a long legged affair that folded outboard up aginst the wing bottom. We raised the old girl with a bunch of life rafts and lowered the gear.

John Ivory, e-mail, 23.10.2013 22:35

Looking for people who knew my Father JOHN E.IVORY. He flew out of Sangley Point and was a bow gunner on the P-4M's. I believe he was NAS Whiby Island as well, have a class or squadron photo with a P4M as the backdrop.

Patricia Hampton Kinzie, e-mail, 07.09.2013 04:25

Do anyone have any information for me to include in my father's memoirs about the air crash on 19 Jan 1960 near Adana, Turkey? My father, LtCmdr Warren Jack Hampton, was co-pilot and died that day. I am gathering information for a family history. I don't understand the nature of the radar failure?

Jim Edixon, e-mail, 26.08.2013 04:18

Pilot - Flew with Hap Sweeten 1953 -1955. Flew 124362
when the left engine tore off - not something you would
care to have happen.Was flying '62 when it was attacked by
Migs April 1955.Had 124365 blow the right engine at 100 feet on take-off.
The P4M would climb 4000 ft/min at max gross weight on
I enjoyed flying DC-9s and 727s later but the P4M remained
closest to my heart.

stephen fontenot, e-mail, 17.06.2013 04:20

my dad J.Y. Fontenot left me a beltbuckle with 1952 P4M sangley point on it he talked about the plane and the phillipines quite a bit over the years. would love to hear from anyone who might have known him

Norm Anderson, e-mail, 17.01.2013 22:54

I was in VQ-2 from 1957-1961 and flew as radar operator in the P4M-1Q many times. I was at Incirlic Air Base in Turkey the night one of our P4Ms flew into the side of a mountain on the way in from Spain. All 16 crewmen were killed including my best friend. Toward the end of the time we had them there were a lot of problems, fires, engines going out and were finally replaced with A3D and WV. The plane was fun to fly in, especially with a hotrod pilot.

Carol Bauer, e-mail, 01.12.2012 07:21

My dad, JIM BAUER, crewed/electronics? in this plane out of the Philippines and Okinawa. I'm looking for anyone who night have known him. He wouldn't talk about the work, other than it was always at night, was secret and dangerous. I would love to hear more from those who were there. Thank You!

Carol Bauer, e-mail, 01.12.2012 07:21

My dad, JIM BAUER, crewed/electronics? in this plane out of the Philippines and Okinawa. I'm looking for anyone who night have known him. He wouldn't talk about the work, other than it was always at night, was secret and dangerous. I would love to hear more from those who were there. Thank You!

Tom Glover, e-mail, 19.11.2012 23:31

I was a CAC and AD2 F/C on both the P4M and the A3 (1956-58), Iwakuni, and made the deployment to Sheyma. I remained on active duty for total of 36 years, flew as P2V F/C (VP 46, P3 F/E), CWO VP47, retired as a LDO CDR. 1991. Loved the P4!!!

JIM TOUHEY, e-mail, 27.10.2012 03:42


Mark Baker Jr, e-mail, 19.09.2012 19:26

My father flew the P4M-Q1 with VP21 he loved the aircraft, he talked about the plane and missions,he was radio.He was at pax river 1951 thru 1953

Jack W., e-mail, 28.08.2012 20:53

Grandfather was a pilot on the P4M....At the time Lt. Louis V Roberts...

Looking into his long history with the Navy...Very impressive A/C and sad to see only 19 were made with few destoryed.

George Sutton, e-mail, 06.07.2012 20:55

The P4M was perfect for aerial mining and probably the easiest airplain in which I qualified! Politics killed it!

Bill Cunningham, e-mail, 22.04.2012 00:17

1952-54 Sangley Point. Ordinanceman in flight crew and spent time in the tail turret.
VW-1 Lt Commander Douglas, later Sweeton.

Richard (Dick) Herkert, e-mail, 01.04.2012 05:17

Great Bird! Many exciting darkened-ship flights out of NS Sangley Point, PI, as the radar operator/technician, airborne electrician and bow gunner 1952-54. Took home my wife of now 57 years and counting. Looking for squadron buddies.

Richard (Dick) Herkert, e-mail, 01.04.2012 05:09

Many darkened-ship exciting flights out of NS Sangley Point, Philippine Islands, 1952-54 as the AT radar operator/technician, airborne electrician and bow gunner. Married my wife of now 57 & counting delightful years.

Joe L. Stauffer ADR-2, e-mail, 16.11.2011 05:54

VQ-1, Iwakuni, 1956-1958 CAC and 2-PC. One of the most unique planes I ever worked on. Memories never to be forgotten including the squadron personell and how we fixed a prop that was "not repairable".

Tom Hanneman, e-mail, 24.10.2011 17:45

I was an E.T. In VQ-1 from 1959 to 1961. I remember her well I even have a tie clasp, I got in Japan, in the shape of the P4M. VQ-1 moved from MCAF Iwakuni to NAS Atsugi in late 1959 or early 1960.

lorraine mayer, e-mail, 28.09.2011 22:28

My husband,donald mayer ,was the pilot on that june 16th flight .He loved that big old P4M and he loved his crew!!
He died on aug.2nd,2010. I was in Iwakuni with our family
from 1958-1960. Would like hearing from anyone who might
remember any of us.

Klaatu, e-mail, 10.07.2011 18:23

This was designed to meet the same specification as the highly-successful Lockheed P2V Neptune. Although only 19 of these aircraft were built, they actually saw a great deal of active service. However, since the the operations they were involved in were mainly of the covert variety, they received very little publicity or recognition. At least one is known to have been shot down by Soviet fighters!

r l battersby, e-mail, 02.06.2011 03:05

i served in vu-3 naha 1956-7 vq-1 operated out of flight line hut using our base radio during flight operations i played cribbage with the radio operator the nite tractor called in under attack next day vp-4 picked up parts and put in front of our hut next typhoone all gone

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 01.04.2011 06:42

1952, stationed at North Island, San Diego. Everytime one of these came in and the land tower heard P4M they'd try to hand it off to the seaplane tower! Understand they got some interesting replies!

Leroy McVay, e-mail, 18.03.2011 02:47

1953, stationed at North Island. First one that came in tower directed them to seaplane tower! They replied they'd rather use the concrete runway.

bill phillips, e-mail, 01.03.2011 01:45

I was stationed at NAF Litchfield Park, AZ in 51-52. i was down by the ad bldg. one day when a MARTIN P4M came in on a RON. He pulled up in front of the AD Bldg, reversed pitch on his starboard engine and backed into his parking spot. That got our attention as we'd never seen that before. It was a good looking A/C.

ski Florkiewicz, e-mail, 25.02.2011 22:19

TAD @ Sangley w VU5 1954
P4M's parked down the road
Crew all wore sidearms, flew at night returned at dawn from China???
Later @ Okinawa, had one come in with a blown engine,
on approach, pilot shut down good one & requested a go-round
Air force pukes all stood around with their jaws on the ground

Ralph Willis, e-mail, 22.02.2011 07:06

I flew in the P4M1Q for 2 years. Stationed at Sangley Point, Phillipines, from 1952 1954 We flew lots of patrols out of Okinawa , Japan,Also flew patrol to Vietnam in 54 I was flight engineer & tail gunner when in combat zone. As for the question about ejection seat, no there was none. My squadron commander was A. W. Sweeton I do remember the patrols across the 38th in to Manchuria to check out supply depots.

Rich Lancaster, e-mail, 20.10.2010 05:49

I was station at Misawa AFB Japan 59 to 61 as Crash Rescue Firefighter. Would see them every once awhile blew our mind the first time they were waiting to takeoff and light off those J-33 engines could not figure where they were located found out later.

I.L. Brown, e-mail, 23.09.2010 10:41

Spent many hours involving P4M when the Pac designation was VW-1 det alpha and was present for commissioning ceremonies 1955 at Sangley Point, PI. Agree that it was a great and dependable A/C. Awesome with all four two blocked and in a shallow dive.

Sam McIntyre, e-mail, 13.09.2010 05:34

I was a mechanic in the 310FBS based at Osan,Korea. We were TDY to Tainan,Formosa when the P4M was shot down off the China coast. We walked under and around a P4M that flew out of Tainan as we went back and forth to our ramp. At least four of our F-86's scrambled to fly cover for the search crews as they recovered what they could. The P4M was one impressive airplane especially after saw those jet engines tucked under 4360 radial engines. We never saw this airplane take off or land, must of flew at night.

Bob Bublitz, e-mail, 09.08.2010 18:27

Armament was twin 20mm in the bow and tail turrets and two 50 cal. in the dorsal turret. I flew as navigator and co-pilot out of Sangley Point 1951-53. We were taken under fire off Shanghai by Mig-15s in '52 as was another plane from our unit a few weeks earlier. The MiGs missed both times.

Fran k Fry, e-mail, 03.06.2010 02:19

The correct date should be 6-3-2010. No this message did not come from the "Twilight Zone" just detail malfunction.

Frank C Fry, e-mail, 03.06.2010 01:33

Frank Fry 6-2-2010 This brave crew was commanded by my father just prior to the incident that Mr Farley talks about and "Yes sir"it was indeed a great plane that day and may others that came before it. "Hey Coach"

Owen Farley, e-mail, 04.04.2010 04:45

I was ECM evaluator on this plane 1958-1960 out of Iwakuni Japan with VQ-1. Was on the plane 16 June 1959 when jumped by 2 MiG's. Was a good plane that day!!

Don Parker, e-mail, 11.03.2010 21:48

I flew the P4M in VQ-1 in Iwakuni in 1956 and 1957. Made several Trans Pac's to Norfolk for O&R. Great airplane. Later flew the P2V and I must admit the P2V-5F was a better airplane.

Bud Rushe, 21.01.2010 22:28

I flew in this aircraft in VP-21 in 1951 and 52, as a radio/radar operator. A greater aircraft was never made. I refused to fly in P2V's after the trasition although I did have one hop in one. It was like flying on a turtle after being in a real airplane.

HUBERT HUNTER, e-mail, 18.01.2010 05:48

I flew in this plane 1959-1960 from Iwakuni,Japan and Shemi, Alaska as a flight engineer. emergency bailouts were by ejecting the forward hatch and just dropping thru for the 6 members forward. The aft crew bailed out by removing a pullout window on the port side.

Bob Tucker, e-mail, 07.01.2010 17:28

I flew as a navigational radar operator out of Sangley Point, Phillipines from 1951-1953 in this great aircraft.

Rob Belcher, e-mail, 10.11.2009 19:11

Hi aviation historian looking for former VQ-2 Mercator crews who would have flown into the NAF at Blackbushe near London in the 1950s. Would like to know more about the Mercator missions that recovered there.Thanks

Ernie, e-mail, 31.03.2009 20:22

I was in th tower the night the P4M was shot down-as was the routine in Vq sgd they always taxied ou with two fully briefed crews the first one had a discrepency and so the backup departed within 3 hours the plane was shot down into the sea we always believed that they just barely made it out of China

Tom Glass, e-mail, 26.07.2008 21:38

Unique, rare aircraft. "Corncob" recips, hidden jets. Most appreciative of crews who flew out of NAS Iwakuni. VP-9 P2V vet.

H W Thornhill, e-mail, 17.05.2008 04:01

I served with VP-21 from 1952-1955. Worked on P4M-1s in 1952 before the squadron transitioned to P2Vs. Removed many a stress plates from the upper wing surface of the P4M during a check. I still have pictures of the aircraft and a large one presented to all personnel by the Martin company just before the aircraft left to be converted to P4M-1Q and sent to Port Lyauty.

Len Nielsen, e-mail, 02.05.2008 02:01

saw one on the ramp at NAS, Moffett Field, in 1959?? very noisy on take-off

Gerald L. Tripp, e-mail, 19.04.2008 10:10

Yes I spent many hours flying in the P4M-1Q with VQ-2 out of Port Lyaute, Morroco. '55to '57. No ejection seats.Come to think of it we never had a bailout drill. The plane did have a small hydro plane that could be manually lowered in place. It was just aft of the forward turret.

Bob Brewer, e-mail, 29.06.2007 23:54

Did the Martin P4M have any ejection seats? How were emergency bailouts performed?

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