World War II Wiki
World War II Wiki

A PBM-3 Mariner in flight during 1942.

The Martin PBM Mariner was an American twin engine flying boat used during World War II. It was made by the Glenn L. Martin Company, and around 1,405 were built.[1]


The PBM was designed in 1937 to replace Martin's earlier P3M and complement Consolidated's PBY Catalina. Known as the Model 162, the type was preceded by a single seat quarter scale model known as the 162A, which was used to evaluate the design's flying characteristics.[2] These tests led to the US Navy ordering a single XPBM-1 on June 30, 1937 as the prototype XPBM-1. The aircraft first flew on February 18, 1939, and entered service in September, 1940.

During the war, the Mariner was used mostly as a patrol bomber by the United States Navy. They were used for anti-submarine patrols after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and claimed at least 12 submarines sunk over the course of the conflict. The PBM was also used by the US Coast Guard as a search and resuce aircraft. It was additionally exported to Great Britain and Australia, who used them as transports. The aircraft would be continued to be used by foreign countries until 1964.[1]


Source: WW2 Vehicles website [1]except where noted.

  • XPBM-1 - Prototype, 1 built. (Later redesignated XPBM-1A following armament test modifications.[2])
  • XPBM-2 - Second prototype with increased fuel capacity, and provision for catapult launching.[2]
  • PBM-1 - First production model, 20 built.
  • PBM-3 - Longer engine nacelles, fixed outriggers, 279 built.
  • PBM-3B - Version of PBM-3 supplied for British use, comprising 32 aircraft designated Mariner GR.Mk I.[2]
  • PBM-3C - Larger weapons suite, more armor, 274 built.
  • PBM-3D - Improved PBM-3C with more powerful engines, search radar, self-sealing fuel tanks and revised armament. 201 built.[2]
  • XPBM-3E - Single PBM-3 used for radar development.[2]
  • PBM-3R - Unnarmed transport, 50 built.
  • PBM-3S - Designed specifically for anti-submarine warfare, 156 built.
  • XPBM-5 - Two PBM-5 prototypes developed from PBM-3D.[2]
  • PBM-5 - Improved engines, new radar, retractable landing gear, 631 built.
  • XPBM-5A - Single PBM-5A prototype.[2]
  • PBM-5A - Tricycle landing gear, mostly used by Coast Guard, 36 built.
  • PBM-5E - PBM-5 aircraft fitted with AN/APS-15 radar.[2]
  • PBM-5G - PBM-5 aircraft supplied to USCG for Air-Sea Rescue work. 4 examples.[2]
  • PBM-5M - Single PBM-5 aircraft converted for use in missile tests.[2]
  • PBM-5E - Small number of PBM-5 aircraft fitted withspecial ASW equipment.[2]


The PBM Mariner was powered by two Wright R-2600-12 engines which allowed it to reach speeds of up to 205 mph and gave it a range of 3,000 miles. It required a crew of 8-12,[3] and could be armed with eight .50 in machine guns and either 4,000 lbs of bombs or two Mk. 13 torpedoes.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "WWII Vehicles" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 901 Sheet 7 (A-Z of Aircraft:M - Martin PBM Mariner (continued) to Martinsyde F Series)