Book Author(s)
Steve Ginter
Review Author(s)
Published on
September 19, 2016
Other Publication Information
Softbound, 8.5” x 11”, 256 pages
Product / Stock #

Steve Ginter’s Martin PBM Mariner is one of more recent in his Naval Fighters series and was actually initiated after hearing that Minicraft was really, really, really going to finally put out their 1/72 PBM-5A kit. This edition is in their standard 8.5” x 11” format softbound publication that is 256 pages (excluding covers). I counted 760 photographs (5 in color) along with 61 drawings.

Author Steve Ginter is a noted military historian who publishes the Naval Fighter series that was founded in 1980. After graduating from California State University-Northridge, Steve Ginter became a US Navy pilot, serving from 1966 to 1972. Upon leaving the US Navy, Steve Ginter held a series of management positions within the Thrifty Drug chain for the next twenty-one years. In 1996 in became the CEO of Sentai Distributors where he directed company operations until 2011. The Air Force Legends series was initiated in 1998 with the publication of ‘The Martin XB-51’.

The gull winged Martin PBM Mariner was a multi-purpose flying boat that served in both theatres in World War 2 as well as the Korean War. The Mariner was quite successful attacking shipping in the Pacific and sinking submarines in the Atlantic. Originally envisioned as a true blue water flying boat to replace the PBY Catalina, a total of 1,366 were manufactured. Entering service in September 1940, the Mariner soldiered on until being retired in 1964 by Uruguay.

This edition follows the well-established format for all previous Ginter books. Steve Ginter starts off with a background on what led to the PBM and follows with the design and development of all versions. I was especially intrigued with the CONVAIR “Sea Stilt” tests that were conducted in 1963 off of San Clemente Island. Large clear black and white photos show off the details of the Mariner, including cockpit pics accompanied with labeled drawings of each version. Technical drawings and photos show off everything from gun turret details to search light installations.

The next section starts off with International users of the Mariner, including the Netherlands, Argentina, Columbia, Uruguay, Australia, England, and civilian use. Steve Ginter continues with US Navy and Coast Guard Squadron / Unit history of the thirty-two USN squadrons and the twenty-two US Coast Guard units that operated the Mariner. Included are black and white photographs or drawings of squadron patches. The last section is focused on model kits of the Mariner. A description of each kit also includes photographs of the kit box-tops and views of the finished model.

The Chapters include:

  • Introduction [Page 3]
  • Martin Model 162A “Tadpole Clipper”
  • XPBM-1 BuNo 0796 [Page 9]
  • PBM-1 BuNos 1246, 1248 – 1266 and XPBM-2 BuNo 1247 [ Page 23]
  • PBM-3 Mariner Series [Page 31]
    • PRM-3R Transport
    • PBM-3C Patrol Bomber
    • PBM-3S “Stripped” or Anti-Submarine Patrol
    • PBM-3D Patrol Bomber [Page 46]
  • PBM-4 Proposal
  • PBM-5 Mariner Series
    • PBM-5E
    • PBM-5M
    • PBM-5N
    • PBM-5S
    • PBM-5S2 [Page 71]
    • PBM-5A Amphibian [Page 100]
    • United States Coast Guard Search and Rescue PBM-5G
  • Netherlands Naval Air Service Marine Luchtvaart (MLD) Mariners
  • Naviera Colombiana Jungle Freighters
  • Argentine Naval Air Service, Comando de Aviacion Naval (CAN)
  • Uruguayan Naval Air Service [Page 121]
  • Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) PBM-3R
  • Flying Lobster of Air Lanes Inc. (TFLAI)
  • The Aero Topografica Sa Portuguese Airliner (ARTOP)
  • The Last PBM Standing, PBM-5A BuNo 122071
  • PRM RATO Test Plane
  • PBM Slipper Tank Design Study
  • PBM Floating Dock
  • Project High Jump, PBM Photo Mapping of Antarctica
  • Lake Michigan Mariners
  • CONVAIR “Sea Stilt” Floats
  • Naval Air Test Center, NATC, NAS Patuxent River, MD
  • Fleet Aircraft Service Squadrons, FASRONS
  • Fleet Airborne Electronic Training Units, FATULANT & FAETUPAC
  • Air Station Hacks
  • Air Anti-Submarine Development Squadron Atlantic
  • Air Development Squadron, VX-1
  • WWII Transport Squadrons VR-1, VR-2, VR-6, VR-8, and VR-10
  • Utility Squadrons VU-2, VJ/VU-4, VU-7, VU-10
  • [USN Rescue Squadrons]
  • PBM Patrol Squadrons [Page 159, 183]
  • Far East Tramp Airlines (FETA)
  • Other Post-War Transport Squadrons
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Lake Washington PBM
  • Post-War PBM Training Units
  • United States Coast Guard Operations [Page 248]
  • PBM-5 to XP5M-1 Conversion Comparison
  • [Model Review]
    • Revell 1/118 PBM-5 Mariner
    • Revell 1/426 Seaplane Tender (USS Pine Island)
    • Rare Plane Vacforms 1/72 PBM-3/5 Mariner
    • Pend Oreille 1/48 PBM-3D Mariner
    • HBM 1/200 PBM-5
    • Mach 2 PBM-3/5 Mariner
    • Anigrand 1/144 PBM-3/5 Mariner
    • Execuform 1/72 PBM-5 Mariner
    • Minicraft 1/72 PBM-5A Mariner [Page 255]
  • Unidentified Odds-N-Ends

This tome is an essential reference for the Martin PBM Mariner with plenty of photos and illustrations to help you with your box-scale, 1/144, 1/72 and 1/48 kits. If you have any of the Ginter Naval Fighters or Air Force Legends series, you know how great a value this book is. Highly Recommended!

My thanks to Ginter Books and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!


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