PBM in for service in Oppama, Japan, in 1950

The title pretty much says it all. This was my father's PBM, a seaplane, docked for service at Oppama, Japan in 1950. They were in getting their 220 hour major overhaul.

I'm sure it's just me, but I'm waiting for a girl on roller skates to show up with a tray of malts and burgers.

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And here's my dad's crew for VP-42, crew 6 taken in Iwokuni.

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On the back it says:
This is a crew picture taken at Iwokuni just before we sent the plane over the side.
And from Wikipedia, a little about the PBM:
The Martin PBM Mariner was a patrol bomber flying boat of World War II and the early Cold War period. It was designed to complement the PBY Catalina in service. 1,366 were built, with the first example flying on February 18, 1939 and the type entering service in September 1940.

The first PBM-1s entered service with Patrol Squadron FIFTY-FIVE (VP-55) of the United States Navy on 1 September 1940. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, PBMs were used (together with PBYs) to carry out Neutrality Patrols in the Atlantic, including operations from Iceland. Following the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, PBMs were used on anti-submarine patrols, sinking their first German U-Boat, U-158 on 30 June 1942. In total, PBMs were responsible, wholly or in part, for sinking 10 U-Boats during World War II. PBMs were also heavily used in the Pacific, operating from bases at Saipan, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and the South-West Pacific.

The United States Coast Guard acquired 27 Martin PBM-3 aircraft during the first half of 1943. In late 1944, the service acquired 41 PBM-5 models and more were delivered in the latter half of 1945. Ten were still in service in 1955, although all were gone from the active Coast Guard inventory by 1958 when the last example was released from CGAS San Diego and returned to the US Navy. These flying boats became the backbone of the long-range aerial search and rescue efforts of the Coast Guard in the early post-war years until supplanted by the P5M and the HU-16 Albatross in the mid-1950s.

PBMs continued in service with the US Navy following the end of World War II, flying long patrol missions during the Korean War. It continued in front-line use until replaced by its direct development, the P5M Marlin, with the last USN squadron equipped with the PBM, Patrol Squadron FIFTY (VP-50), retiring them in July 1956.(SOURCE: Wikipedia)


  1. Yes! I Can! I Can Smell The Burgers! Great Photos.

  2. Hey! My dad was VP-47 in Oppama same year as yours. They all knew each other so I'm sure their paths crossed alot. I have some great shots of Oppama and the planes

  3. Nancy,

    It's a small world, isn't it? Amazing.

  4. Have been searching for more info; my dad (ADC) worked and flew on PBY's and PBM's for most of his career from 1938 to 1959, in WW2 and Korea. I have a lot I can share if you happen to still be on this site. He died young and a lot of info was lost, but I've been seeking some of that info over the last few years. I also have many recollections of you times when we lived in the PI and Japan. Would love to jointly share info if you are still active on this site. Delmar Evans