Hawaii Mars

The Martin JRM Mars was conceived in 1941 as a patrol bomber, intended to scale up the already existing Martin PBM Mariner. The prototype, designated as XPB2M-1R, went into the test phase in November 1941 and first flew in June 1942. Being the largest flying boat ever to enter Allied service during WWII, it was soon assigned the role of a transport aircraft instead.

After successful tests in 1943, the Navy originally decided to order 20 aircraft. Later they reduced the order to only the five which were already being manufactured. Those five aircraft were designated as Marianas Mars, Philippine Mars, Marshall Mars, Caroline Mars, and Hawaii Mars. Unfortunately, several weeks after conducting successful test flights, the first Hawaii Mars crashed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Even though this four-engined giant had to wait until January 1944 to officially enter service with the Navy, it continued to be employed after the war as a useful asset.

Used mainly for exhibition purposes, Caroline Mars set a world record for passenger loads on 4 March 1949 by carrying 269 people from San Diego to Alameda, CA. Marshall Mars was lost in 1950 after an engine caught fire whilst in Hawaii. Despite malfunctions, the four surviving Martin JRM Mars aircraft served with cargo duties until 1956, when they were officially retired. The aircraft were almost sold for scrap, but in 1959 they were given a second chance. A Canadian company, Forest Industries Flying Tankers, purchased them to serve as part of their forest fire prevention inventory. The conversion enabled the aircraft to carry 7,200 U.S. gallons of water, covering an area of up to 4 acres.

The planes designated as Marianas Mars and Caroline Mars were the first to become water bombers. In 1961 Marianas Mars suffered an accident while participating in a firefighting operation near Northwest Bay, BC, Canada. Just two years later, Caroline Mars was damaged beyond repair while tied down in a severe storm at the airport in Victoria B.C. Afterward, the remaining two Martin JRM Mars planes, Hawaii Mars II and Philippine Mars were both converted into water bombers and remained in service until Hawaii Mars II eventually retired in 2015 – far beyond anyone’s expectations.

More recently, Hawaii Mars II starred at the EAA’s 2016 Air Venture, thrilling many enthusiasts when simulating “fire attacks” on the Oshkosh Airfield. Today, Hawaii Mars II remains the only airworthy example of its type in the world.

If I had the scratch to buy it, insure it and maintain it, I’d recut the interior and make it a live aboard.


For the first time in history, you can say, “he’s an idiot,” and 90% of the world will know exactly who you are talking about.


Soldier Pass Cave – Sedona, AZ


A map of the five Indo-Greek Kingdoms which roughly correspond with the modern-day ethnic geographies of Pakistan and Afghanistan.


In Arizona?


It’s so Woke

If he has external male genitalia and a prostate…

He isn’t having a baby….

He’s having a mental health crisis.


Meme of the Day


May 1st has come and gone — the Party’s Over


  1. I’ve always liked the Model ’73. The toggle link action is very smooth and quick though not terribly strong. Given the caliber of the pictured example, it would have to be a modern made example, either Uberti or one of the new Winchesters. I don’t recommend using black powder in those unless you’re willing to disassemble the action for cleaning due to blow by, not really difficult though a bit of a pain. I’ve found the .44-40, due to its bottleneck design and thin case mouth, does a much better job of sealing the chamber.

    • I’m a fan of the modern production 1892 clones. Stronger actions, and I handload.
      They’ll still handle the soft cowboy loads just fine, but the “Ruger” loads bring the venerable .45 Colt into an entirely new level from a rifle length barrel.

      • Winchester, and likely other companies as well, used to make high velocity loads in both the .44-40 and .38-40 that approached .44 magnum performance. These were labeled for use in the Model 1892 only. Trying them in a ’73 would likely be disastrous.

  2. Something about lever guns, of all vintages, that I find appealing. Totally agree with Kermit that modern loads, in guns that can handle it of course, make lever actions much more effective.

  3. Well, Hello, Kitty! I was always amused by the amount of “Hello, Kitty” stuff that adult Asian women in SoCal had and displayed. And most of them were smokin’ hot babes.

    I love my two Marlin lever actions. I visit the reservoir regularly to pay my respects to them. Damn boating accidents.

    • Mostly mystic crystals, rich hippies and million-dollar homes that are never lived in. But the scenery is very nice – a little over an hour from the WWM.

  4. So, Marlin is back in business under the Ruger flag. Sound like good news? Well, wait til you see the new 1895. Adios blue steel and walnut, hello laminated tacti-kewl. Gag me with a rusty spoon. No. Just no.

    • Well, give them time. I’d expect a “classic” version, eventually.

      Besides, Marlin’s been making the Guide Gun model for decades, with lots of modern hardware. Sells well, which is the point?


  5. The MARS birds are HUGE! And an absolute nightmare to maintain. There are NO spare parts, something breaks, they have to build the new part, and 70 years of corrosion has taken a toll on those airframes.

    • This one is for sale. I don’t know how many thousands of dollars per hour it would take to fly it. My sense is that the owner would like it to be a museum piece… but it would be an awesome live-aboard.

  6. Don’t know much about planes but there was one that looked like this Martin outside the plane museum at NAS Pensacola in the 80s. It was a huge plane.

  7. and still no canned sunshine. nice. though i hear some rino’s want to give brandon war powers act authority. and those hello kittie chics, they’re nuts, stay far away. our dhs sec is nuts too, as in gone over the edge stark raving mad. bug eyed and sounding like a bad therapist he asserted he’s not releasing illegals, he’s giving them “alternative detention”, as in letting them go. and he looked like he actually believes what he’s saying. incredible. happy may day, on to cinco de mayo.

    • One day when the Russians have had enough, they’ll go out in a blaze of glory. Then we’ll see how bad nuclear winter really is.

  8. The Martin Mars is a fabulous machine. The world would be a much better place if the Navy had bought 200, or 2000 of them.

    On the subject of flying-boat live-aboard dreams, I’ve always fancied an H6K Mavis… a couple did survive into the ’50s. The Mars is a far superior aircraft, of course.


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