Bigbird

Martin JRM-3 Mars

Shown here is the Martin JRM-3 "Philippine Mars" (BuNo. 76820) of transport squadron VR-2 taking off fom San Francisco Bay at NAS Alameda, California (USA) to Honululu, Hawaii, in 1946. A "long hull" Essex-class aircraft carrier painted in the wartime measure 21 is visible in the background. By 1956, the Mars had outlived its usefulness for the Navy and had been condemned to the scrap yard. However, after a series of disastrous fire seasons in British Columbia (Canada), a group of logging companies heard about the availability of the Mars. The Mars was ideally suited to British Columbia's abundance of waterways and shortage of strategically placed airfields. Mr. MacMillan Bloedel took the initiative and formed Forest Industry Flying Tankers Limited (FIFT), in partnership with Pacific Forest Products Limited and TimberWest Forest Limited. The new company purchased the last four remaining Martin Mars from the US Navy in 1959. After installation of a 27276 l (7206 US gal) plywood holding tank and retractable filling probes. As of 2008 Philippine Mars is still in use by "Coulson Flying Tankers" with the Canadian registration C-FLYK. U.S. Navy Naval History Center, USN photo no. 1053758

Martin JRM-3 Mars
Bigbird, Jul 21, 2010