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R.Hoffman - South American Mariners
Uruguayan Mariner A-811 and the unit marking.
The RAF ordered 33 PBM-3Bs for service as Mariner GR.Is, with serials JX100 to JX132. Illustrated prior to delivery is the first of the batch, JX100. The type was not accepted for full service and indeed JX120, '124, '126, '128 and '130 were not delivered. JX100 was one of ten used by 524 Squadron at Oban (JX100, '103, '105, '106, '110, '111, '117, '118, '122 and '131). The unit was short-lived, taking its first GR.Is on October 22, 1943 for operational evaluation. It disbanded on December 7, 1943. JX100 was one of 16 of the type returned to the US in mid-1944/early 1945.
Forward view of JX100. As well as 524 Squadron, 45 Group - the Dorval-based Atlantic ferry organisation, used five examples (JX119, '121, '123, '125 and '129) often staging through Bermuda.
Rear view of JX103 on the Beaumaris slipway. Ten Mariners were scrapped in the UK and not returned to US charge: JX103, '111, '116, '118, '123, '125, '127, '129, '131, '132. The longest surviving, at least on paper, was JX103 which was officially struck off charge on August 6, 1947.
GR.I JX103 at the Saunders-Roe flying-boat maintenance unit at Beaumaris on Anglesey, North Wales. Saro were the 'assigned contractor' for the type. Note the use of the hyphen in the serial number. JX103 was evaluated by the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Helensburgh and later service with 524 Squadron. Two RAF Mariners were destroyed in service, JX101 sank off Bermuda while on delivery in July 1943 and 524 Squadron's JX117 was damaged beyond repair in November 1944.
Argentine Navy PBMs in formation circa 1959.
Mariner '2-P-204' anchored in the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia Bay.
Uruguayan Mariner A-810.
A-811 on the beach after the sucessful rescue.
'2-P-22' after fire at USNAS Trinidad.
Final fate of '2-P-21', Rio Gallegos City 1956.