A-22 Martin Maryland
Martin’s attack-bomber was a low-wing, tail-down, rival of the A-20, but had less performance than the Douglas. The prototype had two R-1830-37 Twin Wasps and three crewmen in a narrow fuselage, with a retractable manual rear-gun turret covered by a panel that slid back when the turret was raised. Armament included four .30-caliber guns in the wings, another in the turret, and another in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bay for 60 30-pound or four 300-pound bombs.
Martin’s Model 167F design was begun in April 1938 by James S. McDonnell. First tested on March 13, 1939, the 167 flew from Baltimore to Wright Field the following day, and was purchased by the Air Corps as the XA-22 on September 26. Glenn L. Martin protested the production contract awarded Douglas on the grounds that the 7B prototype had crashed and was not present for the competition, but he could be consoled by his own French contract for 115 aircraft placed February 6, 1939.
French aircraft could carry eight 220-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm guns like the DB-7, but they had no cover over the turret and used 900-hp R-1830-SC3G Twin Wasps supercharged to 12,000 feet with 87-octane fuel and Curtiss propellers. The first 167F flew August 8, 1939, and by November the contract was increased to 345 aircraft completed by July 1940.
The first ship convoy carrying Martins did not reach Casablanca in French Morocco until December 25. There the Glenns, as the French called them, were uncrated and assembled, but late supply of their French radios and bomb racks delayed their combat readiness. After the German invasion, four groups flew 418 combat sorties from May 22 to June 24, 1940, losing 18 Martins in action. In the meantime, 234 had arrived in Casablanca by June 25, but only 189 had been assembled and turned over to the French Air Force.
More Martins from America arrived in Africa in July and replenished the squadrons that had fled Europe. They were used to retaliate against British pressure on French forces commanded by the Vichy government collaborating with Hitler. Fighting broke out in June 1941 in Syria, where 21 Martins were lost fighting British forces. Attacks on American forces near Casablanca in November 1942, led to four Glenns being shot down by Wildcats.
After the French defeat, the RAF took over the last 62 167Fs in America, adding about 19 in transit or from escaping French pilots. Known as the Maryland I, they first served with a long-range reconnaissance unit at Malta in 1940, scouting the Italian Navy in preparation for the successful Swordfish attack on Taranto. One was credited with downing several Italian planes and another Maryland from Scotland was the first to discover the Bismarck’s sortie from Norway.
A pause in production was followed by 150 heavier Maryland II bombers ordered June 7, and accepted by the RAF from December 1940 to April 1941, with R-1830-S3C4-G Wasps of 1,000-hp at 14,500 feet with 100-octane fuel. These RAF Marylands had self-sealing fuel tanks, armor plate behind the pilot and gunner, and carried 2,000 pounds of bombs with four crewmen. The turret now had two Vickers guns and two fixed “scare” guns firing backwards were added behind the bomb bay; these weapons being installed after the planes arrived in Egypt.
The Maryland IIs were used by four British and three South African light bomber squadrons in northeast Africa. Many bombing missions against Axis forces were flown until the Marylands were replaced by the heavier Baltimores in 1942.
[ B- 24 / Home ]
[Continue to A-23 Martin Baltimore]
Want information on other Combat Planes? Search the rest of our site.
© Copyright 2010 AmericanCombatPlanes.com All rights