The Mighty Martin Mars (by Wayne Coulson & Steve Ginter)
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From 1945 US Navy Transport to 21st century initial attack firefighting.
The Hawaii Mars and Philippine Mars are U.S. national treasures, serving the US Navy from 1945 to 1958. Starting their careers operating between the California coast and Hawaiian Islands during the Second World War, these aircraft are the only two that still operate today in commercial air service.
Of the five Martin Mars originally built, only these two remain. They were converted to water bombers in 1960 by a consortium of five British Columbian timber companies. Since 1960, these aircraft have operated out of beautiful Sproat Lake, Port Alberni, B.C., fighting over 4,000 wildfires and dropping an impressive 7,200 gallons per load.
The Coulson Group purchased these aviation giants in 2007 and received its first U.S. mission in the 2007 firestorm in San Diego county, California. In 2008 the Hawaii Mars worked in northern California, based out of Lake Shasta. The performance proved to be safe, cost effective and a highly productive asset in the fight against the fierce wildfires that continue to dominate the North American landscape.
Join us on a historical journey through 65 years of operations. Learn how the Hawaii Mars, equipped with new technology, is forging a new path for initial attack firefighting.