View Full Version : Martlet V

10-03-2012, 12:25 PM
Hi there !

Now this is puzzling me... someone well into WW2 FAA things surely can solve it.
The Martlet V, as everyone knows, was the Eastern Aircraft FM-1.
Some 300+ have been delivered to the FAA and were employed essentially in the
Atlantic and Mediterranean anti-submarine patrolling.
The puzzle: I understand from various sources that, in order to have more firing
time available, the FM-1 guns were reduced to four. Don Linn mentions (in his "In
action" rendering of the F4F) that the British insisted to have six guns fitted.
Photographic evidence does not seem to provide much help. Profiles found in the
net candidly display both options.
So, really, question is: FAA Martlet Vs were equipped with 4 or 6 guns?

Thanks to all.

10-03-2012, 07:20 PM
I don't know if you have seen this or if it is any help.

Fleet Air Arm Archive

MkI 4 x 0.5
MkII 6 x 0.5
Mk V 4 x 0.5


R Leonard
10-05-2012, 11:40 PM
Only the very first ten Eastern built FM-1s had the six gun arrangement as seen in the F4F-4. These ten were built from F4F-4 sub-assemblies provided by Grumman and were, essentially, F4F-4s built by Eastern. Before Eastern had worked their way through these first ten, changes down from BuAer arrived which mandated the change back to the four gun arrangement of the earlier Grumman F4F-3. This change was largely to reduce the weight of the airplane and provide for more ammunition, thus more firing time. After the first ten, the remaining FM-1s were fold-winged and four gunned as were the follow on FM-2s. Those first ten FM-1 F4F-4 clones, bureau no's 14992 thru 15001, with six guns went to the USN, not the RN.

From the single production block of bureau no's 14992 thru 15951, a total of 312 FM-1s with four guns went to the RN. There was a second production block of FM-1s (bureau nos 46738 thru 46837) but none went to the RN.

FM-2 production began with bureau no 15952 and had six distinct production blocks:

Bureau no's 15952 to 16791, of which 50 went to the RN.
Bureau nos 46838 to 47437, of which 50 went to the RN.
Bureau nos 55050 to 55649, of which 20 went to the RN
Bureau nos 56684 to 57083, of which 25 went to the RN.
Bureau nos 73499 to 75158, of which 195 went to the RN for a final total of 340.

Of the last production block, cut short by the end of the war, bureau nos 86297 to 86973 (with 86974 thru 87719 cancelled), none were transferred to the RN.

10-08-2012, 09:42 AM
Hi there !

Ok leccy and R Leonard, thanks for support!
That kinda clears everything. I'm afraid the sources are not always too documented,
even the ones you would suggest to be reputable. As an example I've been trying to
post a couple of images of Cosentino's very nice looking artwork which depicts what
is in all aspects a FAA Martlet V with the only exception of guns provision, six-off!
For some reason the images aren't being picked (from my Photobucket album), don't
know what's wrong!

Thanks again.