INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
|Martin A-22 Maryland
It was designed in response to a US Army and Government competion for a dual-purpose "attack bomber" capable of both precision bombardment and low-level "attack" missions over the battlefield. The Maryland, named the "Model 167 attack bomber" was designed under the charge of James S. McDonnell, a Martin engineer since 1930. However, the competion was won by Douglas which received an $15 million contract for 186 A-20 attack bombers, Martin a consolation prize of $505,390 for the prototype, designated XA-22.
However, Martin won two export orders from France for the Martin Maryland which were designated F-1 and F-2. In February and March 1939, they ordered 215 Martin planes. The first shipment of crated 167-F1's left the US on 2 September, 1939, two months behind schedule and the day before France and Britain declared war on Germany. This triggered an immediate US embargo on all armaments exports. In November the embargo was lifted, and 93 impounded planes were shipped from Canada. By April 1940, all 215 Martin 167-F1's and -F2's had been delivered. "Glenns," as the French pilots dubbed them, were quickly reassembled and issued to four squadrons of the French Air Force. But these were still only partly trained when the German forces invaded France in May, 1940.
Just before the Franco-German armistice was signed, the two French members of the Allied Purchasing Commission in New York transferred all French contracts and deliveries to Great Britain. The British took charge of 62 completed or partially completed 167-F3's in the US and another 22 on the high seas or from defecting French pilots. Cockpit gauges, bomb-racks, radios, and guns all had to be changed from French to British models. The RAF dubbed the 167-F3's "Maryland Mark I's" the 150 improved 167-F4's built for British use (as 167-B4's) were Maryland II's.
Only seven Maryland aircraft were transferred to the Fleet Air Arm from the RAF. They were used by the Fleet Air Arm as target tugs, though one FAA reconnaissance squadron, 771 squadron, was equipped with Marylands. The Fleet Air Arm flew one of the two versions, Maryland I based on a Lend-Lease order of 75 to the RAF. It was not issued with the Maryland II, with up-rated engines, 150 being delivered to the UK.
The first Fleet Air Arm Martin Maryland Mk I aircraft, AR717, was delivered to A Flight A&AEE Boscombe Down in September 1940, but is was not until 4 December 1940 that 771 squadron received its first aircraft at Hatston. The aircraft were then employed in Reconnaissance bomber/Anti-shipping searches.
All 150 Maryland II's were shipped to Egypt to join the Western Desert Air Force and none went to the Fleet Air Arm. Assigned only to two RAF and four South African Air Force squadrons, they took part in the "Crusader" offensive launched in November 1941. Two RAF squadrons flew reconnaissance missions, while the other four finally operated as attack bombers. The Maryland ended its service with the Fleet Air Arm in March 1944.
They served on with the RAF as reconnaissance and courier planes as
with the SAAF, and Vichy units for the rest of the war, and even post-war
in the case of the French.
Battle Honours and Operational History
The Maryland single Battle Honour of note was from aircraft serving with 771 squadron out of Hatston. On 22 May 1941 Maryland “W’, flown by Lt NE Goddard, with Cdr GA Rotherham, LA JD Milne and LA JW Armstrong, spotted the German Battleship Bismarck in its break-out from its moorings in Norway, a sighting which sparked the dramatic hunt for the Bismark and its ultimate sinking in the Atlantic.
In a wider context, Maryland aircraft were serving on both sides in the war. Vichy
French units in North Africa and Syria flew their Glenns against the British when the two former allies clashed. Free French units flew them on the other side. The RAF took advantage of the confusion by using its Maryland I's - some left in French colors - for reconnaissance over French and Spanish territory. The attack bombers unexpectedly proved to be excellent high-altitude spy planes, particularly in the hands of the small unit stationed at Malta. Besides scouting Italian warships and convoys, one Maryland crew from Malta even managed to shoot down ten enemy planes.