It is very,very difficult to find an intact 500 foot shipwreck in the open ocean. Employing the latest acoustical and magnetometric instrumentation, imagine the difficulty involved in trying to find a 80 foot aircraft that has exploded into many pieces. Therefore our entire search philosophy was predicated on the official United States naval records. The overall statistics of the Martin Mariner PBM-5 aircraft is:
Specification metrics English
length 24.33 meters 79 feet 10 inches
height 8.38 meters 27 feet 6 inches
empty weight 15,050 kilograms 33,175 pounds
max loaded weight 26,300 kilograms 58,000 pounds
maximum speed 340 KPH 210 MPH / 185 KT
cruising speed 275 KPH 170 MPH / 150 KT
service ceiling 6,035 meters 19,800 feet
range 3,605 kilometers 2,240 MI / 1,950 NMI
The full trial depositions for the official accident report is very large; however, the final summary report regarding this missing Mariner is quite small and a segment of this report is included below:
35. That PBM-5 BuNo. 59225, Squadron Training No. 49, Engines No. P-54213 and 52187, departed at approximately 1927R on 5 December 1945, on an authorized Air Sea Rescue search from U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida.
36. That an "out" report sent by radio was received by the U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, from PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, Squadron Training No. 49, at about 1930R, Squadron Training No. 49, at about 1930R, 5 December 1945, and no further communications were received from said airplane after that time.
37. That the authorized Air Sea Rescue mission assigned to PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, on 5 December 1945, was as follows: Depart U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River,and proceed to 29 degrees north and the east coast of Florida, expanding square search.
38. That Walter G. Jeffrey, Lieutenant (junior grade), U.S. Navy, File No.329291, was the authorized patrol plane commander who signed for and accepted for flight PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, 5 December 1945.
52. That PBM-5 BuNo, 59225, Squadron No. 49, and the assigned personnel aboard are unaccounted for since about 1930R, 5 December 1945.
53. That the hourly position report due at 2030R from PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, was not received at U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, on 5 December 1945.
54. That at 2115R on 5 December 1945 the SS Gaines Mills reported as follows:
"At 0050 G. M. T. observed burst of flames, apparently explosion, leaping flames 100 feet high burning ten minutes. Position 28 degrees, XX minutes north, 80 degrees XX minutes west. At present, passing through big pool of oil at 0119 G. M. T. Stopped, circled area using search lights, looking for survivors. None found."
55. That USS Solomons CVE-67 dispatched at 06127 reported as follows: "Our air search radar showed plane after takeoff from Banana River last night joining with another plane, then separation and proceeding on course 045 degrees at exact time SS Gaines Mills sighted flames in exact spot the above plane disappeared from the radar screen and never reappeared".
56. That concentrated search operations from 6 December to 10 December 1945, inclusive, by surface and aircraft in the area of the reported explosion failed to reveal any debris of the missing PBM or evidence of its crew.