Martin AM-1 Mauler
The Martin AM Mauler (originally XBTM) was a single-seat shipboard attack aircraft built for the United States Navy. Designed during World War II, the Mauler encountered development delays and did not enter service until 1948 in small numbers. The aircraft proved troublesome and remained in frontline service only until 1950, when the Navy switched to the smaller and simpler Douglas AD Skyraider. Maulers remained in reserve squadrons until 1953. A few were built as AM-1Q electronic-warfare aircraft with an additional crewman in the fuselage.
With the prospect of flying the AD-1 Skyraider and AM-1 in carrier operations, the US Navy assigned the Maulers to Atlantic Fleet squadrons. Attack Squadron 17A (VA-17A) was the first unit to get the AM-1 and received its 18 aircraft in March and April 1948. It was redesignated VA-174 on 11 August and began carrier qualification trials aboard the USS Kearsarge on 27–28 December and completed them aboard the USS Leyte in January 1949 with all assigned pilots completing their day qualifications. During this latter deployment, the squadron participated in the unsuccessful search for a British South American Airways Avro Tudor airliner missing in the Caribbean. The squadron made a brief deployment aboard the USS Midway, one of the largest carriers in the US Navy, in early 1949. The longer flight deck of the Midway-class carriers made landings easier for the AM-1 pilots and the squadron did not have a single landing accident during its deployment. Upon its return, the unit transferred its aircraft to VA-44 and VA-45, both newly assigned to the Midway, and converted to the Skyraider before being disbanded in January 1950.