Navy Log TV Show

Once in a while I come across these old shows. Some are pretty good.


Published on Feb 25, 2019

“Navy Log” was an early television show that appealed to the public and especially to veterans of WWII. It was created by Sam Gallu and presented little known stories and personalities from events spanning World War 2 and the Korean conflict. These stories were dramatizations based upon true events, many of which are/were unknown to many historians and authors. The episode, “Men from Mars” is no exception. This show could very well be about a little known extraterrestrial encounter during the Korean War – but it isn’t. It could be about a secret rocket base uncovered in the Kurile Islands – but it isn’t. What it is about is the largest flying boat ever built, until surpassed by Howard Hughes’ H-4 Hercules, otherwise known as the “Spruce Goose”. A total of seven Mars flying boats were built by the Martin aircraft company, the prototype XPB2M-1, an additional five being designated as JRM-1 and another aircraft with JRM-2 designation. This last flying boat was equipped with four of the 28 cylinder 3000 horsepower Pratt and Whitney R-4360 engines which almost doubled the Mars payload.

This episode, released April 3rd 1956, has the pilot, Lt Cmdr. Boggs, flying from Alameda Naval Air Station to Pearl Harbor with final destination of Osaka, Japan, carrying a cargo of Diphtheria serum. At this time we recognized the pilot, being portrayed by Douglas Kennedy, whom we had encountered in the Navy Log episode titled “Call Conrad” (Cmdr. Hank Bourne), except he is not wearing his eye patch that he had in that episode. One of the sub plots is that crew members, including an Admiral, perform a repair on one of the engines in flight. The number 4 engine was feathered and a repair performed to eliminate an oil leak. All ends well and Admiral Smokey Stover, portrayed by actor Willis Bouchey, arrives in time at Pearl for his CINCPAC meeting, albeit his uniform being spotted with many oil stains.


  1. Each flying boat was named after an island excluding the prototype. Names were the Philippine Mars, the Mariana Mars, the Hawaii Mars and the Caroline Mars. Can you name the other two?
  2. The Martin Company, after World War 2, wanted to create a commercial market for this plane, complete with luxurious amenities, but the airlines were not buying flying boats, only long ranged land planes.
  3. They did find a commercial use for four of the Mars planes as water bombers. They were purchased by Flying Tankers Limited in1959.
  4. Actor Willis Bouchey played in nearly 150 films and television. Besides playing the judge in 23 Perry Mason episodes, he delivered the last line in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” when he said “Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance”.
  5. An aside - the “Spruce Goose” was composed of more Birch than any other wood and thus should have been named the “Birch Goose”.

– Trivia & write-up by Ed Sponheimer, thanks Ed!

The Martin JRM Mars is a large, four-engined cargo transport seaplane designed and built by the Martin Company for the U.S. Navy during the World War II era. It was the largest Allied flying boat to enter production, although only seven were built. The United States Navy contracted the development of the XPB2M-1 Mars in 1938 as a long range ocean patrol flying boat, which later entered production as the JRM Mars long range transport.

Four of the surviving aircraft were later converted for civilian use to firefighting water bombers. One example of the aircraft still remains based at Sproat Lake just outside of Port Alberni, British Columbia, although it is not operational.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit

1 Like

Periscope Films has lots of good stuff. You have to endure that time counter running near the bottom unless you want to pay them plenty money for a clean copy. Seems fair.

That Howard Hughes’ H-4 Hercules "should have’ been named the “Birch Goose” is obviously incorrect.


It wasn’t named the “Spruce Goose” so saying "dubbed’ instead of “named’ might have been better in a way but presumably that would have made it more obvious that it’s incorrect. Nobody would dub it the Birch Goose”.

Definitely not. It’s nether rhyming, or alliterative. I would have went with “Birch Bitch.”


My brother wasn’t too happy when one of his crew told a reporter about HSV X-1 Joint Venture’s (Incat 050) nickname – Vomit Comet.