11/30/2009. Remarks by Alfred Damen: "The MLD went shopping during the mid-1950's for a Catalina replacement. After much hesitation it was finally decided to obtain seventeen USN surplus PBM-5A's, the amphibian version of the Mariner.
These were delivered in two batches, the first of eight was delivered between November 28, 1955 and October 8, 1956, the second of nine between March 7, 1957 and September 17, 1957. Serialed 16-300 to 16-316 (eleven remaining aircraft were later reserialed 100-110), the Mariners went to No.8 and No.321 Squadron, for maritime patrol/SAR duties, primarily in the far-east (New Guinea).
The MLD Mariner period was marred by accidents and especially maintenance problems. Due to the limited capabilities at the MLD main base at Biak, the Mariners had to be ferried to and from the Netherlands for major overhauls. This meant a flight of over 8,000 mls (13.000 km) each way.
After five fatal accidents - two of them during the long transit flights to and from New Guinea - the confidence in the aircraft eroded quickly.
The end came when 16-316 crashed in Boruku Bay (New Guinea) with heavy loss of life on January 15, 1960. All remaining Mariners were grounded and they were officially withdrawn from use on March 3, 1960 and subsequently scrapped in New Guinea.
Of the two remaining in the Netherlands one (308 or 315?) ended its life as a training hull for the Rotterdam Airport Fire Brigade, while the Technical University at Delft obtained some Mariner parts as interesting engineering examples.
The shown 16-303 was the former USN BuNo. 122608, this aircraft was destroyed August 20, 1958 in a fatal crash during an attempted landing at Abadan (Iran)."