Martin Baker Stingray F Mk-4

In 1944 the Australian Navy was looking for a fighter for coastal defence that could be used in remote regions of the country. Australia of course has an enormous coastline which is difficult to defend. Also in the war against Japan a lot of Island in the Pacific needed to be defended against possible Japanese counter attacks.

The Australians learned from the Japanese who used floatplane fighters based at island bases as a flexible defence force. They went looking for a floatplane version of a powerful fighter. The Spitfire was considered, as there already had been some floatplane prototypes. However it was felt that the performance of these was insufficient.

The Martin Baker company in the UK was keen to get a production order for their MB-5 fighter prototype and offered a floatplane version of this to the Australians. A prototype flew in October 1944 and soon after an order was placed for 248 aircraft, named Stingray.

The aircraft entered service in June 1946 and was deployed along the Australian Coastline for defence against Japanese raiders. In the 1947 Japanese offensive against the allied forces the Stingray performed an important role in keeping the Japanese from establishing a foothold on mainland Australia.


Last updated: 17/06/2019