Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5th...This Day in History

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Aircraft squadron lost in the Bermuda Triangle 1945


At 2:10 p.m., five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. They never returned.
Two hours after the flight began, the leader of the squadron, who had been flying in the area for more than six months, reported that his compass and back-up compass had failed and that his position was unknown. The other planes experienced similar instrument malfunctions. Radio facilities on land were contacted to find the location of the lost squadron, but none were successful. After two more hours of confused messages from the fliers, a distorted radio transmission from the squadron leader was heard at 6:20 p.m., apparently calling for his men to prepare to ditch their aircraft simultaneously because of lack of fuel.
By this time, several land radar stations finally determined that Flight 19 was somewhere north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast, and at 7:27 p.m. a search and rescue Mariner aircraft took off with a 13-man crew. Three minutes later, the Mariner aircraft radioed to its home base that its mission was underway. The Mariner was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion seen at 7:50 p.m.
The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida. No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found.
Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace. The Bermuda Triangle is said to stretch from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.

 (More Events on This Day in History)

American Revolution
1776 Phi Beta Kappa is founded while army flounders

1970 Last segment of the Dan Ryan Expressway opens in Chicago

Civil War
1839 George Custer born

Cold War
1978 USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”

1873 The Boston Belfry Murderer kills his first victim

1876 Hundreds die in Brooklyn theater fire

General Interest
1933 Prohibition ends

1984 Eddie Murphy stars in Beverly Hills Cop

1941 Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez is published

2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack released

Old West
1871 Rodeo star Bill Pickett born in Texas

1782 Van Buren is born

2002 Roone Arledge dies

Vietnam War
1964 Army Captain awarded first Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam
1970 North Vietnam announces it will not be intimidated by U.S. bombing

World War I
1915 Siege of British-occupied Kut, Mesopotamia begins

World War II
1941 American carrier Lexington heads to Midway

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