The official FINDINGS OF FACTS from the 1945 Navy Report on the loss of Flight 19 and the PBM Mariner.

1

That the TBM-3, BuNo. 23307, Squadron No FT-28, Engine No. 124575; TBM-1E(*D), BuNo. 46094, Squadron No. FT-36, Engine No. 66287; TBM-1C, BuNo. 73209, Squadron No. FT-117, Engine No. 34191; TBM-1C, BuNo. 46325, Squadron No. FT-81, Engine No. 63207; and TBM-1C, BuNo. 45714, Squadron No. FT-3, Engine No. 34619, departed at approximately 1410R, 5 December 1945, as Flight 19 on an authorized overwater navigation training flight from U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

2

That the authorized overwater navigation training flight assigned to Flight 19 on 5 December 1945 was Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, navigation problem No. 1 is as follows; (1) depart 26 degrees 03 minutes north and 80 degrees 07 minutes west and fly 091 degrees (T) distance 56 miles to Hen and Chickens Shoals to conduct low level bombing, after bombing continue on course 091 degrees (T) for 67 miles, (2) fly course 346 degrees (T) distance 73 miles and (3) fly course 241 degrees (T) distance 120 miles, then returning to U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

3

That Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685, was the authorized pilot who signed for and accepted for flight TBM-3, BuNo. 23307 for Flight 19 on the afternoon of 5 December 1945.

4

That Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789 was the authorized pilot who signed for and accepted for flight TBM – 1E, BuNo. 46094, for Flight 19 on the afternoon of 5 December 1945.

5

That George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959 was the authorized pilot who signed for and accepted for flight TBM-1E, BuNo. 73209, for Flight 19 on the afternoon of 5 December 1945.

6

That Forrest James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 047223 was the authorized pilot who signed for and accepted for flight TBM-1C, Bullo, 46325, for Flight 19 on the afternoon of 5 December 1945.

7

That Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1) U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677, was the authorized pilot who signed for and accepted for flight TBM-1C, BuNo. 45714, for Flight 19 on the afternoon of 5 December 1945.

8

That Walter Reed Parpart, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 19 16, and Robert Francis Harmon, aviation ordnance-man third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 711 02 11, were the authorized aircrew passengers on TBM-3, BuNo. 23307 (pilot Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685) on 5 December 1945.

9

That Howell Orrin Thompson, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 499181, and George Richard Paonessa, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 805639, were the authorized aircrew passengers on TBM-1 E, BuNo. 46094 (pilot Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789) on 5 December 1945.

10

That Robert Peter Gruebel, private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 563782, and Robert Francis Gallivan, sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 359343, were the authorized aircrew passengers on TBM – 1 C, BuNo. 73209 (pilot George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959) on 5 December 1945.

11

That William Earl Lightfoot, private first class, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 519803, was the authorized aircrew passenger on TBM-1C, BuNo. (pilot Forrester James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, File No. 047223) on 5 December 1945.

12

That Herman Arthur Thelander, seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 758 44 37, and Burt Edward Baluk, Jr., seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 91 50, were the authorized aircrew passengers of TBM-1C, BuNo. 45714 (pilot Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677) on 5 December 1945.

13

That TBM-3, BuNo. 23307, Squadron No. FT-28; TBM-1E, BuNo. 46094, Squadron No. FT-36; TBM-1C, BuNo. 73209, Squadron No. FT-117; TBM-1C, BuNo. 46325, Squadron No. FT-81; and TBM-1C, BuNo. 45714, Squadron No. FT-3, and the personnel assigned to these aircraft for Flight 19 that departed from U.S. U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 1414R, 5 December 1945,are unaccounted for since about 1900R, 5 December 1945.

14

That Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685; Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789; George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959; Forrest James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 047223; Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1)L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677, were qualified naval aviators on 5 December 1945.

15

That Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685, Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789; George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959; Forrest James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 047223; Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1) U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677, Walter Reed Parpart, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 19 16; Robert Francis Harmon, aviation ordnance-man third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 711 02 11; Howell Orrin Thompson, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 499181; George Richard Paonessa, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 805639; Robert Peter Gruebel, private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 563782; Robert Francis Gallivan, sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 359343; William Earl Lightfoot, private first class, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 519803; Herman Arthur Thelander, seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 758 44 37, and Burt Edward Baluk, Jr., seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 91 50, were attached to and serving on active duty in flight status at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 5 December 1945.

16

That Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685; was the authorized and assigned instructor in charge of Flight 19 which departed from the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 1410R on 5 December 1945.

17

That Charles Carroll Taylor, Lieutenant (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 114685; was a naval aviator whose flight log indicates a total of 2509.3 hours flying time, and his officers qualification jacket indicates that he served approximately one year with VS-62 as a scout pilot based at Key West, Florida, and had completed a recent combat tour as carrier-based torpedo plane pilot attached to the USS Hancock.

18

That George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959, Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789; Forrest James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 047223,and Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1) U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677, were naval aviators undergoing instruction in VTB Type Advanced Training at U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 1410R on 5 December 1945.

19

That Walter Reed Parpart, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 19; Howell Orrin Thompson, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 499181; George Richard Paonessa, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 805639; Robert Peter Gruebel, private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 563782, Robert Francis Gallivan, sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 359343, William Earl Lightfoot, private first class, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 519803; Herman Arthur Thelander, seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 758 44 37, and Burt Edward Baluk, Jr., seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 91 50, were undergoing Advanced Combat Aircrew Training in VTB type aircraft on 5 December 1945.

20

That Robert Francis Harmon, aviation ordnance-man third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 711 02 11, was in a flight duty status, assigned to the Gunnery Department at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 5 December 1945.

21

That Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789; George William Stivers, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 010959, Edward Joseph Powers, Jr., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 09789; Forrest James Gerber, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, File No. 047223,and Joseph Tipton Bossi, Ensign (A1) U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 470677, completed, prior to 5 December 1945. the required ground training syllabus for VTB Type Advanced Training.

22

That Walter Reed Parpart, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 19 16; Howell Orrin Thompson, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 499181; George Richard Paonessa, staff sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 805639; Robert Peter Gruebel, private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Service No. 563782, Robert Francis Gallivan, sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 359343, William Earl Lightfoot, private first class, U.S. Marine Corps, Service No. 519803; Herman Arthur Thelander, seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 758 44 37, and Burt Edward Baluk, Jr., seaman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 714 91 50, completed the ground training syllabus for VTB Type Advanced Training prior to 5 December 1945. 

23

That Lieutenant Robert F. Fox, U.S. Navy, at approximately 1600R, on 5 December 1945, while piloting FT-74 in the vicinity of the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, established communication with FT-28 which was in the Florida Keys, experienced a fading radio signal from FT-28.

24

That U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, learned at 1611R, 5 December 1945, that FT-28 was uncertain to his position.

25

That Air Sea Rescue Task Unit No. 4 at Port Everglades, Florida, was aware of the difficulty of FT-28 at approximately 1600R, on 5 December 1945.

26

That the Joint Operation Center of the Gulf Sea Frontier Air Sea Rescue organization was aware of the difficulty of FT-28 at approximately 1630R, on 5 December 1945.

27

That at 1647R, 5 December 1945, the Gulf Sea Frontier and Eastern Sea Frontier HF/DF nets were alerted to obtain all possible bearings on transmissions from FT-28, who was transmitting on 4805 kilocycles.

28

That at approximately 1800R, 5 December 1945, an approximate HF/DF fix was obtained on FT-28 placing FT-28 within a one hundred mile radius of 29 degrees, 15 minutes north, 79 degrees, 00 minutes west, at 1750R.

29

That the 1750R HF/DF evaluated position was telephoned to the tower at U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, at about 1810R, 5 December 1945.

30

That the 1750R HF/DF evaluated position was transmitted on the Gulf Sea Frontier and Eastern Sea Frontier HF/DF teletype nets and Air Sea Rescue teletype net of the Gulf Sea Frontier at approximately 1836R, on 5 December 1945.

31

That at 1820R an Air Sea Rescue dumbo was airborne from Coast Guard Air Station, Dinner Key, Florida, to attempt to regain communications with the planes of Flight 19 on 4805 kilocycles.

32

That the Air Sea Rescue dumbo from Dinner Key Coast Guard Air Station was unsuccessful in its endeavor to contact Flight 19.

33

That the YG homing device at U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was functioning properly at approximately 1625R on 5 December 1945.

34

That extensive search operations by surface craft and aircraft from 6 December to 10 December, inclusive, conducted over land and sea areas adjacent to the Florida peninsula failed to discover any wreckage or locate any survivors of the five TBM’s comprising Flight 19 on 5 December 1945.

35

That PBM-5 BuNo. 59225, Squadron Training No. 49, Engines No. P-54213 and 52187, departed at approximately 1927R on 5 December 1945, on an authorized Air Sea Rescue search from U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida.

 

36

That an “out” report sent by radio was received by the U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, from PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, Squadron Training No. 49, at about 1930R, Squadron Training No. 49, at about 1930R, 5 December 1945, and no further communications were received from said airplane after that time.


37

That the authorized Air Sea Rescue mission assigned to PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, on 5 December 1945, was as follows: Depart U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River,and proceed to 29 degrees north and the east coast of Florida, expanding square search.

38

That Walter G. Jeffrey, Lieutenant (junior grade), U.S. Navy, File No.329291, was the authorized patrol plane commander who signed for and accepted for flight PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, 5 December 1945.

 

39

That Harry G. Cone, Lieutenant (junior grade A1), U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 378634; Roger M. Allen, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 466015; and Lloyd A. Elinson, (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 465964, were the authorized and assigned co-pilots of PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, Squadron No. 49, for the search mission launched from U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, at 1927R on 5 December 1945.


40

That Charles D. Arceneaux, Ensign (A1) T, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 409770, was the authorized and assigned radar officer of PBM – 5, BuNo. 59225, for the search mission launched from U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, at 1927R on 5 December 1945.

41

That Alfred J. Zywicki, seaman first class (aviation ordnanceman), U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 727 69 79; James F. Osterheld, aviation ordnanceman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 378 95 75; John T. Mendez, ordnanceman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 268 84 98; Philip B. Neeman, seaman first class (aviation radioman), U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 247 11 21; James F. Jordon, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 887 76 08; Robert C. Cameron, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 574 04 17, Wiley D. Cargill, seaman first class (aviation machinist mate ) U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 975 90 12; and Donald E. Peterson, aviation machinist mate first class, U.S. Navy, Service No. 382 88 99, were the authorized and assigned crew members of PBM-5, BuNo. 59225, Squadron No. 49, for the search mission launched from U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, at 1927R on 5 December 1945.

42

That Walter G. Jeffrey, Lieutenant (junior grade), U.S. Navy, File No.329291, Harry G. Cone, Lieutenant (junior grade) (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve , File No. 378634, Roger M. Allen, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 466015, and Lloyd A. Eliason, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 465964, were qualified naval aviators on 5 December 1945.

43

That Walter G. Jeffrey, Lieutenant (junior grade), U.S. Navy, File No.329291, Harry G. Cone, Lieutenant (junior grade) (A1), U.S. Naval Reserve , File No. 378634, Roger M. Allen, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 466015, Lloyd A. Eliason, Ensign (A1) L, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 465964, Charles D. Arceneaux, Ensign (A1) T, U.S. Naval Reserve, File No. 409770, Alfred J. Zywicki, seaman first class (aviation ordnanceman), U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 727 69 79;James F. Osterheld, aviation ordnanceman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 378 95 75, John T. Mendez, ordnanceman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 268 84 98, Philip B. Neeman, seaman first class (aviation radioman), U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 247 11 21; Robert C. Cameron, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 574 04 17, James F. Jordon, aviation radioman third class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 887 76 08, Wiley D. Cargill, seaman first class (aviation machinist mate) U.S. Naval Reserve, Service No. 975 90 12, Donald E. Peterson, aviation machinist mate first class, U.S. Navy, Service No. 382 88 99, were attached to and serving on active duty in a flight status at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Banana River, Florida, at 1927R on 5 December 1945.