Eerie Last Known Photos That Reveal A Darker Side Of History
The "Lost Patrol" shortly before their test flight through the Bahamas
Flight 19 on December 5, 1945 was supposed to be a routine training mission off of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The six aircraft and 27 crewmen were supposed to train in a three-hour exercise known as “Navigation Problem Number One,” where they’d practice bombing runs - it was nothing out of the ordinary. Shortly after 2:30 p.m. that day the flight’s leader Lieutenant Charles C. Taylor radioed back to the base to say that he didn’t know where he was and that his plane’s compass wasn’t working.
The rule of thumb for pilots in the Atlantic Ocean is that they should fly west towards the setting sun, but rather than do that Taylor lead his planes east because he believed he was hundreds of miles away in the Florida Keys. The planes went down shortly after 6 p.m., but when the Navy sent planes out to find the missing men and their crafts they couldn’t find anything. Navy Lieutenant David White later recalled:
They just vanished. We had hundreds of planes out looking, and we searched over land and water for days, and nobody ever found the bodies or any debris.
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