On 5 December 1945, five United States navy TBM Avenger bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 2.10pm as part of a navigation training exercise codenamed Flight 19. Their 320-mile route was to take them east from Florida then banking north, flying over Grand Bahama Island, then turning southwest and heading back to their base.
Five days later, the search for the five planes was called off after not a single trace was found of any of them, with the only clue to the disappearance of all five planes a few fragmentary radio messages that seemed to make no sense at all.
Leading the training exercise was experienced pilot Lt Charles Carroll Taylor, who had another veteran pilot with him, leading the other 12 trainee pilots, gunners and radio operators on what should have been a straightforward exercise.
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