Sinister details about the mysterious disappearance of SIX planes in one day emerge in chilling final footage from pilots

CHILLING footage of a fleet of pilots’ final moments has been revealed after six planes went missing in one day.

The year is 1945. Five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers were scheduled to conduct a three-hour exercise known as “Navigation Problem Number One,” but something went wrong midway through the course.

Flight 19 mysteriously disappeared during a routine training course


Flight 19 mysteriously disappeared during a routine training coursePhoto credit: Getty – Contributor
The leader of the pilots became disoriented and threw his fleet off its original course


The leader of the pilots became disoriented and threw his fleet off its original coursePhoto credit: Getty

The fleet known as Flight 19 took off almost 77 years ago, on December 5, 1945, from a Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Flight 19 was to make a three-stage journey.

First they would fly east from the Florida coast and conduct bombing raids on a place called the Hens and Chickens Shoals.

After that they would fly north and fly over Grand Bahama Island.

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Their last leg was to fly southwest back to their base.

Each aircraft carried three Navy men or Marines, with the exception of one aircraft, which carried only two men.

Most of the pilots had logged around 300 flight hours (some with 2,500 hours) and were led by Lieutenant Charles C. Taylor, who severed several combat missions in the Pacific Rim of World War II.

The training routine was going according to plan that day as Flight 19 made it over Hens and Chickens Shoals around 2:30 p.m. and dropped their practice bombs.

However, the second leg proved to be more of a challenge.

Shortly after the pilots turned north, Taylor’s aircraft compass reportedly malfunctioned.

The lieutenant was convinced that Flight 19 had flown in the wrong direction.

Flight 19 was off course. “I don’t know where we are,” one of the pilots said in radio transcripts obtained by

“We must have gotten lost after that last corner.”


Taylor thought he was back in Florida even though Flight 19 had just flown to the Bahamas.

Another Navy flight instructor, Lieutenant Robert F. Cox, was the first to overhear Flight 19’s radio traffic.

He informed the Air Station of the conflict and contacted Flight 19 to see if they needed assistance.

“Both my compasses are out and I’m trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” Taylor said in an anxious voice.

“I’m over land but it’s broken. I’m sure I’m in the Keys, but I don’t know how far down.”

At approximately 3:45 p.m., the Fort Lauderdale Flight Tower received a message from Taylor, which was obtained by the Naval History and Heritage Command.

“Can’t see any country,” Taylor said, sounding confused and worried. “We seem to be off course.”

“Where are you?” The tower answered.

Tower personnel searched for the planes but saw no one in sight.

“We can’t be sure where we are,” the flight director announced. “Repeat: I can’t see any land.”

After losing contact for 10 minutes, another pilot responded.

“We can’t find West. everything is wrong We can’t be sure of any direction. Everything looks strange, even the ocean,” said the pilot.

After 20 minutes of radio silence, an almost hysterical voice could be heard from the Fort Lauderdale tower.

“We can’t tell where we are…everything is…can’t make out. We believe we are approximately 225 miles northeast of the base…”

The pilot stammered incoherently before saying, “It looks like we’re going into whitewater… We’re completely lost.”


Because Taylor was disoriented and thought he had drifted over to the Florida Keys, he thought he might be over the Gulf of Mexico.

According to, he then decided to travel northeast to find Peninsula Florida.

However, this decision was not well received by all pilots.

“Damn it,” said one man on the recording. “If we just flew west, we’d come home.”

Taylor was eventually persuaded to turn back west, but just after 6 p.m. he appears to have canceled the order and began turning east again.

“We didn’t go far enough east,” he said. “We might as well turn around and head east again.”

Flight 19’s radio transmission soon began to fade.

Eventually, fuel ran out and Taylor could be heard preparing his pilots for a possible crash landing.

“All planes are shutting down,” he said. “We’ve got to land, if we don’t land … if the first plane goes below ten gallons, we’ll all crash together.”

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At around 7:30 p.m., two PBM Mariner flying boats went in search of Flight 19, but one of them disappeared from radar just 20 minutes later.

The six planes were never seen again and the remains of the pilots have yet to be discovered. Sinister details about the mysterious disappearance of SIX planes in one day emerge in chilling final footage from pilots


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