Ensign Joseph Tipton Bossi, USNR
Flight 19 - Pilot of FT-3
Joseph Tipton Bossi was Born December 25, 1924 in Arkansas City, Kansas. He attended the University of Kansas in 1942, but left it to enlist in the United States Navy.
Joseph enjoyed flying and would be in the air as much as he could. He accumulated 373.4 hours of flight time, 65.9 on the TBM/TBF Avenger aircraft alone. He passed up a discharge so that he could stay in the Navy.
On the fateful day of 5 December 1945 at NAS Fort Lauderdale, Joseph (along with 13 other crewmen), was assigned to a training squadron of 5 Avenger aircraft that would be known as Flight 19. The squadron was to perform a routine navigation exercise, and mock bombing run over the Hen and Chickens shoals in the Bahamas, and then return to the NAS Fort Lauderdale. The planes never returned. Neither did a PBM Mariner rescue seaplane with 13 crewmen aboard, that was dispatched to search for their lost colleagues. In total, 6 aircraft and 27 men disappeared that afternoon. A massive search was organized, and nothing was found. Their disappearance launched one of the largest air and sea searches in history, and began the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. To this date, Flight 19 remains one of the great aviation mysteries.
Ensign Joseph Tipton Bossi was the pilot on FT-3; Burt Edward Baluk Jr., S1c USNR, was his radioman; the gunner was Herman Arthur Thelander, S1c, USNR. The aircraft was a TBM-1C Avenger with BuNo 45714.
Joseph Tipton Bossi was 20 yrs old.
Flight 19 Project Research by Matthew J. Bloom,
Curated by Benjamin Walter-Range & Minerva Bloom