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FORT LAUDERDALE MUSEUM
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PHILLIP BALYEAT, USNR WWII
Naval Aviation Cadet Program
Athletic Training Officer at NAS Fort Lauderdale
Iconic Michigan Photographer
COMMISSIONER CHIP LaMARCA
WHEREAS, on December 5, 1945 a training flight, named Flight 19, comprised of 5 TBM Avenger torpedo bombers with a crew of fourteen men, left NAS Fort Lauderdale at 2:10pm to conduct a routine navigation exercise and mock bombing run over the Bahamas: and
WHEREAS, on their return flight the squadron commander reported he was lost. By this time, the weather and sea conditions got worse, as the evening wore on. It is presumed over the next three hours, the squadron commander mistakenly led Flight 19 far out to sea, where the planes ran out of fuel and crashed. Also, a PMB Mariner rescue seaplane dispatched from the Naval Air Station, Banana River, Melbourne, Florida with 13 men aboard to search for Flight 19, disappeared after an explosion was seen in the distance by 2 ships.
WHEREAS, a massive search began, launching one of the largest air and sea searches in history , with units of the Navy, Army and Coast Guard scouring the sea for the lost aircraft. It was the biggest rescue effort of peacetime.
WHEREAS, Flight 19’s disappearance began the myth of the Bermuda Triangle, the area between Fort Lauderdale, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. Every year, several authors, documentary writers and producers do research on Flight 19, such as the History Channel, Travel Channel, Discovery, the National Geographic, Sci-Fi Channel, NBC, Military Channel, and the BBC, as well as others. The mystique and intrigue over what really happened to the airmen, has kept interest high about the men lost on that fateful day; and
WHEREAS, On Oct. 18, 2005, US Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, sponsored a bill in Congress (H. Resolution 500) honoring the 60th anniversary of Flight 19. Rep. Clay Shaw, member of the Ways and Means Committee, was the author of the resolution; and
WHEREAS; The Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station commemorates Flight 19 and its crew and each year on December 5th and proudly displays the history of the day and its crew. To this day, Flight 19 remains one of the great aviation mysteries. NOW THEREFORE,
BE IT PROCLAMED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA:
That the Board hereby designates December 5, 2015 as “Flight 19 Memorial Day" in Broward County, Florida.
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED
70th Anniversary of Flight 19 Memorial Ceremony
Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 1:00pm
at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum building
Open to the Public
Showcase of WWII vehicles from
the Military History Research Foundation
Special Broadcast by Gold Coast Amateur Radio Assoc.
Refreshments to follow
4000 West Perimeter Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Deland Naval Air Station Museum Open House, 14 November
Tribute to Veterans Concert TONIGHT
Submitted by Mary Ann Gray, Executive Director at Broward Navy Days
Aviation archaeologists and Flight 19 experts Jon Myhre and Andy Marocco visited the Museum on Friday, November 6. They are currently working on the first stage of Project Mariner, an official expedition of the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum. This expedition has been formed to locate the PBM Mariner (PBM-5 BuNo 59225 ) sent to search for Flight 19 (one of the great aviation mysteries). This Mariner took off on December 5, 1945 at 19:27 from NAS Banana River (now Patrick Air Force Base), called in a routine radio message at 19:30, and then was never heard from again.
Through several years of research and expeditions, Jon and Andy have compiled extensive and compelling data about the disappearance and the current location of PBM-5 (BuNo 59225). We are excited to announce our preparations, as we embark on this exciting journey! This expedition is tentatively scheduled for late spring, or summer. Stay tuned.
We had a superb Luncheon with Captain A. JAY CRISTOL USN (Ret). A lecturer in law of naval warfare, and a former U.S Navy aviator and lawyer (JAG). Author of The Liberty Incident and The Liberty Incident Revealed. Cristol was chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida (1993-1999). He is currently Chief Judge Emeritus for the Southern District of Florida.
The Judge, as he is called by his friends, is a lifetime member of this museum. He shared with the attendees a great powerpoint presentation of his experience as a tail-hooker aboard the USS Princeton (CV-37), and as an aviator deployed to the Western Pacific flying noncombat missions aboard a Grumman AF Guardian. He also related how he once safely landed his plane on a South Florida roadway! During his navy service, Cristol received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.
Click Play or arrows > to view slideshow
Biographical Sketch of Judge A. Jay Cristol
The Honorable A. Jay Cristol served as a Special Assistant Attorney General of Florida from 1959 to 1965 and as a trustee in bankruptcy from 1977 to 1985. He was appointed a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida on April 17, 1985. He served as that district’s Chief Bankruptcy Judge from 1993 until 1999. He served his country as a Captain in the Naval Reserve for 18 years as a naval aviator, first as a tail-hooker operating day and night from the aircraft carrier Princeton. Then he qualified as a four engine transport plane commander. He flew operational missions in the South China Sea during the Tachen evacuation in 1954. Later he flew missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and in the 60's he flew volunteer air lift missions to Vietnam. He then spent another 20 years as a Navy JAG. During the 1980's the Department of Defense sent him to the International Institute at San Remo, Italy to teach Law of Naval Warfare to senior military officers from many nations.
Judge Cristol received his B.A. degree from the University of Miami, and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law where he was Research Editor of the Law Review and the recipient of other honors. He taught an advanced bankruptcy course as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School for the past 20years. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Miami on May 9, l997 for his dissertation on the Liberty incident. During his distinguished career as a jurist, Judge Cristol has presided over many high profile bankruptcy cases including the chapter 11 reorganizations of General Development Corporation (one of the largest bankruptcy reorganization cases in U.S. history), Prime Motor Inns, Flannigans, Banco Latino International, Arrow Air and Pan American Airways. The Pan Am plan was confirmed after only four months and the reorganized company was so pleased with the results of its bankruptcy case that its first new aircraft was named the Clipper A. Jay Cristol. Arrow Air followed suit with a DC-8 named Judge A. Jay Cristol.
Judge Cristol has spoken on the Liberty incident at Harvard University, the Naval Historical Center, the National Security Agency, the Department of State, in Cairo, Egypt at the request of the Egyptian military, and at many colleges in the U.S. and abroad. He has also spoken on bankruptcy matters at the Pentagon, Navy JAG Headquarters and many military law events.
Judge Cristol’s first book, The Liberty Incident, was published by Brassey’s and released in June 2002. His second book, The Liberty Incident Revealed, was published by the United States Naval Institute Press in September 2013.
WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA
On Saturday, December 12, 2015, at 10 a.m., "Wreaths Across America" and the Air Force Association welcome you to sponsor and to participate along with the annual laying of the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery and hundreds of Remembrance Ceremonies world- wide in remembering our veterans by the laying of Holiday Wreaths at the South Florida National VA Cemetery in Lake Worth.
SPONSOR A WREATH TO HONOR ALL VETERANS
As American Citizens we can honor and cherish those who have given so much.
1 WREATH $15.00 (you may order as many as you like)
**Please always include the codes in red (below) in your order
AFA Gold Coast Chapter 351 Sponsor: FLAFA351
For more information firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) To sponsor a wreath visit the website at:
www.wreathacrossamerica.org to pay online.
(2) Contact WAA by phone: 877-385-9504 x 304
(3) Make check out to and mail to:
Wreaths Across America
PO Box 249, Columbia Falls, ME 04623
Lake Worth Cemetery 561-649-6489 Ceremony 561-244-8069
WILLIAM LAW, USNR WWII - NAS BANANA RIVER
Our condolences to the family of Museum member Mr. William Law, 86, who passed away Wednesday, August 20, 2015.
Bill was born May 22, 1929 to parents, John and Lillian Law of Lake Worth Florida. He enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 14 and served for 3 years. He received an honorary High School diploma from the State of Florida for his service in World War II. William had several different duties while in the navy, but the most important included flying, and aircraft maintenance during the war.
William, Bill to his friends, graduated from Embry Riddle School of Aviation in Florida, on March 25, 1949. Moving from Delta Airlines to U.S. Airlines, after marrying Clara Maxine Law, they moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1951. Bill owned his first plane, an Aeonca K, which was one of the first airplanes tied down at Fort Lauderdale airport-- after the navy moved off at the end of WWII. He owned and flew various types of planes for many years. At U.S. Airlines, a cargo carrier, he flew and serviced numerous aircraft. In 1953, after layoffs and inconsistent airline work, he worked as a Florida State Trooper until 1958. Then, he began his career with Eastern Airlines in aircraft maintenance. Before retiring at Eastern Airlines as a Shift Manager, supervising Technical Supervisors at Miami Technical Control Center, his occupation took him to multiple stations in Europe including Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, and North Africa. His closing employment included Manager of Technical Supervisor at Butler Aviation, Sun Coast Airlines, Continental Airlines (as Maintenance Vice President), and International air leases from the U.S. into Europe.
In later years, he volunteered and enjoyed his time at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, collecting, displaying memorabilia, and sharing stories with friends at the museum. This included historical artifacts from the missing “Flight 19” planes and pilots from December 5, 1945. He also spent his time writing a book with stories of his early childhood days in the navy, and periods of time in South Florida. His book of memoirs is exhibited at the Museum.
Walgreens is giving FREE Flu Shots for
Veterans, Veterans friends, & families
at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum
Saturday, November 14, 2015
From 11am to 4pm
Come get your free shot
and then take a free tour of the Museum!
4000 West Perimeter Rd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Thank you to Grant Olmstead for helping at the Museum with landscaping, yard work, exhibit organization, and office work! Grant is a Sophomore student at Stranahan High School.
Welcome to our new intern LANI DAY (Laelani), a History Major graduate from Florida International University. Lani is helping with our digital library. She will be creating PowerPoint presentations, and Online-Only exhibits from our collections. Thank you Lani!
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT LAUDERDALE MUSEUM
LUNCHEON - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7 at 11:30 AM
LAUDERDALE YACHT CLUB
1725 S.E. 12th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Captain A. JAY CRISTOL USN (Ret)
Chief Judge Emeritus, Southern District of Florida
Adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law
Author of The Liberty Incident
and The Liberty Incident Revealed
Donation: $25 per person
Louis J. Belzarine Jr.
S2/c USNR WWII
We recently received information from a relative of Louis J. Belzarine Jr., who found our website while researching for his name. Louis was stationed at the NAS Fort Lauderdale in 1943. He perished in a navy training accident off the coast of Fort Lauderdale 6/26/43. In honor of the 95 young Americans that lost their lives at this base during 1942-45, the NASFL Museum performs a memorial ceremony every year on December 5. Thank you so much to Ms. Beverly S. from Massachusetts, for donating a news article and letters from the NAS Fort Lauderdale, about the cousin she still remembers.
October 9, 2015
"In some ways it is fitting that Louis' final resting place was in the sea that he so loved and had spent much of his childhood near. But to have a paver in his memory, something tangible, brings comfort to his surviving family members." --Beverly S.
Transcript from news article and letters
by Minerva Bloom
Artifact 1.- MALDEN EVENING NEWS - MALDEN MASSACHUSETTS, 1943
LOUIS J BELZARINE JR DIES IN PLANE CRASH
Graduate of Cheverus and Lincoln Junior High in Plane
Which Collided in Mid-Air With Another Near Fort
Lauderdale, Fla, Killing Five and Injuring Sixth.
Father Is Resident of West Harwich. Had Been in Service
for Year as Navy Aviation Radioman.
Louis Joseph Belzarine Jr, 20, who made his home with his aunt, Mrs Walter Grover, was one of five men killed, while another was seriously injured when two Navy planes crashed in mid-air over the ocean near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saturday. Announcement of the accident was made by the Navy dept yesterday after the families of the victims had been notified.
In Service a Year
Belzarine had been in the service just a year, having studied radio at Quoddy, ME, and then taking flying training. He was an aviation radioman third class. Russell F. Beaton, who held a similar rank, of Dorchester, was also killed as were three Navy airmen from Texas. Raymond J. Cote, Leominster, aviation machinist's mate, third class, was injured and was rescued. The two planes crashed while on routine training flights. Louis Belzarine was the son of Mr and Mrs Louis J. Belzarine Sr, formerly of Maiden and now residing in West Harwich on Cape Cod. He was educated in the Cheverus school and the Lincoln school here and then went to Putnam, Conn, where he graduated from the High school. Following graduation he studied radio at Quoddy and then entered the Navy, training at Newport and Memphis, Tenn. He was in Malden for a visit last January and last Tuesday his aunt received a letter from him. Besides his parents and aunt he leaves a brother, John 17, who is at Bradford, NH and a sister, Mary Gladys, 19.
Artifact 2.- NAS Fort Lauderdale - Commander Pratt
UNITED STATES NAVAL AIR STATION
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
June 28, 1943
My dear Mr. Belzarine:
The purpose of this letter is to extend to you the deepest sympathy of all of us here on the Naval Air Station. The death of any young man is a cruel blow, and particularly so, in the case of a man of Louis' caliber. During the time he has been with us he established himself as a young man of well above average ability. He has been undergoing training at this station as a member of a torpedo plane crew. He had many friends and they all thought highly of him. The accident occurred on Saturday about 9.00 A.M., five miles off shore of Fort Lauderdale. Several planes were on a regularly scheduled training flight and Louis was performing his duties as a member of the crew. During maneuvers, two planes locked wings and plunged into the ocean, sinking immediately in water over six hundred feet deep. Extensive search by boats and planes at the spot found no trace of the wreckage. Unfortunately, diving operations are impossible due to the depth of the water. Energetic search has continued but no hope of recovery can be held out.
It is unfortunate that wherever flight training is in progress we do have airplane accidents. It is my hope that you share our feelings that Louis gave his life in the service of his country. His record in the Navy Department states that he died in line of duty.
Signed: J.L. Pratt, Commander, U.S.N.
Artifact 3.- NAS Fort Lauderdale - Chaplain Bayne
UNITED STATES NAVAL AIR STATION
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
26 June 1944
My dear Mr. and Mrs. Belzarine,
I want to write to tell you about the memorial wreath which we dropped at sea this afternoon in commemoration of your son's death a year ago. Thanks to your money order we were able to secure a very handsome spray of twenty-seven roses in a bed of sweet fern -- a most fitting and lovely tribute which I am most sorry you could not have seen.
Shortly after two o'clock this afternoon one of our flying officers and I flew out to the spot just off the coast where the crash occurred. When we reached the location, we flew down over the water in a wide circle so I could drop the spray without damaging it. As we circled both the pilot and I could watch the flowers fall until they reached and floated on the sea, which was very calm and gentle -- then, with a salute and a prayer for the repose of his soul and for God's mercy on you both, we returned to our field.
I hope you will know how glad we were to be privileged to carry out your wishes for this memorial. I know that today has been a day of deep remembrance for you, and sadness, too -- yet the flowers we dropped for you symbolize to us much more than just the sadness of parting. They symbolize, too, the proud comradeship of those who have served their country without fear and without reproach, a comradeship to which every one of us would count it an honor and joy to belong. With deepest prayers for God's blessing upon you and yours, believe me,
Very sincerely yours,
Stephen F. Bayne, Jr.
28 Power members of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
visited the NAS Fort Lauderdale Museum,
as part of a tour of Broward County landmarks
They were greeted by our group of volunteers and WWII veterans
From left to right: NASFL Museum President Donald Prichard, Robert Epstein, Gary Adams, WWII vet David Epstein, Cold War vet Gary Kilbride, and sitting WWII vet Ray Rivera. Also in attendance were WWII vets Buddy Galvin, & Woody Woodbury.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport
Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum
The only Military Museum in Broward County.
The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is on the U.S National Register of Historic Places and a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized Naval Aviation Museum that educates young and old alike, to preserve history by honoring the memory of Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale and the men & women who defended freedom during World War II. This Museum has also been instrumental in preserving the memory of Flight 19, one of the great aviation mysteries. Flight 19 flew out of NASFL on 5 December 1945, to vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. In addition, 19 year old future U.S President George H.W. Bush lived at this base as an Ensign in the summer of 1943 to train as a torpedo/bomber pilot.
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