John was stationed at NAS Fort Lauderdale in 1945 and 1946. He was working on the base when Flight 19 disappeared. His friend Walter Parpart had just filled in for the previous radioman on FT-28 . John was the crew chief for the ready plane which was a stripped down TBF Avenger and responsible for search and rescue after the Coast Guard had transferred out. Robert Ford Cox had been in communication with Flight 19 while flying south along the coast. John remembers him as being a very good pilot. After he landed with his training flight, Cox immediately asked to fly out to the northeast where he felt he would find Flight 19. John was told to start up the ready plane. After 15 min he was given the “cut engine” sign from the tower and returned to his quarters. The next morning he participated in the search.
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