Thank you to the ESPN Channel, and their film crew, for featuring the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum in their 7:30 - 8:00 pm Memorial Day Special: Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat NBA game! Way to go Heat! The film crew spent two hours at the Museum gathering info for a brief segment on Memorial Day. Thank you guys!
Photos by NASFL Museum Intern Matthew J. Bloom
CONGRATULATIONS! To NASFL Museum members David & Gloria Epstein
On Thursday May 29, they will celebrate their 70th year Wedding Anniversary!
David Epstein was a Parachute Rigger USNR, WWII. He trained with VT-153 Squadron which was formed in NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. It was at this training base that he met one of the pilots who eventually became a President of the United States: George H.W. Bush.
REMEMBERING THE HEROES
Congratulations to NASFL Museum member
CHARLES SCHAUS, USNR WWII
French Legion of Honor Recipient
On May 2, on board the USS New York, the nation of France honored 22 men with the Legion of Honor medals. Among them was WWII Veteran Charles Schaus, who was a sailor aboard the USS Barton DD-722— a distinguished fighting ship of World War II. From 1943 to February of 1946, Charles would participate in several battles: in D-Day Normandy and the bombardment of Cherbourg. And, later invasions in the Pacific: Luzon in the Philippines, including the battle of Ormac Bay, landings in Mindoro and Lingayen, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was also present aboard his ship upon the surrender of Japan.
With the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur medal, the veterans now have the title Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor. This is an honor that was created by Napoleon in 1802. Notable Americans who have received the award include: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
View Charlie's Biography page
and History of his ship the USS Barton
- Click on arrows to view slideshow -
Maurice J. Baird-Smith
R.A.F. Aviator, WWII
Battle of Brittan
Reserve of Air Force Officers
No. 37 Squadron
Prisoner of War
Exhibit Curated by Christiana "Christy" Marcroft
University of Florida Student
NASFL Museum volunteer
Visit Baird-Smith Exhibit bio page and slideshow
Lieutenant Alexander Ramsey "Sandy" Nininger
Hero of Bataan, Philippine Scouts
U.S. Army, 57th Infantry
Exhibit Curated by Matthew J. Bloom
FSU graduate - NASFL Museum Intern
Lt. Nininger was the first Army soldier to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II, for his extraordinary actions in combat during the Japanese invasion of the Phillipines. After charging through the Japanese lines, Nininger eventually succumbed to his wounds, and his body was found in a foxhole, surrounded by the bodies of 3 Japanese soldiers (including an officer). Recommended by General MacArthur, Nininger was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Lt. Nininger was a Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident.
Visit Nininger's Exhibit bio page and slideshow
Thanks to Broward Navy Days for their support of Fleet Week!
Quartermaster Seaman Ryan Elam reads a bearing through a pelorus during transit to Port Everglades aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21). New York is participating in Fleet Week Port Everglades 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cyrus Roson/Released).
View Memories of Fleet Week on Flicker
AeroQuest.org is a group of volunteers dedicated to investigating, discovering and documenting wreck sites of historical aircraft. AeroQuest uses the latest technology and techniques to identify a wreck site's location and the story behind. Members come from diverse fields and around the country with the common passion to discover and share their findings. They recently discovered, documented, and solved two wreck sites while searching for Flight 19.
View PROJECTS (Solved) View LOST PLANES OF SALTON SEA (In the Works)
After years buried in Everglades, another warplane mystery solved
by Ken Kaye, Sun-Sentinel
No one knows for sure how many wrecks remain in the Everglades. Estimates range from less than a dozen to more than 50. But AeroQuest.org a group of volunteer aviation sleuths, has resolved to find — or learn the story behind — as many of the wrecks as possible.
Read the article online at Sun-Sentinel
While tracking one warplane mystery, sleuths solve another
by Ken Kaye, Sun-Sentinel
This plate shows the "Surface" number of the TBM Avenger found in the Everglades in 1989 as 53118 - but that's really the plane's Navy bureau number.
Model: TBM-3E Avenger
Pilot: Ens. Ralph N. Wachob, USNR
Assigned Unit: NAS- Miami Florida CNARESTA
Date of Crash: March 16, 1947
Location: Approximately 30 Miles NW Master Field (NAS Miami)
Injury to Pilot: FATAL
Specific Type Accident: Vertigo in low visibility
The mystery of Flight 19 remains unsolved. Yet, as a result of the quest to unravel that riddle, another bewildering aviation case has just been cracked. New evidence led two aviation sleuths to believe that a TBM Avenger found in the Everglades 25 years ago might have been flown by the commander of the "Lost Patrol," the five Navy torpedo bombers that vanished after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale in 1945. But a photo of the Avenger's bureau number instead proves the plane was flown by Ens. Ralph N. Wachob, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, a Naval Reserve officer who developed vertigo during a navigational exercise. He crashed in far western Broward County and was killed on March 16, 1947 – 15 months after Flight 19 disappeared and popularized the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.
"We have positively identified the unknown Everglades Avenger, thus solving a decades-old mystery," said Andy Marocco, a California businessman and a Flight 19 aficionado, who pieced together the puzzle. "It just wasn't the Avenger we were hoping for."
Aviation experts estimate that between 50 and 100 military and civilian aircraft have crashed in the Everglades over the past several decades and have yet to be found – or positively identified. An air boat group that occasionally finds wrecks says some of the planes are noted on maps as hazards to navigation. Marocco and fellow Lost Patrol enthusiast, Jon Myhre, a former Palm Beach International Airport controller, initially were convinced Wachob's plane was the TBM-3 Avenger flown by Lt. Charles Taylor, the Flight 19 leader. They based their theory on the Navy's official Flight 19 accident report that said the planes might have turned southeast after being spotted over North Florida. After the Sun Sentinel ran a story about their theory, Minerva Bloom of the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum sent Marocco several photos of the 1989 wreckage of the TBM-3 Avenger. Marocco found the bureau number of the Everglades plane, 53118, from one of the photos and ran it through Navy aircraft history and accident databases. It verified that Wachob, not Taylor, was the single occupant of the plane.
"That is amazing, that we now have a name and can put that particular wreck to rest," Bloom said.
Experts saw the same number in 1989, but it was mislabeled, Marocco said. Wachob, the pilot of the doomed plane, encountered heavy rain while on a training flight from Miami to Tampa with two other planes. He lost sight of the flight leader, got disoriented and crashed. The other two planes returned to Miami, Marocco said. Navy officials recovered Wachob's body and investigated the accident. In May, 1989 – 42 years later – the wreckage of his plane was spotted by a Broward Sheriff's helicopter pilot.
"Based upon accident records, it seems that the identity of the Avenger was known to the Navy at one time," Marocco said. "It was just forgotten about for many decades."
Hoping for clues in the Lost Patrol case, Marocco and Myhre asked the Broward Airboat, Halftrack and Conservation Club of Davie to hunt for the wreckage of the Avenger. While searching, the group last week stumbled on another vintage warplane. "We just happened to see the landing gear sticking up out of the sawgrass," said Brett Holcombe, the club's president. "We also found the tail section and two wings. But the motor, we couldn't find."
Rick "Boog" Mears, a club member, initially discovered the plane in far western Broward near the Palm Beach County line. Based on photos by the air boaters, Marocco identified the plane as a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a single-engine attack plane. He still is trying to identify its specific mission and pilot. The air boaters didn't remove any of the wreckage because the Navy plans to look into the matter. "It's considered a sunken or terrestrial military aircraft, so we're definitely going to be interested in knowing about it," said Paul Taylor, spokesman for the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C.
Marocco, head of Aeroquest.org, a volunteer aviation organization, said the group now plans to "investigate other historical WWII aircraft wrecks that may be in the Everglades or elsewhere in Florida." Meanwhile, he's not abandoning his theory that some of the Flight 19 planes might have crashed in the Everglades.
"There's still plenty of land in the Everglades, where a small plane like an Avenger could have crashed and still waiting for us to discover," he said.
In 1989, a BSO helicopter pilot found wreckage of a TBM Avenger (torpedo bomber) that initially was ruled out as being part of Flight 19 - the Navy squadron that took off from Fort Lauderdale and never returned.
Has Mystery of the Lost Patrol been solved?
by Ken Kaye, Sun-Sentinel
View Article and Video
From NASFL Museum member Ken Steigelman: "Photos I took today on the USS New York LPD-21, that will give you an idea of life aboard. There were few vehicles on the ship but you can get an idea how tight the quarters are and the special equipment that keeps the ship running and ready to respond to any call to arms."
The USS NEW YORK (LPD 21), an amphibious transport dock ship, was built with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in her bow. It was commissioned in New York City on Nov. 7, 2009. At approximately 8:00 a.m., on November 2, the USS NEW YORK came to a standstill across from the World Trade Center site, dipped her flag, and delivered a 21-gun salute. Members of the Fire Department of New York, the New York Police Department, Port Authority Police, members of the families of 9/11 victims and veterans gathered on the shore at the North Cove in the World Financial Center to return the salute. Members of the general public were in attendance.
USS New York brings 9/11 legacy to Fleet Week in Fort Lauderdale: Read the Article on the Sun-Sentinel.
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT LAUDERDALE
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (NASFLHA)
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT LAUDERDALE MUSEUM
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(15 Directors, 4 Officers) as of May 3, 2014
Allan McElhiney President Emeritus / NASFLHA Founding Father
Dr. John D. Bloom, Jr. President
Ben Langley NASFLHA Founding Father
Karl Bork Vice-President NASFL Historical Association
Sgt. Donald Prichard Vice-President NASFL Museum
Dorothy Riser Treasurer
Norene Keyser Secretary
Dr. Anthony Atwood Historian
Nels Pearson JAG (Judge Advocate General)
David White Media Liaison, Flight 19
John Casey Exhibits & Restoration Director
Virginia Montalvo Education / School Programs Director
Ray Rivera Sergeant at Arms
Edgar “Buddy” Galvin Event Speaker Liaison
Rudy Oetting Public Relations
David Epstein Public Relations Officer
Gary Kilbride Social Media Officer
Deborah Hamilton General Office Manager
Minerva Bloom Museum Coordinator / Website Manager
Allan McElhiney: President Emeritus / NASFLHA Founding Father
USNR WWII & Korea, Curator, Historian, and Photographer.
Dr. John D. Bloom, Jr: President
Museum volunteer since 2004. Broward County Historical Commissioner. FBI Citizens Academy.
Local Board of the Selective Service. Physician.
Ben Langley: NASFLHA Founding Father
USN Seabee (Ret). Collector, Curator, and Historian. Wife Charlotte (Pat), USN Medic (Ret).
40 years with the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department (Ret).
Karl Bork: Vice-President NASFL Historical Association
Museum volunteer since 2000. Naval Aviator, 1965 - 1970. Attorney (Ret).
Sgt. Donald Prichard: Vice-President NASFL Museum
Florida Army National Guard 1998 – 2006. U.S Army 2003 – 2004 Iraq.
BSO (Broward Sheriff's Office) 2001 – Present. Public Speaker, Business Owner.
Dorothy Riser: Treasurer
Museum volunteer since 1979. Business Owner.
Former Board member at Navy League Fort Lauderdale Council.
Norene Keyser: Secretary
Museum volunteer since 1979. Accountant and Tax specialist.
Former Board member at Navy League Fort Lauderdale Council.
Dr. Anthony Atwood: Historian
Chief Warrant Officer, USN (Ret), Professor at Florida International University.
Founder & Director Military Museum of South Florida.
Nels Pearson: JAG (Judge Advocate General)
Museum volunteer since 1980. U.S Army (Ret). Lawyer.
David White: Media Liaison – Flight 19
Museum volunteer since 2000. USNR, WWII. NASFL Flight Instructor.
Search for Flight 19. Public Speaker.
John Casey: Exhibits & Restoration Director
Museum volunteer since 2000. U.S Army (Ret).
Virginia Montalvo: Education / School Programs Director
Museum Volunteer since 2000. Former NASFLHA Vice-President. CAP (Civil Air Patrol)
Member of the Air Force Association Gold Coast Chapter.
Ray Rivera: Sergeant at Arms
Museum volunteer since 2006. USNR, WWII & Korea.
USS Bunker Hill survivor. Frogman Trainee. Veterans of Foreign Wars past Commander.
Edgar “Buddy” Galvin: Event Speaker Liaison
Museum volunteer since 2011. Long Range Aerial Navigator, USNR WWII. Search for Flight 19.
Aerial Navigator Instructor at NAS Opa-locka. Past Mayor of Hallandale. Past President Chamber of Commerce.
Rudy Oetting: Public Relations
Museum volunteer since 2011. USMC 1954-59, Sgt. Marines Aviator. Flight Radio Operator.
Board member and former Council President, Navy League Fort Lauderdale Council.
David Epstein: Public Relations Officer
Museum volunteer since 2009. USNR, Parachute Rigger with George H.W. Bush WWII.
Former business owner.
Gary Kilbride: Social Media Officer
Museum volunteer since 2010. USN 1956-60, Gunner/Navigator, A3D Skywarrior.
Broward County Permitting & Licensing Dept. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Deborah Hamilton: General Office Manager
Museum volunteer since 2010. Navy daughter. Former Manager at Pearls Arts & Crafts Fort Lauderdale.
Minerva Bloom: Museum Coordinator / Website Manager
Museum volunteer since 2010. Editor, author, photographer, graphic design.
Matthew J. Bloom: History degree, Florida State University.
PROJECTS / VOLUNTEERS
– Navy Heritage Project: VTU-0808G, NOSC Miami.
– Richard Haddad: Business Owner. Defensive weapons teacher and specialist.
Law Enforcement consultant.
– Jordán Morgan: Owner, Jordan's Permit Expediting Construction Services.
– Andrew Marocco: Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Historian.
– Boys Scouts: Troop #190, Fort Lauderdale.
National Register of Historic Places. A Florida Heritage Site. Only remaining structure from WWII left on the naval base property. Home of Flight 19 one of the great aviation mysteries. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. The Only Military Museum in Broward County.
Support the Museum at Amazon
Copyright © NAS Fort Lauderdale Museum
For use of images or text please contact webmaster
Website created by Moonrisings, August 3, 2010