COMMISSIONER CHIP LaMARCA
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 PBM 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.