A Specialty School for the TBM/TBF Avenger Aircraft at NASFL:
The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale was established as a specialty school to train Pilots and Aircrewmen for the Avenger torpedo-bomber airplanes. The crewmen, in addition to being gunners, were Radiomen, Machinist's Mates and Ordnancemen. A pilot and two gunners in a naval torpedo plane were the usual crew.
The station's main job was to train for aerial combat, but no airplanes would fly, torpedoes and bombs be dropped or machine guns fired if medical, supply, instructional, clerical, cleaning, maintenance, or transportation services were to break down. Efficiency would have suffered without proper food, adequate welfare and recreational facilities. Thus every member of the station's personnel, no matter what the job, was on the same team. By the end of the war, NASFL was a complex of more than 200 buildings.
Since then, the vast complex of buildings that housed the air base have been all demolished. All except for one: the Link Trainer Building #8 - our current Museum.
With the help of many volunteers, this Museum has been instrumental in preserving the memory of Flight 19 - The Lost Patrol, one of the great aviation mysteries. Flight 19 flew out of NASFL on December 5th, 1945 to vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. In addition, a 19 year old future US President George H.W. Bush lived at NASFL as a young Ensign to train as a torpedo/bomber pilot.