Those of you who are familiar with the Flight-19 saga know of the reported radar contact made by the USS Solomons CVE-67 December 5th 1945, and of the direction finding plots made by the use of high frequency radio waves. But what you may not be aware of is that there was also allegedly some kind of contact made by Glynco Naval Air Station in Brunswick Georgia as well. The base itself which is located equidistant between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL. was a base for Navy Blimps in 1945. Specifically the home for Patrol Squadron 15 (ZP-15), a subordinate unit of Fleet Airship Wing One at Lake Hurst, New Jersey .
Now I say alleged contact, because no researcher that I am aware of has really focused on the role the station played in the events that day. It’s no wonder since that contact has been overlooked by the authorities assigned the case back in 1945. The communications record of that day is like swiss cheese and easy to gloss over. Any indications of what transpired at Glynco NAS are easily lost in the quagmire of terminology and naval jargon of the official navy report.
However: in “They Flew into Oblivion by Gian J. Quasar”, the author attempts to tackle the issue and relies on a a few key sentences to reflect the chaos in the ASR office that day and furthermore as indicated below, to make what I believe a rational suggestion that Flight-19 flew farther North and was still up in the air later than generally accepted.
“ATC HAS JUST INFORMED BANANA RIVER THAT 5 UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT WERE SEEN AT 8:50 PM AT 245 DEGREES 32 MILES FROM BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA, HEADING 150 DEGREES. ATC IS ALERTING ALL STATIONS. WE HAVE BEEN GETTING THESE REPORTS FROM BRUNSWICK AND JACKSONVILLE……….” (* ) See below
Of course these few transmissions pose more questions than they answer. In this excerpt we need to ask who, (ATC?) is? Is it Air Transport Command, Air Traffic Control, or someone or something else? Does ‘ seen’ mean they actually physically saw these planes, or were they on the radar or High Frequency Direction Finding? How long had ATC been ‘seeing’ them? Was there also a military base in Jacksonville FL or was it a civilian station? At what time did the first message mentioned come in? How did it come in, via phone or teletype?
If you recall, the teletype was having difficulty operating in the tower that night and it’s hard to imagine that at 8:50 (20:50 hrs)PM in the middle of Winter, even in Florida that there was that much more light to see by than the rest of the East Coast.
Again,its just one more thing to look into but I think perhaps a key piece to finding the location of the lost planes.
(*)located on pg 205 of the paperback