The Record of Proceedings…..the OFFICIAL Report.
A.) A Brief Synopsis
The Record of Proceedings of A Board of Investigation dated December 10th, 1945, NAS Miami and the accompanying papers is the only known documentation available describing the events leading up to the loss of the flight and the attempted search and rescue. In it the Navy has taken the liberty to fold the reports from the original investigation to include the exhibits, and other various documents resulting in 56 facts and 56 conclusions and the 1947 Board of Correction of Naval Records exonerating the flight leader, into a final report.
In its essence the core documentation used in the official investigation revolves around radio log books documenting the communications between the pilots and ground stations, and the interviews of the mainly officer core in charge of all the departments associated with Flight-19 and NAS Ft. Lauderdale . It’s prima facie documentation, and the key piece of hard evidence used in determining in the end, the culpability of the flight leader and eventually the navy itself.
It is not and easy read!!
Unfortunatley, in its entirety it can not be considered direct evidence as the credibility of several of the witnesses as well as the board members themselves is in question. Though they were likely being honest in their responses, many were not directly associated with the plane maintenance, or Lt. Taylor and may have only been present as character witnesses to regurgitate standard operating procedures (SOP). In my opinion they certainly were not taxed in their examination.
Which would perhaps explain the rushed investigation and the navy’s own reluctance and dubious faith in the report as witnessed in Conclusion no. 56 below from the report.