Today in Southern History: The Lost Squadron

5 December 1945 

On this date in 1945…

Flight 19, the “Lost Squadron” of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers disappeared off the coast of Florida disappeared during a training flight in the Bermuda Triangle. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost, as were all 13 crew members of a PBM Mariner flying boat assumed by professional investigators to have exploded in mid-air while searching for the flight.

Other Years:

  • 1776 – Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious undergraduate honor society was founded at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • 1787 – An Indian war party attacked several settlements along Hacker’s Creek in western Virginia. Four settlers were killed in the fighting.
  • 1835 – The Georgia Guard arrested Cherokee Principal Chief John Ross at his home with historian John Howard Payne who was writing a history of the Cherokee people so they would not be able to attend the “New Echota Treaty” conference.
  • 1862 – Confederates defeated federal cavalry on the Mississippi Central railroad near Coffeeville, Mississippi.
  • 1974 – In the first World Football League Bowl, the Birmingham Americans beat the Florida Blazers, 22-21. 
  • 1988 -Host of the PTL Club, Jim Bakker and his former aide Richard Dortch were indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina on fraud and conspiracy charges. 


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