Flight 19 was the designation of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that disappeared
on Wednesday, December 5, 1945 during a Navy-authorized navigation training flight from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All 14 airmen on the flight were lost,
as were all 13 crew members of a PMB Mariner flying boat assumed to have exploded
in mid-air while searching for the flight.
Navy investigators could not determine the cause for the loss of Flight 19 but, said the aircraft may have become disoriented and ditched in rough seas after running out of fuel. In the last decade, the search for remains of the squadron has been expanded
to include an area farther east, into the Atlantic Ocean with no results. The lost flight remains one of the great aviation legends of all time and was featured in the 1977
Steven Spielberg science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.