Week 34  -  8.19.12 - 8.25.12  -  32 and 49

Materials:   Copper, Polypropylene, Stainless SteelSteel Screws

Cuff Link Dimensions:   .660” H x .870” W x .640” D

On December 5th, 1945 at approximately 7:27 p.m., two PBM Martin Mariners took off from the Banana River Navy Base Station in Florida to search for the missing Avengers of Flight 19. Heavily used by the Navy in those days, the Martin Mariners patrolled the ocean, detected enemy submarine operations, and rescued pilots and crew. They had the ability to easily land on ocean water and they used to carry huge amounts of fuel so that they could carry out extensive search operations if required. Some even called them 'Flying Gas Tanks'.

One Mariner, called Training-32, headed straight out into the ocean. The other one, called Training-49, went northbound along the east coast. After take off, Training-49 was never heard from again. Around 9:00 p.m., a message came in from a tanker that claimed they saw a huge ball of fire dropping into the ocean at a distance and then a big explosion. At about 10:00 p.m., Training-32, still searching for Flight-19, diverted course to reach the spot reported by the tanker. Strangely, they saw no fire there, no floating debris, and water sample tests from that location showed no traces of oil.

Both Mariners had been thoroughly checked by technicians as well as the captains before taking off. Some speculated that the lighting of a cigarette inside the cabin led to a fire and explosion. Since the Mariners carried huge amounts of fuel, smoking was strictly prohibited in flight. Local residents reported seeing green lights, similar to a phenomenon known as ‘St. Elmo's Fire’, floating over the ocean and then descending and slowly disappearing. Was it an electrical charge from the green lights that interfered with the navigational system and caused a fire? Was it something else? No trace of the wreckage or crew was ever found.