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The Nashville Banner

Nashville, Tennessee, BANNER, 22 September 1945, page 1

Unidentified Flight Blamed for Miami Crash; Two Killed

Miami, Fla., Sept. 22 - (UP) Capt. D. L. Day, commanding officer of the Melbourne, Fla. Naval Air Base, today blamed an unidentified formation that swung into the path of a five-ship flight from Melbourne for the crash last night of two Nay fighter planes.

Day issued a statement today after interrogating the flight leader of the ill-fated formation. He did not reveal the name of the flight commander.

Day said the formation was on a routine flight from Melbourne to Miami. It was scheduled to return via Civil Airways. As it approached the end of its south-bound journey, another formation of night-flying aircraft swung into its path.

The flight leader is quoted as saying that he ordered his formation to break up and rendezvous over Biscayne Bay. It was during the breaking up procedure, Day said, that two of the F6F3's locked wings, dived a half-turn, and crashed into a business section of the city, killing both pilots.

Day said the flight leader had called for the breakup because he was not familiar with the Miami area, and the glare from city lights might hinder the pilot's vision.

Day set the loss of two planes at approximately $62,000 each.

Names of the two victims were known, but not revealed pending notification of next of kin, Day said.

Meanwhile, city officials estimated the loss of a civilian business and a Navy operation warehouse at approximately $75,000.

No infringement intended. For educational purposes only.