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The Florida Times-Union Jacksonville, Wednesday, September 28, 1955

Navy Plane Missing With 11 Local Men

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A Navy Hurricane Hunter plane with 9 Jacksonville Naval Air Station men aboard and 2 news men has disappeared while probling the 110-mile-an-hour winds of Hurricane Janet.

Cmdr E. L. Foster, Commanding Officer of VW-4 at NAS, said the ship was operating out of NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and has been overdue since 6:30 p.m., yesterday.

He said the ship had enough fuel to last until about 10:30 last night. The last radio contact with the plane was made at 10:15 a.m. yesterday.

An air-sea rescue team has been alerted and will begin combing the Caribbean area at dawn today if no word of the missing plane has been received.

Capt. Frederick Davison of the Navy's Weather Central in Miami said planes and ships from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Panama have been alerted.

Comdr. Foster, who said a communications alert for the plane was ordered at noon yesterday, said he did not know of any field in the area large enough to accommodate the P2V "Neptune" bomber "with which we are not in communication."

He said it was possible, however, that the plane may have landed somewhere else under emergency conditions.

A liaison officer at the Miami station, Capt. David Rudle, said a communication from the plane about 8:15 a.m. indicated the pilot intended to make a penetration into the storm. He said the radio contact made at 10:15 gave no hint that the plane might be in trouble, but the signal from the plane's radio was weak and fading.

It was not known whether the plane was in the midst of the hurricane at the time of the last radio message.

The plane took off from NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at 6:30 a.m. and was due to return at 4:30 p.m. It was considered overdue at 6:30 p.m.

Cmdr. Foster remained at his post at NAS throughout the night.

The plane was one of several sent from Jacksonville to NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to keep watch on hurricanes in the Caribbean area.

A four-engine Super Constellation left the Cuban base on schedule to relieve the Neptune, with special orders to be on the watch for the missing ship.


Lt. Cmdr. Grover B. Windham Jr. of Jacksonville, Plane Commander
LTjg Thomas R. Morgan of Orange Park, Navigator
LTjg George W. Herlong of Yukon, Co-Pilot
Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class Julius J. Mann, 22, of Canton, Ohio
LTjg Thomas L. Greaney, 26, of Jacksonville, Navigator
Aviation Mechanic First Class J. P. Windham, Jr., 32 of Jacksonville
Airman Kenneth L. Klegg, 22, of Cranston, RI
Aviation Electronics Man First Class Joseph F. combs of Forest Park, NY
Aerologist William A. Buck, of Jacksonville