View a Hurricane at 20,000 Feet
"Separated from his navy squadron which was sent to the Pacific, the author found himself in Florida at the Jacksonville Municipal Airport with its long runways able to handle a heavy bomber outfit. With a great deal of skill he relates his experiences during 1945 as World War II was winding down. True- to- life anecdotes and episodes move the story along.
Sent to Masters Field in Miami, after Washington ordered the military to develop a hurricane warning system, he was assigned to Squadron 114, the early Hurricane Hunters. They tracked storms from Barbados in the eastern Carribean to Honduras and Belize in the west. At that time hurricanes had Roman Numeral numbers instead of names. Hurricane #IX, a category 4, hit Miami and Masters Field. He writes from experience with frightening realism about the danger and destruction of hurricanes.
Flying many times over the Bermuda Triangle, the same area as the five planes which made up Flight 19 mysteriously lost while on a training mission, the author adds his speculation as to what may have happened to them. Interesting and logical.I found this well written, well researched book to be riveting and compelling. Worth the read.

Lenora Smalley
Writer and Poet


Catagory 4 and where is flight 19?
"Written from the perspective of 'being there', join, Tom Barnes in his rich-with-history account of his experiences as a navy pilot working hurricane patrol in 1944. At an altitude of 28,000 feet, Barnes describes the beauty of the 'beast', and the birth of a hurricane, as well as the intricate maze of an instrument panel. Charting storms in the Devil's Triangle during hurricane season was definitely not for sissies. Suspense and humor are joined together, along with a picture perfect depiction of numerous navigations, making this a book that's difficult to put down. History buffs will find this a treasure to read. As a bonus, Barnes has included his own history as it related to Flight 19 and its mysterious disappearance. Two thumbs up, Tom!"

Venita Louise


"Tom Barnes' novel remindeds me of another triangle, the everlasting triangle of God, Nature and Man. Here in Tom's book we experience through him two thirds of that triangle: Man and Nature. To me, the interaction of two takes on the form of one great pugilistic contest played out in a cosmic ring where two worthy adversaries, Man and Nature meet to test each others strength, knowledge and staying power. Nature enters her heavy hitter,Hurricane with her winds and rain and Tom his Navy pilots with their training and technology. Tom and his buddies are hammered, knocked down but never out. And like most true fighting men, they rise to fight another day; they never give up. The battle is continuous, the rounds are endless but in each round, man learns more about this beast from the sea with its awesome force and cataclysmic power with the hope that some day he will know enough to counter, defend and nullify this powerful monster of Nature. And if that day comes and it surely will, we can all look back and say:" It began with those brave men of the Navy Squadron 114, the original Hurricane Hunters." A must read metaphor of man's ongoing and eternal struggle with Nature.



Reader Reviews

Washington orders military to develop hurricane-warning system. Navy crews back from Pacific chosen for task. Squadron 114 forms at Masters Field, Miami where they train and track storms from Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean to Honduras and Belize in the west. 

Then in September Hurricane # IX takes aim at Miami and the Hurricane Hunter's base. The storm hits them with hurricane winds clocked at 139 mph. We also hear the drama, from island people, over short-wave radio, through panic-stricken voices as they describe their own doom. 

Lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Flight 19 made up of five TBM Avengers with fourteen airmen aboard take off from NAS Ft. Lauderdale at 2:00 pm on the afternoon of December 5, 1945. They are on a routine navigation, bombing and strafing exercise. Flight leader Lt. Charles Taylor takes a trailing position with one of the students in the lead. At 3:40 pm a muddled distress call is heard from the student leader. Lt. Taylor takes the lead, but is disoriented believes they are over the Florida Keys, when in fact they are likely over the Bahamas Banks. We follow Flight 19 minute by minute as the tragedy unfolds.

The Hurricane Hunters & Lost in the Bermuda Traingle

]r, writer and hurricane hunter