2015 Arizona Professional Writers' literary contest. First place, Nonfiction, History.
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BRNAS rapidly expands its training and defense capabilities as the war escalates. Men are lost carrying out their training missions and two planes disappear in the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.
This is the story of the men and women who served at BRNAS and saw the base grow from a small auxiliary site, to an immense, vital naval air station.
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World War II — Floridians are in a state of shock and disbelief. The grim realities of war aren’t in the movies or on the front pages of their newspapers—they’re on their doorsteps, out their windows, on their beaches. Nowhere else in the US is the taste of war so bitter.
October, 1940: Banana River Naval Air Station (BRNAS) is established as a minor auxiliary landing site for training units from NAS Jacksonville.
After the United States declares war on Germany and Japan, the German Wolf Pack mercilessly begins attacking the unsuspecting military and merchant ships plying the waters off the Florida coast. Bodies of Americans and foreign military, along with merchantmen, are swept along the shoreline. Those serving at BRNAS work side by side with local townsfolk recovering the dead and the wounded. The emboldened Germans even succeed in landing a party of soldiers along a desolate beach. No one feels safe.
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