81,814 Views Give Meaning to FT923


Galley Head Plaque

Dedicated 23 September 2012.

Memories . . .
Readers have asked why the mid-Atlantic ditching of Flying Tiger 923 on Sept. 23, 1962, is virtually unknown? Publicity at the time of the crash was very minimal and what there was disappeared very quickly. So little is known about the crash that the story, as a simple matter of “historic fact,” just recently made it to the pages of the online encyclopedia “Wikipedia.” Just about anything in the world makes it to that site! In this case, it only took 50 years.

I am happy to say that this site has given a degree of meaning and recognition to the event. As of Memorial Day 2017, this site has clocked a total of 81,814 views from throughout the world. The site has some 98 posts and 11 special pages, and a total of 109 separate stories.

Galley Head Lighthouse

Lighthouse on September 23, 2012, showing four flags: Irish for the Irish role in the Fling Tiger 923 rescue effort, the official flag of Commissioners of Irish Lights, US flag for those on the aircraft, and Swiss, for the Celerina rescue.

Why did the ditching get so little attention? Because the Army did not want attention, especially to the small contingent brand new combat paratroopers on board.

The ditching occurred at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis in September of 1962.The American and Soviet Union leaders were hurling threats of the use of nuclear weapons if either did not get their way. That also happened to be an especially tense period in the “Cold War” with the Soviets building an 850-mile fence between the East and West.

Bromore Cliffs Memorial Plaque

Bromore Cliffs Memorial Plaque

The details are pretty complicated and were highly classified at the time. The Army worked hard at keeping publicity to a minimum, especially about its quietly shipping combat troopers over to Frankfurt on planes usually reserved to transport military families and career military personnel. The surviving combat troops were not provided post medical leaves, except in very rare cases, got “free” uniform and clothing replacement and a small amount of pocket change. The combat troops who did not survive were basically forgotten. There was no official memorial or ceremony commemorating the disaster. None, not anywhere!

Today the Flying Tiger 923 disaster is on the historic map, but it took more than 50 years to get it there. This is due to the interest and loyalty of followers of this blog site as demonstrated by 81,814 views from around the world. While there are no “official” memorials, we can report that in the Republic of Ireland, there is now a small memorial plaque at the Galley Head lighthouse and another small, but beautiful memorial on the Bromore Cliffs near Ballybunion golf course. These were placed by private citizens unrelated to the Army.

To learn more about these private memorials, follow these links:


If you have not yet explored this site, please be sure to do so. All 109 stories are accessible by clicking on the categories posted under the masthead above.


About Fred Caruso

Survivor of the crash of Flying Tiger 923. at night, at sea, 500 miles off the west coast of Ireland, with 28 deaths and 48 survivors, September 23, 1962.
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4 Responses to 81,814 Views Give Meaning to FT923

  1. Eric Lindner says:

    So many of us involved with or related to the tale of 923 owe you SO much
    Thank you for all you’ve done, and are doing
    Eric Lindner

  2. Patricia Leonard says:

    What Eric said! Thanks for telling the story, Fred…and thanks for encouraging others to add to the story. Your persistence has brought comfort so many. Well done.

  3. Paul Stewart says:

    Hey Fred – Thank you, Thank you, for the heart felt post that you have made recently, my words could never tell you how much this site has meant to me. Keep up the great work – and O, yeah, certainly hope you and Ellen have a happy, wonderful, and fun 50th- stay safe and happy

  4. Fred,
    Thank you so much for your persistence during so many years.
    The success of over 80’000 views give a real worldwide meaning to FT923.
    It has been really grateful to bring a small “swiss stone” to the construction of this web site.
    P.-A. Reymond
    Crewmember of ms Celerina

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