GEORGE W. STIVERS, JR., CAPT, USMC
George Stivers, Jr. '43
Date of birth: April 4, 1920
Date of death: December 5, 1945
From the 1943 Lucky Bag:
From Find A Grave:
Folk Personality, Career Officer. Served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1942. He was cited for gallantry in the South Pacific, Guadalcanal in 1942 and Tarawa in 1943. He was General J.C. Smith's Aide de Camp and in 1944 he became an air cadet. That same year he received his wings from the Corpus Christi NAS. He had 374.7 flight hours, 579 in Avengers. He was aboard the FT-117 plane that was part of the infamous Flight 19 squadron that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle while on a training mission out of a Naval Base in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale.
Miami, Fla., Dec. 7 (AP)—A sea and air armada was ordered out today to search 100,000 square miles of the Atlantic in a “last chance” effort to rescue 27 men who disappeared with five torpedo bombers and a missing rescue plane.
Aboard one of the missing bombers was Capt. George W. Stivers of Piedmont, Mo.
The Navy alone ordered 248 planes into the air, while 18 surface craft—including the escort carrier Solomons—numerous merchant ships and other searchers made it probably the biggest rescue effort of peacetime.
Two clues seemed sufficiently definite to remove some of the mystery concerning the disappearance of the entire formation of bombers, carrying 14 men, and the big Martin rescue craft with 13 on board.
One was word from a passing ship, the Gaines Mills, that it saw an explosion at sea off New Smyrna Beach at 7:50 p.m. Wednesday [December 5, 1945], and what appeared to be an airplane falling. That may have been the search craft.
The other clue was a report by the airport weather station at Miami that a large area of turbulent air rolled out of a storm centered over Georgia, swept over Jacksonville about noon and reached Miami by nightfall.
A meteorological freak—squalls on the surface, 40-mile winds at 1,000 feet, and full hurricane of 75 miles an hour at 8,000 feet—was recorded at 4 p.m. Such a development easily could have carried the torpedo planes miles out of their practice area.
The missing formation was last heard from at 5:25 p.m. and its location was given as 75 miles northeast of Cocoa, Fla. At that time the planes had slightly more than one hour’s fuel supply. They may have been as much as 200 miles at sea.
“Can’t tell whether over Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico,” the final message was reported to have said.
Capt. Stivers, a Marine Corps officer, is the son of Mrs. Nettie B. Stivers of Piedmont, Mo. He attended Western Military Academy, Alton, Ill., and was graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1942, choosing the Marines as his branch of service. He was cited for gallantry at Guadalcanal.
His father, G. W. Stivers Sr., a former representative in the Missouri legislature, died in 1939. The elder Stivers had been part owner of the Piedmont Journal-Banner and was an associate for several years of Sam Breadon of the St. Louis Cardinals in a Piedmont automobile agency.