THE FLAGLER TRIBUNE
Thursday, January 25, 1945
Michael Louis Trad, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis N. Trad of Bunnell, has been reported missing "and presumed dead" after the crash of a plane on which he was an aerial gunner off the Boca Chica Navy Air Base near Key West.
The parents here received a telegram from Lt. Com. R. D. Hutchins of the Navy there, Saturday saying Michael was miss¬ing, and then a second telegram was received Monday saying he was presumed dead. The telegram stated that the "plane crashed violently at sea" and "no part of plane recovered."
An Associated Press dispatch from Key West yesterday said that Ensign Farley Bruaw, 22 of York Haven, Pa., pilot of the single-engine plane was rescued after two days and nights adrift.
Air base officials said that in addition to Trad, Eugene Patrick Nolan of Chicago also lost his life in the crash.
Pilot Bruaw said today that he does not know how he escaped from the cabin of the plane after it plunged into the ocean.
“I do not know how I was freed; when I came to the surface, neither the plane nor the other two men were in sight,” he said.
“I saw a bundle which I recognized as the rubber life raft, inflated it, and climbed inside,” he related.
Gunner Trad was graduate of Bunnell high school and enlisted in the navy nearly two years ago.
Trad also had the rating of Aviation Machinist Mate.