Naval Station (NAVSTA) Mayport hosted a ceremony to transfer artifacts uncovered from a 1958 jet crash to the Canadian armed forces, Feb. 26.
On Feb. 25, 1958, Royal Canadian Navy Lt. William Thomas Barry Troy was flying an F2H-3 Banshee during a joint exercise with the U.S. Navy when he vanished into dense fog off the coast of NAVSTA Mayport.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, a few of Troy’s items washed ashore on the beach of neighboring Hannah Park. Among the items uncovered were a stenciled float coat, a life vest with “USN” printed on it and a parachute harness with “LT (P) TROY” stenciled on.
Along with representatives from the park service, who recovered the items, and the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office, who maintained them, Troy’s younger brother William Richard Troy and his wife were present for the ceremony.
The younger Troy was grateful to be in the presence of the gear used by his late brother, particularly the parachute harness. “Knowing that my brother [wore it],” he said. “There’s a connection there.”
The Troy family had not previously received much closure.
“Sixty years ago yesterday, the Navy had called my father and told him my brother was missing,” said Troy. “A few days later they told us he had passed, and it was a big shock. He was my hero and that’s never changed. In a way, this is a good thing. It settles in our mind what happened.”
Rear Adm. Sean Buck, commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet/ U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, was present to offer remarks, speaking about the opportunity to celebrate.
“We celebrate the humanity of individuals, as well as nations,” said Buck. “We celebrate sacrifice of individuals, as well as nations. We give thanks to an unbreakable bond, partnership and alliance that have served the world so well in times of peace and war.”