Aircraft Operated by VR-24

Beechcraft JRB

When VRU-4, which became VR-24, was commissioned in 1946, its initial equipment included four Beechcraft JRB aircraft. The JRB was a utility transport version of Beechcraft's Model 18, first flown in January 1937. It was one of several variants of the twin-engine aircraft used by all U.S. military services. Essentially the same as the Navy's SNB and the Air Force's C-45, the JRB provided passenger seating for five, or a mix of passengers plus limited light cargo and mail. VRU-4, and subsequently VR-24 and its detachments variously located at Port Lyautey, Hendon, and Naples, operated the sturdy little transport throughout Europe and the Mediterranean area. Given its limited range, and "modest" speed and altitude capabilities, operational missions often became extended affairs, providing a variety of opportunities for misadventure, if not a lot of glory.

Request for Assistance
To date, only two clear photos containing VR-24 JRB aircraft have been located. The photos to which the first three thumbnail sketches below are linked are examples of the same, or equivalent, type of aircraft as the VR-24 JRBs. Anyone who has photos of this type of aircraft (dating from the late '40s to early '50s) is urged to look closely the last three photos below and those on Scrapbook Port Lyautey Page Twenty-Three. VR-24 JRBs were "bare-metal". As shown in the fourth and fith photos below, the aircraft markings changed over time. At one point, the letters "NAVY" appeared just aft of the national insignia (stars and bars). At the same time, two or three-digit numbers (eg.: 87, 127, 374, or 574, etc.) appeared on the nose of VR-24 JRBs. Perhaps later, as shown in the last photo on this page, large numbers appeared on the sides of the fuselage just forward of the passenger door. This scheme also included the letters "RD" on the vertical stabilizers and "UNITED STATES NAVY" above the fuselage windows.

Anyone caring to share his/her photo(s) of VR-24 JRB aircraft is encouraged to email Dick Prather, webmaster/editor of the VR-24 website. Contributions of the desired photos/images will be appreciated. 

Navy SNB assigned to CNATRA, Pensacola
(USN photo)

Navy SNB at National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola

Navy SNB over Louisiana
(USN photo)

Unidentified sailor poses in cockpit of VR-24 JRB 127.
(jacobs collection)

Unident CPO and DK2 Freddy Lake beside VR-24 JRB.
(jacobs collection)

JRB-4 795 at Port Lyautey.
(salerno collection)

Top of Page
Return to Aircraft Page One
Return to Home Page

Copyright 2002 VR-24 Association