Squadron Scrapbook
Aircraft Accidents

Page Five

The remarkables photos on this page were contributed by Pete Davis, son of ADC John Davis, who served with VR-24 in Port Lyautey from 1958 through 1961. The photos show better than any words can how lucky were the twenty-four people on board R5D 56521 when it crashed on 8 March 1960 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Granada, Spain. No one was killed, but several were injured, one seriously. The story of their rescue is covered in a Lyautey Log article, which is shown on OpsSummary/Propwash Page Twenty.

Below the photos is a letter from AEC Martin, the enlisted plane captain/flight engineer on R5D 56521 when it crashed. The letter was written by Chief Martin from his hospital bed to his friend and former Chief Aviation Electrician, Ensign Joe Tumminelli. In the letter, AEC Martin describes his injuries, and experience during and after the crash, in which he was the most seriously injured.

Anyone who has photos, stories, and material they wish to share is encouraged to send them to
Dick Prather, Webmaster/Editor of the VR-24 website.

(USN photo pdavis collection)

Depicted is Piedra de Los Lobos, among the highest mountains in southeastern Spain. It was at the 8,000 foot level of this mountain where VR-24 R5D 56521 crash landed on 8 March 1960. A white circle marking the location of the crash is just visible in the upper portion, and slightly right of center in the photo.

(USN photo pdavis collection)

At this distance from the mountain, R5D 56521 is barely visible inside white circle marking the crash site. This photo clearly illustrates the relative insignificance of the only space on the mountain side into which the pilot could have put the aircraft.

(USN photo pdavis collection)

In this photo, the hulk of R5D 56521 is visible in the white circle. The crew reported that the plane slid a short distance into the middle of the only place possible on the on that side of the mountain. It is difficult to imagine how the two volunteers who went for help, managed to find a way down the mountain from the crash site.

(USN photo pdavis collection)

In this photo the American flag, VR-24 tail letters and diagonal strip are all visible on the rudder.

Letter from AEC Martin to Ensign Tumminelli

(tumminelli collection)

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