Squadron Scrapbook Naples

Page Twenty Six

The photos on this page are from the collection of Vern Christensen who who served as an Aircontrolman (tower operator) with VR-24 Det Naples from August 1952 to October 1954. Vern was originally assigned to VR-24, Port Lyautey for a few months before being sent to VR-24 Det London (at RAF Hendon). After being there only a few months, Vern was sent to Naples where he and several other newly reported ACs finally began working with Italian tower operators at Capodichinno.

Anyone who has photos or information they wish to contribute to the VR-24 website is encouraged to send them to
Dick Prather, Webmaster/Editor of the VR-24 website.

(christensen)

Vern Christensen (R) and shipmate(L) in front of TBM 122 on ramp at Capodichinno (Naples). TBM 122 was assigned to either VR-25 Det Naples or FASRON 77. It was lost in a fatal accident just off the airport at Capodichinno sometime before mid August 1952.

(christensen)

Vern Christensen just off duty in Capo Tower.

(christensen)

Vern Christensen next to main landing gear of PBY 069. Some confusion exists as to whether this PBY was assigned to VR-24 Det Naples, VR-25 Det Naples, or FASRON 77. In any case, it was used for SAR, and for logistics flights, sometimes called boondoggles, around the Med.

(christensen)

LTJG Obrien (c) and two identified personnel stand next to TBM 122. The tail letters 'BL' on TBM 122 are thought to identify it as belonging to FASRON 77. That unit was established in July 1953 following changes in unit designation from VR-24 Det Naples to VR-25 Det Naples. TBM 122 was lost in late 1953, before VR-24 Det Naples was reestablished in April 1954.

(christensen)

Capodichinno tower whern Vern Christensen arrived in 1952. The tower was located near the east end of the field at some distance from the VR-24 line and hangar

(christensen)

This view of Capo Tower shows its military lineage. Italian civil air controllers held primary responsibility for flight operations during daylight operations but U.S. Navy aircontrollers ran the tower the rest of the time.

(christensen)

One of the Italian civil aircontrollers assigned to the tower at Capodichinno.

(Christensen)

Italian Air Force personnel augmented the Capo Tower staff when Italian military aircraft were flying. Who the individual in the right side of the photo might be is not known.

(christensen)

View of Mt. Vesuvius from the control tower at Capodichinno. Vesuvius, about five miles south and and other mountains to the east, limited the instrument approach minima to the field.

(Christensen)

The U.S. Navy GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) unit that arrived at Capodichinno while Vern Christensen was there. It appears that the crew of the GCA unit may have been good customers of Coca Cola.

(Christensen)

View of the flight line at Capo. Visible are an R4D8 with tail code 'BL', thought to be that of FASRON, and several R5Ds. The diagonal strip and tail code 'RD'barely visible on one R5D at the far left side of the photo identify that aircraft as a VR-24 bird.

(christensen)

This view inside the VR-24 Ops office shows the status of various VR-24 aircraft. It shows that the squadron operated a variety of aircraft including versions of: R4Ds, R5Ds, JRBs, and TBMS.

(Christensen)

This photo shows the two pieces of U.S. Navy fire fighting equipment available at Capodichinno in the first few years of USN air operations there. They are positioned in front of the VR-24 Operations "shack" when VR-24 Det Naples was responsible for all U.S. Navy air ops on the field, including fire fighting and air control when Italian civilian air contollers were off duty.



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