Squadron Scrapbook Naples

Page Two





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NAF Capodichinno (at Naples), like the other bases that VR-24 and its permanent detachments called home changed over time. All of the squadron's homes, except RAF Hendon, evolved from fields, on which the spaces occupied were, at best Spartan (usually Quonset huts), to full-service bases offering an excellent assortment of facilities.

The following group of photos show Capodichinno in "the early years" before trees and shrubs softened the local landscape. An interesting feature visible in the photos of the aircraft ramp is the perforated steel planking, known as Marston matting (probably its inventor). Perforated plank runways were laid down around the world during WWII to provide "quick use" airfields. Though slowly replaced after the war by more durable concrete aprons, there were still sections of Marston matting at Capo as late as the Fall of 1960.

The aircraft in these photos, all but one of which were contributed by Howard Hurt, a member of VR-24 Det Naples from 1953-55, reflect the original, all blue, color scheme of the Grumman TF-1 Trader. This color scheme was replaced in the mid-'50s by one in which Navy tactical (shipboard) aircraft upper surfaces were painted Gull-gray and lower surfaces were painted white.

Anyone who has photos or information that he/she cares to share with "shipmates" and friends is encouraged to send them to Dick Prather, Webmaster/Editor of the VR-24 website.

(hurt)

Howard Hurt at NAF Terminal (1954).

(hurt)

NAF Barracks 1954

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NAF Chapel (1954).

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NAF Chowhall 1954

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R5D 56549 nosed into maintenance hangar.

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Brothers, Bobby and Howard Dixon, with ground transportation in NAF hangar

Crew pulls 60 hour maintenance check on TBM 404 on ramp at Naples. All of the Det Naples power units, like the one shown, were homemade using APUs from PBYs, etc. Unident radioman stands by power unit. Gordon Hall is visible on plane's port wing.

(guidotte)

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End of the line for most of the Det's TBM was this boneyard on the edge of the field. Photo dates from 1956 after VR-24 Det TBMs were replaced by Grumman TF-1 Traders in March 1955.

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Lineup of new Grumman TF-1 Traders ushers in a new "era" at NAF Capodichinno(1955).

(hurt)

In this photo, TF-1 769 shows off the lines of the Det's new workhorse



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