Squadron Scrapbook
Ops Summaries and Prop Wash

Page Fourteen



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The following articles were contributed by former members of VR-24. Anyone who has photos, stories, and material they wish to share is encouraged to send them to Dick Prather, editor of the VR-24 website.



Mission Of Honor

It is a long-standing Naval tradition to provide a ceremonial escort for the remains of leaders lost in the line of duty. VR-24 had a key role on one such occasion when Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Forrest P. Sherman, died while on an official visit to Europe in July 1951.

Former members of VR-24 say that the real reason for ADM Sherman's trip to Europe was to negotiate with Generalisimo Franco for the establishment of U.S. bases in Spain to support NATO. If true, his mission must have been successful. The U.S. began building bases near Madrid (Torrejon AFB), Seville (Moron AFB), Zaragoza (AFB), Cartegena (Naval Weapons Depot), and Rota (Naval Base and airfield) in the early to mid '50s.

Although several members of the squadron remember ADM Sherman's death as having occurred in Madrid, official reports state that he died in Naples, Italy on 22 July after a series heart attacks. In either case, VR-24 was assigned the mission of transporting the Admiral's remains back to the United States for burial.


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The first leg of the trip was back to Port Lyautey where full military honors were rendered. As shown in above photo, Navy and Marine honor guards were drawn up in ranks around the parking ramp while the aircraft was being serviced. Others were formed along the taxiway when the plane departed for the next leg of the flight to the U.S. (photo above right).

Groups of Navy personnel and dependents linger as CPO Glazier retires VR-24 members of the Admiral's honor guard from the ceremony (photo at right).


(USN photo)


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Copyright 2002 VR-24 Association