Squadron Scrapbook
Ops Summaries and Prop Wash

Page ThirtySix

The photos on this page were contributed by Dick Prather, VR-24 Web Manager. They were taken during a trip to Spain in August-September 2010 to participate in a Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration of the rescue of the twenty-four passengers and crew from the crash of VR-24 R5D 56521 on 8 March 1960.


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

 

(prather collection)

At left is the cover of the program for the 50th Anniversary celebration held in the village of Jerez del Marquesado, September 1st through September 7th, 2010. The program lists events that took place during the seven day commemoration of the rescue by residents of the village.

The 'exposition' officially opened on 1 September 2010 and closed on 7 September 2010. The activities of the "Soliearity Conferenct" actually began on September 2, 2010 with th arrival of Alan D. Solomont, U.S. Ambassador to Spain. The ambassador led a procession retracing the route taken by Ambassador John Davis Lodge on 15 June 1960. Ambassador Solomont was escorted by the Mayor of Jerez del Marquesado. Honored guests included two survivors of the 8 March 1960 accident, Jim Zaio and Frank Rupp. Also in attendance were U.S. Navy CAPT Bill Mosk, Commander U.S. Naval Activities, Spain, and Commander U.S. Naval Station, Rota, Spain. CAPT Jose M Caravaca de Coca, Spanish Navy, and several other high ranking Spanish military and police officials were also in attendance. The procession ended in the village town square where Ambassador Solomont and local dignitaries gave speeches commemorating the events of the March 1960 rescue. Ambassador Solomont presented commemorative plates to the surviving members of the village rescue party. Following the presentations and speeches, the Ambassador dedicated a granite monument, topped by a representation of R5D 56521, as a permanent tribute to the village and its role in cementing relations between Spain and the United States. On Friday, 3 Sept, Guadia Civil gave demonstration of their mountain rescue capabilities, including helicopter operations. The main event on Saturday, 4 Sept, was the official opening of a national trail that leads from the outskirts of Jerez del Marquesado eight miles up the mountain to the site of the crash of R5D 56521. It was reported that approximately one hundred people, including CAPT Bill Mosk, participated in the inagural hike along the trail, which took four hours up, and another fours hours back. Saturday's festivities continued into the evening with a demonstration of equestrian art, and a "Spectacular" involving a local team of acrobats performing acts of daring do in the ring with very agressive Spanish cattle. The final two days of the 'exposition' included rescue demonstrations by the Guadia Civil, and meetings to highlight natural resources of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

(prather)

Ambassadore Alan Solomont confers with the mayor of Jerez del Marquesado during the procession through the village on 2 September 2010. The occasion was a visit to the church in the background.

(prather)

This photo depicts the throung of villagers and dignitaries following the distinguished visitors through the streets of Jerez del Marquesado.

(prather)

This photo was taken at the Hotel Rural Picón de Sierra Nevada prior to Ambassador Solomont's arrival on 2 Sept. From left to right are: CAPT Jose caravaca, two members of the rescue party, survivor Jim Zaio, and survivor, Frank Rupp.

(prather)

This photo catches CAPT Bill Mosk speaking to an unidentified man. At left is Brenda Navarro, the Protocol Officer for U.S. Naval Station, Rota. The other man, at right, is also unidentified.

(prather)

Atanasio Sanchez, shown in profile, is the person largely responsible for there being a 50th Anniversary commemoration. Mr. Sanchez envisioned such an event in 2001 and spent the the next nine years leading the planning and preparation for the celebration. By any measure, his efforts must be considered a huge success.

(prather)

LT Deborah Neuhaus, Air Terminal Officer, Naval Station, Rota, was instrumental in locating survivors, Jim Zao and Frank Rupp. LT Neuhaus broke her leg a week before the festivities.

(prather)

Ambassador Solomont presents a commmemorative plate to one of the men who participated in the rescue of passengers and crew of VR-24 R5D 56521. Participants in the presentations included; L-R, the Master of Ceremonies, Virginia Ghent, Ambassador Solomont's translator, Alan Solomont, u.s. Ambassador to Spain, an unidentified member of the rescue team, the mayor of Jerez del Marquesado, and survivors, Jim Zaio and Frank Rupp. The young man standing behind Jim Zaio is thought to be the son of one of the survivors.

(prather)

This photo shows the monument presented by Ambassador Solomont to the village of Jerez del Marquesado.

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