Squadron Scrapbook
Ops Summaries and Prop Wash

Page Twenty Four

For a number of years Port Lyautey based flight crews passing through Naples stayed in various downtown hotels including, the Mediterraneo, Magellan, Londres, Continental, Oriental, and others. The number of Port Lyautey crews laying over in Naples increased dramatically during the 1958 Beirut, Lebanon crisis. This prompted several senior petty officers to devise a plan to rent a apartment/flat in downtown Naples for enlisted crews. After renting one for a few months from a very colorful Italian matron, Maria Pia Caldonato, who preferred to be called Mama Maria, it was decided to find and lease a flat directly from a property management agency. Women were forbidden in the Naples crew flat, but ample diversion was found in poker and other card games. The photos below, contributed by Bill Miller, Rome Ballock, and Dick Prather provide some notion of the VR-24 crew flat in Naples.

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.


The VR-24 Naples crew flat was located on the twelth floor of the building in the center of this photo, taken from a point just off the main piazza in Naples.


One view from the balcony on the south side of the VR-24 Naples crew flat.


AT1 Bob Oliphant enjoys the late afternoon sun on the south balcony, which also gave a superb view of the Bay of Naples.


AT1 Norman Davis, AEC Ogden, and the notorious Franchesco, live-in attendant, aka, "house boy", seated at the dining table, often poker table, in the crew flat.


AEC KC Marks appears to be hustling food for himself in the kitchen of the VR-24 Naples crew flat. An unidentified member of the squadron looks on.


AL3 Gish appears to be teaching AMSAN Hankinson some of the fine points of a card game while ADR2 Humphrey kibitzes. Usually informal, individual dress sometimes ran to skivvs only.

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