Squadron Scrapbook
Ops Summaries and Prop Wash

Page Twenty Seven



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The two photos on this page were contributed by Rosemary Reilly, wife of Ed Reilly. Ed served with VR-24 Det Naples as a COD pilot during the mid sixties. Precise information on when the photos were taken is not available. Any additional information about the photos would be appreciated.

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

VIP Arrival via COD

VR-24, its earlier DET Naples and various operational detachments, were called upon from time to time to transport distinguished visitors to U.S. ships at sea. Among the VIPs who flew on VR-24 TBMs, C1As, C2As, or CH-53S were King Mohammed V of Morocco, President Mikarios of Cypres, Clare Boothe Luce, U.S. ambassador to Italy, Harlan Cleveland, Ambassador to NATO, successive Chiefs of U.S. Naval Operations, and other senior U.S. Navy and allied military officers. The formal welcome of two diplomats was captured in the photos below shortly after their COD arrival on board an unidentified carrier somewhere in the Mediterranean.

(reilly)

The "weight" of the welcoming committee for the VIPs debarking from the VR-24 C1A onboard a U.S. carrier at sea is a clue to their status. The first gentleman being greeted by the senior officer in dress canvas, with sword, is the Honorable Harlan Cleveland, U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 1965 to 1969 under President Johson. The identities of others shown in the photo are unknown.

(reilly)

The fact that the admiral wearing summer tropical white vs full dress uniform exited the aircraft after the two civilians (photo above) indicates they rate high diplomatic honors. The officer behind the admiral is a Lieutenant Commander in the Italian Navy, verified by the Officer's crest on his hat. His duties and status relative to the ambassador's visit to the ship are unknown.

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Copyright 2002 VR-24 Association