Squadron Scrapbook
Rota



(Next Page),

Go Direct to Rota Page (2), (3), (4), (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24)(25)(26) (27) (28)(29) (30)

Return to Scrapbook Page One

Return to Home Page

In the Spring and Summer of 1963 VR-24 moved its base of operations from NAS Port Lyautey, Morocco to Naval Station Rota, Spain. The move marked not only the end of an era of operations from a homebase on the African Continent, but also a sea change in the mode of operations. The Lockheed GRV-1/C-130 Hercules, which had been added to VR-24's inventory in the Spring of 1962, enabled the squadron to complete missions in and around the Mediterranean area in much less time than was possible with the older and slower R5Ds and R4Qs, and even R6Ds which were flown by VR-24 only while based at Rota. C-130 flights to and from Naples were routinely completed in one day, elimating the need for flight crews to RON at Naples as had been the case. The C-130's longer range and higher speed also enabled VR-24 to provide support to U.S. Fleet operations farther afield. Dets were sent from Rota to the Pacific and South Eeast Asia. The squadron's other primary mission, direct COD support to U.S. Navy ships at sea, did not change at this time. However, its capability to meet that requirement was vastly improved when another new aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound, was added to the squadron inventory while VR-24 was based at Rota. Nine years later, in 1972, VR-24's command headquarters shifted from Rota to Naples, consolidating COD opeations there. VR-24 Det Rota became the squadron's permanent detachment, focusing on C-130 opeations. Some would argue that the character of the squadron itself underwent a fundamental change while at Rota, and perhaps it did. What did not change, then or later, however, as most former members of VR-24 would agree, was the adventure and desirability of duty in VR-24 and its detachments.

The photos on this and the next two pages were contributed by Ray Schenone who served with VR-24 in Rota from 1963 to 1965.


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.

(schenone)

The runway and base at Naval Station Rota appear behind the wing of R5D 56549 in this photo by Ray Schenone.

(schenone)

The Atlantic coastline and town of Rota are visible in the right side of this photo.

(schenone)

This photo shows the parking Rota ramp which was shared by VR-24, vQ-2, and deployed VP squadrons. Visible from left to right are at least six P2V Neptunes, the Station R4D, five A3D2Qs, two C-130s, the front portion of either a R5D or R6D, and two WV-2s at the far end of the ramp.

(schenone)

The front of the enlisted quarters at Rota.

(schenone)

The chowhall at Rota.

(schenone)

An interesting view from the barracks roof. Visible are the "nose docks" used to perform maintenance on the larger aircraft, such as the C-130.

(schenone)

Traffic stops for a steam locomotive to chug past a grade crossing on U.S. NAVAL Sation Rota. The U.S. facility is located within the boundaries of Base Naval de Rota, a Spanish military base commanded by a Spanish Vice Admiral.

Top of Page

(Next Page),

Go Direct to Rota Page (2), (3), (4), (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24)(25)(26) (27) (28)(29) (30)

Return to Scrapbook Page One

Return to Home Page

Copyright 2002 VR-24 Association