Archived Messages from Friends at VR-24
World's Biggest Little Airline
(from April 2002 through October 2003

 173.  1956-1957  2003-10-24  Edgar Vinson
Looking for any of the shipmates that were in Naples at this time, Chuck Kibbons,Steve Zaleski, Joe Yuma, etc.
 172.  Viewing latest version of webpages  2003-10-22  Dick Prather
Maintaining the VR-24 website continues to be a learning experience. Latest lesson; The newest version of a webpage that has been changed/updated since your last visite may not show up on your screen. If you suspect this to be true, you might want to do the following: With the "changed page" displayed, hold down both "shift AND ctrl" keys and simultaneously click(with mouse) on "Refresh" icon at top of screen. That will force a rewrite (download) of the latest version of the page into your computer and onto your screen. Happy viewing!! Your friendly website editor.
 171.  Links between pages on VR-24 website  2003-10-19  Dick Prather
Some of you may have noticed within the last month that certain links between pages on the website were not working. I discovered last night that the problem was caused when the webhost server was changed (without notification). I have reset the links and all now work. Feel free to email me anytime you find one that does not. Thanks, Your friendly website editor.
 170.  75-78  2003-10-13  Jim Killingsworth
I just found this site a few days ago, it's great. I was with VR-24 from 75-78. I was there when we made the move from Naples to Sig. During that time I was a C1-A plane captain, of course there was not a PC rate in those days so I was an AE-3. I have been looking for a friend that I was stationed with named Steve Kawjawski. If anyone knows where I might find him please let me know. I also look forward to hearing from anyone else that was there during those years.
 169.  Personnel Office  2003-10-04  Marsha A. Wadowski (nee Dapkus) - PN3 - 1975 - 1977
Just found this site. VR-24 was my first Duty Station after graduating from "A" School. I really enjoyed my tour at the Squadron. I was there when the Squadron moved from Naples to Sigonella. Had 3 CO's while I was there - CDR Hatch, CAPT Sperling, and CDR Weaver. I am still in the Naval Reserve - have served for 20 years in the Reserves now. Presently mobilized, as I was recalled to Active Duty back in March 2003. I would love to hear from anyone who was in the Squadron during that time period.
 168.  C-2 Loadmaster 1985-1988  2003-10-03  Lewis Tidmore
Just found this site and saw a few names.bill howard,bruse thompson.andy hall came to visit me here in san antonio and we talked about getting some of the
old vr group would be great to hear from anyone from that time
 167.  C2 Aircrewman 1975-78  2003-10-03  Carlos Diniz
Great site! If any shipmates remember me, drop me a line. This is a great way to revisit the memories of good times and good friends.
I was an AD2 at the time. Would love to hear from you.
 166.  Naples 63-66 update on personnel  2003-10-01  Kenneth Balderston
I learned recently that my old friend and neighbor CWO Burt Cook passed away about four years ago. His wife Inez lives in Pensacola. Cdr. Ford (OinC while I was there)also lived in Pensacola and has passed. There are so many memorable people from those years. I think about them often and wonder what ever became of them. Could anyone shed some lite on the following officers? Cdr. Wisendanger, Lcdr's Whit Johnson, Gino Giannotti, Digger O'dell, Mort Robinson, Corky Milner, Ken McBride, Lt.'s C. D. Johnson, Al Fry, Rule Warner, Bob Simmons, Fidelito Castro, Ron Carlson, Lt. JG Steve Cobe. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
 165.  Guestbook Cleanup  2003-09-30  Dick Prather
Just returned from a two-week vacation (visiting our "forward deployed" forces in Japan) to find what appeared to be a couple of "nuisance" entries. I deleted them. Will delete entries that do not in some way, however vague, relate to VR-24, its components, former members, friends, home bases, or associated units. I trust that I will receive appropriate feedback in the event I err in my "deletion criteria." Your friendly website editor.
 164.    2003-09-29  Johnny M.(Mike) gosa
My wife (Bette) and myself were stationed together at VR-24 Sigonella from 1977 to 1980. I checked in as an AMS2 and left 3 years later as an AMSC. Really enjoyed that tour. Some memorable events were a C-2 that went off the runway in Barcelona and we had to get it out of the mud, change both engines,struts and repair minor damages on the ramp at Barcelona Internation airport. We lived in a villa at Costa Saracena and enjoyed traveling while we were there. At that time frame, we flew C-1's, C-2's, CT39's and set up a three (H53) helicopter "VOD" (vertical onboard delivery) detachment. I retired to Tennessee in 1991 and have worked in aviation since.
 163.  Finally!  2003-09-23  Bill Howard
Someone (Bruce Thompson) from the time when I was in VR-24! Bruce, you were a Load Master correct? Where are you now?

I was an aircrew Plane Captain (C-2's), and served in VR-24 from 1984-1987. Time flys doesn't it!
 162.  We Are VR!  2003-09-22  Bruce C. Thompson, AMSC(AW/NAC)Ret.
Did 2 tours in VR-24, 80-81 and 85-88. Loved them both! Was a ground pounder then Aircrew. Saw the world with VR! Met my wife (AN Steinau, she worked in the Tool Room and Admin) during second tour, still together after almost 16 yrs. Too many great memories to mention here. Drop us a note, would like to hear from some of our old squadron-mates.
 161.  REMEMBERING VICTIMS OF 9/11  2003-09-10  Michael D. Clardy
In remembrance of CAPT Jack Punches, Commanding Officer of VR-24. CAPT Punches was killed 11 September, 2001, in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. It was an honor and pleasure to serve with you.
 160.  VR-24  2003-09-10  John Denehy

I was stationed with the Marine Detachment, Naples, Italy, 1954-56. Travelled to France and UK while on leave via VR-24 in 1955. It was always easy to get a hop from Naples to other places in Europe. Really appreciated your courteous and professional way of doing things. I still have the "Enroute Progress Report" which I kept as a souvenir when I rotated home in January, 1956. We ran into a terrible thunder storm about an hour before a scheduled landing at Gibraltar. The plane (R5D) was going up and down like a roller coaster. Just about everyone was sick. I have flown many times since then but that was the worst weather I ever experienced in an airplane. We had to abort our landing at Gibraltar at the last minute. Pilot of the plane was Lt. Barfield. Co-pilot was LCDR Stanford. Flt. Mechanic was Chief Hovermate. Radioman was AL1 Johnson and flight orderly was Airman McGaha. I have a photo of me standing by a SNJ and a PBY at Capodichino Airport in Naples.
 159.  The VR-24 website  2003-09-02  Dick Prather
A notefrom your friendly website editor to solicit additional photos and material. I believe we now have a pretty decent website, thanks to the generous contributions by many of you. However, it can be made better. We still do not have any photos of JRBs (same as Navy SNBs and Air Force C-45s), the first aircraft flown by the squadron. There are pitifully few photos of some other VR-24 aircraft, including the Douglas R4D, Martin PBM, Douglas R6D, Rockwell CT39, and the Sikorski RH-53 helicopter. In fact, we could use more photos of any and all planes flown by VR-24. We sorely need photos and material with which to construct "pages" for VR-24 operations at RAF Herndon and Naval Station Rota. Finding photos/material from the Herndon era may be a challenge, but there should be tons of interesting and entertaining "stuff" out there covering the thirty-year period (1963-93) when the squadron operated from Rota, Naples, and Sigonella. Start digging! You my be surprised at what you have buried in your archives! I can handle photos/slides/electronic images in almost any format. Send via email or call for snail mail address. Thanks again to those who have contributed. And thanks in advance to all of you for taking the time to find photos/material to make our website one of the best. Hope to see/meet a bunch of you at the reunion here in San Diego in October. Best regards. Dick Prather
 158.  VR-24 January 1961 to August 1962  2003-08-29  John Gluchowski

My name is John Gluchowski. I was stationed at VR-24 from January 1961 to August 1962. I was a YN3 and worked in the Operations preparing the Flight Schedules and Flight orders for all the crews. I also handed out all the mail, for duty on weekends. I use to bowl a lot and was one of the better bowlers on the base. I remember many of the flying people and worked for the Commander of Operations at that time. Can't remember his name. But remember LCDR Mitchell who was the asst ops officer. Just to give you some names that I remember. Capt. Hood was the commander of VR-24, Commander Necauckas was Exec, LCDR Hagedorn, LCDR Jones, LCDR Weir, Stanley Grab, ops(he kept all the hours for the crews flight times, etc., Lt Katona, LtJG McCoy( I think he came as an Ensign)I couldn,t beleive the flight hours that LCDR Jones and Weir had!!! Anyone out there that might know me drop me a line. Great Web site.
 157.  scale model,radio control  2003-08-28  ronald totten
looking for three veiw drawings to make a scale model
 156.   VR-24 Det Rota 74-77  2003-08-22  Scott Coleman
Great website. It seems that your first squadron is always the best, at least it was for me. I miss the Herk but now fly 767's for Delta. Faster and the coffee's better but we had more fun in VR.
 155.    2003-08-12  chris husted
Looking for Michael Mulligan, or any of the others from VOD squad of the early 1980's, such as Alvin Fletcher, Dave Lowry.
 154.  Where is Larry and Jean Pelkey ?  2003-08-12  Dalmacio Matibag Stm3c
All thru this website I've been looking for any trace of VRU-4/VR-24 det at Hendon Aerodrome in London. Other
than the first paragraph on VR24 history did I see any
names I could remember except LCdr E.F. Jacobs our CO.
This command being my first navy assignment (1946-1949)
has a permanent space in my memory.
It has been a long way from home for an 18yr old boy
coming from Batangas, Philippines via Guam, Frisco,Norfolk New York, Livorno, Napoli and Port Lyautey. (My first plane ride was on a PB4Y2 from Naples to Port Lyautey)
Having been assigned to the ready room I made a lot
of coffee and shined a lot of officer's shoes. Being
short of hot water, you should have heard the nasty comments about my coffee......I shall add a few more
if I get any response from those shipmates.........dal
 153.  VR-24 1957 to 1960  2003-07-29  William A Moore (Bill)
Like to hear from anyone that was here in this time frame from Chief Beavers shop (Structures & Hydraulics). Or if anyone knows the where abouts of Stanley R. Fox please email me at

 152.  My new E Mail address  2003-07-15  William Bateman
This is my new e mail address. Send me a test message
 151.  Change of address  2003-07-15  William M Bateman AFCM Ret
Note new E Mail address. Also my new home address is 1052 Day Drive Lexington TN 38351.Enjoyed my duty in VR-24 and also in the Naples.Please enter this in the log so my Shipmates will know how to get in touch with me.
Bill Bateman afcm ret.
 150.  VR-24 1991-1992  2003-07-11  Disun Shinn
Hello fello lifting eagles. Used to be with the squadron from July 91 through November 92 before VR decom. My condolances to the Punches family, he was a good guy and I had fun playing basketball with him during the summer league. I was in First LT, Tool Room and night check line. I became a plane captain working under AMH Haynes. Anyway I'm a PN2 now stationed at PSD NAS Jacksonville. If anyone remembers me please keep in touch.
 149.    2003-07-09  Patrick E. Mmontgomery
Was with VR-24 Det Naples, Italy from 1961-1965. Load Master on C54 and Plane Captain on C1A. Played fastpitch softball for both VR-24 and NSA Naples. Charlie Walton was my best man at my wedding. Still married to the same lady (39 years). I was and ADJ3. After VR-24 was sent to VQ-2 in Rota. Rota from 1965 - 1969. In 1973 I was sent to NAF Sigonella as the Production Control Chief. I was in Signella when VR-24 was moved to out of Naples to Sig. Hope to hear from some old friends. Does anyone know where Charlie Walton is?
Patrick E. Montgomery, AZC, USN, Ret 1982-06-3
 148.  GIBRALTAR: SwordFISH and sides of BEEF  2003-07-07  Tom Collins 1952-1953
Tom Drago, nice to know someone who actually ate that stuff at the Officer's Club at P/L! We flew on R5Ds stiff-fullsized swordfish and sides of beef that came from Argentina. I remember Dub Jenkins from Paris, TX, Hewitt and Grometz crew. Look at the LOGO on this site - not Pegasus the flying horse, but a flying camel depiced on a background of the med. I wonder if the camel had a knick name!
 147.  VR Det Naples 54/55 NAF P/L52/53  2003-07-07  Tom Drago
Doyou have Buzz Dryfoos e-mail address? Anybody ever from any of TBM pilots of that timme frame?Phil Oddo, OB O'brien.I ran the O club in P/L when I wasn't flying the JD,s all over the Med. Made many GIB run to buy the booz and sides of Aussie beef with vr24 at the helm.Good times///FLY NAVY////Tom Drago
 146.  VR 24 & ROTA 1963 - 1965  2003-07-05  Ray Duane Ruggles
After helping decommission the USS Antietam, CVS-36 I was sent to VR-24 in Port Lyautey in April of 1963. Worked on the flight line. Moved up to Rota that September after many flights across the Med hauling everything we could pull up, pick up, unscrew or unstick. Even took the swimming pool pumps and the diving board.
After about three months at Rota on the flightline I was sent to the gas pool and drove those big yellow trucks for two years.
Would really like to hear from anyone from that time period either in VR-24 or the Avaition Fuel Pool. Is
Jack William Eubanks, Robert Rogers, or anyone else still with us. I worked at Lockheed Air Craft in Marietta, Ga. after to I got out of the Navy. About March of 1966 old 149790 came in for Parmod and I got to play hanger pilot one last time with her.
 145.  VR24  2003-07-05  Fred & Mila Fuentes
We are still alive and kicking and wonder who else is out there?
 144.    2003-07-04  DONALD L CALDWELL
Thanks for setting up this web site.
 143.    2003-07-03  DONALD L CALDWELL
I served at N.A.S. Naples from 1965-1967 retired in 1980
and just wanted to see if anyone that I worked with was still around.
 142.  Naples Italy and NATO  2003-06-26  Daniel Ray Vallero B520330
I was in VR-24 1967-1968 as an interpreter to Commander Frank W. Ford under Captain William Scott and was previously an E-3 Aviations Electricians Mate.
I am a computer technician now in Tucson Arizona and Las Vegas Nevada.
12101 West Kirk Lane
Tucson, AZ 85743-9731
 141. &nbp;VR-24 60-62  2003-06-18  Leslie M. "Sandy" Sanford, Jr.
My Dad was in VR-24 from 1960-62, and flew the
R-5,R4Q, and C-130. I enjoyed my time there as a
teenager, and would love to go back one day. My
first experience in the cockpit of a military
aircraft came when I was a 16 y/o kid sitting
in the jump seat of a 130 going into Naples
(I believe the pilot was LCDR Norris). I
spent 24 years in the Navy,flew in over 40
different types of military aircraft, and logged
over 5000 hours as a tactical jet NFO, but nothing
compared to that first flight "up front". My Dad
loved the Navy and flying, and he passed that love
along to me.
Also, I served with Dick Prather in my first
squadron (VP-16) before I got my wings and
reported to Intruders. One of my A-6 instructors
was LT Phil Schuyler, who was later the CO of
the last Rota C-130 squadron (VR-22?).
Best Regards,
 140.  Hello  2003-06-16  John P. O'Brien, AMCS USN Retired
I reported to VR-24 Det Naples, Italy during March 1965 and departed during February 1968. I made my first of many carrier traps on the USS Saratoga in a
C-1A. I enjoyed the Naples tour so much that I managed two additional tours as a P&E Inspector with NAMRA which ultimately became NERRA.
 139.  Finally looked for this  2003-06-13  ADC (Ret) Ed Dale
Was in 24 from '90 to the end. Moved over to AIMD Sig with Bart and others Great seeing some names and a few faces from those times. By far one of the absolute best squadrons I was in!! If you want to contact me, leave a note here and I will send you an email. That doesn't include Bill Murphy or Perry Pena who happen to be at the same place I am :D!
 138.  VR-24-ites/do you have web sites?  2003-06-09
See my web site about the us-revolutionary war: .

Please send me the names of your individual websites!
Tom Collins
VR-24 Port Lyautey / Kenitra Dec 1951-Oct 1953.
 137.  To Mitchel Cheraso  2003-06-06  Willliam (Bill) Howard
This is odd. I was in VR-24 throughout 1986 and most of 1987, and I do not recall you (I'm getting old, but not that old). Did you work nights? Have you remained in contact with anyone in the squadron from that time?

Let me know (
Bill Howard (AE2 NAC)
 135.  VR-24 Photos 1989-1992  2003-06-03  Michael D. Clardy
Additional photos are found at
 134.  VR-24 Photos 1989-1992  2003-06-03  Michael D. Clardy
Setup some additonal picks on my personal web from my tour at VR-24. Help with names of people in photos would be appreciated.
 133.  VR-24, 3/56-11/57  2003-05-28  Edgar Vinson
Thank you for setting up this web site. I was a cook's helper, a loader and worked in nalcoelmrep. It was the most enjoyable of my short Navy career. Looking for anyone that was there during this period. Thanks again.
 132.  Looking for Charles Hagen  2003-05-27  Roman Ballock
Was at Port Lyautey just a few months and then we transferred to Rota. Was at Rota from 1963-66, AT1, Lived in on Base housing with Family
 131.  VR-24 Det Naples '64-'66  2003-05-24  Leonard (Stoney) Compton
I was a coop cleaner for "Louie" Stephans, MAA, under Leading Chief Tolley. Worked for Ens./LTjg. Sam Todd as Communications & Air Intelligence Yeoman. Worked with Danny Casey, Dave Thiessen, Danny Studebaker, Fred Langbein. Argued with Lt Frye about everything. Hung out with Dave Fowler, Dan Toberney, and Browning, among many others. Gawd we were young!!
 130.  VR-24 1961 thru 1966  2003-05-21  Roman Ballock
Stationed in Lyautey 61-63 then Rota 63-66 with the AT Shop.
Flew at radioman on R5's, R4Q's, R6 and C-130.
Remember CPO's Doyen, Joyner, Day with the AT shop
, Kent Wagoner, Chuck Hagen, Ken Grossglass,
Tex Zimmel, Ken Johnston,
Cleveland C. Clanton(Heavy Nine), Cdr Hawley,
Lcdr Dryfoose, Lt MCcoy, Flight Surgeon Schmitz,
Bob Howard,Mel Summers, John Clark,
Bill Ferguson(stayed in Rota, married 'Bene'
and opened a bar in downtown Rota,
Tom Mayhew, "Rita" at the 'Snake Pit' in Naples,
Ken Simpson(later met Ken in the VP navy at Brunswick),
apartment in Naples , John Sobola, Clyde Coffman,
Bill Tomey, Barracks in Port Lyautey and the Master at arms dog"Inky",
a cocker spaniel that lived in the barracks; Earl Rush
 129.  VR24 shipmate july 86 to July 89  2003-05-17  Mitchel Cheraso
Looking to meet up with any shipmates. Worked in Airlines, America West Airlines as Maintenace Training Manger. Was an AE2, worked mostly night shift in avionics shop
 128.  VR-24 Shipmate Jan. 1970 to March 1973  2003-05-15  Billy Noland
I would like to make contact with some of my old shipmates from Rota. I ran with Steve Vrana, David Rotert, Spanky, Whitey, and Jimmy Tyler.

I was an AT-3 and rode a Bultaco in the motorcross on base.

If any of you guys are still around, please write back.
 127.  For those who might care  2003-05-15  Billy Noland
Alive and well and living in Temple Texas.
 126.  1958-1960 Dependent at PL  2003-05-15  Mike Hatfield
Hello to any of my friends from 1958-1960. My father, ''Porky'' Hatfield, was a pilot in VR-24. I played baseball every year, and our team went to the Little League World Series in Germany, where we finished 3rd (as I recall). Many days spent at the Teen Club, the base snack bar (where Green was not accepted- wonder who that poor fellow was, hehe!) It was a great time in my youth and I enjoyed that place more than any other we were ever stationed
 125.  Flight to Libya  2003-05-14  Kent Butterfield
1970 Qaadafi came to power and kicked us out of Libya. I was R/O on a flight to remove a Coast Guard LORAN station from the middle of no where in Libya. Flew into Tripoli where we were boarded and searched for who knows what. We flew to a desert airstrip with a VERY short runway (I distinctly remember it looking about three feet longer than the C-130 while we were taking off). We loaded a lowboy flatbed trailer with other items strapped to it in 100 degree heat and Libyan guards with AK-47s watching our every move. Took off with less than an inch and a half of runway to spare. All in all a very fun flight. I believe CDR Angier was the pilot, but i could have Woody Barfield. Memories do fade. I remember getting a glass of water from the flight deck and drinking it front of a guard - watching him salivate. Offered him a drink but he wouldn't take it.
 124.  VR-24 memories  2003-05-12  Kenneth Balderston
A duty station with cruise ship arrivals and departures, Palma and Athens detachments, Christmas in Roccaraso, 4th. in Positano, vacations in Europe, weekends in Rome, carrier flying, beela Napoli, great co-workers, what's not to like? It was some very good years. Lot's of special memories.
 123.  We are VR 81-84  2003-05-11  Perry "PJ" Pena ADC(AW) Ret.
What a great tour! Lots of great friend's and very memorable detachments. Gotta love those C-1A "deck launches" from carrier EE ticket required!
 122.  VR-24: 84-87  2003-05-07  Willliam (Bill) Howard
I was just wondering if there was anyone out there from 184-1987. I would like to catch-up if possible.

 121.  vr-24 90' to 93'  2003-04-30  Brian W. Jordan
I was AD3 Jordan back then and used to room with Chris Grubb. Looking for the boys (Littlejohn, Pickett, Grubb, Schiff, Doll, Parker, Taylor, etc.) IF first e-mail doesn't work use ( I'm now in wine sales in Nashville ,Tn.
 120.  Rota  2003-04-23  Kent Butterfield (AT-2 C-130/C-118 Radio '69-'71)
Just found the site, now I have to hunt up my Rota pictures. I'll be back with tales of the final C-118 flight, snipe races and more. There seems to be a scarcity of Rota information especially from 1969-1971 when I was there. What happened to Perez and Doggy Collier? Gene Hauber? Bill Dewert? And to the AE3 who married that little Spanish sweety I was dating - Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
 119.  ct-39g over mt. etna  2003-04-23  charles wooten
Hi, was a sabre pilot from 83-86, the picture over Mt.
Etna was taken by LCdr otto Storr I was flying the lead
We both took off out of Meandenhall[sp] and finally joined up at coast in. Have other pictures of that flight and others, was there when the C-1s went in. Chuck
 118.  VR 24 reunion  2003-04-15  THOMAS R. DRAGO LCDR USN RET.
Enjoyed the pics of P/L. Iwas in NAF OPS 52-53.I joined VR 24 DET NAPLES 54-55.Spent many a happy hour at MISS Kitty's La Finire in P/L. Will try to get to S/D ,but it is a long way from BEAUFORT NC. Regards. TOM D...
 117.  Nostalgia  2003-04-13  Jim Deitschman
Wow!!! In my old age and limited computer expertise, I managed to find the site, and low and behold, there were some of the pictures I sent. Now if I could only find Jim Freeman who worked in the post office of the terminal. He was best man at my wedding 43 years ago, and I need him to be here for the 50th anniversary if I make it that far. Neat to remenisce on all the old times and ramp memories although P/L was not the highlight of my life. Do hope someone will drop a line or two. Would like to hear from some of the old gang. Best wishes. Jim Deitschman
 115.  VR-24 Det Naples, 1967-1970  2003-04-08  AD1 Barry W. Marple USNRET
I arrived at VR-24 Det Naples after having prior service in the US Air Force. My years with VR-24 are some of my fondest years in the military. I started in Power Plants as a C-1A Plane Captian and finally as a NALCO Co-Ordinator. Sure do miss this R-1820 engines.
 114.  VR-24 Det Naples, 1962-1964  2003-04-08  Paul L. Pollack
I was a young airman when I recieved my orders from the USS Lake Champlain CVS-39 to Naples. Finding this webb site brought back many fond memories. I just got back from a reunion with the Seabee's in Pensacola and I'll do my best to try and make this years reunion in San Diego. I spent 22 1/2 years in San Diego prior to retiring, I retired as a Chief Machinery repairman.
 113.  TBM Accident  2003-04-06  Al Doree
I see there is not listing of a TBM accident in 1952 or 1953 that killed the pilot as he was returning from a flight and was on down wind at the airport.
Anyone remember that?
 112.  Det Naples 51-53  2003-04-06  Al Doree
Hi Again, Read most of the other guest notes so will add a little more info. I arrived in Port Lyautey in late 51 and some time later was sent to Naples when they opened that detachment. I was an airman but got to work in the comm office. I taught myself how to type on the teletype machine and taught myself the morse code as I wanted to be a radio operator on the flight crews. I seem to remember a chief Blake that helped me out a lot. I then got to be a second radio operator on an R4D for awhil.
I was transferred to FASRON 77. What happened to FASRON 77? I thought the VR-24 DET went away then, but guess not. Does anyone know.

Thanks, Al (AL-3) when I left
 111.  Port Lyautey  2003-04-06  Al Doree
Hi I was a member of VR-24 from late 1951 to end of
Enjoyed learning about the association.
I was one of the first to be transferred to Naples
when they opened the detachment..

Al Doree
 110.  VR-24 Accidents  2003-04-06  Richard Prather
I recently received word that two VR-24 C1s were lost in a mid-air over the Med in the early 1980s. Aditional info on that accident is needed to correct/update the VR-24 website. Please email me, Dick Prather, at or call (760)789-8225 if you have info on the accident or know of anyone who does. Thanks. Dick Prather, VR-24 website editor.
 109.  VR-24 Naples 65 to 68.  2003-04-02  Roger Ellis
I was in Naples from March of 65 to Aug. 68. ATN2 and aircrew.Played on the baseball and football teams. My airplane was 049. That plane is now in the Chicago area. Would like to hear from anyone that was in Naples, 65-68. GREAT web site. Thank you.
 108.  looking for a freind  2003-03-27  Philip Conery
Stationed VR-24 SIG.1977-1980,FLEW C-2 AND CT-39G
 107.   Howdy All  2003-03-26  Thomas Prince
I was at VR 24 Det Rota from April 75 to April 77 Would love to hear from any of the guyz. Have lot'za pics to share.
 106.  VR-2/AIMD  2003-03-26  Mark Mason
I was in VR24 from '77 to Jan.'81. I was TAD to AIMD paraloft as soon as I got out of 1st lewy.I have alot of good memories. Let me hear from you.
 105.  VR-24 Det Rota Reunion  2003-03-24  Mike "Miguel" Barbour
REUNION: The VR-24 Det Rota contingency will hold their next reunion in downtown Denver, CO from May 1 through 4, 2003. You may find additional information on the VR-24 Det Rota Shipmates Web Page at: For further information on the planned reunion contact the committee at or contact Miguel Barbour at 21212 Bernie Lawrence Lane; Abell, MD 20606 [(301) 769-4569].
 104.  Pictures  2003-03-23  Richard Donley
I have digital pictures taken at the last reunion. contact me and I would be glad to send them to you. I am sorry but we will miss the next reunion. Say a Prayer for our men in uniform. Don
 103.  Great Web Site/Time Spent in P/L / Thanks  2003-03-23  JOHN F. BACCHETTA, AIRMAN, USN
Spent '57 to '59 in Port Lyauety as Air Terminal support personnel for VR-24, in-going, out-going personnel and travelers, working as customer service at the air terminal counter and/or weight & balance specialist. Managed to grab a ride as a crewman once a month to in-order to get flight-pay. Now that I'm looking at my 65th birthday this year and, as I look back, it was the best duty ever, and was too young and wet-behind-the-ears to relalize it. Thanks for all your effort on this web site. I'll try to gather all my photos (black & white as well as a lot of 35mm color slides) and offer some of the more interesting to you if you'd like. Best to you, John Bacchetta
 102.  VR-24: 1989-92  2003-03-17  Michael Clardy AZ2(AW)
Assigned to VR-24 from 89-92. Worked Maintenance Admin and Quality Assurance as Publication Librarian and Data Analyst. Glad to see so many familiar names. Sad to hear about CDR Punches. Enjoyed my time with VR-24 and working with real professionals. I am now living in Catania, Sicily and own a Microsoft Training Center. For those of you who haven't seen NASSIG in a while, you wouldn't believe it. The Navy finally decided to spend some money and fix the place up. Not the same though without VR. Would enjoy hearing from shipmates.
 101.  Lets here from you  2003-03-09  Rudolph (Rudy) Alkire AL-3 First reserve recalled to squadron in 1950
My time in VR-24 was very delightful. (1950-1951) Worked in the radio shack for Chief Fred Glaeser, a great influence on me. His constant educational powesses realy hit home on me. Upon my return to inactive duty, after being around Freddie, I entered college abd become quite successful. I remember all the guys and would love to hear from all. Wonder if Sully(Sullivan) still plays his guitar. Oh Yes there was Lt Debois wow
 100.  anyone out there from 1963 t0 1966 Naples Det.  2003-03-06  Kenneth Balderston
I have lost all contact with Squadron mates and would like to get some updates. also, does anyone go to the reunions?
 100.  anyone out there from 1963 t0 1966 Naples Det.  2003-03-06  Kenneth Balderston
I have lost all contact with Squadron mates and would like to get some updates. also, does anyone go to the reunions?
 99.  VR-24 Alumnus  2003-03-04  Richard Whitfield
Served with VR-24 from 2 July 1969 until 20 November 1971. Almost exclusively with the line division. I have very fond memories of Rota and the people of Spain.
By the way, somehow I ended up with the nickname of "Whitey". I don't really go by that handle anymore but if you were stationed there at that time, that's probably how you'll remember me.
 98.  PLEASE HELP ME!!!!  2003-02-25  ronald g vaughn
 97.  hey shipmates  2003-02-22  Jake Jacobsen
It was a great tour, from 87-90, met alot of great shipmates!!!Retired in 1994, wish I could have kept it going! I really miss the people that made it the best squadron I ever served with, I took orders to recruiting in 91, Had so much fun..Thanks capt Pucnhes for talking me into it!! You were right!! I retired here in Davenport Iowa with My wife, 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Right now Im in sales, I am a supervisor for citi bank, and really miss the Navy, Please e=mail me would love to chat!! AMS1 Jacobsen
 96.    2003-02-19  William Murphy ADCS RET
Has anyone out there heard from Phil Connery. He was an AE1 in 24 from 78-June 81. His family and mine left out of Rome back to the states the same day in June 0f 81. He was a C-2A loadmaster and a T-39 Plane Captain. I think he was going to fly on the CNO's A-3 when he left Sigonella. I also heard he made AVCM. He probably retired in the early 90's. He was a great guy and I have not heard from him since we left. If anyone out there has any idea of what happened to him or where I can contact him let me know.
 95.  Prior VR-24 sailor  2003-02-10  John McPurdy
I was stationed at VR-24 as an AT2 from July 1989 to July 1992. It was the best tour I have had in my career. I am still currently in the Navy as a Chief and stationed at Naval Station Norfolk AIMD. I am very proud of the VR-24 heritage, and that I had the opportunity to be a part of it.
 94.  COD Pilot Naples Aug64-Nov68  2003-02-08  Sam Todd
I Would like to here from anyone that remembers me and those wonderful times. I plan to be at the reunion this year (2003) in SAN.
 93.  Thank you for efforts  2003-02-07  Michael Ewert
Pete Owen,

I worked at VR-24 "Lifting Eagles" from March 89 to March 93, it's decommissioning. I checked into the squadron and was sent to the AME/PR shop. I had the best times in VR than all my tours in the Navy. The Navy made a mistake and lead to this squardon's decommissioning.

Anyway, nice webpage and great memories.


Former AME
MA1(AW) Michael Ewert
Leading Petty Officer
Central MVRO
Naples, Italy
 92.  Memories of VR-24 transport aircraft in Malta  2003-02-05  Carmel John Attard
Traders, C-118s and C-130s in JM, VR-24 aircraft pictures always bring back happy memories of the period of mid to late 60s at Luqa airfield in Malta. Not that I know any of the crew though they always deserve my full respect but those early days with so many spotting of VR-24 aircraft with each occasion that an aircraft carrier calls at our port was a real blessing to experience. I made a scale model of the C-1 Trader in VR-24 markings.Long live memories of VR-24 and God blessing to the crew that flew and maintained this squadron.
 91.  An appeal from your friendly web site editor  2003-01-29  Dick Prather
I will soon complete additional pages for the squadron website. The new pages are intended to focus on people and activities. We have some photos of "life" in Port Lyautey (in 56-60 timeframe) but scant coverage for Herndon, Rota, Naples, or Sigonella. There is still time, if you hurry, to get your favorite photo(s) in the next upload to the site. Dig through your cruise boxes, footlockers, archives, etc. You may be surprised how much everyone else would enjoy reliving a moment in their past. Am also still looking for photos of all types of aircraft flown by the squadron, and especially the JRB, PBY, and PBM. Someone out there has to have photos of those birds in VR-24 markings. Dig deep! I have faith that you will turn up a gem, or perhaps several!
Thanks all. I appreciate your help in making the VR-24 website a great one. Dick Prather
 90.  VR 24  2003-01-29  Mr. Kerry Kelly
I stumbled accross the history of VR24 just today...thanks for the memories. I served in VR 24 from Jan 1963 (coming from school in Memphis) and we moved from Port Lyautey to Rota. I was an AE. (along with Ron Haverovich). Some of the names I remember were Dave Driver, Bob Brien, Rich Tortarelli, Grant Cummings.Rene Anctil still lives about 50 miles from me.
 89.  VR-24 hats.  2003-01-29  Allen F. Capel
So far 29 of the 'Worlds Finest' are wearing new VR-24 ball caps. It has been a pleasure to serve you guys , but I'd like to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Please, no more orders after March 1, 2003. My only problem was that the orders came in sparodicly and the guy that makes them likes to do a larger batch at a time. Why don't we see more COD Det people at the reunions? Al
 88.  great site  2003-01-28  Robert Wayne Smith
I was in VR-24 from 1971 to 1974. Spent most of my time at AIMD. My rate was an AT3. I played on the soccer team and the softball team. As I was reading the other comments, I saw one from John Levey. Did you play the soccer goalie for VR-24 during that time? Also, does anyone have information on where I might could purchase a squadron cap and/or patch?
 87.  who was on flight  2003-01-19   Bobby Howard
Pertaining to msg #86. Does anyone remember who was on that flight on Xmas day 1962? K C Marks comes to mind but K C pulled all kinds of stuff on me when we flew together and you tend to not remember 40 year old stuff as accurately as last years.
 86.  Naples to Nice to Pt lyautey  2003-01-19  Bobby Howard
Can't remember why I was flying on Xmas Day of 1962 but when we got to Nice the French Lineman who parked us didn't put the chocks close enough to the wheels. When we were fueling the a/c the load master let the brakes off of the a/c and it started moving and the chocks slide along with the the wheel instead of stopping the plane. The plane rode up on top of the fueler smashing the nose wheel doors. It looked like we were going to spend Xmas there but the P C and the flight Eng tried to take the doors off and fix them but the bolts were bent to badly. The French linemen found a couple of hacksaws and I cut the door hinges off the plane with the P Cs permission and we flew on to Pt YL with a lot of wind in the cockpit but we got home for Xmas and the metal shop had my but a couple of days later. I had to work with them a couple of days. Can't remember the P C but he was a WW-2 pilot and got the job done.
 85.    2003-01-11  thomas d wills
nice website,good job
 84.  Searching for team mate...  2003-01-09  Charles Dunning
Good Morning.I was stationed in Port Lyautey,French Morroco in 1952 & 1953.My squardron was vr-24.I had a very good friend by the name of John Edward Anderson.He hailed from Massachusettes.No other info available.Would sappreciate any help in locating.Thanks
 83.  VR-24 1/63 thru 5/65  2003-01-08  Gordon L. (Andy) Anderson
I was an Airman Apprentice out of AMS "A" School in Memphis. I arrived in Kenitra on an R4D from Norfolk in January 63. Was sent mess cooking in the base mess hall for three months. Moved to Rota a few months later. Ken Simpson was my mentor and one of the best people I ever worked for. Spent many hours in the nose docks at Rota. I remember Tidwell, Edstrom, Mills (Mertz), Haverovich, Young, Anctil, and many others. Have many good memories of VR-24. Completed my three year minority cruise in the Navy and went home in May 65 as AMS-2.
 82.  VR-24 Great Duty  2003-01-06  Jerry D Duffey
I reported to VR-24 Rota 1963 to 1966. In Sept of 1964
we went to the crew system in the maintenance depart.
A/C 149797 was my aircraft. It was the best duty and we
had a great crew. I loved the crews flat in Naples.
 81.  Roster  2003-01-05  William M Bateman
Do you have a roster of VR-24 personnel? If so could you E Mail it to me?
Hoss Bateman
 80.  Addendum to msg. 77  2003-01-03  Tom Collins - VR-24 - 1952 & 1953
Larry Dunn ADAN, AD3, AD2 just now reminded me that the co-pilot was McClosky - and Bib Hoffman was aboard with me in the near air crash of our new R4D-8. (see msg # 77) Hoffman and I sat with our backs to the bulkhead (no seat belts) as we finally landed successfully.

This missive is to wrap-up my contributions to info about 1952-1953 happenings in P/Ly:

We were warming-up engines at full throttle on a taxiway, when in front of us, we saw a French bomber (looked like an old Lancaster type) run one wheel slightly off the runway. Their wheel flew off; then the wing; then parts of the tail section; then the other wing ... part by part - happily the crew got out okay - they probably all smoked 10 packs of "du Moroc" cigarettes that day!

I remember a Moroccan kid teaching me how to write my name in Arabic. He was a bus-boy at the quonset hut snack bar near the VR-24 airport terminal.

One kid came back from a forbidden adventure from the Medina at Rabat. He had run along the edge of a leather tanning vat - in the dark. He slipped and fell into the camel urine! Censor this story!

We experienced an extended period of "weightlessness standing in mid-air between the deck and the overhead" as we hit a down-draft over the Atlas Mountains. Aboard were about 9 Marines on stretchers. They were in great pain as they had had their eardrums damaged by an explosion aboard an aircraft carrier near Nice or Cannes. Weightlessness - reminds me that Naval Air Station Pensacola had a brick building marked "Space Medicine" three years before sputnic.

I wonder how many others arrrived in North Africa via my route: Patuxant River; Argentia (New Foundland) (we laid over for hours to get an engine part); Lagens Air Base in the Azore Islands (at 4AM with the runway covered awith about a foot of water. The chow hall there had screens fully covered with flys); before landing at Bovingdon near London we flew in above "cottoncandy pink clouds" from horizon to horizon; London was Picadelly and a 3AM taxi ride around past Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch, etc. with a 4AM 60 minute chat with the taxi driver near our digs (a sort of "brownstone" - five story high townhouse rented by the Navy - heat machine took "2 bob"; Orly at Paris; Cappadichino at Naples; streetlights seen from over Algers; landing at P/Ly to see the beautifully "tiled" small building and smell the environment with leather in the air. Nice! Before returning to USA a couple of years later, I pitched to get on the USS Roosevelt, which was going around the tip of Africa and the world. That and my pitch to bring an R4D to Delhi, India with around the world return to the west coast also failed. On our return trip to the USA, we had lightning hit the R5D before landing in the Azores. It knocked off the lower antenae!

Thanks for putting up with my too many messages, but some have content that you-all might enjoy.

Tom Collins of Denver and Redstone, Colo. and Morristown, NJ --- see
Roger, Wilco, Over-and-Out ...
 79.    2003-01-01  Robert L Oberkonz ADC Ret. 1978 - 1982 VR-24 Sigonella
I was in charge of the Power Plants Shop for C1,C2, and T39. Would like to hear from others.
 78.  HAPPY NEW YEAR !  2003-01-01  
Happy 2003 to those from "The World's Biggest Little Airline" !!!
 77.  R4D-8 NEAR CRASH !  2003-01-01  Tom Collins VR-24 - 1952 & 1953 - AT-3 and Loadmaster
We took off in the newly acquired R4D-8, which was larger and sleeker than the unmodified R4Ds. We now had a square rudder and squared off wing tips. Sharp looking airplane! After awhile alof with Pilot(Red) Barber testing-diving and head-on colition avoidance drills, he discovered that the landing gear light showed that they would not come down! I verified from a window in the back that they were not down. We radioed the tower and fire engines began rolling along runways. The captain of the base took over with binoculars from the tower. Our squadron's GREEN SAFETY STRIPE was in jeprody! We zoomed in beside the (AT Shack etc.) quonset huts and whipped up the left wing and climbed under full throttle so that the cap'n could eyeball the underside of the situation from the tower. Any luck? Nada!

We climbed to run-out gasoline with the intention of crashlanding along Mehdia Beach (town authorities were warned to clear the beach).

I pumped the manual hydraulic handle -boom- something gave! The wheel lock-lights were not on ... one wheel was down - the other was up.

Finally we approached the runway for one last desparate move. Pilot Barber tapped the "down wheel's" tire. The jolt brought down the second wheel - but the lock-light was not on.

We circled the field and then landed and braked with props going fast enough to give lift to the wings - while I went under the plane and put red-lock clamps with flags on each wheel. As fire engines surrounded us, we stepped out in a minor state of shock.

The tractor used before the flight to pull the plane from the hanger - used a metal bar in each wheel axle. The bars had been left in. As we turned in flight the bars slipped so as to catch the wheels in the newly designed modern wheel-well doors!

The solution was to place red flags on the bars, and to upgrade the "check-off" lists.

Sorry for such a true but long tale.
Tom Collins - viva the USNAVY
 76.  LONDON PARIS BORDEAU MADRID TANGIER FEZ P/LY  2003-01-01  Tom Collins VR-24 1952 & 1953 - AT-3 Loadmaster, etc.
On Liberty in Ireland and London: Flanagan and I just-missed our Wednesday (only) flight to Moroc. We had but a few days to get back or be AWOx. We "Train'd" from Victoria Station to the White Cliffs of Dover. Then "Boat'd" across the Channel and "Train'd" across beautiful French countryside. In Pari' we approached the US Embassy, Air Atteche, and finally the Spanish Embassy to see if the Spanish Border had been opened for GIs ID cards. [FRANCO had finally been forgiven]. We "Train'd" to Bordeau and Irun at the border. The Spanish nurse trainee from Madrid and St. Thomas in London - called her father in Madrid. We were allowed to pass the border and travel through 57 tunnels to Madrid. We were low on cash. In Madrid, nobody answered the phone at the US Embassy, but a chap at the American Express office offered to buy my Leica camera and treat us to an evening at a night spot with classical Flaminco dancers. Click-click-click stomp-stomp. Nice! We had enough for a pens-i-on and taxi to Iberian-Air which took us to Tangier [u serve yourself water from a paper cup on the bulkhead]. We bought a train ticket via Fez and Meknez to Port Lyautey. With our last money, a gal sold us a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine (buttered free). We rode 3rd class standing for hours with mothers and babies. At P/Ly, a French Doctor offered us a ride to the base (Thank you. sir}.

We were one hour late (1AM). But we beat the airplane we had missed by one day. It had had a flat tire in Naples. The trial resulted in 10 days of restriction to base picking up "Camels, etc."

I'll save the "White City- French Foriegn Legion story for a reunion.

God Bless!
Tom Collins - Thanks to the "World's Greatest Little Airline."
 75.  Marines | Seabees | AIRDALES | USOites | in the KEY EUROPEAN ARENA.  2003-01-01  Tom Collins VR-24 1952 & 1953 - AT-3 Loadmaster, etc.
Thanks to the Seabees and Marines at Port Lyautey (now Kinetra). I saw Seabees creating small homes for married couples on the base. [I have a photo of the Seabee D.C. Monument somewhere on my web site] Seabees pushed huge amounts of dirt way out back by the river. I once saw a plane offload to a large truck - a huge wooden box with four armed Marines atop. They toated it to behind the hill near the river.

I miss seeing vieled women on donkeys! (just kidding)

We once were entertained outdoors on the hilltop at sunset - by a full symphony orchestra. We often carried some Broadway Stars and stars-to-be to other places within the Med area. They found it a hard journey due to the length of flights and Box-lunches.

Tom Collins VR-24 I Loved it! We worked very hard, but there were others on the other side of the world who had it so-o-o much tougher! God Bless them.
 74.  MOROC the bikini CIVIL War - then other Moroc-French REVOLUTION.  2003-01-01  Tom Collins - VR-24 1952 & 1953 - AT-3 Loadmaster/Orderly
The Pasha of Marakesh was tic'd off; because the Sultan's daughter wore a bikini swimsuit at the beach.
They had a CIVIL War over this!

Was it 1953? We were restricted to the base for about a "fortnight" as Moroccan forces of the south fought the forces of the north.

Later southern Moroccans and Northern Moroccans joined forces in a REVOLUTION - to attempt removal of the "French Protectorate." Many Moroccans marched upon our joint French/USA Port Lyautey airbase. All personnel on the P/Ly base went to the Marine barracks and suited-up in full desert camoflage regalia, helmets and M-1 rifles. We were posted ten-foot apart silouetted along a hilltop as we faced a huge mob at the base's Gate and fence. I was posted atop an ant hill (red ants). I was the GI doing the little dance.

I believe that the French agreed to eventually relinquish control, which happened later.

Our R5D heard about the trouble in the air as we approached the runway.

One night we approached the fog-covered-runway too low.
The pilot saw the Landing System's red-light tipped antenae strait-ahead. We diverted to Sidi Slimane airfield and slept in the sand.

We often flew to Gibraltar airfield to load-up on sides-of-beef or sword-fish for the Golf Club at P/Ly. We would visit the Spanish town of LaLina. We must have presented a reputation of being a bit "fishy."

Once we received a 2AM request to fly to Valencia in a R4D to "pick up an admiral's wife's suitcase left behind. At 3:30AM I wondered about this over the street lights of Valencia. But it must have been a top secret mission!

If anyone has (many) stories about where the PBYs and PBMs ... where the went etc. please write-up some of them. I knew that sometimes they went to Genoa, which is surrounded by mountains. Did they deliver mail directly to boats from ships?

Sorry that this is so long.

Tom Collins VR-24 At-3 Loadmaster, etc.
 73.  Lyautey and Rabat in 1952.  2002-12-31  Tom Collins VR-24
I wonder if Port Lyautey still has a "Jack's Bar" on the 2nd floor next to the EM club. There, a three person band played what seemed to be slight variations of the same songs - bumpa dump dump. The girls ordered champaign for themselves (and took it as apple juice from the bartender). The guest singer-dancer was usually from somewhere in Europe. One gal had red Russiam boots. They served what passed as hamburgers out a window at the first-floor patio behind the bar.

The EM club once had a butterfly (semi) stripper, whi did a butterfly dance - right up to one! I blushed and was teased. C'est la vie.

The town had a common bathhouse about a block from the EM club - on an island filled with trees in the middle of an intersection at Avenue Foch. I loved the trees along the streets and the smell of horses.

The medina market sold open meat and flys were ignored. The Modern French style stucco hotel served "Tom Collins'" with grenadine. A pink drink!

Flanagan and I first saw Rabat and were pinched on the main street as we climbed toward the palace. The veiled girls, all dressed in white, bumbed cigarettes and their gold teeth and lipstick showed beneath their veils.

We found a night club in Rabat where the really knew how to do the tango.

"Join VR-24 and see the world"!

Tom Collins VR-24 At-3 in 1952.
"The best duty"!
 72.  VR-24 Chaplain Gets Us An Audience with Pope PIUS XII  2002-12-31  Tom Collins
Our Port Lyautey chaplain asked for volunteers to go see the Pope in Rome! We flew and arrived on Dec. 31, 1952; we stayed at a pens-i-on at St. Peter's Square and ordered ham sandwiches. In the early A.M., On January 1, 1953, we walked past Swiss Guards, then up the world's widest staircase - huffing and puffing up to the seventh floor. I left my p-jacket outside the large room; others kept on their jackets. We were told that catholics were to kiss the pope's ring and others were to shake his hand. Pius XII entered, pale, dressed in all white (he had been suffering from months of "the hic cups.) He spoke in the english (Am.) language, telling us that we were ambassadors of our country and of Christ. As he went along the coated crowd, he stopped at me and said as he looked at my un-coated arm, "You are Aviation Electronics Third Class." I answered, "That's right, your holyness"! He moved on and eventually to a group of protestant ladies, who filled his ears with excited chatter!
Tom Collins - thanks be to VR-24
 71.  Emergency over the Med -  2002-12-31  Tom Collins
Our cargo was a heavy load of square aluminium cans containing hydralic fluid (Green vegetable-oil base). They began to leak fumes at high altitude on a long leg from Naples to Paris. Passengers were getting woozey; the cap'n ordered us to jettison the cargo north of Corsica over the Med. Several of us secured each other as we forced open the aft-side door. We used the normal stick to leverage the door open against the prop-wash forces. When the stick broke, another and I were on the deck at the door pushing with our feet - as others tossed can-after-can over our legs and out and down, down, down ...

I hearin appologize to any nearby fishermen.

Tom Collins VR-24 flight crew 1952 and 1953.
 70.  Buckets and Flies  2002-12-31  Tom Collins
If I were to become a bit proud, I remind myself of my lofty status aboard our R5D. Tony Lokez and I had to empty something called the "honey buckets."

Once we flew from Catania, Sicily (Mt. Etna smoking on the northeast horizon). The plane was full of tiny flys. Lokez put the bug-bomb spray into action after take-off. I discovered that the windows would not open - whew!

Often our crew also had aboard "Hoffman," "Dub Jenkins," "Lokez," "Meservey, and "Grometz."

Tom Collins VR-24 - Nov 51 - Nov 53
"Greatest 'lil Airline."
 69.  Flight in R5D with one engine totally missing.  2002-12-31  Tom Collins AT3 in 1952-1953 - Loadmaster
Pilot cdr Taber and our crew "only" took off from Sicily and flew near towns along the med - past the tip of Sardinia, the Baleric Isles, Gibraltar - then south to Port Lyautey. I learned again how to pray as we nursed the R5D home. The engine was not just "feathered" - it was altogether missing.

Thanks cap'n Taber

Tom Collins then AT3 loadsmaster and orderly.
 68.  Late 1953 - Rescue Flights with Greek Island Earthquake victims Taronto-Naples  2002-12-31  Tom Collins AT3 in 1952-3 Loadmaster
At dark, about 8PM Tony Lokez and I escorted the Toranto, Italy mayor's wife aboard the R5D. She loved the tour. We slept on the airplane-wing in sleeping bags - no great place for sleep walkers! We were awaiting tough action.

Airforce 'copters began bringing injured from near Zante or Zakinthos and other Ionia Isles to Toranto. We shuttled the patients to Naples' hospitals - it seemed to be ten days. Man! was I tired with round-the-clock flights. The King and Queen of Greece visited the many islands that had been hit. The quakes continued for more than a month.

I am proud of VR24's rescue operations (and proud of a rescue operation in Honduras in late 1954 related to Hurricane Gilda flooding. We flew in copters with medicine and rooftop rescues from my aircraft carrier at Porto Cortez to San Pedro Sula. The Monterey did training of pilots in Pensacola for Korean actions in Corsairs and torpedo bombers. The Monterey CVL-26 was Gerald R. Ford's ship in WWII - he was there when the hanger-deck was ablaze with aviation fuel during Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea (read his book "A Time To Heal"!

Oh! Also, see my web site: ).

Tom Collins from Colorado, now Morristown, NJ -
Flew in R4Ds and R5Ds with VR24 1951-53
VR-24 "was the best"!
 67.  1951, 1952, 1953 VR24 - the Greatest ! (To Pete Owens).  2002-12-31  Tom Collins AT3 in 1952-3
I just discovered this terrific site! I'll send a few additional mesages later, but I want to answer Pete Owen's msg # 62 about walking a R5D onto its tail in MALTA. I remember Malta from the air as thousands of cheese-box walls, cliffs and a great harbor. We landed with a 2500 pound engine. The truck-bed was about three feet below our plane's aft-side-door. We asked the Brits for a "cherry picker" for a soft offloading. No "picker" was available! So our pilot -not wanting to return about a thousand miles over the Atlas mountains ... with an undone mission - asked that the British provide some of their personnel. They arrived, some sat on our plane's tail, others were jammed into our cockpit and walked, one at a time, past the 2500 # cargo, toward and past the aft side-door. The R5D began to settle tail toward the ground. The nose wheel gear slipped out of socket a bit, and the tail then rested on the turf. We used a large couple of pulleys to slip-ease the jet-fighter engine to the door. The truck bed was just below the door, but at an angle. We were able to rotate it onto the truck bed! Voila! We took off with the tail very near the ground and the nose gear not fully reseated! It was an effect of having "flaps down" +++ !
I was too busy to take snapshots, but was satisfied with a job-well-done!
Tom Collins - Then AT3 - Loadmaster and Orderly.
 66.  Squadron Patches  2002-12-25  Clyde Allen
I've found a Taiwanese shop who will makes patches in
ANY amount,even one.I have a piture of Mercury which
goes back to the early '50's I think.I'm willing to
send in an order for whatever & how many.
I was there '50-'51 (both P/l & London),'61-'64 (P/L
& Rota.Naples Det '65-'69.
 65.  VR-24 Port Lyautey 1957-1959 Hal Milgrim AKCM USN Ret.  2002-12-15  Hal Milgrim
Served with best transport squadron in the Navy. I to still remember Naples, London (242 Club) and Palace Court and Moscow Road flat. Put in plenty of time on the road as Flight Orderly (Loadmaster).Would like to hear from any of you guys that were there then. Witzke, Owen, Augie. Remember Benny Ahearn? I was AK1 at the time and LPO of Material Div. Retired in 1981 from NAS Oceana and living in Virginia Beach.
 64.  VR-24 Det. Rota '73 to '76  2002-12-12  Ronald C. Williams ATCS USN Ret.
Italy=rocks, Athens=rugs, Egypt=camel saddles, Germany=Hummels, Morroco=brass, and whatever shopping list Lynn would give me. Spain=The most genuine / sincere people in the world. Franco died/Not dead yet/Oh Yeah He's Dead. Nimbus Moon / Nimbus Star to reopen the Suez Canal. Leaving Ismaliya one time, the temp was so high we had to use every little bit of runway for take off. There was a new tent city at the end of the runway that was blown away when the ole Herc'y bird came up to 100%. Next trip no tent city at the end of the runway.
 63.  VR-24 80-84 and 91 to decom  2002-11-29  Dean C. Smith AE1(AW) USN Retired
Way too many fix beers in Souda. I have a lot of memories and memorobilia from VR-24. Pacific Fleet AEW Configuration Manager now. Just can't get away from E-2's and C-2's. May make the reunion this year.
 62.  R5D  2002-11-26  Pete Owen
Shortly after VR24 began operating R5Ds in Port Lyautey in the Spring of 1950 the transport of larger and larger pieces of cargo became commonplace.

It soon became apparent that a "other than normal" method of unloading this cargo was necessary. The method devised was to walk the plane down on its tail, slide the cargo aft, unload it, then walk the plane back to nose wheel down position. It is believed the first time this was accomplished was at Malta with Lcdr Tom Suther as PC and Les Liptak, AD2, as Plane Captain.

This became common practice and as many of you know, we now have a VR24 website with a lot of new aircraft pictures being shown. We would very much like to have a picture of the R5 in tail down position to place on the website. If anyone reading this has a picture of this nature it would be appreciated if you would send it to me. You may send it email or regular mail and I will copy it and return the photograph. Many thanks. Pete
 61.  VR-24 73-76  2002-11-21  Ron "Beetle" Bailey
I was an AT at Naples and Sigonella. Most time as TDY to AIMD but did some ORG time.
Did some trips with Chuck Warnell and Det time in Greece and Rota (one time got stuck in Palma for two days
due to C-2A "starter problems" (it was rough but we survived!!!!!!
Some of my best times was Avions troubleshooting early in the morning and helping start those wonderful 1820s.
 60.  lost contact  2002-11-19  ROBERT W. GEIS
served with fredeick stevens & george r. spivey ae's from 1/58-7/59.trans to vp-11 they went to vp-26 @ brunswick me.would like to hear from either of them life is growing short & i would really like to make contact any other member having info please let me know
 59.  Load it Up and Go  2002-11-18  Lynn Hyatt
To all: I discovered this URL and was happy to see some friends signed on from years gone by. I served in VR-24 Det Naples 71-73 flying/fixing the C-1A Trader as an AE. Returned to VR-24 Det Rota 76-79 as an AE C-130 FE. Couldn't get enough and went back to Rota again 86-90 in VR-22. Would like to hear from friends from those years. Take care - Lynn (Stafford, VA)
 58.    2002-11-15  James Adron Joyner
Just tonight discovered this site and read all the great messages left by all of you. There is little that I could add to your plaudits except to say "me too!" VR-24 was my second tour in Rota. I was in VQ-2 from '56 to '59 & moved up from Port Lyautey in '58. At that time there was not one building in Rota in sight of the Main Gate! It was different when I went back in '64 and more so when I last left in '66. I know...I know...I wouldn't recognize the place now! Incidentally, I'm still with the Navy - into my 48th year. When I get to 50, I'll decide if I'll make it a career. If any of you who ever read this remember me, "The Boy Chief," I'd like to hear from you.
 57.  VR-24 Port Lyautey Jan 1958 -Aug 1960  2002-11-14  Bill Dixon LCDR USN Retired
Great tour of duty with outstanding people. Some of the pilot colleague's were Bill Watson (dec), Harvey Speed (dec), Capt. Bob Knowles, Norm Halladay, Bob Johnstone, Gene Gauche, Tom Blaine, Nick Naureckaus etc. After VR-24 went to VR-3 and NAS Dallas. Would like to hear from you at listed e-mail or 972-462-9183
 56.  VR-24 Det Rota Contact  2002-11-14  Mike "Miguel" Barbour
If anyone has questions about VR-24 Det Rota reunions please direct them to contact me at the listed e-mail address of (301) 769-4569. Thanks in advance. Miguel
 55.  Served with VR-24 from March 1962 to April 1964  2002-11-14  Harless H. McCallister
I arrived in Port Lyautey from AE-A school,and I was assigned to duty driver
,then to line crew befor finally making it to the electric shop just befor the
squdron moved to Rota. There I worked mostly night shift, until I transfered to
VP-7, out of Jacksonville. I would like to say that my time in Vr-24 especially
in Rota was so great that I spent another 20 years In the Navy trying to recapture
some of those great times. Thanks to all who helped to make those times great.
 54.  Served with VR-24 from Nov '51 to Nov '53 in ADMIN and Legal  2002-11-14  William C. Hunter - Bill Hunter YNSN, YN3, YN2
I really enjoyed my two years in Port Lyautey with VR-24 and met many great guys. Being a black shoe in aviation was not as good as a brown shoe. I had attended Naval Justice School in '52 and did some defense counsel work for my shipmates at Summary Courts until the XO said I could not do it anymore. I remember getting a buddy out of the marine brig where he was sentenced to 30 days and got him 45 days restriction instead. Lots of memories. Had some good times in London where I took 2 weeks leave after hitting a crap game for about $1,000. Our house in London for VR-24 then was on Half Moon Street in Shephard's Market where we had a lot of parties, etc. I stayed for 20 and got out as YNCS. Would like to hear from anyone stationed with me. Would like to hear from AT PLUMMER and Parachute Rigger Cameron. Best Regards to all.
 53.  Arrived March 1959 till March 1961  2002-11-12  Bill Donovan Adr-3 From Boston
Served under Capt.Hood.Served with a great bunch of guys.Would appreciate hearing from anybody.
 52.  VR-24 port 3-1963 to rota 3-1965  2002-11-12  Warren (Eddy) Edstrom
I arrived in port in march of 1963 and was assigned to the electric shop. Made the move to rota and was ordered out to VS-31 in Quansit Point RI in march of 1965. Some of my fondest memories of my 4 1/2 years in the Navy were in VR-24. There were four of us single guys that lived of base. Spent alot of time at the beach. Would like to hear from any of my old shipmates.
 51.  VR-24 Det. Naples  2002-11-11  Charles Edward (Ed) Shinholser, LCDR USN Retired
Feb 58 - May 60 and Aug 68 - Aug 71. Any other COD pilots out there?
 50.  old friends  2002-11-11  Dewey v Young
I was in VR-24 from about July 1956 until August 1959 and would like to here from all of my friends in the electric shop. Send mail; and best regards.
 49.  VR24 and FASRON77 tour 1952-1955  2002-11-10  Ralph DeLange
Spent much of my almost 3 yrs at Capodichino taking care of the TBF's, JRB's, PBY, and R4D8's as AEAN, AE3 and AE2. Many wonderful times with all the guys having a cold Budvar at the Seaman's Club. Didn't see any mention of LCDR Lipscomb who was our boss. He was the best! Finally made it back there last year and had a great day out on the island of Ischia as well. Great memories.
 48.  VR24Det tour  2002-11-09  Bill Lester
I reported to VR24 Det in 56-58 and was aircrew on TF's.This was undoubtedly the best duty that I ever had.
Does any one know the where abouts of Jack Kinzer??.Would love to hear from any shipmates.
 47.  90' to 92'  2002-11-09  Shawn Burton
I was an AME3 in VR-24 from 90' to 92' they were the best years of my life. I was one of those young kids who was always covered in hydrolic fluid and couldn't keep a clean uniform. When officers would give me flak Capt. J.D. Punches would tell them "You leave Burton alone he does a good job". He made a bigger impact on my life than I think he knew. I'm very successful today and he played a big part in it.
 46.  Hi !  2002-11-08  John Levey
I served in Rota from 6-1970 until 6-1972, just wanted to say "Hi!" Anybody from my time going to the reunion?
 45.  Pleaseant greetings to all...  2002-11-08  Richard Ruddell
I was an AKAN--AK2 during my tour (Nov88--Oct90) with the squadron. I just retired from the Navy and had some of my old squadron mates come for a visit. Sharing the momories was great. I look forward to attending one of the reunions when they make it to the northeast.
 44.  email  2002-11-08  Robert E. Blake (CWO4, Ret)
1. My previous note (No. 15) listed my email address incorrectly; it should be Just received the newsletter. Good work to all. Sorry I was out of the country for the reunion. Maybe in San Diego next year.
 43.  VR-24 tour  2002-11-06  Lyle K. Evon
was in the squadron 1953-55.
 42.  Francis Vonn phone number  2002-11-06  Lyle K. Evon
Would like to get in contact with Francis Vonn of Webster, NY. If anyone has a phone# please send it along. Thanks
 41.  C-130 Flt. Engineer 1972 - 1976, Rota, Spain  2002-11-03  Donald C. Varner, CWO-3 USN RET
The best tour I had over my 24 year career! I have many fond memories of the Squadron personnel and places we visited. If anyone wants to reminisce about the good times we had flying 790, 794, 797, and 801, let's do it!
 40.  I was there June 78 June 81 as a C-2a Aircrewman  2002-10-31  william J. Murphy Jr ADCS USN (RET)
I have not been in touch with any one from VR-24 in a long time. I went from VRC-50 to 24 back to 50. So if any of you guys from that era want to contact me do so at the above e-mail. I do remember Lonnie E. Delaney. A real good guy. I think he was sent back to Sheppard AFB for Load master school at the same time I was there going through the Loadmaster school on my way back to VRC-50. Well good luck to all and May GOD bless you all.
 39.  VR  2002-10-28  Ernie Mendoza
I was stationed in VR-24 from 1990-1992.I met alot o great people there.Some I will never forget Holsan,Paulus,Gerhard(opie),Faber,Fayard and Mitchell and Morgan to name a few. I too am sorry to hear about CDR Punches.He was a great SKIPPER.
 38.  pics of reunion(s)  2002-10-20  willy huesenkamp
Just thought it may be a good idea to post some pictures of previous reunions, it may even generate more participants! Anybody have some?
 37.  VR-24 Det Rota  2002-10-19  Doug Kelsey
Was in VR-24 Det Rota Sept 66 to June 69. Arrive as AA left as AK2. We had 3 C-118's and 3 C-130's at that time. Never will forget it.
 36.  VR 24  2002-10-05  Shirlon B. McCoy
I came to VR24 in Mar"61 as a "Nugget" and left in "64. The old guys trained me well enough to spend the next 30 years in the airlines. I started on the R4Q-2s and helped deliver the first one to Litchfield Park. Then the R5D-5s until the C-118Bs. I enjoy the reunions. Mac
 35.  Lifting Eagles  2002-09-26  Jeff Hoffman
I was in VR-24 from 89-91. I made AT1 just before I left Sig. I'm Probably best known for the cat incident. It would be good to hear from y'all.
 34.  1975-1978  2002-09-25  Jack Mertz
Great Site. I was stationed with VR-24 from
February 1975 to March 1978. Power Plants
on the "Dogs". Made the move to Sigonella in
May of 1976.
CO's were Hatch and Sperling.
 33.  VR-24  2002-09-23  WILLARD H. JOHNSTON
I was stationed at Rota from 72 to 75. I flew as a Loadmaster on 794,796,797 and 801. (Bear Air/Go Go Airlines) Nothing but nothing will ever compare! If you want you can contact me.
 32.  VR-24 history  2002-09-13  Ken Collins
I was stationed at VR-24 Det Naples from 5/70 til 12/72. I will be in Phildelphia the 26th of Sept and have a lot of good pictures and memories of our Short Haul International Transport Squadron.
As shipmate Steve Thomas mentioned in his comments regarding CAPT Jack Punches, I too want to pass on my condolences to his wife Janice and the entire Punches' family. He sure was a superb Commanding Officer. I had the privilege to serve as the CM/C for CAPT Punches and CDR Al Murphy -- two truly OUTSTANDING individuals. I'm truly proud to have been a "LIFTING EAGLE. I couldn't have had better sailors and one of the FINEST CPO Messes to serve with. Thanks to everyone for making this squadron one of the finest in the US Navy.
 30.  Rota Detachment  2002-08-22  Louis John Sbardella
I had a wild hair and thought I'd search VR-24. Boy what a surprise. I was assinged to VR-24 det Rota Spain April 12 ,1978. I was an AMEAN. I worked as a Plane Captain on the 4 c-130s attached to Rota. I left the squadron August of 1980. I spent my honeymoon in Spain and took my wife to the base, and had a tour of the hangar and facilities. This was in 1992 and the sqdrn decommisioned shortly there after. Nice to see the website.
 29.    2002-08-22  LONNIE E DELANEY
I served with the Mighty " We are VR " from the spring of 1980-1983. I started as a ground Plane Captain but soon was sent to the " Real World " to become Aircrew Qualified. In those days we spent so much time in Crete and "Other non Places" that we refered to going home to " Sigonella" as going on a detachment. I am, and will be, Forever greatful, to those of you, Who brought this to us. We will not, NOR should we ever forget the ones who' Made things happen, regardless of the task. Improvised, to make it happen, and last but not least, "SACIFIED" their all to make it " OUR SQUARDRON" For those who served before me, I hope I made you proud. For those who served and will serve after me, " You did, and you will continue. But, for those of you who will ever fly a COD in the North Alantic, in Winter, " GOD SPEED " Been there, Done that. So have my brothers and sisters.
 28.  COD VR24  2002-08-18  Gino Guidotte
I was a TBM plane capt in FASRON77 bella Napoli when the TBMs and personel were transfered over to VR24 Apr 54.We received TF-1s (C1As) Mar 56. No one had better duty than us. Per diem, travel, flying and unlimited opportunities to allow the local natives to share in our simple pleasures.
 27.  Good Times  2002-08-08  Bryan Iberg
I started my five years in the NAVY with VR-24. I arrived in late 87 until mid 89. Many great memories. I still do corrosion work on aircraft just like I did in VR-24. One of the aircraft that I work on is a C-2, and I'm told that it came from VR-24.
 26.  VR-24  2002-07-31  Hebry Van Cleaf
I was in VR-24 from just before the gulf war until decommissoning. I was the airframes supervisor and later a QAR.
 25.  Just wanted to say Hi to all in VR-24 Port Lyautey & Rota from 62-65  2002-07-29  Phillip Sazanovich (SKI)
Would like to hear from anyone i was stationed with
 24.  hey gang wassup  2002-07-29  william"hose n clamp" huelsenkamp
was with VR-24 Naples 70-73, truelly some of the most memorable years of my life(remarkably).Drop me a line if you were there, VR or NAF whether you knew me or not would look forward to some "reminisin'"
 23.  hello  2002-07-24  david kinney
i was with vr-24 from 90-91.was a roomate
with bortaluucci? and birdsahl. was mostly in the line shack/1st lt . seekin corraspondance with others.
 22.  Nice Site  2002-07-22  Steve Thomas
I was in VR from 89-92.

On a sad note, I noticed that a VR-24 C.O. -Jack Punches- was killed in the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. He was a good man & a good C.O. (was Skipper during Desert Shield/Desert Storm) Thoughts & prayers to his family.
 21.  Another Naples Italy.  2002-07-02  John P. Karg
Served with VR-24 from 73-76. Did all my time flying all over Europe and the Med. and Northern Det's every year as a C1A Fight Crewman. Was one of last remaining in Naples as VR-24 moved to Sigonella.
 20.  Greetings  2002-06-27  Kenneth "Dale" Jackson
I arrived at VR-24 on June 6th, 1954 and served until Feb. 1956, then transferred to VR-22 in Norfolk for my last year. I was in the AT shop for about a year at VR-24, then started to operate the teletype. I would like to hear from anyone who would like to relive some of the times we had there in Port Lyautey. I currently live in Russellville, AR.
 19.  shipmates  2002-06-23  Mike Bussin
Looking for anyone who served with VR-24 from March 1961- Sept1962
 18.  VC squadrons Port Lyautey  2002-06-18  Chuck Huber
New website will be of interest for your shipmates of early '50s. Chuck Huber, AQ1, VC8
 17.  Request for Aircraft Photos  2002-06-13  Dick Prather
At the reunion in Pensacola last October,I volunteered to try to obtain photos of ALL aircraft that VR-24 EVER operated. The VR-24 Association would like to post them on its website. I have had limited success, so far, in getting photos (from USN or other sources). Would most appreciate ANY photos of VR-24 aircraft taken at Port Lyautey, or elsewhere in the Med/European area. The squadron planes had large letters "JM" somewhere on the vertical tail surfaces and most also had a diagonal green strip. Scanned images (GIF/JPEG)are fine. Or I will be glad to pay postage and will scan the photos and return ASAP. Please email me; or, or call me, Dick Prather, home; (760)789-8225 or work: (619)225-2617. Thanks so much. Fly Navy. Dick Prather
 16.  Naples Italy  2002-06-09  Donald M. Dorry
Arrived Capo May 1973. Many good memories and some that were not so great. I was Power Plants Chief, Aircraft Division and then Nightcheck Maintenance Chief. Would like to hear from anyone that served there in the 73 to 76 time frame. My e-mail addrerss is
 15.  VR-24, Rota, Spain, Dec 1963 - Feb 1968  2002-05-18  Robert E. Blake
1. Arrived in Spain 30 Dec 63, as undesignataed SA, in company of YNSN Gerald Onufer (who I am trying to locate). A few months later, got to the Personnel Office and made PN3 Nov 64. Met my wife Gloria at Onufer's wedding Sep 65 and we married July 66; still married today, 3 kids & 2 grandkids. Made PN2 Feb 67 & trf in Feb 68. Followed the squadron's many moves and iterations as I came back for 3 more tours in Spain; 73-77 @ NCS; 83-86 & 90-94 @ PSD. Retired 1 Feb 94 as CWO4. Living in Chesapeake VA now. Please contact me if you know where Gerald (Toby) Onufer is or just for fun to say hello.
 14.  Time in VR-24  2002-05-10  Richard F. Prather
Reported to VR-24 in Dec. '57 as an ATAN with a draft of 20 from VS-32 in Quonset Pt. Left in Oct. 60 with orders to VW-15. Bill McKinnies was AT Shop Chief most of the time I was there. Began training/flying as a radioman in June '58 in time for the Beriut crisis in July. Being young/single, it was tough to keep up the pace in London, the 242 Club, the flat(s) at 77 Palace Court, etc. Came to know and respect a bunch of outstanding people, too numerous to list, but some include, in no particular order: AT's; Pete Owen, Bill Witzke, Ernie Kern, Ron Wolf, Ray Hembe, Art King, Johnny Nolan, Dave Hudspeth, George MacMurtrey. Mechs/Metal Smiths; Sam Hayden, Soapy Waters, John Davis, Ben Payne;Floyd Harden, Pappy Beaver, Pappy Payne. Officers; Ray Long,Bob Johnstone,Gene Halladay, CDR Horswell, John Ness, Corky Hatfield. Spent almost as much time on the road as in Port so didn't get to know many of the other squadron members. It was a unique tour of duty and the best three years of the 24 I did. I can not quit without acknowledging the long-term and ongoing efforts by Pete and Ruth Owen, Bill and Lil Witzke, and others to make the the VR-24 Association a going concern. They deserve a special service award.
 13.  VR-24 Service  2002-05-06  Kenneth R. Simpson
Served in VR-24 from 1963 to 1967. Absolutely the best duty I ever had. Reported to Port Lyautey and later moved with the squadron to Rota. My daughter was born at the Navy Hospital in Port Lyautey. Would enjoy hearing from friends who were there when I was.
 12.  Patrol Unit  2002-05-05  Philip A.Lee
I arrived in Navy 214 Sep 51 and was ssigned to the
Patrol Unit Fyling in P4Ms.However our relations
with VR-24 was close and a good friend I was previous-
ly stationed with(Levi Hughes Jr.from Arkansas)
was in Vr-24.There was a kick about buying
accordians from Naples,which you could always here
at nite.I spent two years in Naples 59-61 and
was familiar with R5D incident in Spain 1960.
The crew was from Naples.Those two tours were the
best for me.
Phil Lee
 11.  Thanks  2002-05-05  Chuck Huber
I have great memories of you folks, and thanks for a couple of rides! Good to see this website up. VC-8, Port Lyautey & Coral Sea 1955; VAH-1 on Forrestal, 1956-59, VQ-2, Rota etal, 1962-63. (AT, AQ, PT).
 10.  Great duty  2002-05-04  R.G. "Bo" Irwin, AECS, USN,ret
Worked with many VR24 people as MEPF/rota 64 to 67. Stationed with 24 at Naples and Sig. I closed the hangar at Naples and turned it over to the station when we moved to sig in 76. I worked the T39 crew, w/c 220 and production as the night check maint chief. I don't think anyone could ask for a better outfit. Captain Spurling was the best co I had in 24 years and did a magnificant job of heading up one of the best squadrons in the USN. I'm still waorking as an AE down here at NAS JRB new orleans. I would love to hear from any former shipmates of the era.
 9.  Stationed at NAF Port Lyautey,VR 24  2002-05-02  Dan Jacobs, Airman.USN
Was assigned to VR 24 right out of "Boot Camp" in Dec.'54 till March of '56. Worked in aircargo at the Terminal, filled in on line crew when needed and was lucky enough to fly from time to time on flight crew after attending Weight & Balance school in Pax River in '55.
Have lots of fond memories of my tour of duty at P/L and the flights to England with the lay-overs there.
Always thought that this was a great duty station and some of the best mates I ever served with, were those at VR24.

Anyone remember the "ElDorado Restaurant" in P/L ??

Had a real nice time at last years reunion in Pensacola, was lucky to meet a few "old timers" I had served with at P/L. Would highly recommend that if possible attend a Reunion when you have a chance.

Went from P/L to NAS Norfolk assigned to VR22, then my last duty station was aboard the USS VALLEY FORGE CVS45.

Many THANKS to Cindy & Les for this great web site on VR24, they have really done a "4.0" job with all their work.

Please visit our web site at
 7.  Good duty  2002-04-24  Pete Owen
I was an AL1 with VR24. Started with VR24 in 1949 and retired out of 24 in 1962. All but 2 years of that period was in Port Lyautey with about 9 years of it in VR24. I flew the R4Ds at first, then all of the rest of my time there was flying the R5s. I'll say that 24 was without a doubt the best duty I had in the Navy and that I know of no other Squadron in the Navy that could hold a candle to 24. We met an awful lot of very wonderful and special people there and are still in touch with a great many of them.

Many thanks to Les and Cindy Liptak for starting up this website so we now have another means of keeping in touch with our Navy Buddies.
 6.  Remember VR-24 well.  2002-04-24  Lou Demas
Hi Cindy and Les,

You two have done a marvelous job in placing this website on line. It brings back many good memories of Port Lyautey. Though not a crew-member of VR-24, I do remember the Squadron well. As part of the "Seabee" contingent assigned to the Base Public Works Department, a few of us were assigned the task of running road sweepers over the tarmac to pick up any small debris. The guys from VR-24 who were responsible for loading an aircraft with food and drink prior to debarkation, could always be relied upon to provide nourishment to the "bees".

My best wishes to both of you, much success in this website, and hopefully the "bride" and I will be able to attend a portion of the VR-24 reunion in Cherry Hill, NJ this coming September. Look forward to tossing one down with you and Pete Owens in memory of Louie the Duck.

Best regards from Norton, Massachusetts.

Lou Demas
at Port Lyautey between 1957 - 1959
 5.  Two Tours  2002-04-23  E.D. "Buz" Dryfoose
I was in the squadron for two tours: 54-57 and 62-65. First tour I flew R4D-8's and R5D's one year in Port Lyautey and two years in Naples. Second tour I flew C-130's one year in Kenitra (Port Lyautey) and two years in Rota after the squadron moved up there. 'Had many lovely meals at La Finier at Medea Beach and some time in the Continental Hotel Bar in Naples. In Spain, I lived off base in a big old 24-room Spanish finka with my first wife and children. Now living in Indiana with my second wife....of 32 years. Lots of happy memories of a great bunch of guys in VR-24.
 4.  Former member  2002-04-23  William J (JIM) Touhey
I was in VR 24 1951-1952 at Port Lyautey. I was the Flight Corpsman for all the Medical Flights. Worked in the Medical Records Office when not flying. Best duty that I had in my four years in the Navy.
Jim Touhey, former HM2, USN.
 3.  duty  2002-04-23  Bobby J Howard
Was in the squadron from Nov 60 tiljune 63 and
and flew as a radioman in the R4Qs, R5s and C-130s. I enjoyed it. Made a lot of friends. Was stationed back at Kenetra from 1972 til 1975. The base had changed little but the local population had just about doubled.
 2.  VR-24 tour  2002-04-22  Les Liptak
Was in the squadron 1953-55.
 1.  Welcome to the VR-24 Guestbook  2002-04-21  Les H. Liptak, ADRC, USN, Ret
Please sign in and give a brief history of your tour with the Worlds Biggest Little Airline. Mail and e-mail addresses are optional. I was in the flight crew from 1953-55. Hope to hear from old friends.