<FONT SIZE=3>VR-24 Guestbook Archives October 2005 - February 2007
VR-24 Guestbook Archives October 2005 to February 2007!

Entry: 295
Name: Daniel Butler AMS2
City: Wichita ,Kansas
Sent: Thur 22 February 2007 1:51 AM

Just dropping a line to say hi to you all that were in VR-24 during 81-84 when I was there in the ole Airframes shop and everywhere else in Sig.We worked hard and we played hard,huh.We made a lot of good freinds there and I'm still in touch with quite a few of them.Some I never lost contact with and some thanks to this web site.Hi to Robert Stewart,Mike Everhart, Jeff Martin,and to whomever else gets this that remembers me.Has anyone heard of or kept in contact with AMH Brian Kuehner or Mark Konrad?Would like any info if possible.Anyways hope everyone from VR is doing well.

Entry: 294 Name: Bill Murray
City: Stafford, Virginia
Sent: Tue Feb 20 2007 4:31 PM

I reported to VRU-4 at Hendon in February, 1947. I don't think I ever felt the cold as I did that winter. VRU-4 was the foreruner of VR-24. The skipper was CDR E.F. Jacobs. If any of the old VR-24 guys are still aroumd. I would like to hear from you.

Entry: 293 Name: Bob Porier
City: iron river,mi. 49935
Sent: Mon February 12 2007 7:18 PM

i was in naples vr 24 jan 1956 to july 57 would like to here from some of the old gang.would like to find terry rice.

Entry: 292 Name: Charles Casey
Sent: Sun February 11 2007 07:36 PM

Charles Casey Airman USN stationed at Capodichino worked at air cargo terminal alcor flight crew cargo kicker remember most all the guys like to here from anyone.

Entry: 291 Name: Phil Henderson
City: Maryville Tennessee
Sent: Tue January 16 2007 05:41 AM

Hey Guys just checking in, haven't posted for a while still looking for people that served at Rota from 66-68.In going through the e-mails it's almost like that time didn't happen there's a lot of guys out there that served then. Such as John Fowler,Bob Nickelson,Jim Cassidy,Mitchell, Hank Henry,with the exception of Nick and Hank these guys all served in the Orderly shop that was located above the Metal smith shop we cleared out a old storeage area and made a shop out of it. Derk Airehart(PR-1)and Erine Gattis(PR-2) were the shop PO's. I would like to hear from some of these guys or anyone else that served during this time.

Entry: 290 Name: ray schenone adr3
Sent: Mon January 15 2007 11:13 AM

arrived vr24 rota spain sept 1963 to nov 1965 flew on a/c 572 c118 . many good times in rota and the apartment in naples . my freinds were george betras . hary falaska . joe maconi , frank costello .dick bergeron frenchie. mcphearson .billy mills .

Entry: 289 Name: raymond schenone adr3
Sent: Mon January 15 2007 09:53 AM

vr24 sept 1963 oct 1965 flew on c118 ac572 best duty in the navy . best freinds george betras . joe maconi .harry falaska . frank costello . james rugerio.frenchie .lots of good times in rota . and naples at the apartment.

Entry: 288 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Mon December 25 2006 12:10 AM

Happy Holidays to all! Please join me in wishing Pete Owen a speedy recovery. Thanks. Dick Prather

Entry: 287 Name: Ginger Purnell
City: Pensacola, FL
Sent: Thu December 07 2006 07:22 PM

What a blast from the past when I found this website! I remember the long working hours (night check working until daycheck and happy when we went 12/12) Det's to Rota were awesome, plus Turkey and Crete. Some posters here I remember, Ramsaroop, Medina, Greg (Hey Greg, your roommates were Bernie and the New Yorker was Tom Minelli), Bennet (sp) et al. VR was my family at the time and helped me grow up (in between parties :) Does anyone remember Brad Baca? Last I heard he made AECS, probably retired by now. Anyhoo, thanks for this opportunity to connect with fellow shipmates. Ginger

Entry: 286 Name: Richard T Ruddell
City: Woolwich, Maine
Sent: Sun November 05 2006 08:04 PM

It’s been a little while since I checked out the site and it has certainly grown—thanks Dick. Since the time I posted my original hello in the guest book I have heard from several of my old squadron mates which has always been enjoyable if not at times a bit frustrating when I couldn’t place the face. Nonetheless, it has been enjoyable reconnecting, or at least trying, to reconnect the dots. One of them even recalled that I created the infamous ’89 Camp Mitchell/Rota Det patch. I don’t know if its time or the fact that I spent half my time in the command on det that keeps me from remembering the faces while recalling places but I do appreciate it when we try and over time the haze clears away just a bit and a face comes to mind with a smile. Thanks to all of you that have e-mailed and urge you not to give up on me—as some of you know I come around slowly but it was no different back then! Take care, and keep in touch. Rich Ruddell, AK1(AW), USN (Ret.) I was an AKAN—AK2 (Nov88--Oct90) with VR-24 PS. I continue to look forward to attending one of the reunions when they make it to the northeast.

Entry: 285 Name: Reuben Bloker
City: Pardeeville, Wi
Sent: Fri November 03 2006 08:32 PM

I was a member during the first gulf war. We were based out of sigonella, sicily. At the time I did not appreciate the experiences we had. But looking back it was great. Now I am the typical American working in an industry where we are concerned about sales and profits. How I long for those days when work meant getting mail, parts and personnel to the carrier. I worked with great people and a tough airplane. We worked hard and played hard. You cannot beat that. Thank you everyone!

Entry: 284 Name: ATC Michael H. Miller, USNR Ret.
City: Richland, Wa.
Sent: Tue October 17 2006 11:29 PM

I was an 18 year old airman in the Naval Reserve assined to VR-721, NAS Glenview Ill. We spent two weeks with VR-24 at Port Lyautey in Jan. 1960 or maybe 61?? I remenber the main runway was part under water (great flood)on our arrival. We had three R5D's that we brought over for the two week reserve cruse. I flew to Gilbraltor, Madrid Spain, and Naples. We took a panel truck filled with fresh round dark bread and can goods to the county side for flood relief. I remember whole fields of livestock that drowned (sad). The short time with VR-24 was the greatest two weeks a young airman sailor could hope for!!!. I purchased a Camel saddle foot stool and a (rusty)curved knife. We had a plane full of then when we returned to Glenview. We also stopped in Potigal for our ration of Booz to take home. I still have photos of base and others I'll try hard to find the box and send them to the website. Hope this brings back memories to others, looking forward to receiving email form other shipmates. Cheers to all!! from this getting older retired ATC. God Bless you all, Mike

Entry: 283 Name: Bill Janicki
City: Minneapolis MN 55378
Sent: Wed October 04 2006 11:56 AM

Had a great Tour with a group of guys that were like family..was in Naples from 1959 thru 1961..hope I find some of them in the guest book..

Entry: 282 Name: Bill Janicki
City: Minneapolis MN 55378
Sent: Wed October 04 2006 11:51 AM

Are there any others that were in naples between 1959 and 1961..

Entry: 281 Name: Joe Trevino
City: Laredo, Texas
Sent: Mon October 02 2006 05:41 AM

How's it going all. I was stationed at VR-24 in SIG from 87 - 90. I have alot of great memories from there. This is an Outstanding site. I've found alot of old friends. It is greatly appreciated. Give me a holler. Take care.

Entry: 280 Name: Dave Bachmann
City: Hollywood, MD (Pax River)
Sent: Sun October 01 2006 09:14 AM

I just came accross this web site. I was a T-39 aircrewman from 4/79 - 4/82. I have a collection of COD pictures from Det Alpha aboard USS America and some T-39 pictures to share. How do I submit them?

Entry: 279 Name: Dave Bachmann
City: Hollywood, MD (Pax River)
Sent: Sun October 01 2006 09:14 AM

I just came accross this web site. I was a T-39 aircrewman from 4/79 - 4/82. I have a collection of COD pictures from Det Alpha aboard USS America and some T-39 pictures to share. How do I submit them?

Entry: 278 Name: Ed Straten
City: Pensacola
Sent: Thu September 14 2006 03:58 PM

CT39G Plank Owner 73-75 Just found the web site and wanted to say and keep up the good work. Would like to hear from any one who remembers who I am. I was night check supervisor and Air Crew. Had a great time in Naples and enjoyed serving in VR-24. A great duty station with great sailors. Hope Sig has the same great memories.

Entry: 277 Name: Joe Gerace
Sent: Tue September 12 2006 06:04 AM

Served in VR-24 Naples, 73-75 in the line crew, and moved into the AE shop. Looking to hear from any shipmates from that time frame.

Entry: 276 Name: Rich Reiman
City: Kings Park NY
Sent: Sun September 10 2006 02:38 PM

well another 11th is comming tommrow and a few things run through my head how my deepest prays go to the Punches family also some good thought like 16 years ago on my 30th birthday on the 11th i had reenlisted and Lt Mike Ashby read me the oath and the skipper at the time gave me an B grade for repeading the oath it was one of the better B-days and happier times in my life and the other thing CDR (at the time)Punches was by far one of the Best Skippers i ever had and that in its self for be is a blessing as well as the people i served with and i'd like to thank you all.

Entry: 275 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Sat September 09 2006 05:37 PM

I have just uploaded several new and changed pages. With these additions, most of the usable photos I have received from everyone are now up on the website. I will in the next few days update the "Whats New Page" to provide direct links to the new/change pages. Thanks for your continued interest in the VR-24 website. Dick Prather.

Entry: 274 Name: Daniel Butler
City: Wichita, KS
Sent: Thu August 24 2006 08:17 PM

To all my shipmates in VR-24 ,I went from AMSAN TO AMS-2 ,there from 81-84 and we spent ALOT of hours working our tails off and going on some ausum DET's in Rota, Souda bay, Palma, and other places.The C-1a,C-2, T-39 And the CH-53's were all good aircraft ,but if not for the people keeping them in the air and pilots ,alot of sailors would have not got mail & supplies. We lost 2 great C-1a crews over the MED. in 83, which was a horrible tragedy & a great loss. We also lost over 240 Marines & Sailor brothers in Beirut during my tour.I was really shocked to here VR-24 was decommissioned in 92. I got out of the Navy in 89 after over 8 yrs of service & now in the process of going back into the reserves.I have a great life in Wichita Kansas as an A&P mechanic at Cessna Aircraft, but miss the commorodity that we've all had in the Navy.Would like to here from anyone that was in VR during the same time.I think this is a great website for everyone to keep in touch and to share their stories. Thank You and keep up the great work. Would like to make it to the reunion and to hear more info on it. AMS2 Daniel Butler p.s. Cessna is hiring.If anyone is interested contact me.

Entry: 273 Name: Pat O'Leary
City: Vireginia Beach, VA.
Sent: Sun August 20 2006 06:12 AM

VR24 Det Naples Feb 61-July 64. I was an AE1, remember the following shipmates last names only. Duncan, Reeves, Goss, Lamotta, Anderson,Brown, Robles,Bower,Scotchlas.

Entry: 272 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Sat August 05 2006 12:01 PM

A few more notes. 1. PLEASE include "VR-24" in the subject line of your emails to me. I get A LOT of SPAM, garbage, and immediately dump (without opening/reading) those emails I don't recognize the subject or senders of. 2. A recent glitch/gremlin ate about 75 messages out of my "Inbox". A few emails from VR-24 folks, that I had not filed in other mail folders were lost. My "Sent" folder is intact so I still have the addresses of those who I had responded to before the computer glitch last week. 3. I hope to soon catch up on posting new pages to show the photos that some of you have kindly sent. You can beat up on my at the reunion in September here in San Diego if I haven't gotten them up by then. Take that as added incentive to attend! Thanks again for your continued interest and support for the VR-24 website. Dick

Entry: 271 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Sat August 05 2006 06:50 AM

I have uploaded a new Guestbook Archives (Oct 2005-July 2006) page. It contains a number of entries dropped last month when Spam exceeded the Current Guestbook limit of 100 entries. Have also removed all but a few duplicate entries from the Current Guestbook. If you don't see a recent entry there, look at the new Guestbook Archives page. Hopefully, by moving most entries into the Archive pages, the Current Guestbook will be a bit more responsive. Email me if you have questions. Thanks. Dick

Entry: 270 Name: Frank Warren
City: Lima, OH 45806
Sent: Tue August 01 2006 03:09 PM

VR-24 Nap. 66-68 Was AC Any body remenber me email me.

Entry: 269 Name: bob porier
Homepage: http://926 w hagerman lake
City: iron river, mi. 49935
Sent: Sun July 23 2006 11:04 AM

hope to here from more guys from vr24 jan 1 to july 1957.jose yuma and terry rice let me know if your stll out there.

Entry: 268 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Thu July 20 2006 07:06 PM

Just back from vacation. Found 25 bogus entries (spam), which exceeded the 100 limit for the Current Guest Book. That caused the first 18 or so valid entries to be dropped/deleted. They are not lost. I had previously copied them into a new archive page for OCT 2005 - JUL 2006, which I plan to post as of 1 Aug 2006. I am taking action to block the spammers once they make entries. Thanks for your patience and continued support for the VR-24 Web Site. Dick Prather

Entry: 267 Name: bobbie owens
City: jacksonville,fl.
Sent: Thu July 20 2006 06:59 AM

icame to vr feb 88` and left feb 92`. ienjoyed the experience of working with such motovated people and a maintainence friendly aircraft. does everyone remember my infamous expressos, and capachinos? i was wondering if someone could tell me where to find info on the awards givin at decomission. thanx.

Entry: 266 Name: Tom Rusavage
City: San Antonio Tx
Sent: Sat July 15 2006 04:45 PM

I was at vr-24 det naples dec69 to oct70(got an early out).This site has reminded me of people and places i had long foregotten,thank you

Entry: 265 Name: bobbie owens
City: jacksonville,fl.
Sent: Thu July 20 2006 06:59 AM

icame to vr feb 88` and left feb 92`. ienjoyed the experience of working with such motovated people and a maintainence friendly aircraft. does everyone remember my infamous expressos, and capachinos? i was wondering if someone could tell me where to find info on the awards givin at decomission. thanx.

Entry: 264 Name: Tom Rusavage
City: San Antonio Tx
Sent: Sat July 15 2006 04:45 PM

I was at vr-24 det naples dec69 to oct70(got an early out).This site has reminded me of people and places i had long foregotten,thank you

Entry: 263 Name: Glen Rogers
City: Hernando, Fl/
Sent: Thu July 13 2006 06:28 PM

Arrived VR 24 Det. first part of 56 and left at the end of 59. Was an ADR3 and TF crew. Too many crazy times, especially on Crete during the Lebanon crisis of 58? and one night bringing guests back to the hanger from town in the middle of the night.

Entry: 262 Name: Rich reiman
City: Kings Park NY
Sent: Sun July 09 2006 03:50 PM

does anyone know what happened or were i can find LT.Russell or Chief Bill Britt? any help will be appreciaped thank you....

Entry: 261 Name: DAVID G MARTIN
Sent: Sat July 08 2006 07:06 PM


Entry: 260 Name: Tom McGuire
City: Toomsuba, MS
Sent: Thu July 06 2006 12:07 PM

Served in VR 24 Rota 1970-71 and in Naples from 71-72. Specialized in C2's

Entry: 259 Name: Bill Noland
City: Troy, Texas
Sent: Thu June 29 2006 06:16 PM

Spent last week visiting Steve and Vicky Vrana in Pensacola. We revisited old times, stayed in their cool condo in Gulf Shores Alabama. Steve still has his 1970 Triumph from Rota. I forced him to uncover it (stored in the garage). Sure brought back some good memories. We plan to stay in touch we spent 30+ years without any communications. We are still looking for Richard (Spanky) Reed and Jimmy Tyler.

Entry: 258 Name: Brian Jordan
City: Nashville, TN.
Sent: Sun June 25 2006 09:41 AM

Looking for old shipmates.

Entry: 257 Name: Jim DeLong
b>City: Northampton, Pa
Sent: Sat June 24 2006 11:18 AM

To Bill Miller See my other entry 158. I found Bruce Dahlen last year. Say's he has many photos but apparently is slow at getting them to web site. To Costello I remember a Costello who married a French girl from town. His that you. Anyone can contact me at jrdjjd@msn.com

Entry: 256 Name: John Antol
City: Hamburg. PA
Sent: Thu June 22 2006 05:34 PM

Arrived VR-24 Naples in 1973 as an AMH-3 and departed for Fighter Squadron 11 Red Rippers as an AMH-2 in 1976 just before the move to Sig. During my time with VR-24 I made many Dets, Northern twice, many trips to Athens, Rota, Sig, Souda, ect. Discharged and left the Navy as an AMH-1 while aboard Forrestal in Catania. Met with some of the old naples gang while in transit to home and haven't seen many since. Fighter pilots for the most part were and i'm sure remain ass holes, not like the pilots of VR who for the most part appreciated the people who fixed the planes and always accepted these repair people who wanted a ride and I had many a good ride. Thank You Send an email if you remember me

Entry: 255 Name: clifford m kinney
City: tilton nh
Sent: Wed June 14 2006 01:37 PM

Entry: 252 just wanted to say hi to all my old firends in sig i served with the great vr-24 from oct 91 to dec 93 hope to hear from you all

Entry: 254 Name: Robert E. Blake
City: Chesapeake, VA
Sent: Mon June 12 2006 06:25 AM

On my last post, I wrote Michael Tidmore & it should have been Lewis. Anyone else in the squadron at the same time, pls drop a line.

Entry: 253 Name: Robert E. Blake
City: Chesapeake, VA
Sent: Mon June 12 2006 04:38 AM

Michael Tidomore....your name sounds familiar....were you in the squadron in the mid 60's?? I was there from 63-68 as a SN to PN2.

Entry: 252 Name: George (Jud) Caldwell
City: Madisonville, Ky.
Sent: Sun June 11 2006 05:20 PM

I was a kid with a bunch of like-minded friends in VR-24 Det. Naples from Jan. 63 to May 65. That was an enjoyable, carefree, time of my life.

Entry: 251 Name: dave kinney
City: st.cloud,mn
Sent: Sat June 10 2006 03:10 PM

i am an ex-crewmember 90-91- if anyone has info on who still has an abundant supply-plse contact me. thanks

Entry: 250 Name: Brian Kiehl
City: NAS Patuxent River
Sent: Fri June 02 2006 02:42 AM

I served with VR-24 from 1988 to 1991 as an Airframer. It was my first and best duty assignment to date. I returned to active service in 2000 and saddened to find the Lifting Eagles had closed up shop. I have a few pictures and will try to dig'em up and send them in. Too bad the Squadron is no longer there. Nice to find this website though. BZ to you! V/R, AM1 Kiehl.

Entry: 249 Name: Dick Prather
Sent: Wed May 24 2006 07:29 PM

The number of unwanted, often obnoxious, entries in the Guestbook is increasing. I remove them when I see them and block the source(s) as best I can. I may resort to a full time filter. If so, your Guestbook entry will not appear on the Guestbook page before I check it. That may cause delays since I do not always check the Guestbook every day. Delays would be longer when I go on vacation. I appreciate your patience. My apologies for the sometimes offensive nature of the "spam" entries. Thanks. Dick Prather VR-24 Web Manager/Editor

Entry: 248 Name: Bill "Red" Hilton
b>City: Boulder, Colorado
Sent: Mon May 22 2006 03:46 PM

I served with VR24 for approx 6 weeks in April/May 62 at Port Lyautey then transferred to VR24-Det, Naples where I remained until Jan 1966. I was twidget (ATN) but, did earn my wings to fly as a C1A Plane Captain for approx 3 years. I have been in contact with 2 of the enlisted and 2 of the officers that were in VR24-DET at the same time as I. I have plans to attend the 2006 Reunion in San Diego as is Sam Todd and Ken Balderson , C1A pilots. We are trying to drum up more attendees from VR-24 DET as the vast majority of the attendees are VR24 shipmates from Port Lyautey , Fr. Morroco & Rota, Spain but, would like to have more shipmates from the Naples detachment. I will be happy to share my reunion info with you and would really enjoy hearing from I look forward to hearing from some of the best people I knew providing me with an education and experiences that never fade.

Entry: 247 Name: Mike Everhart
City: Winter Garden, Florida
Sent: Thu May 18 2006 07:15 PM

I have alot of pictures of VR-24 in Sig. and on dets. from 1981 to 1984.I will be sending them alittle at a time to Dick for everyone to see. I have been in touch with some of my old buddies and hope to be in touch with more soon.

Entry: 246 Name: Pete Owen
City: Mission Viejo, California
Sent: Tue May 16 2006 01:14 PM

It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that I am announcing the passing of our beloved ex Skipper, Captain Albert W. Bowker. He passed away the morning of 15 May, 2006 in Oceanside, California. He was 93 years young. He had served the Navy for 30 years. He was the Commanding Officer of the Squadron from June 1954 to June 1956. He was the architect of VR24s greatness. He instituted the policies for which VR24 had come to be known and recognized as "The Worlds Biggest Little Airline." According to comments made by Shipmates over the years, it was the best Squadron in which they had served during their Naval career. Captain Bowker was an original member of the VR24 Association Committee and was a pretty regular attendee of our Reunions over the period of 35 years. He loved to golf and dance and was pretty good at both. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetary with full military honors.

Entry: 245 Name: Pat La Fleur
City: La Verne, CA
Sent: Wed May 10 2006 07:22 PM

Hi. Does anyone remember me or my Dad, Lt. Cdr. Ernest J. La Fleur, Terminal Officer from 1954-1956? I spent a lot of time at the Red Cross Center in town. When I was there, I was 16-18 years old. Lived in town the first year and on the base the second year. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers us.

Entry: 244 Name: WAYNE CARTER
Homepage: http://4 lumpkin dr
City: penhook va 24137
Sent: Sun April 30 2006 07:00 PM

i was in vr-24 det, naples italy from 1956 thur 1958, im looking for old ship mates, lester, tex walker,or any of the old gang,get in touch with me i have a lot of old pictures, and a lot of good memories. wayne carter

Entry: 243 Name: Dick Prather
b>City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Sun April 30 2006 12:41 PM

Just uploaded nine new pages to the web site and four pages that have been changed. Check out the new and changed pages by clicking on the "Whats New" link on the Home Page. Enjoy the updates. Dick Prather, VR-24 web manager/editor.

Entry: 242 Name: Bob Williams
City: Roanoke Rapids, NC
Sent: Thu April 27 2006 04:14 PM

I'd like to hear from some of the guys who served with VR-24 during the period l971-74 -- particularly Mike Meng, Jim Stutz, Scott Young, Scott Zolnier, John Bennett, Steve Smith, and Wild Man Walker.

Entry: 241 Name: Estus A. Triggs
Homepage: http://68 52nd St
City: Gulfport,MS
Sent: Wed April 26 2006 06:41 PM

Would love to hear from anyone from the electronic maintenance shop for the time mid 55 to late 56

Entry: 240 Name: Herman Bressel
City: Long Beach, California
Sent: Sun April 16 2006 03:47 PM

Would enjoy hearing from any old squadron mates from '68 to '71. Best Regards, Herman H. Bressel, RMC, USN (Ret)

Entry: 239 Name: wayne carter
City: penhook va.
Sent: Sun April 09 2006 04:38 PM


Entry: 238 Name: Arte McCollough
City: ???, Hawaii
Sent: Sun April 02 2006 07:55 PM

Greetings: I was in VR24 Det in Naples from 57-60, Yoeman drawing flight skins as orderly on the R5D and sometimes flew on the TF's. Many good memories, looking for old buddies. Remember the Round Robin, getting off in London for a few days, what great times...... End of enlistment brought me back home to Hawaii where I remained and now retired. Is there a listing of personnel that served during the period I was there? Looking for any email addresses to any of the old gang....... Some names that pop up are: Lyle Eberhart, Edwin Von S chondorf, James Peed, Lt Robert Costigan...... So many good memories, Thank you for developing this site... I just called in my wife to show her pictures of where my life all started. Your name sounds familiar, what did you do and when were you there? We're heading back to Italy this Sept (her first trip), hopefully we can find some of the old places...... aloha, arte mccollough

Entry: 237 Name: Gary Simington
City: Greensboro, NC
Sent: Thu March 30 2006 06:10 PM

I was part of the VR-24 family from 1987-90. I made a dang fool of myself most of that time. Some who knew me are, no doubt, surprised to find me alive. Well, I am here and doing fine :-) Even with all the youthful insanity that went on in Room 120, I do have many good memories of friends, Sicily, good food and vino, and travels in Europe. I, like many, found out for the 1st time via this site about CDR Jack Punches. I too want to pass along my condolences to his family. I didn't know him personally, but it was easy to tell he was a man of integrity--a hard worker who didn't mind a little fun along the way. God rest his soul. Well, I won't take up too much real estate here...if you'd like to catch up, drop me a line.

Entry: 236 Name: Joe Newton
City: APO, AE
Sent: Thu March 30 2006 03:22 AM

I just got back from a trip to Sigonella, I was visitiing friends that have lived there for about 30 years. There is Navy housing between NAS I and II, not many people live off base anymore. The Italians call it the American village, and that's what it is. The base has a lot of new buildings and improvements. The Italian bar/cafe across from the base (Mama Ilio's) is now an Irsh Pub. The cities have renovated areas and it's all looking a lot better. If I can find work I'm moving there.

Entry: 235 Name: John Balukoff
City: Gibsonton, FL
Sent: Sun March 26 2006 06:06 PM

I just came across this page by acident and want to say how great it is. I was assigned to VR-24 from 1988-1991. I earned some of those Det. Patches that you have displayed. Great Job.

Homepage: http://7922 ORTEGA BLUFF PARKWAY
Sent: Fri March 24 2006 09:57 AM


Entry: 233 Name: AMH2 Lewis Tidmore
City: San Antonio,Tx
Sent: Tue March 21 2006 02:09 PM

First of all I was glad to here from quite a few of the the old gang via this website. But the main reason I'm writing is to find out if anyone know's how I can get a hold of a print of one of our C-2's flying with Mt Etna in the backround.I saw it in one of the restrants in Motta. I spoke with the owner or manager and he said it was a gift from the artist who was a squadron member? If you can help email me. Here,s something for the guy that wrote about the Bad old days. The day I checked into VR must have been CAPT MAST day their we at least 6 guys lined up in their dress whites so I just got in line with them thinking they were also new. I stood there about 10 min before my sponsor walked by and pulled me out of line. It seemed we worked 12 and 12 almost all the time. I remember coming off Det one day and going on another the next day. Great time's and people

Entry: 232 Name: Robert L. Steawart
City: Jacksonville
Sent: Sat March 18 2006 09:17 PM

Talk about looking at the past through rose colored glasses.I was in VR-24 from 81-83.There wore good times and bad,mostly bad. Alot of it was my fault due to immaturity but alot was poor leadership. One of the skippers during that time was caught making false travel claims,a legal officer was a lesbian,the CMC was a incompetent boob.At one point they had us working 12 and 12 for 3 months without a day off. Thats probably why a majority of the E1 to E6 maint. personnel were drunk or high on and off duty. Rough time but some great stories.

Entry: 231 Name: Joe Newton
Sent: Sat March 11 2006 11:52 AM

I was stationed in Sicily twice, the last time with VR-24. I loved Sicily and still have friends there. I got out of the Navy and went to college and my new career didn't give me the opportunity to work there, but I go visit when I can. I'll be in Catania the last two weeks of March and will visit the base. It has changed a lot. I'm still looking at the possibility of retiring there.

Entry: 230 Name: Harold W. Rarden
City: Wallingford, Ky. 41093
Sent: Tue March 07 2006 02:02 PM

Left Port Clinton, Ohio, Feb. 12, 1951 for Gr Lakes. Then on to Norfolk to Faetulant. Jacksonville to jet school. In charge of night check structures almost all of my time in Norfolk. Arrived in Pt. Lyautey on Dec. 13, 1953. Drew skins as flight captain most every month and was also in charge of night check structures most of the time. Flew over the Atlas mountains many times to Naples, Madrid, London, Germany, Malta, Karachi and other places. Very good duty. Mustered out at Anacostia on Jan, 20, 1955. If anyone of you remembers me, give me a shout.

Entry: 229 Name: lawrence H kerns
City: kingston, ohio
Sent: Mon March 06 2006 10:40 AM

felt good living in the past! beautiful country! excellent NAVEL DUTY!

Entry: 228 Name: Anthony (Tony) Lazzaro
City: Atlanta GA 30339
Sent: Thu March 02 2006 06:15 PM

I arrived in July 1952 and shipped out to NAS Atlantic City in February 1954. Shipped in as an ATAN and worked in supply for about six months and was then assigned to the avionics shop. As I recalled we had over thirty ATAN's who were promoted to AT3 at the same time. I managed to ship out as an AT2. I have many fine memories of my assignment to Morocco. It was my first experience in a foreign country and I feel that I made the most of a wonderful situation. I would like to hear from ship mates who served at the same time as I did and hope to make the next reunion. My email is tlazz@mindspring.com and due to high spam filtering you will be requesting entrance to the mail box.

Entry: 227 Name: Anthony (Tony) Lazzaro
City: Atlanta GA 30339
Sent: Thu March 02 2006 06:14 PM

I arrived in July 1952 and shipped out to NAS Atlantic City in February 1954. Shipped in as an ATAN and worked in supply for about six months and was then assigned to the avionics shop. As I recalled we had over thirty ATAN's who were promoted to AT3 at the same time. I managed to ship out as an AT2. I have many fine memories of my assignment to Morocco. It was my first experience in a foreign country and I feel that I made the most of a wonderful situation. I would like to hear from ship mates who served at the same time as I did and hope to make the next reunion. My email is tlazz@mindspring.com and due to high spam filtering you will be requesting entrance to the mail box.

Entry: 226 Name: Ronald (Roy) Van Westbroek
City: Alta Loma, California, 91701
Sent: Mon February 27 2006 11:17 AM

I was assigned to VR-24 Det Rota from 2/72 until 1/73 after completion of C-130 school at MCAS El Toro, CA with Mike. We moved into town to support the local economy and I had a place behind the Tokyo Club downtown. Some of us bought bikes and cruised all over the place. The best house I lived in was in Chippiona right on the beach with my fellow bros. It's been a long time, and I still have pictures of the parties we had in the local clubs. They nicknamed me "Van" due to my long last name.

Entry: 225 Name: TERRY D. LONG
Sent: Sun February 26 2006 12:39 PM


Entry: 224 Name: Pat Davis
City: Ringgold, Ga.
Sent: Fri February 24 2006 07:41 PM

Saw one of our C1-A's (146034) in a museum at Willow Grove in Philadelphia last year. Was able to get inside. Incredible memories.

Entry: 223 Name: Jeff Johnson
City: imbler, oregon
Sent: Mon February 20 2006 06:29 PM

Thanks for the website. I have great memories of the days in Sig. We had awesome athletic teams. I look forward to someday hearing from my old shipmates. AZC Gray, Faber, Boone, Denz, Gastright, Quillen to name a few. Get in touch.

Entry: 222 Name: Tony C Ramsaroop
City: Orlando
Sent: Mon February 20 2006 03:13 PM

I was a C-2 PC in VR-24 85-88.. Best Navy times of my Navy life. Luis Tidmore I remember you from VR-59. I have 17.5 years now with Active and Reserves. My last squdron was VR-58 Jacksonville. Flew for a few airlines and now working for another.

Entry: 221 Name: Dick Bergeron (Frenchie)
Homepage: http://http;//members.aol.com/etetubes
City: Springvale, ME 04083
Sent: Thu February 09 2006 08:06 PM

Enjoyed my time very much while in VR-24 from 10/63 to 9/65. Dick Bergeron

Entry: 220 Name: Paul Eernisse
City: Oklahoma City
Sent: Sat February 04 2006 07:47 PM

Hello. I was a C-2A loadmaster from Dec 1980- Dec 1984, and 1988-1991. VR-24 was my first command I came in as an AMSAA, and left a an AMS2, I met my wife at the Fleet Mail center there at NAF Sigonalla. I was on VR-24 DET ALPHA on the USS America, and again on Det Forrestal. I can not remember all the time I spent in Souda bay, Rota. i helped stand up the C-2 framp at VAW-120. My time in VR gave me my best memories in the Navy.

Entry: 219 Name: J.D. Long
City: Milton Florida
Sent: Sat February 04 2006 02:54 PM

Enjoyed all the places in europe that I was able to see thanks to VR-24 THE aircraft the mission and the Navy!

Entry: 218 Name: Jan Donald (J.D.) Long
City: Milton
Sent: Sat February 04 2006 02:09 PM

You need to have these reunions some where in the middle of the Country instead of always having them on the west Coast! Not everyone is from out there and the ones that aren't some of use just don't like the west cost either!

Entry: 217 Name: Pete Owen
Homepage: http://21136 San Miguel
City: Mission Viejo, CA
Sent: Wed February 01 2006 02:07 PM

Several days ago a female shipmate of ours emailed me requesting Reunion info. Regretfully our computer went south about that time and we lost some emails & etc. Her email was one of them. I believe she said she was an AZ2 and was there in the mid to late 80s. If she is reading this website and will email me again I will be most happy to provide her the information she requested. Pete
Entry: 216 Name: Keith Groover
City: Tampa, FL
Sent: Wed February 01 2006 09:15 AM

Great site. I was there from May 77 to July 82. I would have stayed longer if they would have let me. I was an AT3 and played on the squadron softball team when we won the base championship. Drop me a line if anyone from that era would like to rehash some good times.

Entry: 215 Name: Larry Dunn
City: Downers Grove, IL 60516
Sent: Sun January 29 2006 05:38 PM

Assigned to the squadron on 1/52; spent 19 mos. in P/L and then transferred to VR-22 in Aug.'53.Arrived in Casablanca on Pvt. E. H. Johnson with a large draft of Navy and Air Force troops.A group of us had finished "A" schools and spent a long time in Brooklyn awaiting transport. First impression: "This place looks like S. California." I had expected lots of sand! My buddies and I were "recruited' to P/L by our "A" school instructors telling us the wonders of life in Morocco. First assigned to Air Cargo for 6 weeks then got a chance to work in the terminal (open liberty) and good working conditions. When I made 3rd class that fall,I asked my division officer for a transfer to line maintenance because I thought I should work at my rate. Afer a stint there I was transferred to Engine Build-Up. Another great job:3 guys only and our own little shop in the old French Hangar. Did an engine change in Algiers on the Maison Blanche Ramp with minimal equipment borrowed from the French. Great sight seeing in Algiers.Did a lot of travelling wile in VR-24-Lisbon Gibraltar, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Frankfurt, etc. Was agreat time for a 20 yr old kid. Had some great friends, Many extended over there. Lots of crazy trips to Rabat and Meknes Tangier and Fez. At age 73 I look back at those times and smile a lot. We had R5D's, R4D5's and R4D8"s as well as 2 PBM5As, and 2or 3 JRB-5's. We lived in Quonset huts for awile and then moved to the "camel barns" which were an improvement. Chow was good, beer was fine if you bought Tubor or Heinekens in town. Some good French meals in town also. Would like to hear from any old timers who were there then.

Entry: 214 Name: Alain Bennett AE2
City: Campton, NH
Sent: Sun January 29 2006 12:17 AM

Wow!! What a find! This web-site is sh*#- hot! I got there in Dec ’83 as an AEAA. Man that was a tough time just after the loss of the two C-1’s and their crews. But VR-24 was the best memory I had in the navy. Left (booted actually, they figured out I loved it there and wouldn’t let me extend anymore) in Dec ’87 as an AE2. I sure miss the Dets! Those WERE the best times around with the best folks! Met my wife of 18 years and counting there (ADAN Marci Poisel). Noticed some familiar names, Chief Houston, Chief Gardner, Diane Sesma, “Bob” Medina, (Dave) “Sprout” Robertson, Bruce Thompson and more. Wonder if anyone’s heard from Chief Bobby Hughes, SC “Luigi” Haddle, and PR1 Drew “Preacher” Avery. Has any VR-24 Det-Rota (and VR-22) folks heard anything from AME2 Glenda Stidham? Marci’s trying to find her. I guess I’ll offer the following disclaimer for the lack of photos in the Sig scrapbook (I can’t remember where all mine went); “There are times when photographic evidence could be construed as incriminating for one or more of many reasons.” (…..who was it in Souda that woke up with quite a bit of extra “WOOL” in their rack WITH him? Ba-a-a-a-a-a!!!) God bless and take care. I hope we meet again. Alain

Entry: 213 Name: arte mccollough
City: Hawaii
Sent: Fri January 27 2006 02:14 PM

Was in VR24 Det from 1957 to 1960, part of flight crew on R5D and TF's.... Only "black shoe" (Yoeman) drawing flight skins at the time. Would like to hear from anyone there during that time frame. Aloha, arte mccollough

Entry: 212 Name: Gene Guidotte
City: Fort Myers, Fl and Lewiston, Maine
Sent: Fri January 27 2006 12:03 PM

Fifty years ago today,Lts Butcher,Vickers and AD2 Gene Guidotte flew TF1A 136758 from the deck of the Valley Forge to NAS Norfolk, Va. This crew along with other members of VR24 and VR22 had completed four days of CARQUALS. The VR24 personnel then headed back to Napoli where they awaited the shipboard delivery of their six TF aircraft. Continued...

Entry: 211 Name: Philip Gray
City: San Leandro
Sent: Wed January 18 2006 09:15 PM

Hi all. Looking for a former shipmate AE2 Tom Driver who was in VR-24 in 1985-1986, and later transferred to AIMD/Sigonella. Anyone know Tom and where he might be these days? Thanks! -Phil Gray (AT2 - AIMD/Sigonella 1985/86)

Entry: 210 Name: Dave Myers
City: Libertyville, IL
Sent: Mon January 16 2006 11:35 AM

I had the opportunity to fly with VR 24 in 1956 while on cruise with VR 721 from NAS Glenview. The crews that I flew with made me feel welcome and I enjoyed our flights. Dave Myers

Entry: 209 Name: Phill Asper
City: Virginia Beach
Sent: Fri January 13 2006 07:07 PM

I was a member of VR24 Det Rota from 03/72 - 03/75. One of the best times of my life. Go-Go Arilines. I'm envious of all attending the reunion in Rota in 05/06. To all of You who do ... Who's at the Bar, VR ... and a cheer of P1 P2 PU VQ..... Hope you all have a Blast!

Entry: 208 Name: Henk Sikkenga
City: Anacortes WA.
Sent: Fri January 13 2006 05:04 PM

I was in Rota from 1968 to 1978 and entertained at the Officer's club, C.P.O. club and the ACEY DUCEY club's on Base. Our band was called the Lions. The members were : Jimmy, Norman, Tony and myself Henk. Sure enjoyed entertaining the troops in Rota and Kenitra. I remember having many parties with VR 24 and if any one might remember I would appreciate a little note back to me. Both Jimmy and myself ended up in the States. Unfortunately Jimmy passed away four years ago but I am still going strong.

Entry: 207 Name: Donald Lander
City: Marshfield Wisconsin
Sent: Mon January 09 2006 06:00 PM

VR-24 was my first duty station after AMH school. I was trasfered to Rota with a classmate named Tom Mix and we hung out with Johnny McPherson and a few other guys who's names I can not remember. I worked for AMHC David King in AIMD for awhile. AME Billy Walder (if I remember right, he was from Boston) worked in AIMD and we used to go to Seville in his MG. After my AIMD duty, I returned to the squadron and started dating a Spanish girl in La Lina outside of Gibralter. McPherson (Mac) and some of the guys would ride along in my Ford Taurus station wagon on weekends. We had some great times. Would like to hear from anyone who remembers me. If anyone knows how to contact Chief King I would like to thank him and find out if his wife ever let him buy that Indian motorcycle he wanted.

Entry: 206 Name: Pete Laurentz
City: Louisville
Sent: Sat January 07 2006 06:39 PM

I was a part of VR-24 from 1986-1988. Great squardon and great memories...work hard/play hard.

Entry: 205 Name: Ralph Demmick
City: Lexington Park, MD
Sent: Sat January 07 2006 06:39 AM

Best tour I had in my 20 year career. Currently working as DAPML for MH-60S Armed Helicopter program in Pax River MD. Best to everyone out there who flew the Hercs and hauled the trash for all those years.

Entry: 204 Name: Jake
City: Cape Cod
Sent: Sat December 31 2005 01:20 PM

On a Happier Note, may i Wish ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR, may it only hold for you the very best life has to offer

Entry: 203 Name: Jake
b>Homepage: http://capecodmouse.com/jacobs/dan/home.html
City: Cape Cod
Sent: Sat December 31 2005 01:18 PM

In our local paper there was an Obit today for Mrs. Grace L. Pesce she was the wife of former 1st Lt. Augustus Pesce USMC who was with the Marines at NAS Port Lyautey, back in 1956. Some of you might remember her, as she taught First Communion and CCD Classes at the Naval Air Station

Entry: 202 Name: Rocky Hettinger
City: Reading, Pa.
Sent: Thu December 22 2005 06:51 AM

To ALL VR-24 shipmates and especially those from Naples '65 thru '67 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Entry: 201 Name: Christian R. Nielsen
City: New York
Sent: Sat December 17 2005 08:22 AM

i was pilot in VR24 Det from 77 to 80, looking for anyone from those old days!!!

Entry: 200 Name: Desi D. Brooks
City: Lexington, KY
Sent: Wed November 30 2005 10:17 AM

I was stationed at NAS Sigonella from 1991 to 1993 and was fortunate to be a part of VR-24...which I believe to have been the best squadron in the Navy, with some truly unique sailors. The decommissioning of the squadron was truly an emotional event as many friends were separated. If I served with any of you, please send me an e-mail. Thanks and may God Bless all of you.

Entry: 199 Name: Robert stagner
City: gulfport ms for now
Sent: Sun November 27 2005 03:48 PM

Well folks I did my 20 then got out ret as ams1 was amsc slec but got hurt it happens but I've moved on I'm the Director of maintenance for a helicopter flight trainting school we have 11 r-22s well we had 14 before the hurricane. I hope to hear from a few of you I only have good mermorys of the time spent working and playing hard with you all. Stag

Entry: 198 Name: Ken Houston
City: Vero Beach
Sent: Sat November 19 2005 08:28 PM

I was stationed in Sig from 82-85. Just a quick note to wish my past shipmates a happy holiday season.

Entry: 197 Name: Rick Meussner
City: Enfield, CT
Sent: Fri November 11 2005 07:37 AM

I just noticed that the comments section does not print. I was at VR-24 Rota late 1968 to late 1970. Worked Powerplants (ADJ-3) nites and flew C-2A Dogs as FCPC & LM. Remember many deployments to Naples & Athens, and of course foosball tournaments at Bennies.

Entry: 196 Name: Rick Meussner
City: Enfield, CT 06082
Sent: Fri November 11 2005 07:34 AM

Remember several names from the time, Simon D.(Doggie) Collier, Keith Newell, Bob Ryder, Wally Stecklair, (fellow Philadelphian), Richardson (Shickshinny, PA) Hendrickson, McCurdy, Tom (TJ) Jordan, Mishler, George Woods, (John?) Fields, Stephen Zeiba. Would be glad to hear fom some of the folks that were there.

Entry: 195 Name: jamesr.delong@verizon.net
Homepage: http://5528 Louise Lane
City: Northampton, Pa. 18067
Sent: Tue November 08 2005 03:15 PM

I found Bruce Dahlen he is a retired pipefiter and lives in Minesota. He has photos of vr-24 hopefully he will get them in the scrapbook. Still looking for Don Arthur and Lyle Howard. Right now I have two e-mail addresses the other is jrdjjd@verizon.

Entry: 194 Name: Tom Stayancho
City: Fremont, Ohio
Sent: Fri November 04 2005 11:13 AM

Hello to all my old friends. I was AT3/2 while stationed there from December 77 to July 79, and remember a lot of it like it was yesterday. Some great guys there then: Joe Knight (now a retired chief) Steve Kujawski (who I still see from time to time) Chief Russ Walsh Bill (AJ) Salter Jim Dickerson (I took movies at his wedding over there) Bob Howard Rich Dunston Pete Lempicki Tony Maniscalco Mike Salemme Tom McCleave Larry Hale, his brother Dave, and his wife Mary And I could list a lot more. I have a photo of the Electrical Division that I will add to the site as soon as I find it. I’m still in the electrical field and living in northern Ohio. Drop me an e-mail if you were part of the crew back then.

Entry: 193 Name: Jerry Tenbusch
City: North Port, FL 34287
Sent: Fri October 28 2005 07:52 PM

I would love to here from anyone who remembers R. L. Rich and where he lives now. I would like to contact him--he was best man at my wedding.

Entry: 192 Name: Robert Medina
Homepage: http://7425 Stony Run Rd
City: Norfolk
Sent: Thu October 27 2005 08:13 AM

Good to see names and words from the old gang We Are VR COD and Herc guys and gals. I am working for Northrop Grumman on C-2A(R)'S and E-2C in Norfolk at VRC-40 Norfolk VA. Send a line if you want to chat. Best SQD ever Mr. Robert Medina

Entry: 191 Name: Ron Reed
City: Eugene , Oregon
Sent: Mon October 24 2005 02:58 PM

I was in Naples from 1956-1957. I would like to hear from anyone who was there at that time. Hope to hear from someone soon.

Entry: 190 Name: Robert R. Porier
City: Iron River, MI
Sent: Sun October 23 2005 12:57 PM

I was in Naples in 1956-1957. Would like to here from any friends that were there at that time.

Entry: 189 Name: Jim DeLong
City: Northampton, Pa.
Sent: Sat October 22 2005 08:43 AM

Still looking for Don Arthur, Lyle Howard and Bruce Dahlen. We were station at VR-24 Port Lyauty in 1961/1962 see page 18 of scrapbook and my earlier entry 158.

Entry: 188 Name: Willy(Bill) and Gina Huelsenkamp
City: San Jose, ca
Sent: Fri October 21 2005 09:17 PM

Lots of great people..lots of great memories...wow thinking back..tons of folk We'd love to touch base with..Spanky,Doggy Dawson,Tom Dickerson,Fred(Ricardo),George(Cope),Larry (Sellers)"Fires" Meyers,Tweety,Patty(Thanks for putting us up and putting up with us), Don & Bonnie(Hey we tried), Martha Yates (last time we heard)Bill and Chris Newell,Mike Juda, Dennis Williams,Art ,Steve, (and all at Licola Farms)...So many others..damn, I know I,m missing bunches, but that whole period ,'69 thru'73, remains, both, extremely vivid (suprisingly enough) and extremely special to us both..please get in touch if you feel so inclined..would love to both remanice and get filled in. We've Kept in touch(to one degree or another) with a few of Y'all..Lynn(Milton)Hyatt,Dan(the ops man)Hyluchi(Luchi),Ken Skelly,Bob Lakey, Mike Phineas..any way if you remember Gina and/or I drop us a line..would love to here from ya!!

Entry: 187 Name: Dick Prather
City: Ramona, CA
Sent: Tue October 18 2005 07:38 PM

I have added a new Guestbook Archives (Nov 2004 to Oct 2005) page into which I have moved most of the entries from the current Guestbook page. I have temporarily left ten (10) entries in the Current Guestbook Page, but will in the new few weeks remove those entries that are duplicated in the new archives page. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support for the VR-24 website. I welcome all photos and material you care to share with other visitors. Am especially interested in increasing coverage for London, Rota, Naples, and Sigonella. Your friendly website editor.

Entry: 186 Name: Jim Branigan
Homepage: http://www.OmegaRM.com
City: Centerport & Orient NY
Sent: Sun October 16 2005 07:35 PM

Two Athens deployments and one long one to Sig when the runway at Naples collapsed! Two really great years that I will never forget. If we served together drop me a line.