Let me tell you a history...

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by gekho, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #1 gekho, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
    Let me tell you a history .... of an accident. As many of you already know, I am from Spain, and I have been writing in this forum for at least three years. Planes are my pasion, but not the only one; my other passion are the sports, and more specifically mountaineering. I live in the coast, but close where I live, you can find Sierra Nevada, a large mountain range with snow most of the year.

    Let me tell you a story that combines my two passions: planes and mountaineering. The incident occurred March 8, 1960 near this small town in Southern Spain. Carrying U.S. service members from Naval Support Activities Naples to Naval Station Rota, the DC-4 "Skymaster" collided with a Sierra Nevada peak and crashed at 7,600 ft. above sea-level on the edge of a cliff in the snow. The inhabitants of the mountain town quickly went to the aid of the stranded crew and passengers five decades ago. Antonio Lorente, a citizen from J�rez, was one of the first to arrive at the crash site.

    "It was worth it," said Lorente, who spent the first night in the plane awaiting assistance. "We did not know what happened, but that it was only necessary to help human beings."

    There were no deaths resulting from the plane crash. Many attribute this to the local inhabitants providing their assistance as quickly as possible during a severe blizzard.

    "This event shows the extraordinary side of human nature," said U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Alan D. Solomont during his speech. "Without regard to their own lives...they did what had to be done to save lives."


    Lt. Deb Neuhaus, Naval Station Rota air terminal officer, located some of the survivors prior to the ceremony months ago to help the city invite them to participate in the ceremony.

    "The highlight of attending this trip was to see the survivors interact with their rescuers. It was emotional, and you could feel the mutual respect, understanding, and admiration," said Neuhaus. "The townspeople of Jerez del Marquesado enveloped the survivors with hospitality beyond their wildest imaginations."


    Two of the survivors from the plane crash were able to attend: James Frank Zaio, and Francis John Rup. Zaio was a Seaman at the time of the crash and was on-board the plane as a member of the Naples' basketball team. Rupp, known as "Frank," was an Aircraft Maintenance 2nd Class Petty Officer assigned to the VF-102 Diamondbacks, flying from his carrier USS Forrestal (AVT 59) via Naples, to Rota to repair an aircraft.

    I have added some of my pictures, so you can make an idea of how is the place and how difficult was the rescue.

    Source: Spanish Village, Remembers 50th Anniversary of "Skymaster" Rescue

    More information: ASN Aircraft accident Douglas R5D-3 56521 Jrez del Marquesad
     

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  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Wow! Great story and thanks for posting it! Is that you in the first set of pics?
     
  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    I am the one in black in the third pic of the 1# post
     
  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Could I use that for our "Mugshots" thread?

    Desolate areas that people are sometimes thrown into have always been fascinating to me. I read the book "Alive" about 5 times - similar story.
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Great story! Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    sure, go ahead
     
  8. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Great story Gekho. Looking at the terrain on either side off the aircraft, it's a lucky thing they touched down where they did.

    Geo
     
  9. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    This year I went to visit the place, since I was curious about the accident. When I got there, I was amazed; the place was surrounded by peaks, and there was a precipice close to the place the aircraft finally stopped. The pilot was an expert, otherwise all of them would have died.
     
  10. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting amigo!
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great story, thanks for posting. I've skied at Sierra Nevada, and never knew about this!
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting Gekho. Thanks for the post
     
  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome, thanks for posting!
     
  14. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    great story! That is a Navy bird and would be a R5D. I got to fly in one in 1969. In the early 70s the AF picked up that mission and I flew several missions in a C-141 into Rota and Torrejon, where we often crew rested. We lost a C-141 outside of Madrid flying into Torrejon, impacted a mesa at 5000. He was cleared to 6000' but called back 5000' and no one caught it. One crew member survived.
     
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