NAF Port Lyautey, French Morocco
Richard Dionne, former PHAN USNR, was called to active duty in late 1952 and following Boot Camp and P school at Norman, Oklahoma was assigned to VW2 Det.A in Port Lyautey. He arrived there in June of 1953 and was assigned to work in the squadron flight office. As he had been seriously involved in photography since junior high school he became a PH striker. His assignment with the squadron provided him with the opportunity to often fly on board, P4M-1Q aircraft. He states, "I did so every chance I got". "I really enjoyed my tour at Port Lyautey, my one and only duty station". He was released from active duty in 1954 at Brooklyn, NY.
The four following photographs of P4M 1Q 124372 were taken on 11/27/53 following a wheels up landing at Port Lyautey. The aircraft was flown to Norfolk and later returned to service. Tragically, the aircraft was destroyed in a crash about 1957.
Seabees move in their cranes to begin salvage operations in the photograph above and below.
The photograph following is of the P4Ms, in formation, was taken during a ceremonial base flyover, probably in 1954.
Commander R. Sparks was the C/O of VW2 Det.A during Richard Dionne's tour. Richard stated "I admired him a lot and was saddened to recently learn that he had been killed several years ago in a helicopter crash in Iceland".
Photograph of Richard Dionne with two French Aviators taken at the café Tourismie (sp), a very popular downtown spot. They were flying Lancasters and American airman, were forbidden by the US Navy, from accepting an invitation to ride in a Lancaster.
Dionne met this member of the Sultans Royal Guard in Rabat. He was well educated and spoke English perfectly. He told Dionne that he had been in the service of the Sultan from the time he was a young boy.