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UNEF - Introduction
El Arish / Marina
Sharm El Sheik
GAZA STRIP - UNEF
Airport near Naples, Italy used as a staging base for UNEF. Base for RCAF 114 Communications Flight.
CC-119 Flying Boxcar flightline at Capodichino Air Field. Note Mount Vesuvius in the background of some photographs (courtesy of Matt Foster):
North Star aircraft at Capodichino (courtesy of Matt Foster):
Various scenes around Capodichino (courtesy of Matt Foster):
114 Communication Flight personnel (courtesy of Matt Foster):
Please enjoy the following collection of photos and memories. Click on images for full size pictures. Please use your browser "Back" button to return to this page. If you have anything to add this page please email Gord Jenkins (click to email).
Matt Foster - I was with 435 in Edmonton before they moved out to Namao. I was only 18 at the time we flew over to Naples. I flew over in a North Star and arrived on day two of the operation. The trip entailed (as best I recall) one stop in Winnipeg (C119) for some reason or another then on to Toronto. The weather was real bad and only one aircraft landed as I recall. The reporters were all there taking pictures. Next we went to Ottawa for a review of the troops for the media etc. We sat around for some time without any idea of our destination. Periodically we would get a message that a destination was arranged only to have it changed. Eventually it was established that we were going to set up base in Naples Italy.
We flew to Gander and were boarded in a couple of motels - the Saturn and Neptune as I recall. The mattress was full of goose down and the best bed I had slept in in a long time. Next we flew to the Azores - Lajas Field (on Terceira) as I recall. We had a sleep - visited the small village next to the US base.
Photos from Lajas Field (on Terceira, Azores) and surrounding area from Matt Foster:
Matt Foster - Leaving Lajes, we were given box lunches and flew to Gibraltar again in the North Star with 4 foot flames shooting out of the 12 in line exhaust ports until the engines warmed up. At Gib we watched the RAF guys play cricket and I stole a beer mug from the wet canteen which I still have.
Photos from Gibraltar (courtesy of Matt Foster):
Matt Foster - Next we flew to Naples. The first to arrive greeted us and we were all bused off to the Grille Hotel several kilometres away (Now a Ramada I believe) where we were berthed until operations ceased around January 1958. (Not 1957 as I read somewhere) Most of us had 6 or 8 airmen to a room. Some of our equipment was driven down from German air bases. (Unimog vehicles etc)
Photos of Naples Harbour including some taken on the HMCS Magnificence (courtesy of Matt Foster):
Matt Foster - I was there twice - after helping set it all up, I was sent back to Namao. I asked to return to Naples and was sent back until near the end. I was then sent up to Germany by train (I was the only one who managed to stay in Europe)
We were all given beer steins painted with a Neapolitan scene and the words UNITED NATIONS - EGYPT -ITALY 1956 . I have two (one marked 1957) as I came back a second time (see photos below). I also have the Christmas dinner menu from 1956 with messages from Air Commodore F E Carpenter and Group Captain H A Morrison (commanding Officer). I had a UNEF uniform insignia and UNEF pass in 3 or 4 languages but I gave these to the Legion in Niagara Falls. I have a good friend who had a tour in Egypt. He was sent down to repaint the aircraft.
Photos of beer steins, UNEF Medal, UN Helmet, badges etc. from Matt Foster:
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