Asmara, Eritrea, Africa - August 1960

    As military duty in Saudi Arabia was considered "arduous," we had frequent opportunities to take trips out of the county.  The easiest of such trips was to catch a ride on the "desert run."  This was the USAF DC-3 ("Gooney Bird") supply run.  Frequently these small 2 engine planes would bring supplies out to the desert detachments from Dhahran Air Base on the Gulf.  After making the desert stops, it would fly across the Red Sea to the city of Asmara, then in the province of Eritrea, Ethiopia; now the capital of the country of Eritrea.  Here it would pick up fresh African food supplies to bring back to the desert.  If we could get away from our regular schedule, we could fly over to Asmara for a break from the desert heat and other in-country restrictions.  The country around Asmara was know as "the land of eternal spring time."  Located at a high elevation (about 7,000 feet above sea level, if I remember correctly), we always found it a cool and green break from our Riyadh environs.  The Kagnew military station was our official connection there, but we usually had more civilian pleasures in mind.

    As this was my first trip to Eritrea, I apparently did not spend much time with photography.  There will be more photos from another winter trip to Asmara to be posted later in this series.

After our last stop in Arabia (usually Jidda), we would climb in the un-pressurized Gooney until we could skim over the top of the escarpment west of the Red Sea.

We would then be at a low altitude above the green of the Eritrean planes.

As we neared the city of Asmara, more development could be seen.

This is probably a decent view of part of the city.

Landing at the small airfield outside of town, we check out this colorful Ethiopian Air Lines plane.

The pilot and Bill pose by one of the DC3's engines.

If I remember correctly, this was the trip where we lost an engine on our Gooney just after getting airborne.

This was a rather exciting story in itself.  Here one of the mechanics takes a break or waits for parts. This breakdown gave us a few more days to enjoy this part of Africa!

Usually the very 1st & very brief stop upon arriving was the USASA Kagnew Field Station. As we were not interested in more military, we quickly headed for town.

Our main mode of transportation there was what was called the "Gerry Cart."

These carts, pulled by one horse driven by a local driver, were a great way to see the local sites.

This grainy black & white photo show Bill & Keith with their driver as he pulls up in front of our favorite pensione

Scotty & his driver pull up right behind us.

Carts & truck are parked in front of the Villa DellaRosa as the staff come out to greet us.

The owner of the pensione whose name has faded from memory (his wife was called "Mama" so maybe he was "Papa"?).

Keith poses with one of the friendly staff.

Changed in to civilian clothes, Keith is ready to "hit the town."

Not sure whether this shot was from coming or going.  It appears to be in front of the pensione with a cart driver & maybe a local cab..?

Leaving Asmara, Keith gets some more views of green Eritrea before returning to the desert.

One more green air view.

And then it is out over the Red Sea with its numerous islands.

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