U. S. Naval Station


Rota, Spain


Photos




I was assigned to Naval Station, Rota, Spain from 1964 - 1967. This was a very interesting and exciting assignment for my family and me. I had previously been on sea duty for four years with very little time with my family and this assignment meant we would be together for the next few years.

The disbursing staff of the Comptroller Department were a great group of guys. They were hard working, and worked many long hours, especially during the semiannual transition of pay records. JUMPS (Joint Uniformed Military Pay System) and LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) was unheard of at this time and all work was done manually. Yet we took time to enjoy our tour at Rota. Shortly after my arrival, my wife and I joined the "Rota Whirlways" a western square dance club and took several weeks of lessons in square dancing. The lesson were given at the base chapel and Chief Ritter was the caller and instructor. I believe he was assigned to Communications Department and was a CTC. We had a great time square dancing and held exhibition dancing for the local community, including pre show dancing in the bullrings prior to a bull fight. I recall dancing in the bullring at Hearth and the spectators wave a white handkerchief. This is usually reserved for the bullfighter and is a high honor. We all felt very proud.

I also became a member of the Fleet Reserve Association while assigned to Rota in 1964 and have been a continuous member since. A great organization that fights for the enlisted members interest on Capitol Hill. I served on the Board of Directors at Branch 248 and my wife, Margo served both as president and vice president of LAFRA. She was very active in the local community and thoroughly enjoyed living on the local economy. My daughters were very young on our arrival at Rota. Ann, my oldest was five and started school there. She played with the Spanish children and picked up their language very fast. I use to take her with me shopping to translated. My youngest daughter, Lynne was less than one year old when we arrived and really learned to speak Spanish before English. It was a long time after returning to the states before she could say “water." It was always "aqua."

I was advanced to DK1 while assigned to Rota and I’ll never forget the day when Chief Tizzano came back from the personnel office and informed me I had been promoted. He was a great chief and mentor.


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DK2 Ken Brown reenlisting in 1964 Reenlisting in 1964 with Rota's Executive Officer, Commander Dunn administrating the oath.
DK2 Ken Brown Sailor of the Quarter Being congratulated by Commander Grotts, Comptroller Dept. for my selection as "Sailor of the Quarter" ending March 1965. DK1 Sallee and DKC Tizzano are visible in the back ground.
Disbursing Division award, 1964 This Disbursing Division award was in 1964.
Disbursing Division Not sure of the date of this division award. The DK'S were an outstanding group and the Disbursing Division was constantly winning awards.
Disbursing Division of the Comptroller Department receives "Honor Division Award" for February 1965 Disbursing Division of the Comptroller Department receives "Honor Division Award" for February 1965. I am standing, 2nd from the right.
Ken Brown receiving Letter of Commendation, January 1966 "Letter of Commendation" from the Commanding Officer in January 1966 being presented by Commander J. H. Newman, Comptroller Department.
Ken Brown receiving Letter of Commendation November 1966 Receiving "Letter of Commendation" in November 1966 from Captain J. S. Elkins Jr., Commanding Officer.
Installation of FRA officers, Branch #248 in 1964 Installation of FRA officers, Branch #248 in 1964. Chief Frank Tizzano being sworn in as President. I am the last on right with dark glasses.
Naval Station Rota newspaper on May 28, 1965. Memorial Day Services Arranged by Local Fleet Reserve Branch. This article appeared in the Naval Station Rota newspaper on May 28, 1965. Chief Frank Tizzano was president of FRA and my wife, Margo was vice president of LAFRA.
FRA Memorial Day services, 1965 Left to right: FRA Chaplain Mike Striebel, Secretary Gene Kuschel, President Frank Tizzano, LAFRA Vice President Margo Brown, Secretary Kay Canfield, Chaplain Ruth Ladue
LAFRA Vice President Margo Brown speaking LAFRA Vice President Margo Brown speaking.
FRA President Frank Tizzano speaking FRA President Frank Tizzano speaking.
FRA Secretary Gene Kuschel speaking FRA Secretary Gene Kuschel speaking.
Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association's, Branch 248 welcoming committee Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association's, Branch 248 welcoming committee. My wife, Margo is standing at the top and was President at this time.
Sammy Samaniego and Ken Brown advanced to DK1 This is me and Sammy Samaniego being presented a cake by the disbursing staff on our advancement to DK1. Notice the PO1 crows tacked to our t-shirts.
Advancement party at Ken & Margo's home An advancement party at our home in Rota.
Lynne in her Easter bonnet sitting on our 1950 Buick, 1965 Lynne in her Easter bonnet sitting our 1950 Buick. This was taken Easter Day, 1965.
Ann and Lynne outside our home in Rota. Ann and Lynne outside our home in Rota.
Easter 1965.
Ann's first communion, Base Chapel, 1965 Ann's first communion, Base Chapel, 1965.
Ann's first day of school 1965 Ann's first day of school 1965. This was on base at the school.
Ken & Margo's home in Rota, Spain Our home in Rota for two years. We lived in base housing the third year.
My old 1950 Buick My old 1950 Buick. A great car and served my family well. Due to the narrow streets in downtown Rota, you had to drive with two wheels on the sidewalk.
Rota Whirlaways Square Dance Club graduation night in 1965 "Rota Whirlaways" Square Dance Club graduation night in 1965. Margo is standing on the left dressed as a "flapper." I am kneeling in front of her.
Square Dance Club graduation night in 1965 Another graduation picture. Margo is on the right. This was a great square dancing group and we had lots of fund doing exhibition dancing...even in bullrings prior to the fight.
LAFRA Tour at Cruzcampo Brewery at Seville, Spain Tour at Cruzcampo Brewery at Seville, Spain sponsored by the LAFRA Unit #248.
Fleet Reserve Association, Branch #248 Bullfighter Days Fleet Reserve Association, Branch #248
"Bullfighter Days"
 Ken playing Santa Clause at Teenagers Christmas Party Me playing Santa Clause at Teenagers Christmas Party held at Base Housing Recreation Center in 1964.
Newspaper article about Ken Brown I'm not sure of the date on this article. I believe it was after an on-site inspection by navy auditors in late 1966.
Double "Honor Division" title goes to Disbursing and Inventory Divisions in February 1965. Double "Honor Division" title goes to Disbursing and Inventory Divisions in February 1965.
Naval Station, Rota from the sea, 1982 Entering the pier area at Naval Station, Rota from the sea. This photo was taken in 1982 while I was sailing with MSC aboard the USNS Waccamaw.
Pier area at Rota in 1982 Pier area at Rota in 1982.

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