US Naval Air StationPort Lyautey, Morocco

 

In June of 2012, Susan Winstead and her sister embarked on a trip to Spain and Morocco and were able to go to Port Lyautey/Kenitra on their way to Fez. However, they were unable to go on to the old Naval Air Station because they did not have clearance nor would the guards let them take any pictures in the gate area. Susan noted however that the base entrance still looks the same as it does in photographs on this website except that the circle driveway is now paved. Even the guardhouse looked exactly the same. She also said that Kenitra itself is very large but as they were only there for an hour, they only took a few photographs. Continuing, she said that In Kenitra, as in all the places they traveled in Morocco, they still utilize the very old/ancient structures which are mixed throughout the modern-day ones. You can round a corner and think that you have gone back several centuries to living on dirt floors, riding donkeys or using them to pull carts, filthy open-air markets, making everything by hand, etc. Then one block over is a high-rise apartment building full of fashionable people. Very disturbing contrasts.

Susan'a dad is Sherrill T. Ferguson, originally from Thomasville, NC, and now residing in Raleigh, NC. He was a Naval Reserve Ensign on his 1st tour of duty when he was sent to Port Lyautey in Nov. 1954. He was a Supply Corps officer attached to the Navy Exchange. Susan, quoting her dad, said, “his perilous duties included being in charge of the laundry, gas station and barber shop.” Once he was sent to Germany to pick up dolls and toys to sell at the Exchange for Christmas and he was flown to Maryland to get Christmas cards. Following are some photographs from the early 1950's and of her trip in 2012. Susan can be reached at susan@westbrookcary.com.

Naval Cadet Sherrill T. Ferguson, 1952

Traveling on board the ship General H. F. Hodges below, Susan related that "my mother and I joined her father in March 1955. I was only 9 months old at the time and we lived off base a couple of miles away. My family went back to NC in Feb. 1956. Unfortunately, the only name that my dad remembers from Morocco is that of Robert “Bob” Carew who was a Navy pilot. He and his wife and (numerous) children lived near us in Morocco. After Mr. Carew left the Navy, he worked for the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In 1968, his airplane (I think he was piloting) went missing over Lake Superior and was never found. My dad eventually made Commander in the Reserves and went inactive in 1969. He retired from the Reserves in 1990".

And a a traveler across the Atlantic, 9 month old Susan was inducted into the "Royal Order of Atlantic Voyageurs".

Photographs from 1955

My parents called my babysitter a fatima and said that her name was Zara. She carried me around on her back most of the time.

French Boutique. Notice the camel saddles on the street

Our home off-base


The above photos are in Susan's parents Morocco scrapbook and are of their neighbors. The men were Navy servicemen but unfortunately, Susan's parents did not remember any names.


Photographs from Kenitra 2012

This "Condo" complex is directly across the street from the base entrance.

A partial view of the city of Kenitra, much more expansive than what former servicemen will remember.

New building near the downtown area


Photographs from Fez/Marrakech 2012