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POSTED: 12/25/09 0730 hours

Hi, Very interesting site. I was part of a VC-6 deployment for about 6 mos in probably mid 1951. We lost a crewman from an AJ-1 crash off the Roosevelt.
Name was Lt. Richard Maybee ??. I understand that a building, at the airbase, was dedicated in his name. Never verified this. anyone know?

Chuck Seeber, ccseeber@att.net

POSTED: 11/22/09 2200 hours

Hi Lou,

I feel like I know you after spending several hours going through your very wonderful website. My Dad, Capt Bill Kopfler, CEC,USNR RET was in Port
Lyautey from 1954-1955 as Assistant Public Works Officer, under then CDR Sam Gill. I believe my Dad was either a LT or LCDR at the time. In reading the
Kenitra High School memories of the first class I got a laugh when they mentioned Mrs. Duborg, the base CO's wife as their teacher - she was my fifth
grade teacher!

Anyway, I have a bunch of slides from those days, mostly scenic, not of people if you are interested. My Dad is in the early stages of Alzheimers but is really enjoying the pictures on your site. He does remember Port Lyautey fondly, as does the whole family.

Thank you for your wonderful efforts,

Dixie Kopfler Susalla ~ Susamd@aol.com
12802 W Bajada Rd
Peoria AZ 85383 ~

POSTED: 11/21/09 1120 hours

Lou - I was plesantly surprised to find your site while browsing for squadron info.

I am an alumni of VR 24 stationed in Port Lyautey for about 18 months in 1955-57. I joined the Navy out of high school 1954 (Bangor, Maine). I did
boot at Bainbridge, Md and was sent to NAS Norman, Oklahoma end of August. From NAS Norman, Oklahoma to Millington (Memphis) and AT school end of
December. Finished AT school early summer 1955 and was shipped to NAF Port Lyautey, Morocco assigned to VR-24 as a AT. While in VR-24 I became an AT3 and flight time on the Squadron's R5D runs to the eastern Med and throughout Europe, besides maintaining ARC1, ARC5 ART13 and ART27
communications equipment and APX6 transponder. March or April of 1957 I joined FASRON-108 NAS Brunswick, MEa nd remained with the Squadron until I
got out the end of June 1958. I received training at NAS Norfolk on APS 28 and the MAD gear while in FASRON-108 and I would have reenlisted if could
have had another tour in Morocco. I still remember my Navy days and VR-24 and FASRON-108 fondly. I would like to find Jim Lutz a VR-24 electronics
shop buddy that I still owe $25 from a trip we took to Tangier in '56.

After enlistment I took advantage of the Korean GI Bill, went back to school and eventually had and still have a career in the satellite communications industry (now 48 years). I am retired from corporate life and presently have my own consulting business in commercial international satellite communications.

I have about 30 or so pictures taken while at Port Lyautey. Some of the 1955 VR-24 Christmas party held in Hanger 125. I can put them on a memory
chip and send them to you if you provide me with your mailing address.

Regards, -Carl Sederquist~ carl@midmaine.com

POSTED: 11/21/09 0630 hours

Hi Lou,

We were ship mates on the USS Randall when it left Rota, Spain to sail to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I was with the marine detacment. I remember flying with M.A.T.S to Rota. I was in Marine Barracks N.A.S. 58- 59. That one pic was the brig I spent a couple of nights there it was on the main road on the left just before you went down the hill towards gate # 1 (main gate) I would like to hear from some of the guys who played for the OLD MAN LT. COL Williams. I do have some pics but they are 35mm slides.

I went to Rabat a few times, I did not see any ruins, but I remember MOMMAS and the VCS, some times known as Vinnies coffe shop. Bars in Kenitra, REX BAR The CRYSTAL, JACKS especially the back room and last but not least the Petite taxis.

pvt, pfc, pvt, pfc TomCurran ~ ragmantmc@yahoo.com

POSTED: 11/16/09 0600 hours


My father, Howard Stanley MacDowell was stationed in Port-Lyautey, French Morocco. He was a Chief Electrician's Mate (CB) SV6 USNR Navy 214, Const.
Batt. Maint. Unit 566 from Jan. 31, 1944 thru Apr. 27, 1946. I have pictures of my father and the men that served under him. My father met my French
mother in Port-Lyautey. My grandmother and grandfather had a small cantina with 1 gas pump. My French Uncles (3 of them) all did their part in the French Military fighting the Germans. After my father was discharged from the Navy, he came back to Morocco as a contractor working at the Naval Station.

I was born in Port-Lyautey and came to the U.S. late 1951 on the SS Constitution. My memories of Morocco was not very good and my sister and I almost saw one of my Uncles being attached by a truck load of Moroccans. We screamed in fear that he was going to get killed. The Moroccans wanted gas for their truck, but didn't want to pay for it. The MP's came and the men ran into the woods across from the cantina. The Moroccans wanted the French to leave their country. By the end of 1951, half of my family came to America and the other half went back to France. My grandmother and grandfather left France because of what they endured during WWI, and that is the reason that they were in Morocco.

I would like to send you several pictures that I have. I am sure that other family members may want to see their family member who served when my dad was there. I am sure that most of them may have passed away by now. My dad passed in 1965.

Elizabeth MacDowell ~ BERGER254@aol.com

POSTED: 11/11/09 0900 hours

Dear Lou:

Just as an adjunct to the reply about Blackbushe airport....We (my bride and I) had the opportunity to ride the Port Lyautey station R4D and landed at Blackbushe to spend a week in London on R & R. It was at the same time as the Bulganin-Kruschev visit in April, 1956. We stayed at a charming boarding house on Baker Street where one key fit all the rooms and each room had a heater which was operated by inserting a Shilling for a period of heat.

We were at (in the crowd, that is) 10 Downing Street when the two Russian leaders visited the Prime Minister. I also landed at Blackbushe earlier on an R7V, Super Connie of VR-1 in July 1954 enroute from Pax River to Lyautey via Blackbushe, Naples and Port Lyautey. the attached picture is from that stop.


At the time I was fresh out of AG"A" School going to my first duty station at the Fleet Weather Central.

Lou, thank you so much for this site!

Ray Boylan, LT, USN (Ret.) ~ gateray@aol.com

Web Editor Note, See the e-mails below from Rob Belcher and John McIntyre.

POSTED: 11/10/09 2030 hours

Thanks very much Lou for posting the site-especially the images on p5 (http://www.portlyautey.com/PagGroup5.htm) with the TMC pictures. Awesome gear, wasn't it?!!!

Ed Tanton N4XY ~ n4xy@earthlink.net
189 Pioneer Trail
Marietta, GA 30068-3466

POSTED: 11/10/09 1934 hours

Web Editor Note, This e-mail is a response to the following e-mail from Rob Belcher in the UK.

Lou Demas has, through the courtesy of John Herndon (herndonjohn@hotmail.com), alerted us both to the substance of your inquiry and I have in hand a copy of your e-mail to him dated today.

I was the P4M pilot - actually one of a handful still living - with the longest tenure in the aircraft having served from early 1955 through the end of 1958. Originally established a small, semi-clandestine unit at Port Lyautey in 1953, the outfit became a detachment of a Stateside squadron in 1954 and we were commissioned as a full scale squadron on September 1, 1955. Our operations in those years hinged on the unique capabilities of the P4M as a hybrid jet/piston platform (speed/altitude/range) and the -1Q modification of the airframe to provide a half-dozen "stations" where operators could conduct both wide area and intensely focused passive electronic surveillance of "targets of Naval interest" (as the mission statement expressed it). In those days, the word "electronic countermeasures" was quite sensitive, and when the squadron was commissioned originally as Electronic Countermeasures Squadron Two, the cat was pretty well out of the bag.

I was at Blackbushe at least a dozen times from 1955 through 1958, each time conducting electronic monitoring of Soviet Naval activity through the Skagaarak. Whenever a Soviet Naval unit of interest transited the Skag outbound from the Baltic, we were "on her" for as much of the transit as we could safely endure, usually six to eight hours and usually, as I recall, at night when the units were most likely to employ their better radars.

We normally spent five or six days at a time there, hosted by FASRON 200, and we stayed routinely at the Ely House which has happy memories for all of us who are still vertical. We generally got a day in London out of it, riding the train from Camberly, and we were usually welcomed at Sandhurst if we had made the appropriate contacts.

I vividly recall, to this day, our stay at the Ely House over the 16th through the 20th of April 1956 which corresponded to two significant events. Bulganin and Khrushchev had transited the Baltic on the Soviet Cruiser Ordzhonikidze for their groundbreaking visit to the UK and we had shadowed it into Portsmouth. (While there, Lionel Crabb had - well, you know about the Crabb affair and that part of it is history.) More importantly, Grace Kelly was married on the 18th in Monaco and we all clustered around the "telly" in the Ely house to witness the first television broadcast of such an event from Europe to the UK. We had no TV in Morocco.

These flights into and out of Blackbushe continued through early 1958, as I recall, when we intensified our "business" in Eastern Europe, prepared to move to Spain, and began operating the A3D-1Q (EA-3) all jet aircraft.

This is a very brief response - perhaps more than you needed - but if you are honestly interested in VQ-2 operations, why not take a look at "The Last Boomerang" which is still available in print through Amazon. You might google it at Amazon and read the reviews and description. It will probably tell you more about VQ-2 in 1956 than you care to know.

Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail whenever..

John McIntyre (Captain, USN ret.) ~ VQplank@columbus.rr.com

POSTED: 11/10/09 1340 hours


Have come across your great Port Lyautey website and hope you might be able to help me. I'm a English historian who has been researching my local airport at Blackbushe near London . The airport was a NAF from 1954-1960 and had a comms squadron of FASRON 200 and was on VR-24's regular route. I have been lucky enough to find a former VR-24 pilot but the workings of VQ-2 are still a mystery. The P4M's of VQ-2 were regulars at Blackbushe from 1954-58 with often several at a time present. It was too regular an occurrence to just be visiting so I'm assuming they recovered there after missions. I would like to confirm this and find any crews that visited Blackbushe to find out more . Hopefully yourself or your readers maybe able to help, regards.

Rob Belcher ~ robby.b@ntlworld.com

POSTED: 11/06/09 0630 hours

I was an AOM 1/c serving at Port Lyuatey from March,1944 to March, 1945. I was assigned to the Advanced Combat Air Crew Training School as a flight gunnery instructor. (First Quonset hut at the bottom of the hill!) This lit the education bug under me and (after college) was a teacher (social sciences in secondary ed. and college) for 38 years!
George H. Stager ~ ghstager@comcast.net

POSTED: 11/04/09 1945 hours


I was stationed at NAS Operations from Feb. 1960 to Aug. 1961. Was a crew leader at the MATS air terminal. There are four of us living in Cleveland, GA, who were stationed in Port Lyautey at different times. Some were in VR-24.

I haven't checked out your website yet, but will now.


Gary Hawkinson ~ gmhawk1@windstream.net

POSTED: 11/04/09 0700 hours

Thanks for all the memories.

My name is Willie Neely I was stationed at Port Lyautey 1960-1961.I was a Seabee BUL3 upon arrival made BUL2 with the Publc Works Department.I worked in the maintenance division Carpenter Shop.

I rode a 650 BSA motorcycle as a member of the " Kenitra Ramblers".Still have my old license plate. Had an accident involving another motorcycle thankfully no one seriously hurt .Forgot most names but one friend that did office machine repair name is Bill W.Smith last known address Starkville Mississippi I have tried in vain to locate him.sure would appreicate any help in locating or learning about him .

Have wonderful memories of that time in my life. Thank you for your time and effort in maintaining this site. Would like to hear from anyone that may have known me or others during that time frame. wneely@frontiernet.net

POSTED: 10/31/09 2300 hours


My father, John Anthony Woolley was a US Navy CWO, Communications Officer. Our family lived in Sidi Yahia, Port Lyautey, for 1.5 years around 1954,
when I was 4

I remember Morocco well, playing in the forest, catching chameleons, watching Arabs on horseback firing muskets into the air, running behind military jeeps spraying DDT (not too wise), a locust storm, our 2 Arab maids, speaking French and so forth. Dad's tour was cut short due to my illness and we had to fly back Stateside, in a Constellation.

Would love to hear from anyone there around that time, it would be amazing if anyone knew my dad. He died in '98 and all his photos, 8mm film & tapes from our time in Morocco were lost, so I'm reaching out to others...

One name that rings a bell is Commander Greksouk.

Thanks and best regards

Cliff Woolley ~ cliffworks@gmail.com

POSTED: 10/31/09 2300 hours

A very interesting website. I was at Port Lyautey NAS with Navy VPB-114 May-July 1946 doing air-sea rescue and general flying around the Mediterranean. Apparently the installation didn't change too much over the years.Would be interesting to see if you turn up any more "old timers." I remember the Air Force photo B-17s. John Born, Absecon, NJ. ~ frajactabs@netzero.net

POSTED: 10/25/09 1040 hours

My father was stationed in Port Lyautey twice. The first time was from around 1952 to 1955 Mt sister was born there in February of 1954. We returned for a year in 1958. He was CMDR Robert Ronald Sparks and he was the CO of VQ 2. I don't know what he did during his 1st tour. I was just browsing the web after watching the movie Pearl Harbor and came across this site. I was very young and have little recollection of the 1st tour but do remember the second one.

The first time we lived "in town" for a while. We have movies of the camels and the local people walking down the road by our house. We then moved to the Quonset huts. We have lots of pictures of birthday parties there as well as the banana trees and white picket fences around the yards when we were there in '58 they had built new quarters. They were free standing stucco flat roofed buildings, which I remember as quite nice.

The Sheehans lived a few houses down and I played with Jessica Sheehan. I think her father's name was Bill and he may have been an attorney. I don't really know. I know my parents were out almost every night - the Navy folks really could party. My parents sent us to the base school briefly, but then shipped my brother Bob off to a boarding school in England and my sister and me to a French school an hour away. It was run by the Catholic nuns. It was great fun when the DDT trucks came by. All the kids ran out to experience the white cloud around us. It's a wonder that it didn't kill us all along with mosquitoes.

Anyway, being a little kid, I had little knowledge or interest in what my father did other than that he flew planes. Morocco was a very intense place to live. The poverty and cultural differences were profound and certainly gave me a perspective few people stateside could appreciate. Every day at sundown they played Taps and lowered the flag. I think of that whenever I hear Taps. We moved to Dayton Ohio in 1956 and eventually ended up in Keflavik Iceland where my father was the CO of the base. He was killed there in a helicopter crash in May 1965. Of course we were stateside within a week and immediately became "civilians". That took some getting used to. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any memories about either my father or their experience there.

Leslie Sparks. My email address is lsparks97034@yahoo.com

POSTED: 10/23/09 1040 hours

I was born in Kenitra, December 1968. My dad was stationed there, then I believe he was Lt. Sherrill E. Smith, aka Smitty. He is now retired Capt. Smith. He and my mother live in Gulfport, MS. They are both still very active with the Navy. They just had a Seabee reunion a few weeks ago. I would love to hear more about Kenitra.

Michelle Newquist ~ Newquist.Michelle@Brevardschools.org

POSTED: 10/17/09 2100 hours

I came through Port Lyautey in June 1953 on my way to Asmara, Eritrea, where I was to spend a two year tour of duty at USARS (Radio Marina). I
remember the civil unrest in the country at the time. They wouldn't let us go off base while we were laying over there.

Bob Hart ~ hart10527@netzero.net

POSTED: 10/17/09 2100 hours

I was stationed in BOUKNADEL from 1976-1977. Would like to here from GORDY GREENE , KENNY PALIZAY, OSTRUM , JAMES SMITH , FRENCHY DUPREE or any of the other guys . Also any of the orphan kids that were around when Mama Coats and Mama Doran were at the orphanage.
semper fi.

Paul Quintana ~paulmq01@yahoo.com

POSTED: 10/16/09 1630 hours

I was born in the Naval infirmary at Port Lyautey while my Dad was stationed there.

Richard Wright ~ richard@prairiebreeze.com

POSTED: 10/09/09 0730 hours

Love your web site. I was stationed there 1962-63. I worked in the Air Terminal.

I noticed one photo in particular, In Kenitra and Rabat scene, the one looking at the Rotunde and the Pharmacie across the street with the Bicycle at the curb. You and I must have sat at the same table at the Cafe Royal Milk. I have an almost identical picture, taken a couple years later. I have quite a few pictures of Kenitra and the base from '62-63 and have most of them scanned. If you are interested I would be more that glad to share.

I was close friends with the owner of the Royal Milk, Gabriel Pain (Gabbi) and his son, Gerard. When Gerard when into the French Air Force, Gabbi was afraid to walk home at night with the restaurants receipts. He offered me free room and board (his son's vacant room) if I would stay there night and accompany him home when he closed. I did that for the last couple of months I was over there.

Another buddy of mine, who was in the Crash Crew and I owned first a motorcycle, then a car, and traveled all over Maroc. Lost contact with him after I got out of the service in 63 but recently hooked up with him on the internet. It was like we had never been apart. I live now in Florida, and he bought a camper and he and his wife comesdown for a couple months each winter to spend time with my wife and I.

Let me know if you would like to look over some of the pictures I have.

Dick Allen


POSTED: 09/30/09 1900 hours

I found your website as I was looking for information for my mother. My mother and father, Richard T. and Trula B., were stationed there right after I was born ( I was born in Virginia) , dad was reassigned there two weeks after born. My sister was born there and unfortunately died there. I was looking for information for my mother. My father was in V-2Q 56’ -58, then went to Rota Spain. I love this, I have many pics of my time there as a little girl. I love all the stories. My father passed in 97. Wonderful site. My father was Richard Thomas Monkhouse aka Monk, Personelman Administration.

Sue Monkhouse ~ mom2dnm@comcast.net

POSTED: 09/21/09 2100 hours

I was very glad to find this website and read the interesting accounts and see all of the old pics. I was stationed at Sidi Yahia from 1970-1972 and lived the first year in Kenitra and the last year on base in Kenitra. I enjoyed the work and traveled extensively throughout the country. I enjoyed the culture and meeting the people. Our daughter spent the time as a child during our tour. My wife equally enjoyed our time in country. This turned out to be our best tour during my time in the Navy. I still have a lot of items in our home that was brought back from our time in Morocco.


Meaux Thornton CTTC USN Retired, meauxg@yahoo.com

POSTED: 09/21/09 2200 hours

I was stationed in Port Lyautey from 1958 to 1960. I started at SidiYahia receiver site as Electronics Technician Seaman. I was there for about 6 months then after I made 3rd Class, got transferred to the Air Station as a Microwave Link Tech maintaining the link equipment in the Admin building.

That equipment was the main teletype and voice link between the Air station and the communications sites at NCSBOUKNADEL & NCSSIDIYAHIA. Sometimes I was holed up in there for hours because right outside the room was the Commanding Officers conference room, and sometimes those conferences went on for hours. If I had to pee, I either held it to bursting or improvised something, ha,ha...

I was able to bring my wife over after I made 3rd class. At first we were living in town in an apartment behind a big house where they stored and delivered charcoal. After about 6 months we moved across town to an apartment building on the 3rd floor, which was a little better living. I was on call 24/7 and always had the Shore Patrol coming after me to take me to the Air station and fix the problem. Later, I was fortunate enough to get a billet housing on base in one-half of a Quonset hut up by the EM club and theater. I remember the cockroaches there, you would open your dish cabinet and have to chase them away to get to the dishes. We could never get coordinated with the other half to get rid of them. We would spray our side and chase them the the other side, then they would spray and chase them back.. There was a big gap on the floor between the two sides, so the cockroaches had an easy path to run back and forth.

Our first son was born there at the station hospital. I remember the gedunk truck with the hot dogs, onions and relish, what a treat. We did visit a few places, Rabat, Marrakesh, and Gibraltar, but I think like everybody else, all you could think about was how long do I have left before I can leave this place. Hindsight says we should have done more, but.....What a trip this has been..enjoyed your site...and reminiscing...

Sid Hoopes ~ juscrzn@sbcglobal.net

POSTED: 09/19/09 0800 hours




POSTED: 09/17/09 1700 hours

Hi Lou,

I was stationed at the NCS Sidi Yahia from '67 til 70. Had a blast there. I remember the good ballgames we had (flag football) and all the baseball games. The trips around the country side. Also the week long vacation on the CostaDelSol in Spain. I was a CYNSN just out of school, worked in the Commsta.

I remember my good friend Jake Bowen, Ken Barrington, Michael Sessions, Terry Braithwaite, Phillip and his brother from Wis. And many more.Sailors
and Marines that were friends.

Thanks for the great website that brings back so many good memories.

Would love to hear from all of the old gang from that era.


Michael 'Rabbit' Hare


Austin, Arkansas

POSTED: 09/15/09 0950 hours

Anyone still alive that was associated with VB 132 give send me a "Hi There"

Lawrence Gandsey (VB 132) 1944

POSTED: 09/09/09 0600 hours

hm2 bruce rott here. stationed at sidi from may 74- oct 75. would like to hear from anyone who misses those great times we shared. also looking for cheif robert boyd who served with in sick bay.


POSTED: 09/05/09 2230 hours

Hello Lou,

I found your Port Lyautey site again and had to write. I was born in Kenitra, November 1969. My dad, Lendell L. Starling, USN was stationed there (with my mom, Susan) until January, 1970. I would love to hear from others who were born at Port Lyautey around the same time frame or from anyone who remembers my dad. I would love to surprise him with some old memories from his last Navy duty station.

Best regards and thank you for a great guest-book!

Melissa Starling

POSTED: 09/05/09 2230 hours


My uncle -- Grant Lawrence -- was stationed at NAVSECGRUDEPT at Sidi Yahia from 1956 to 1958. Would love to hear from anyone who might remember him. He died in Jan 1995 and is buried in Riverside National Cemetery in California.

Best wishes,

Cynthia Shockley ~ cynthiashockley@coastalnet.com

POSTED: 09/01/09 1620 hours

Greetings Lou,

Please update my Guestbook listing - Posted 08/29/02 0630 hours - and change tlepnav@televar.com to read Remington_Raider@yahoo.com as I would very much enjoy hearing from fellow members stationed there. I've actually recieved contacts from this site and have enjoyed each one of them.

Thanking you in advance for your help and assistance.


E. E. Van Pelt Jr.

POSTED: 08/31/09 2200 hours

Hi there. My mom just sent me your link. I was born on that navel base in 1969. My dad's name was Thomas E. Lynn. Did anyone serve with him? If so, would like to hear from you. My moms name was Dianne Lynn. Did anyone hear her screaming on June 26th, 1969 while giving birth? If so, would love to hear from you too.. :-) Thank you for the web site dedication. Very nice!!

Sandy ~ kiesha@windstream.net

POSTED: 08/31/09 0930 hours

I am Darrell Mullinix. I served as Marine Guard at Port Lyautey from early jan 1962 until nov. 62. I was sent home early as i was involved in a shooting at back gate that resulted in the death of a Morrocan national. This was my first duty station and I would like to hear from any other servicemen that may remember the incident at back gate. I would like to know the name of the man i killed. All records were removed from my records to protect me. I was a PFC and the shooting occured oct 6th and I left the base nov 30th.


POSTED: 08/31/09 0900 hours

I was stationed in kenitra morocco in l966 I worked the office with master gunnery sargeant williams I also handled the mail room. We were issued a leather key fob worn on the breast pocket I have never seen one again I just know we were all issued one. Does anyone know the name of this fob and where a person can get one? I remember going to portugal with a fellow marine and going to the club off base listening to a band where a member of the band used to be part of the beatles. I wish I could remember the name of the people I served with but I don't if anyone remembers me or has info one this fob ribbon please contact me. Lee padilla.


POSTED: 08/27/09 0700 hours

Hi Lou - great job on this site, by the way.

I was at Port Lyautey from March 55 through October 58 and probably had more time in VW-2A and VQ-2 and in the P4M-1Q than anyone in the world, but I got the same posting also and deleted it almost immediately. Do you have any info on who this person is and/or what's going on?

John McIntyre ~ Bravoz@columbus.rr.com

POSTED: 08/26/09 1500 hours










Harvey Moore, HMoore7578@aol.com

Web Editor Note! Any recipient of the type of e-mail that Harvey has received regarding a profile should not reply. It is a scam! The sender has copied the e-mail addresses in the Guestlog and is generating e-mail.

POSTED: 08/23/09 0700 hours

I have wanted to write this letter for years. The years fly by so fast and life is so full and busy that I now feel I'd best write this before any more time passes since I am 84 now.

Last November 8th I celebrated in my heart the landing of troops in North Africa. At the time we were French protectorates and we were occupied by German troops. As they did in other countries, they took everything from us. My parents were very intelligent, broad minded, generous, philanthropists. They happily welcomed many U.S. soldiers and sailors into our home showing them hospitality, kindness and love. In turn these young men returned such joy to us. My name is Nony. My sisters names were Andrea, Mimi, Helene and Marie Claire Angelica. My brothers names were George and Jean Pierre. We also had Janine and her brother Jean from France.

All have passed except Jean Pierre, Marie Claire and myself, Nony. Perhaps someone will see this message and would have some information about the three names I remember or if there may be some that rememeber those days in Kenitra, Morocco.

Here are the names I remember:

Edward C. Haines - Wichita, Kansas
Jeremy Dickerson - an army photographer
Andy Anderson

I can be contacted via jeriyaz@aol.com


Nony Campillo Peterson

POSTED: 08/23/09 0700 hours

Hi Lou,

Great site. I was stationed at Morocco-US Naval Training Command'. We had a group of Navy and Marine instructors that taught classes in English and then communications, electronics. Getting in a trailer with Moroccan soldiers in the middle of summer was "interesting" I arrived there as part of a plane crew during the 7-day war in 1967 between Egypt and Israel. I was coming from 2 years in Iceland and had no summer uniforms.

Two of the people from school was Buzz Sawyer (TOP) USMC. Major Parachi?? ran the school.

In security was Dick Flemming EOC (passed away about two years ago), Jack Lapeco??? BMC.

Jim Gutberlet RMC was at SIDI. Jim had just started to work with me at Control Data in Minn. Had a heart attack and died (1974) left Dee and 5 Kids. I had to tell Dee.

Before I got there, I had a good friend Brad Brink, ran the Post office. He also worked at the Fleet Club in Kenitra. Brad past away year ago Feb.Just after he and Joan celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

I use to show movies on the base, worked as a manager in the Chief's club and lived two house down from the club.

My son John and Billy Hollway tried to burn down the golf course, after Billy's father BM1 told them how to get rabbits out of a hole.

Beverly and Col. Wertsel?? ran the marine group on the base.

Interesting to see pictures from Louis Bowen, Ellijay, Ga. I live about 40 miles from him in Blairsville, Ga. Don't think we are related, but it is a small world.

Kind of rambling on. Again great site

Freeman (Bud) Bowen ETC Ret.

POSTED: 08/14/09 2215 hours

Great Site! My name is Jerry Blaine and as a Marine I was stationed at Bouknadel 1974 - 1975. Was Platoon Sergent for time, Shore Patrol, Cpl. & Sgt. of Guard, Supply, etc etc etc. Would love to hear from fellow marines. jerry_b_blaine@hotmail.com.


POSTED: 08/04/09 0820 hours

I was so excited to find your site. My father, William Arnold Taylor, USN, was stationed at Port Lyautey from 1956-1959. We lived off base until I started to school in 1958. I recently found 8mm film from our time there and know very little about the places that are recorded. Both of my parents are deceased and no one to ask.

I would like to travel to Morocco, but not sure how to proceed. Can remember visiting the cork forest, Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Atlas Mountains. Any advice?

Thank you,
Carmen Sandifer ~ sandifer_carmen@yahoo.com

POSTED: 08/03/09 1020 hours

Hi, I was a YN stationed at RTF Bouknadel in early 1975, then I was moved to NCS Sidi Yahia, where I worked in the admin office and in personnel. When NCS closed I was transferred to NTC Kenitra where I did nothing but process transfer orders for enlisted personnel until NTC closed. I extended my enlistment one month to finish the job, and was separated from the Navy the day I left Morocco in September 1978. I spent a total of three years, six months and 21 days in Morocco and loved every minute. I made a lot of good friends, and I remain in contact with several. However, I've always wondered what happened to one friend: UT2 John Pecci. I believe he was from New Jersey. I'd love to hear from John if anyone knows how to contact him. My email: osocal@hotmail.com. Hal (Howie) Coburn (ex-YN2). Thanks.

POSTED: 08/02/09 1030 hours





Kenny Croy ~ kcroy@cfifl.com

POSTED: 07/23/09 0640 hours

Hi Lou,

I was stationed at NTC Morocco from 11/74 to 8/76. I was a corpsman so of course I worked at the hospital on the hill. I also worked in the pharmacy for sometime. My last job there was lifeguard at the base pool. I remember lots of partying and lots of great people. Saw Europe and Morocco at the Navy's expense and had a wonderful time doing it. Some of the people I remember, Ed Lafferty, Ray Hefley, Marty Kerr, Melanie Tary, Walley Waddel, Dan Jack, Dr.Campana, Dr.Dandridge. I was discharged after leaving Kenitra. This really was one of the best times of my life. I would love to go back some day.

Randy Walters

E-mail : rinkweed@yahoo.com

POSTED: 07/09/09 2035 hours

Hi Lou

I was stationed at Port Lyautey in 1962-64

JERRY KAUTZ, e-mail: uccmjwk@msn.com

POSTED: 07/01/09 1015 hours

I was stationed at the Naval Air Base in 1952 and spent 19 months there before being sent back to the States. I was attached to FASRON 104. When they found out I could type I was stuck in a Quonset Hut for a little over a year before I finally got out and into the hangar working in the Engine Build Up area. Being in a service outfit we were not securred when a Sirocco (sp?) hit and I really think you could have fried an egg on any plane or the Quonset Hut roof when one of these came through. The second summer one morning I noticed the wind was not coming off the ocean and immediately put in for Special Liberty and went to the beach. When I got back to the barracks some of the newer fellas said you really picked a good day for Liberty. I told them I was here last summer and I knew what was coming. I enjoyed the country and the sights, got to visit Tangiers, Casablanca and Rabat. It was a good education and experience for me as a young kid. During the time I was stationed there the base was still a work in progress, the Sea Bees were living in tents while working on the base. I went on my first plane ride from there on a plane being ferried to the carrier Roosevelt that was quite an experience. Now I live in Wisconsin, USA

Roland Essig ~ printmaster@hnet.net

POSTED: 06/25/09 1840 hours

USN Seabee Pt Lyautey;
Bob/Joan DeDecker have changed to jobob414@verizon.net
Ferd/Joan Neumann

POSTED: 06/21/09 0840 hours

Dear Friends,

After almost four years living in the Marrakech Médina, I am moving to an apartment in the modern part of Marrakech, not far from the Majorelle Gardens . I am exchanging exoticism and local color for security and convenience.

My new address is :

Appt. 20
Résidence Yasmine
43, avenue Yacoub El Mansour
40000 Marrakech
Maroc - Morocco

Chers amis,

Après presque quatre ans dans la médina de Marrakech, je déménage dans un appartement dans la partie moderne de la ville, pas loin des Jardins Majorelle. Je troc l'exotique et la couleur locale contre la sécurité et la facilité.

Ma nouvelle adresse est :

Appt. 20
Résidence Yasmine
43, avenue Yacoub El Mansour
40 000 Marrakech
Maroc - Morocco

Téléphone fixe : +212 (0)5 24 37 59 68
Portable : +212 (0)6 77 35 21 53
Blog : http://craigbenedgar.blogspirit.com/

POSTED: 06/20/09 2040 hours

It is my privilege to inform everyone that our prayers and hard work are over.


Yes, that is correct with all our hard work and all our prayers we all made it happen.

We cannot THANK YOU all enough for everything you have done to help us win this battle.

James is home and is resting, and receiving medical treatment. All of you who know Jean know that James is receiving the best cooking and TLC possible.

Thank you all for everything and we will keep you update.

God Bless & Thank You
James Willson and Family

Web Editor Note! While James Douglas Willson was touring in Spain by private plane, the Pilot needed to make an emergency landing in Morocco. James Willson had been held prisoner in Morocco since May 7,2008 on various charges. For an account of James Willson's imprisonment in Morocco please contact:

Marilyn Willson

POSTED: 06/20/09 2040 hours

This is just to mention that my good friend, Colin Winters, who was an ET1 at both Sidi Yahia and Sidi Bouknadel, from about 1952 to 1958, passed away in 2007, in Washington state. I just thought that anyone that has viewed this website and was there at that time, might have known him. Personally, I was an AC2 in the control tower there at P/L from 1953 to 1955 and Colin and his wife, Norma, were our "across the street" neighbors on the 3rd level at Media Beach. Ed Clayton. pono3006@aol.com.

POSTED: 06/19/09 2200 hours


I don't know if you have already heard, but it is with profound sadness that I report to you that Pete Owen died during the early morning hours of 15 June 2009. Pete followed in death, Ruth Owen, his wife and beloved partner of sixty-six years, who died on 9 September 2008. Pete and Ruth spent a remarkable eleven years in Port Lyautey. He had been in failing health for the last year, and especially since Ruth passed away last September. I had visited him on Saturday, 13 June. He was awake and mostly coherent during the several hours I was with him and we talked at length about old times in VR-24. His sister-in-law, Margaret McConnell had been coming down from her home in Auburn, CA on increasingly frequent and extended visits over the past three years to look after Ruth, then Pete. She came down on Sunday and was with him most of the day, and was nearby when his caregivers notified her of his passing.

Pete was assigned to VR-24 for a total of nine years, probably longer than any other member. The other two years Pete spent in Morocco were in VW-2 Det Able, which later became VQ-2.

Dick Prather, VR-24 website manager

Web Editor Note! I am deeply saddened to learn of Pete's death. I had met and spoken with him a few times at both the VR-24 reunion in San Diego and the Port Lyautey Alumni Association reunion in Reno, NV. Oddly, while we were both at Port Lyautey at the same time, we never met. He was a treasure test of anecdotes and history of events at Port Lyautey and contributed these stories as well as photographs to this Port Lyautey website. Pete was an extremely likeable person, open, friendly and humorous. I pray that the good Lord has reunited him and his beloved Ruthie eternally.

POSTED: 06/12/09 2200 hours


I was stationed at Sidi Yahia from Jun of 71 to Jan of 77. I worked at the Tropospheric Scatter site and married a Morccoan girl named Rahma and we are still happily married. My name is Robert J. Brown and I retired as an Electronics Technician Chief in 1989.

Regards, Robert ~ rjbobbrown@msn.com

POSTED: 06/09/09 0500 hours

Spent 2 years there from 63 to 65
Barry Halpern AD3 ~ barry@driveaway.com

POSTED: 06/02/09 2200 hours

From: "Gerard A. Cartier" gac12@verizon.net
Date: June 2, 2009 11:20:19 AM EDT
To: loudemas@naisp.net
Subject: WW11 Duty Station Port Lyautey, Fr. Morocco

As a result of ten comrades going AWOL prior to our -Fleet Air Wing 15-departure for overseas duty in December 1944 to parts unknown (later found out was Gualdalcanal which was to be of tragic consequences. Lost 12 B-24s of 15 aircraft. Survivors were sent to Port Lyautey in November 1944.), I, one of ten, was selected to replace them.

We arrived in Casablanca in Decemberof 1943 and found out we were not on any roster. Complete strangers to anyone. We were quartered in a camel barn with French newspapers as blankets. Our seabags were not with us. Later sent to Port Lyautey and arrived there on December 7, 1943. We were not known there either. I was re-assigned to stateside duty on December 7,1944. Coincidence.

My experiences after we finally got accepted.
1. Lived in tents until the SEABEES completed the barracks.
2. Assigned to Shore Patrol (everyone on base had this assignment).
3. Being fluent in the French language, became an interpreter, which provided opportunities to see Fr. Morocco; went on hunting trips with top brass (imagine an AMM3c in control); met the Sultan of Morocco and visited his palace in Rabat.
4. As an escort to Hollywood types, showed Humphrey Bogart and others, the neighborhood.
5. Guard Duty. Assigned duty on D-Day (June 6, 1944) was to guard prominent Nazi officials of V-1 rocket fame going to America.
6. Guard duty on the perimeter of the base to prevent local Arab and French citizens from stealing food and equipment.
7. Guard Italian prisoners; went to outdoor movies with them; learn to drive vehicles from them.
8. Watched the deployment of blimps on base.
9. Talked a tugboat captain out of doing his scouting duty on the Wadi Sebou. (Long story).
10. As an Aviation Machinist Mate, worked on B-24s, PV-1s, PBY's.
11. Detained in Spanish Morocco as a prisoner of war.

This is what I would call luck of the draw.

POSTED: 05/29/09 1610 hours

My name is Dave Byrd, My Father Willian C. Byrd brought our family to Port Lyautey to work a civilian Contractor job teaching procedures for the radar stations in 1960. I went to 1st grade in Kenitra, then second in Sidi Slimane. I still have my 1st grade yearbook with some pictures around the base and other locations.

I have many wonderful memories of our time there, watching movies in the open air theatre on Lyautey, Starting at the beach in Kenitra, driving accross the desert and up the Atlas mountains to snow ski, discovering exotic foods with locals and visiting Rabat and other cities there. I remember the the highway along the beach in Kenitra packed with Moroccans carrying torches the evening King Muhammed V died. We had been to the movies and were returning to our house on the beach in Kenitra when our car was stopped and searched then released and we slowly made our way through the sea of mourners to the house. On another occasion I was in the theater watching a movie on Sidi Slamane when the Base exchange caught fire bring the movie to a halt while we watched it burn. One day I hope to return as a tourist to a beautiful country. I have some more photos of our time there if anyone is interested. Thanks for the look back, keep up the good work.

Dave Byrd ~ fishnlady@earthlink.net

POSTED: 05/29/09 0615 hours

Hello Lou,

Thanks much for keeping the records of Port Lyautey alive. My Father CDR. George Wadleigh (believe he was a lieutenant at the time) was stationed at the Weather center there from 1959-1962. I was born at Port Lyautey in 1961. My family always spoke well of their time in Morocco saying it was one of the best stations they had been assigned. I wonder how many other Port Lyautey born folks are there I have never met anyone who knew of the base yet but I bet there are a lot of us!

Bill Wadleigh ~ wadleighs@cfu.net

POSTED: 05/28/09 2100 hours

Thank you Lou! JERRY G. KELLEY, AE-2, VC-5. I was a member of VC-5 from 1952 - 1955, and deployed to Port Lyautey twice for 6 month tours. I reported to JOHN BAYKO, CPO who ran the electric shop. 'Great people, wonderful memories despite the AJ-1 s. We operated from a corrugated tin hanger built by the Germans during WWII at the bottom of the hill. It would be great to hear from those who were members of VC-5 at any time. I have ADM "CHICK" HAYWARD'S book, and heard all the stories from the plank owners who served before me--a very special group of men. Actually I had a company in Miami build a beautiful AJ-1 model for me. I have many, many 35 mm slides of those days, and black and white photos that I developed in the hobby shop. I'm in the real estate business near JACKSONVILLE, FL in PONTE VEDRA BEACH.

POSTED: 05/26/09 0615 hours


Enjoyed looking through your pictures, I lived in Port Lyautey as a child, My father Henry T Shelly Sr now deceased was the Shore Patrol Officer at NAF from 1948 thru 1951 or 52. Not real sure about the dates but do remember bits about the facility.

Henry T Shelly Jr.~ seawolf66@gmail.com

POSTED: 05/21/09 2200 hours

I was stationed at Sidi Yahia and Sidi Bouknadel for 18 months in 1962-3. I was from New York State and now live in Florida. The weather is about the same as Morocco. I remember going out to hang up clothes in my civies when the temp was about 60 degrees and didn't feel cold, because the humidity is so low there. I have some 8mm movies that I took while on base, if you're interested. Also have tape recordings of my fellow swabbies. I figured they decommissioned the base, because if you look up the location on google maps, it's a empty spot on the desert.

Ron Volbrecht ~ rvolbrecht@aol.com

POSTED: 05/10/09 0630 hours

I was a Seabee (CE2) stationed at the NCFT site in Bouknadel in 1957/58 serving with base maintenance, mostly in the base power plant. The plant had 5 diesel generators, three on line at all times and two in reserve. I also drove a school bus to the air base in Port Lyautey bringing the school kids there. I also worked on the telephone system and other general base maintenance. Our CO was a Captain Brooks. We also had a Warrant Officer by the name of Ackerman who was a great guy.

I met my wife there who is of French descent and worked as a secretary in the power plant office for civil service. We were married in Port Lyautey on 14 August 1957, and spent a week long honeymoon in Tangiers. We are blessed to be together for 52 years and have 4 children, 9 grand children and 1 great grand daughter. We have resided in Michigan since being honorably discharged from the Navy, and winter in Florida. I still have some photographs from Morocco and could share them if anyone is interested.

Bernie, Berniemax@aol.com

POSTED: 05/03/09 1845 hours

My name is (James Manier) I was station at port lyautey in 1959-1960, worked in the crash crew.Question do you know where a person could get information concerning a reunion. I've never heard nothing about the air station since i left in 1960.

James Manier ~ manier1938@frontiernet.net

POSTED: 04/28/09 1920 hours

Paul or Steve Huston CT Seaman to CT2 in 18 months. Can't remember a lot of details from this experience, but met a lot of good people and had time to mature in an excellent enviornment. The military provides a wonderful place for young people to grow-up and learn the responsibilities necessary for a successful lifestyle. I offer the ultimate respect to those who have lost their lives or limbs in this effort. Our country couldn't have reached its' current status, without the militarys exceptional efforts.


POSTED: 04/26/09 2030 hours

Lou, I was thinking of Port Lyautey this week because my daughter was born there in May of 1959 and will be 50 next month. I had promised to take her back to see it, but we could never arrange it. I decided to look it up on the internet to see if there were any pictures to show her when I found your wonderful site. I was stationed there from July of 1957 to Dec. of 1959. I was an Ensign right out of Navy Supply School and Lyautey was my first duty station. I had many wonderful jobs there including base purchasing officer, storage officer, special services officer, a six month stint in crypto and other miscellaneous positions. My best memories were playing and coaching the base basketball team. In 1958 we were the Cincnelm Basketball Champions. We were sent back to the States to compete in the All Navy Championships at Newport, Rhode Island. We had nine players and and an equipment manager. We played against power house teams like Great Lakes, Davisville Seabees, Lakehurst Air Station all who had many college players. We finished second and were heroes when we returned to Lyautey. That was the time of President Eisenhower's People to People Program and the State Department used us as good will ambassadors. We played games against local French and Moroccan teams in Tangiers, Casablanca and Marrakesh. After my four years of active duty I stayed in the Navy Reserves and retired as a Commander. I would love to here from anyone who might remember those times. Thanks again for your work. Regards, Ethan Weiss ~ peweiss@comcast.net

POSTED: 04/24/09 2220 hours


My father Dennis Louis Hernandez who passed away on November 30, 2008 was stationed at Port Lyautey, French Morocco and worked at the Naval
Communication Facility from August 17 1953 to April 13 1954 when it was shifted to Sidi Yahia. His rating was a TE (Teleman) and was promoted to
the rank of TE3 while there. He departed French Morocco March 3, 1955. He arrived at Port Lyautey via USNS Geiger (T-AP 197) and left via MATS.
My father then left the Navy in 1962 and joined the U.S. Department of State and he returned back to Morocco in August of 1974 with his family.
He served at U.S. Embassy in Rabat to July of 1978. I remember that we attended the closing of the base at Sidi Yahia as he was the guest of honor there. My father had wonderful memories of Morocco as he always talked about his time over there as well as my brother and myself. Morocco was a wonderful country.


Patrick Hernandez ~ ordnancesgt@yahoo.com

POSTED: 04/24/09 1550 hours


In 1962, my father, Melvin Norris (Retired E7), was stationed at Sidi Yahia (NCS) in Kenitra. I was born in the military hospital there. I was hoping to see some pictures on your website that showed what the city of Kenitra looked like. My mother said that the hospital was not on the Navy base, but in the city of Kenitra. Anyway, I sure appreciated reading all of the historical formation you have posted - I would like to visit Morocco someday with my husband.

Thank you,
Laura Shainian ~ lshainian@yahoo.com

POSTED: 04/21/09 1550 hours

Dear Lou:

I’ve read every post and don’t know why I have waited so long to write my own entry. I was stationed in Kenitra from July, 1975 – October, 1976. If I wasn’t in a rush to return to my boyfriend, now husband of 31 years, I know I would have extended my tour. I ended up going to NAS Pensacola - the real Navy. What a letdown after Morocco. Living in Morocco was the first time I was out of the country. For about 3 months, I kept repeating out loud, I can’t believe I’m in Africa! I joined the Navy to see the world. This was my chance and I loved it. I met some wonderful people there, American and Moroccan. I’d love to hear from some of the WAVES that were stationed there since there weren’t that many of us at the time. I was a PNSN, then PN3. I worked in Personnel with Chief Hammond, PN1 Robert , “titivate your area” Eckhart, Marshall Coleman, Ricky Bell, Mark Abbott, and probably some others I can’t recall. Melanie, Linda, Maryanne, Elaine (FiFi), Marsha, I’d love to hear from you. After I got out I was a military dependent and spent 3 years in Gaeta, Italy. That was great too, especially the part where I didn’t have to work. If anyone reads this and remembers me please drop me a line. I live in Alabama now, but as you probably recall, I’m from Massachusetts. Susan (Pollak) Teal. ssteal@knology.net

POSTED: 04/20/09 2200 hours

Hello Lou,

First, please allow me to thank you very much for all the effort you've put into this site! By now, I'm sure you know the kindness and good you've done for many people, myself being one of them.

My name is Laura Osband, daughter of Mike Osband. I no longer remember all the acronyms, but my Papa was a USN cryptologist at Port Lyautey in the late 1950's. I was born there December 10, 1959. I have no memory of the base, of course, only my Papa's photos and his stories. He passed away 7 years ago, so I no longer hear the stories and I've forgotten the names of his friends that were in the photos with him. Still, it's lovely to read the things written by those that were stationed at Port Lyautey and I thank you! Who knows, perhaps some of them once knew my Papa and have a kind thought for him now.

Kind regards,
Laura Osband ~ laura.e.goodman@us.abb.com

POSTED: 04/17/09 2230 hours

It is good to see a web page for Kenitra. I was there from May 1970 to June 1972 as part of the Air Force Liaison team.

John Hamilton, CMSgt, ret ~ Sacman38@aol.com

POSTED: 04/15/09 0800 hours

Looking for anyone associated with the P-4-M squadron at Port Lyautey during period of Fall 1951 to late Spring 1952. I was flight surgeon attached to squadron but had to get my flight time with other outfits because I was "too valuable" to go on radar mapping missions with the P-4-M planes. There were ordinarily four planes at one time with another squadron in Japan doing similar mapping of eastern Soviet radar defenses in Siberia, etc.

There is going to be a Cold War Museum and one exhibit should be about the P-4 M crews. Would like to get names and experiences of the guys who actually were in these planes. I only flew around the base, "cleared" the guns and played pilot. Ordinarily, I just took care of pilots of VR 24, dependents who were in Morocco, SeaBees, etc. I kept my knowledge of purpose of squadron from even my wife for over 20 years until articles about "ferret planes" appeared in aviation magazines. Would like to retrieve info about what we did and submit it to Cold War Museum.

Dr. Bill McCarty ~ willmcart@aol.com

POSTED: 04/08/09 0720 hours

Lou --

Just saw your Port Lyautey website. Brought back memories.

I did not see VP-3 (Huskies) in the list of squadrons. We were deployed there from Jacksonville for six months - 1952-53.

Keep up the good work.

Keith W. Harmon (AL2) ~ de8e95@windstream.net

Web-Editor Note! VP-3 posted in the History link of squadrons who served at Port Lyautey. Click here for a photograph of the VP-3 Squadron Flight Line in North Africa.

POSTED: 04/05/09 2045 hours

Lou, First of all, thanks for setting up this nice site. I enjoyed reading the e-mails from people who served in Pt. Lyautey and Sidi Yahia. Looks like a lot of them enjoyed their tours in Maroc. I know I did mine. I was an CTO Brancher in Bravo Section from 1957 to 1959 right after a tour on Adak. Out of the deep freeze into the frying pan. The Navy had a great sense of humor, eh? By the time I got to Sidi, my old buddies from IB, Bob Carlson, David Gray, Jim Abright and John Lien, were getting set to transfer to DC, but they had time enough left to see to it that I received the proper "orientation" to the country: Mama's Night Club, the Rotunda Hotel bar, the pool at the Mimora Hotel in Pt. Lyautey, and the beach just out of town, the movies at Sidi Slimane AFB, Rabat and half it's bars, plus the evils of the medina and the Little Grass Shack. One of the best things about duty there was the two eves, two days, and two mids, then four days off, watch schedule. To work with Chief Carl Feusahrens and numerous other outstanding people was an added benefit and definitely my pleasure. If any of my shipmates read this, I hope they will get in touch with me.
Max Andrew, NavSecGru legend
Reno, Nevada

POSTED: 03/31/09 1510 hours

hi to everyone i served with at sidi yahia and kenitra. my name is bruce rott hm2. i was in morrocco from 5/74 until 10/75. spent my first two months as a lab tech at the hospital in kenitra and the rest of my time as a hospital corpsman at sidi yahia. just looking for anybody else who i might have run into at that time. still remember the chow hall. good food. drop me a line. thanks. bruce rott ~ blrott@tds.net

POSTED: 03/30/09 2200 hours

Dear Mr Lou Demas,

I have just stumbled across your website and am thrilled. I was born at Port Lyautey in September 1954. Of course, I would be delighted to learn of any adult who was there at the same time. My father and mother are Frank and Elizabeth Blade.

Thank you so very much.

Arlene Blade ~ arleneblade@hotmail.com

PS: My mother always told me I was born in a Quonset hut. Could that be true?

POSTED: 03/29/09 2130 hours

I was stationed at the transmitter site from Jan 77 to Nov 77..

Harlan Andreasen, e-mail: handreasen@comcast.net

POSTED: 03/26/09 0735 hours

Nice thought here, Lou. I came over to NAS Port Lyautey with Heavy Attack Squadron Nine from NAAS Sanford, Florida in December of 1955. Supposed to be a six month deployment. Shortly thereafter, I put in for a communications transfer to Bremerhaven, Germany. BUPERS must have been delighted when they found an excess Teleman in an Air Squadon! I was transferred immediately to NCF Sidi Yahia. Didn't like being in the boonies. Liked Porst Lyautey a lot. Beautiful little town. Did a lot of drinking there. La Rotanda., MaMA's, etc. The women are beautiful there! Suspect they still are! Maybe it was because I was nineteen and twenty years old! The back streets of the town were so beautiful and peaceful. I can still smell the charcoal smoke that permeated the place in the fall. Left there for Charleston and discharge in August of 957. Took thirty days leave up through Europe, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and England. Met a lot of fine guys. We were probably a little wild, but straight arrows compared to a lot of youth of today. I tell people about my Port Lyautey experience. "Worked hard, played hard, drank hard and saved the world for democracy!" If anyone was in VAH9 or NCF Sidi in the time I was there, please give me an e-mail. David Lafayette TE2, dlafayette@comcast.net.

POSTED: 03/17/09 1115 hours

I was based in Gibraltar from August 1952 till November 1953. I was employed as a morse code (CW) wireless operator working a number of channels.

One channel was to Port Lyautey and we exchanged Weather info using Morse code to send and receive five letter/figure groups from the Lads at Lyautey, we had great fun trying to outpace these fine operators with the fastest words/groups per minute (WPM). We never quite managed it.

I was in the R.A.F. and became a licensed Ham in 1954 (callsign G3JPM). To the right is a picture of my receiver used at the time, i.e., 1952/53. Fond memories.

Brian Grainge, Ex Leading Aircraftsman Signals.

E-Mail: wyattgrainge@btinternet.com

POSTED: 03/16/09 0600 hours

Hi Lou,

I just found your site and I got choked up. My father was stationed at Sidi Silmane or Slamane. He was Air Force SAC. I was
born in Port Lyautey Sept. 3, 1954 in a quonset hut/tent hospital. He would tell some great stories. One of many things that stuck in my
memory was that they had a flag system on the flight line to warn you about the tempature of the planes surface. Black meant that the
planes were 120 or more degrees; no work that day. My father had enlisted in 1937 and they had won the war. He had great pride in
America and the service and service people. These years were real high points for him.

Chris Creighton ~ e-mail sandbilly@earthlink.net
Son of Msgt. Charles V. Creighton

POSTED: 03/16/09 0600 hours

Good morning from Houston, Tx i was just writing in hopes of finding information on a person by the name of Abdullah Bennani, it is very important that my mom's mom find him.. if any body could help in this matter it would be gratly appreciated. i would like to find a phone number and address for Abdullah Bennani..if anyone has information feel free to contact me at this email address thank you...

Joe Gamboa ~ e-mail joedavid74@aim.com

POSTED: 03/06/09 2200 hours

Hi guys. Have really missed Morocco. I consider it my best time. Looking over this web site has brought back a lot of memories. Would like to hear from some of you HCMB friends!

I can remember some names but, I'm too old to remember them all. Want to hear from or about Kip, Papa Joe, Deano, Little Joe, Tallman, Randy, Sammy and all the rest. Does anyone know what became of Don Don Suey? I was stationed at Sidi Yahia from `74 to `75. I have reconized some names from this and other web sites. I have lost contact with everyone and am dying to hear from someone.

Still love you guys!

Debbie Williamson,RM3 ~ leden@zoominternet.net

POSTED: 03/06/09 0800 hours

Dear Lou Demas,

Thank you very much for the information you provide on your site about Port Lyautey and the US Airbase. It is very helpfull to me, because I
am writing a book about Kenitra, formerly known as Port Lyautey. I am a Dutch journalist who lives in Kenitra since one year. I am married
with a Moroccan man who I met in 1995 in Amsterdam. He was born in Kenitra in 1965, and that's why we live now in this city with our
three children. We just want to stay two or three years in his birthplace, near his family, before we go back to Holland. I work here
as a correspondent for a big Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, and as I said, I started to write a book. The subject is my husbands father,
who I never met because he died seven weeks before I met my husband.

With my book in mind, I want to ask you something. I also want to mention the AS Airbase in Kenitra in my book, but I have noticed that
not many Moroccans know something about it. Do you happen to know somebody in Kenitra, a Moroccon or maybe even an American, who can
tell me something about it? And can I mention the information on your site in my book? Did I understand well that the first American troops
came here in 1942 to fight the French regime that collaborated with the Germans? And they stayed here on the French Airbase, untill they
started their own in 1951. That is what I learned from your site. Furthermore, I would like to know what you, personally, have done on
the airbase. How many years did you stay here? That is interesting for me when I mention your site in my book.

I hope you have a little time to answer my questions. As you certainly know, in the Moroccon society do not exist many historybooks or other
documents about a city as Kenitra. So I have to receive the biggest part of my information from persons who were witness of a certain time
in history, which is for me as a journalist even more interesting.

Thank you very much in advance, I am waiting your answer with pleasure.

Kind regards,
Greta Riemersma

POSTED: 03/05/09 0830 hours

My squadrons were in Port Lyautey in 1955 and again in 1956. We would have a detachment at Lyautey and one aboard each of the Sixth Fleet carriers. I was first VC-7. It became VAH-7 in 1955. We flew carrier based AJ-2 aircraft and I was a Bombardier/Navigator in 1955. I deployed again in 1956 with VAH-11 (which was originally VC-8) as an Air Intelligence officer and spent that entire tour in Lyautey. Both squadrons upgraded to the the A3D in 1957. VC-9 was also a squadron which Lyautey served, if I remember correctly.

I remember the golf course with sand greens and a guy on each hole who raked the green after you putted.

And shore patrol. We were on and off with liberty. One week it would be on and the next it might be off. This was due to the growing unrest with the Arabs regarding the French. There were skirmishes and one big massacre out around Meknes while I was there.

I have some pictures but they are 35mm slides. Not sure how well they would scan and email, but I may try if you can use them.

I just happened on your web page. I was looking for the spelling of Lyautey and there it was. Lots of thoughts are flooding back in. Thanks for the memories.

Jim McIntosh ~ shoalcreekjim@aol.com

POSTED: 02/26/09 2230 hours

Dear Lou,

Enjoy the site very much. Those connected with Port Lyautey are indebted to you for your efforts. Thank you for doing for being so generous and doing such a competent job. I was at the NAS during the period 1956-1957 as a high school student while visiting my father who was a civilian employee. We lived on the circle and I enjoyed my stay in Morocco very much.

Glenn Snider


POSTED: 02/23/09 0800 hours

Hi Lou,

My name is Dan Thomas.

My dad, "Tom" Thomas, died about a week and a half before the planes slammed into our twin towers. In WWII he was radioman on the USS George Clymer, and I recall him telling me may times about the Port Lyautey battle.

Dad had been in a variety of editorial positions at the Yakima Herald-Republic in Yakima, Washington through the years. On Sundays, he wrote a column, usually humorous anecdotes about the Valley, but not always. Here is one in which he mentions Port Lyautey.


Coffee won the war
by Tom Thomas

When a war (The Big One) threatened to interfere with my youth, I got some subtle advice from an old Navy man, my long-time boss and editor at the Zillah Mirror, Dan Bagshaw.

He was a great hand at proverbs, having even invented a few of his own, such as "He who buildeth his house on a high rock shall have a dry place to sleep." But in keeping with my apprehensions about the wartime draft, he quoted one day a proverb supposedly made famous by Napoleon Bonaparte: "An army marches on its stomach."

As it happened, for me that bit of wisdom had even more distasteful connotations, for it etched itself into my mind right alongside another less lofty admonition, also passed along - quite frequently - by Dan Bagshaw,

Actually, it was a raucus, ribald tune he had picked up somewhere, and it went like this: "A caterpillar crawls on his own stomach, but a bedbug, he ain't so particular."

ALL OF WHICH, for reasons I probably have not fully explained, convinced me I was better Navy material than Army. So I found myself with my right hand raised, taking the Navy oath in Seattle on the same day my "Greetings" arrived from the draft board.

Hardly before my hair was skinned off at San Diego, and surely before the mothball scent had left my new dress blues, I learned that while the Army may march on its stomach, the Navy survives on coffee.

Little can be said, at least in a family newspaper, for the quality of Navy coffee. It is a tradition of the service, I suspect, that if any cook, steward or mess boy ever made a good cup of coffee it would destroy the Navy's primary guiding principle: Never fail to give a sailor plenty to bellyache about.

ON OUR SHIP, at least, it is a recorded fact that the best coffee the crew ever tasted was brewed in the huge galley vat after a second class cook had been caught washing black Navy socks in the utensil.

But quantity, yes. Whether in peaceful waters or under Japanese attack, there was always coffee bubbling in the galley, so strong it looked like liquid ebony.
In the radio shack, however, as in every shop or department aboard ship, the crew rebelled not only at going down three decks to get a bucket of coffee but also at the general taste when it was so ineptly mass produced. We had our own coffee pot, until a radio apprentice left the hotplate on and burned the bottom out of the percolator.

My wife Dottie came to the rescue, long-distance. She appealed to anyone in my old home town for help, and Helen MacKelvie — now of Yakima and a neighbor of ours — offered a big, sturdy percolator which eventually came to the South Pacific and went into immediate service.

It was still there and perking beautifully when I left the ship three years later. It also made more than a little radio shack history.

A fellow we called "Big Red," a radio-electrician with a warrant officer's rank, was the man in charge. Regular Navy and tougher than shrapnel, Big Red had a standing order to all radio "strikers" — apprentices trying to learn enough to get a radioman third class rating: "When General Quarters sounds, or in fact any time I come into this radio shack, the coffee pot will be full and hot — or the striker on duty will never get a rate from me."

When General Quarters sounded Big Red was first to arrive in the radio shack. He'd march right to the coffee pot and put both hands on it. If he didn't get burned, he'd yell for the striker and he kept his word about refusing the rating.

IN AFRICA, after we'd landed troops at Port Lyautey in French Morocco, I was on shore for a week with a radio crew, and got another strong whiff of the vital role of coffee.

Ships anchored offshore had heavy cargo that couldn't be landed on the beach, so the Navy set up a cargo area on the jetty protecting a river. The first supply outfit's duty was to set up big vats, build fires under them to boil the ugly looking Moroccan water — and everybody dumped his C-Ration coffee into the pots.
Arab wanderers, led by a towering, white-fanged character, were recruited to help with the unloading. But the 10 cents a day American money didn't impress them. The coffee did. They'd work a while, then beg an empty C-Ration dog biscuit can from one of us, and dip into the bubbling coffee vat.

I can still see images of the vast, toothy grin the big guy showed us. On reflection, however, maybe it wasn't the coffee; it just could be he was grinning in anticipation of thirty years later, when he and his brethren would be back home in Arab country collecting dividend checks on oil they'd sell to the same Americans who had got a day's work out of them for a dime and half a dozen cups of stout, boiling coffee.

Hope you enjoyed it.


Dan Thomas

POSTED: 02/22/09 1920 hours

Sir, Read with intrest your guest book and felt a bit nostalgic and like part of ancient history when I saw the date of the emails sent. Served there as S 1/C as airman in meteorologist avaition electrician and enjoyed the duty there. Was great flying experience for me. Didn't think that the Navy Base there lasted til the late '70s. Best, Robert Troiano ~ e-mail: robertctroiano@yahoo.com

POSTED: 02/14/09 2230 hours

Hello ----My first message ---too keep it simple. Does anyone have any photos of the Marine Barracks, Port Lyautey ----1957-59 era ??? The parade ground, the quonset huts of the barracks and the quarters next to the parade ground. The De Prince Hotel where we stayed for weeks upon our arrival ---The golf course, PX, Chapel, etc. Thanks email me ----carla ~ carlanc_2000@yahoo.com

POSTED: 02/09/09 2200 hours


It was a great pleasure to discover your web site. I was stationed at the Radar Site from Jan 1957 until Oct. 1958. Brought my wife over and we lived in town. Visited the beach of course, also Fez, Meknes, Happy Valley, Moulay Idriss, Tanger, Casablanca, etc during our tour. It was good duty, I played softball, tennis, golf and bowled. Enjoyed Church and the outdoor movie theater. I was able to contact Lyle Leiffring who posted in 2008. My name is John (Jack) Marshall, I was an ETR3 when I was discharged and returned the Bell Telephone Co. of Pa. where I spent my career and retired in 1988. Would appreciate hearing from old mates.

Jack Marshall ~ jamar72@verizon.net

POSTED: 02/07/09 1100 hours

Hi there Lou

I have recently found your web-site – just by browsing Google and I was thrilled to see so many mails on there.

I arrived in Kenitra in 1966, fresh from the U.K. via Tangier (and a few Marines that I met in a hotel on R&R ?) and lived there until 1969.

It was a great place to be (especially for me, as I was the only blonde, English speaking female in town – and that was fun!) and I know that there were a lot of guys that really enjoyed the duty there.

If there is anyone that was stationed there during those years, 66 – 69, who might know me – I would love for them to get in touch.

I worked in ‘Mama’s’ night club first – then with (Jewish) Jack, I helped run the ‘007’ and my best friend was a girl called Malouda who worked in the Rex Bar for Jean Pierre and his Mum.

The servicemen I remember best were Tom Martin (who I met in Tangier), Johnny Millett, and Andy McGoy.

Of course – that was over 40 years ago now – but if anybody that was there then, reads your page – I would love for them to contact me.

I really appreciate people like you who make these pages possible – they give so much pleasure to so many people.

Kind regards,

Susie Kay ~ susiekay@live.com

POSTED: 01/19/09 0930 hours

Hiya folks -

Great site. I'm Hugh V. Markey but everyone that knows me calls me "Vic". Inherited my Dad's first name, courtesy of a crafty Navy Recruiter back in 1951. Long story.

I was stationed at NAF Port Lyautey from mid 1952 to mid 1955. Was transferred from NAF to the brand new Primary Navy Communications Station, Sidi Yahia (Receivers) when we opened that site up for the first time in (I think) late '52 - early '53.

While at NAF I worked for an outfit called the Electronics Maintenance Unit (EMU) located at the "...bottom of the hill" on NAF. My boss was an RM1 John Clanton (I think that's right), our OIC was a Navy CWO Trigg. We also had "Big Mo", "Little Mo" and "Max" working there. Big & Lil Mo (Mohammed) were Arabs and Max was a Jew. Our main jobs were electronic & teletypewriter equipment maintenance and repair for the whole of the Mediterranean - well, mostly North Africa (Morocco, Libya, Tunis, Ethiopia, etc...). Fun Travel & Adventure.

At Sidi Yahia I worked at the Receivers Building out the back gate and into the Navy Antenna Field. We stood watches as Navy Radiomen working CW (Morse Code) to support Navy ships transiting the Atlanta & Med. Also did work on the "Fox Broadcast" at the main terminal bldg on Sidi Y. Had a blast. Got my Navy "ticket" as a High Speed Navy Continuous Wave (CW) Operator. Copied and transmitted Morse at speeds up to 24WPM (a manual Mill and a Speed Key or "bug" stuff).

Got there when I was just 17 years old; didn't tell the truth about my age when joining the Navy (I was 16). That's what the story concerning my name is all about.

Best buddies back then were Guy (Bob) Stewart, Buffalo, NY; John Gamberdealla, NYC, NY; Sam Ragusa, NYC, NY; "Dutch" Schultz, RM1 Jim Gilmore, Norbert Stigelmeier (really) and a slew of other great guys, all of whom are very warmly remembered today.

So if anyone wants to get in touch, chew the fat, shoot the breeze, walk the walk and talk the talk, drop me a line. I'd be tickled to hear from you.

Oh, by the way, I got a chance to go back and visit the old stomping grounds in "Du Maroc" in 1970. Had a job at SHAPE Headquarters in Casteau, Belgium, and one of my (very pleasant) duties was visiting all the subordinate NATO commands on a periodic basis. The Navy in Morocco (at Sidi Yahia) was a sub-command of SACLANT or COMIBERLANT (HQs in Lisbon, Portugal), don't remember clearly but since we were going to Africa from Portugal by way of the Royal Navy at Gibraltar I suppose it was IBERLANT (Iberia Atlantic - Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, etc...)

We flew into Nouasseur, now the Moroccan Casablanca International Air Port versus a USAF Forward Base which it was back in the 50's. We were picked up and driven North to Sidi Yahia by a US Navy sedan. Got to "see" the countryside over that 90 odd mile ride. We spent a couple of days there, had a "...walk about" in Kenitra and actually did not find many real radical changes back then compared to the 50's. The locals were all still there, the bar on the main plaza in downtown Kenitra (name eludes me at the moment) was still owned and operated by the same Arab that had it while I was stationed there. We had a great time jabbering about the "...glorious past". Other hangouts were all still there and functioning as well. Understand there have been some really dramatic changes since that time. It's like Eugene O'Neill wrote "You can't go home again".

As I said, would be good to hear from any of you that would like to jabber about "....the good old days".

Vic Markey ~ E-mail: vicmarkey@cox.net

POSTED: 01/15/09 0745 hours

I just looked over the website again after not visting for awhile and was really surprised to see all the great information. One name made me flashback to those years-Jim Culliton-and was saddened to hear he was deceased. He was such a great guy. We would listen to his radio show on Saturdays and call in with trivia answers. I learned so much oldies trivia from him. I remember so much about this place. I also saw Glenn Adrian mentioned. We called him "Tony The Pony" when he played football or baseball. I became a avid photographer while stationed there. Went there single and came back to the states married and still married after 32 years. Would love to hear from anyone there from 1976-1978. Take care . Sandy Osborne Lynch( worked as hospital corpsmen).

e-mail: auntsandysue@yahoo.com

POSTED: 01/14/09 0900 hours

I was stationed at the Port Lyautey Fleet Weather Station from 1959 until 1961. I was an aerograpthers Mate and would like to contact anyone who was there while I was there. Or receive any history of the FWC.

AG-3 Edward A. Lawless
305 Sunrise Ct.
Ocean Pines, Md 21811
Home Phone 410-208-1855


POSTED: 01/05/09 1030 hours


My name is Leland Price. My father (Bernie Price) was the High School Principal for three years (1959 -1962) at Port Lyautey. My mother (Wilhelmina Price) was an English teacher. My sisters, Cynthia and Bonnie also attended school at Port Lyautey.

I would love to make contact with any friends or schoolmates who happen to visit this site.

Leland Price ~ lelandprice@earthlink.net

POSTED: 01/03/09 1300 hours

I was happy to find this site. I was born on the US Naval Air Station at Port Lyautey in February 1957. At the time my father was in the US Navy and my mother was recently retired from the Navy. Our family had just been transferred from Bremerhaven, Germany, where my older brother was born in 1955. The only birth certificate I had until recently was signed by a doctor there and until 9/11 this sufficed. Since then, I've had difficulty proving my US citizenship because people don't seem to understand that I'm not Moroccan and have had to apply to the State Department for documents to provide proof of citizenship. It's not often I see anything relating to Port Lyautey (and I certainly never meet people who have heard of it). Thank you for maintaining this site and keeping the memory alive.

Steven B. Todd ~ alheithinn.vinlander@gmail.com
son of Harold E. Todd, USN, Ret.

POSTED: 01/03/09 1332 hours

Hi, My name is Vickie Richards DeMott and I was born at the Port Lyautey Naval Station on August 16, 1955. I have always been proud and curious about my birth place. Unfortunately, I have never been able to return. Finally, with modern technology, I am able to “visit” my birthplace. Thank you so much for this site.

Vickie ~ vickied@olypen.com