PORT LYAUTEY GUESTLOG FOR THE YEAR 2010
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POSTED: 12/30/10 1115 hours
My name is Brian Parkinson (RAF ret'd) and I write to ask if you would post my note on your web site, please. I would be pleased if any member of your association remembers and incident involving an RAF P2V5 and perhaps may have a photograph they could let me have or a memory they could share with me.
The year is 1953 (?) and we had taken off from Gibraltar heading west into the wide Atlantic. After a few hours flying time the port engine 'blew up' (a power recovery turbine in the exhaust system had decided to leave!). As we are now on flying on one engine we decided to head for Port Lyautey as the base also had P2V5's. We spent the day there making repairs then returned to our base in Gibraltar.
POSTED: 12/22/10 1100 hours
Happy Holidays to all old shipmates, especially from 1954, 55 and 1956 (VR-24). DARRELL BROCK. new E-mail address is charleebrock@Cox.net
POSTED: 12/17/10 0550 hours
Lou really great info. I, Kenneth Clarke, was stationed at FICEUR from Sep 61 to Feb 63. When I completed yeoman class at Bainbridge Md, I had my choice of either Ft Mead or CINCUSNAVEUR Intel center. When I asked where CINCUSNAVEUR was located, I was told London. What a shock to end up in Port
It was great duty, if a bit away from home. Worked for a great chief, Jerry Fuller and we had a great crew of officers and enlisted men. Played football and softball and really enjoyed the local beachs and the club in town.
When I read the other postings, I was surprised that no one mentioned the rain. Maybe it was just the time I was there but it seemed to rain for three months. I remember the Sabu river being flooded as well as part of Kenitra. Also our barrack's roof leaking gallons of water.
Thanks again - Ken Clarke ~ Kensafishing@aol.com
POSTED: 12/15/10 1020 hours
Hoping there are some readers at this site who will respond who either knew CINCNELM, London personnel and know their present whereabouts or were posted
to CINCNELM HQ at 7 N. Audley, London in the 1950s. Trying to locate the CINCNELM personnel: Lt. Mullen (2nd deck Comm., Jack Burke (PIO), Larry
Gibson (PIO), "Red" Pennington (2nd deck Comm) and others.
MICHAEL DOWNEND ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 12/07/10 0800 hours
My wife Alyene, and I were stationed in Morocco from 1972-1974, I at NCS Sidi Yahia as a CT and my wife worked at CEMS at the base in Kenitra. She taught Moroccan soldiers and gendarmes to speak English. She worked with a Mrs. Kabbaj, Jeanie Smith, Mrs. Lona Sears, and a number of Marines. Through her work we were privileged to know many Moroccan soldiers/gendarmes and their families. I especially remember a gendarme named Mouloudi and a soldier named Nouri. Both were great people. I spent most of my time at Sidi or on the golf course at Kenitra. We lived in the Esso Building near the base and one of my memories is the executions occuring at the prison following the attempted coup in 1972. I remember my walks from the Esso Bldg to the bus stop for the ride to Sidi and I remember well many car rides from Kenitra to Sidi. I recall a number of mo-peds that lost the battle with cars on that highway. The djellabas worn by the Moroccans made it difficult to seem them at night.
Our best friends were Bill and Callie Monroe; they lived at the Esso Building also. Bill was an ET stationed at Sidi. We travelled quite a bit with Bill and Callie. We had relatives at Torrejon AFB, so Alyene and I would catch the Medivac to Torrejon to visit. Trips to Rota on the mail plane were an experience. I remember returning from Rota and a young Marine was flying down for duty on the mail plane when we hit an air pocket. What had been a very talkative Marine was now a white-as-a-sheet Marine and nothing was said the remainder of the flight. We spent much time with our Chapel family and the Christmases were very special.
I learned to play golf at Kenitra and remember the 9-hole course very well and Google Earth shows it has not changed. I enjoyed the tournaments with our SecGru team. I especially remember Ben Ali, the pro, and Brahim, the cook at the golf club. I have many other memories as we all do who served there, but I will stop for now. It was a true joy to have been stationed there.
Wayne Locklar ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 11/24/10 0830 hours
My name is Larry Taylor and I submitted photos to your site awhile ago. I would like some info from you or anyone who can help. I saw photos by Greta Riemersma on your web site about Jacks Bar. I used to go there a lot while I was in Morocco...but I can't remember where it was located. also the American bar was a favorite, and I can't place it either. any help would be appreciated, I have located a lot of places in Kenitra by using google earth and it brings back a lot of memories about those days. much thanks...Larry ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 11/20/10 0815 hours
I was seven when my dad was stationed there in 1959. We only stayed a year and as I recall we left to Rota as there was a Moroccan uprising. We lived off base as everyone did. Ours was a two story villa and the ground floor was empty. The compound was surrounded by high walls with broken glass imbedded in the top to discourage visitors. We had a maid or 'Fatima' and she treated me wonderfully. We had fruit trees in the yard and large iron gates into and out of the driveway. Dad had his big '56 Buick and it was a sight to see there among all the small French Renaults. It's amazing to me that I remember as much of it, and as clearly, as I do since it was over 50 years ago. We made day trips to Rabat and Casablanca and my dad related to me the story of one of the young princes jumping his death, from one of the prayer towers, due to an unrequited love. At the time, I guess dad was a first class Mineman and a member of the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) detachment there. Many years later I was able to return to Casablanca on board the USS Concord AFS-5 and it was quite a treat to surf the beaches I had strolled a young boy.
Wayne Hostilo ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 11/16/10 0900 hours
My name is Joe Ring, I was stationed at the Comm Sta around 1953 - 54. Finding this website was a great surprise because it brought back so many great memories. I was an ET3 stationed aboard USS Mount Olympus when I received orders to Port Lyautey. I remember one of my shipmates telling me he had been at Port Lyautey and worked at installing wooden poles for the wire-antenna field. I remember my shipmate saying that his crew had accidentally installed one of the poles upside down so it was narrow at the bottom and fatter at the top - apparently they just didn't want to go to the
trouble of correcting the problem. When I arrived at the CommSta I was assigned to a maintenance team under a Lcdr. Vogan. One of my jobs was to strap climbing irons onto my legs and clamber up the poles to clean the insulators or do whatever work was necessary. We would use sharp pointed climbing irons on our legs and dig the sharp points into the wood and climb about 15 - 20 feet up the pole while leaning back on a safety belt to lock the climbing irons and prevent them from slipping. This was an important procedure because if the irons slipped I would receive a face-full of splinters in my 20 foot drop to the ground. On one occasion, as I climbed one of the poles I had to keep loosening the safety belt because the pole was getting wider and wider. When I got to the top there wasn't much belt
left to loosen. Then it hit me - this is the same pole that my ex shipmate had put in upside-down. I had a few choice words for him.
I remember one Christmas-New Year period when a friend and I went on leave to Tangier and from Tangier we flew Gibraltar Airways (a fabric covered three-engine biplane that almost shook itself to death) over the Straits. When we went through Customs in Gib, a British Army sergeant confiscated a perfectly good bottle of bourbon. There was an unpleasant exchange of words at the Customs table. We just wanted to go to Gib to buy one of those famous British razors that you could keep sharp by flopping the handle back and forth but we found out that it wasn't really worth all the trouble.
On our return leg we learned, in Tangier, that one of the bridges to the south had been washed out in heavy weather; so there was nothing going south by road and the very limited air travel was booked solid. We were concerned about getting back on time but, luckily, we found a small ship that was leaving for Casablanca that night. The plan was to arrive in Casa the next morning and catch a train north to Kenitra. OK so far but when we got on board we discovered we had less than 3rd class tickets: No seats, no restaurant, the only meal was a cup of hot black coffee and a baguette of French bread on the forecastle at dawn. Before getting underway we lay on the deck in the cargo hold using our suitcases for pillows. The problem was that, every so often, someone would open the cargo hatch above us and
indiscriminately throw bags of cargo into the hold. Meanwhile the cargo hold had been filling up with Moroccans and every time the hatch above would open, there would be a mad scramble of people avoiding getting hit by cargo. The night passed in a similar manner. At dawn we made our groggy way to the forecastle got burnt by scalding coffee and munched on ancient French bread.
On arriving in Casablanca, everything changed and went like clockwork - we zipped through Customs, jumped on a train and a few hours later we had promised ourselves to never go on leave again as long as we lived and, especially to stay clear of Tangier. But I never kept that promise to myself.
Writing this email is causing all kinds of recollections to come back and I'd love to share them with everybody - but some other time.
Joe Ring, firstname.lastname@example.org, Queensland, Australia
POSTED: 11/15/10 0730 hours
Thanks for providing this website and oppotunity for 'memories'.
I was with Hedron, Fleet Airwing 15, from June of 1943 until December 1944, attached to the Metal Shop. (Then Lyautey was in French Morocco, with Spanish Morocco north between us and the Straits of Gibralter. later Morocco won its independance and became one Morocco). We lived on the hillside in 5-man tents for at least a year before permanent buildings were put up. Nights in the winter could be quite cold. In the Metalshop we fabricated a stove from a 30 gallon barrel, and made 6 lengths of 4" stove pipe out of 4 lengths of 6" diameter pipes.
My first job upon reporting for duty was to assist 2 or 3 others in putting an 18 X 18" temporary patch on a Pan Am Clipper, above the water line, at night and with the row boat we were in bobbing out of synch with the bobbimg plane on the Sabu River, and with the current attempting to move us away from the Clipper. (A hole had been punched through the plane's skin when a young Cox'n lost control of his boat as he approached the plane to transport passengers and cargo.)
My tent mates were George Worachek, Walt Synow, Cal Musselman and Curtis Stephens, a close friend. We all worked 'on the line' on many types of navy and sometimes army planes. In two or three instances a team of Englishmen had temporary duty at the base while repairing a Lancaster or Wellington bomber. A Mosquito ran out of fuel and landed short, also.
As a young petty officer I was nuts about flying and so bummed a ride when I could. My first ever was 13 1/2 hour flight in a PBY-5A, over the Atlantic on a sub sweep. Also had the opportunity to fly in an army B-26, a B-24, a B-25 (out of Naples, Italy) as well as several flights in the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, as two of us were on detached duty for a month repairing a PV-1 in Adjacio, Corsica following the invasion of Southern France.
Thanks Lou for the opportunity to recall and 'chat'.
Wendell Swift ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 10/28/10 1930 hours
My name is Michael Overboe; my father was stationed in Morocco on NCTC Kenitra for 3 and a half years from 1971 to 1974. I and my sister were students and the elementary school there. I enjoyed living overseas and the time in Morocco has totally changed the way I look at the world.
I would like to hear from someone that lived there at the same time. If you wish my E-mail address is Deckedout505@hotmail.com.
POSTED: 10/26/10 1340 hours
So glad to have found this site. Thanks! My Name is Marie (Gootee) Figueroa. I was born there on Sept. 1, 1953. My father Henry C. Gootee was a Marine stationed there. We left for the states in at the end of 53. I am looking for information about Colonel Davis. My father said he was my godfather so I'd like to find info on him. Can anyone help. My father passed nearly 10 years ago so if anyone one can help with information on either Davis or my father I would be greatful.
Thank You Again,
Marie ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 10/17/10 0640 hours
Thank you so much for bringing back memories of many COMMSTA's. For one I was stationed in Port Lyautey 3/53 to 5/54...I started as tape ape, the only primary relay I know of at the time who started without a tape factory..eventually got a jury rigged one...TESN to TE2/c there when we relocated to Sidi Yahia...When I first got there, there was only one entrance and a little tent by the gate to take necessary precautions...I relate to the bars and Suzannes and VCS...I remember getting issued rifle with no bullets and facing the Sebu while Moroccans on the other side shooting their rifles in the air riding their horses..."Big Boy" changing money....I went from there to NAVCOMMU Boston thence to NACCOMMSTA Japan then RMC and various ships and instructor duty at San Diego..I recognize one name Heatherly on one of your e-mails as I believe he extended there...Another tape ape just passed away I saw in the paper...Major Watt Espy TE 3/C who became well known for research on executions etc...I remember names Dennis Fausth, Lefty Styer and my memory fails me on any more...I loved the train ride to Fez..I felt as if I were going back in time when I entered the Medina there..
Robert Rudasill ~ Drmsohn@aol.com
POSTED: 10/17/10 0640 hours
My name is John Worley. ( CDCN ) Seabees. I was stationed at Port Lyautey in 1958 and 1959. I had graduated boot camp in San Diego, and then graduated heavy equipment school in Port Hueneme, California.
I couldnt believe it when I ran across your web page praising Chief Clevinger and Jim Killebrew!! Your thoughts about Chief Clevinger mirror mine exactly. I didnt call him Sleepy, he was always Chief to me. What a nice guy. I was just a green kid that didnt know much about running heavy equipment but I was willing to learn and he was willing to teach me. He spent several hours trying to teach me how to run a road patrol grader. He even loaned me $10 so I could celebrate my birthday on July 21, 1958. I repayed him when payday came too.
And Jim Killebrew. He taught me how to run the crane, the clamshell, the shovel, and the dozer. Harmon Killebrew, the baseball player, was just getting started on his career and was playing for the Washington Senators and Jim was always trying to convince me that Harmon was his little brother but I dont think I ever believed him.
Jim and his family lived off-base and one of our officers had a horse he wanted ridden occasionally for exercise. I would ride the horse over to Jims house and give his kids a ride. If I remember correctly, Jim had a pet monkey that more or less had the run of the house and that monkey would throw things at me when I visited. Didnt like me I guess.
When I was on Call Duty at nights and on the week-ends, my duty station was driver for the OOD also. You could sleep on a cot in a little room behind the OODs desk and he would call you if needed.
I volunteered for driving duty on week-ends quite often just to have something to do. It seems like about every Sunday I would take a chaplin out to Sidi Yahia or even out to Sidi Slimane so he could give services and then back to Lyautey.
I too drove for the commander of the base, Captain John L. Counihan. I took him to Rabat once to conduct business with a high official in the Morocco government. He was equivalent to our Secretary of Agriculture. We were given a quick tour of his palace which was quite impressive. He had 4 wives at the time and we were allowed to view their boudoirs. Wherever we went, if the Captain could take you inside with him, he would. Otherwise the driver would have to wait in the car.
I also took an admiral to a meeting with the Berbers at a place high up in the Atlas Mountains. We went through the city of Merrakech on the way. The meeting wasnt at a town, just out on the open plains in tents. It lasted 3 days.
One of my regular jobs was keeping the garbage pushed over the side at the dump using the old WWII D-7 dozer. What a stinky job!! This only took about 2 hours a day, 3 times a week. My last job was tearing down an old brick building with the crane and a wrecking ball.
There was also a Seabee that was a CD1 that Jim and I worked with on a daily basis but I dont remember his name.
I also remember the Bob Hope show tour that came to Lyautey in 1958. Jim and I and the CD1 all took trucks over to the planes and helped unload all their equipment and supplies from the planes and then transported them to the hanger where the show was performed. When the show was over, we helped load all their gear and put it back on the planes. I remember that us three CDs were accused of stealing some of their liquor and we were interrogated intensely by Chief Clevinger but we all pleaded not guilty and the issue was finally dropped.
The Navy changed the rating designations in early 1959 and all of us CDs ( construction drivers) became EOs ( equipment operators ).
I am so grateful to you for posting the pictures and information about Chief Clevinger and Jim Killebrew. I hadnt forgotton them but I had kind of forgotten what they looked like. It was only 51 years ago that I last saw them!!
John A. Worley, Gillette, Wyoming ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 10/04/10 0600 hours
Hi Lou- My name is David Hovey (AC3) My daughter is sending this since I don't own a computer. I was stationed in Port Lyautey, French Morocco, from 1953-54. I split time between the control tower and operations where we had to flight guard all military aircraft in the European Theater.
I just learned of this website today from an old neighbor of mine back in Lyautey. He left a message on my voicemail, but no phone # to reach him. His name is Ed Clayton. I would love to talk to him, so if you could post a message maybe he would see it and contact me again. I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers me from back then.
When I first arrived for duty I was in the old French Tower that was made of wood & glass. When the wind came up strong you thought the place was going to blow away. My wife Gerry and infant daughter Anita came to join me after a few months so I moved off base.
I enjoyed my tour of duty over there-we drove to Tangiers, Casablanca, Rabat etc. We found an apt. overlooking the ocean at Media Beach.
I took a thousand pictures but they were all colored slides. I could get them downloaded to a CD and post them w/you if you'd like?
Anyway, would love to hear from anyone stationed there in '53-'54 who was in operations.
All the best,
Dave Hovey, AC3 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 09/22/10 0800 hours - Web-editor Note! The folowing e-mail has been translated to English by Ms. Melissa Cammel of Dayton Ohio, a student of French at OSU and granddaughter of Jerry Zimmerman, a good friend, an old (like me) Port Lyautey "hand" and a major conrtibutor of photographs and historical background to this website. Thank you Melissa!!!!!
Bonjour à vous tous,
Quand je suis tombé sur votre site par hasard et jai eu chaud au cur de lire tout ses témoignages. Tout mes souvenirs sont remontés en surface. Je me présente dabord je suis une marocaine agée 39ans je suis marié et je vis depuis 11 en Belgique mais avant jai véçu pendant 29 ans à kénitra (port lyautey) et la moitié à la base américaine . Ma famille et moi habitait juste en face du terrain du golf et jai encore le souvenir que je descendais avec mes frères pour ramasser les balles de golf qui était un peu partout. Mon père LEBBAR DRISS sergent chef et ma mère Fouzia à lépoque avait beaucoup damis américains quon recevait dailleurs chez nous et surtout jai le souvenirs et des photos aussi de ces américains pendant lanniversaires de mon petit frère. Vous nêtes resté que quelques années
après notre déménagement à la base mais cétait suffisant pour marquer notre vie à jamais. Vous étiez des bons vivant, je me rappelle encore des pic niques, des tirs au pigeant et du café ( oasis) ou je me rendais pour acheter ma glace. Après votre départ on sest installé dans vos maisons, jai été dans votre école, et partout ou vous viviez avant mais même si vous nétiez plus là vous êtes resté graver dans nos mémoires et nos coeur à jamais et tout ce que je regrette cest que jétais très jeunes à lépoque pour profiter de votre joie de vivre et aussi de ne pas avoir su garder contact avec tout ces gens qui était vraiment la belle image de lamérique. Le seule prénom que que jai gardé en mémoire cest BEL un américain qui est parti en voyage avec nous une fois et qui venez souvent nous rendre visite.
GROS GROS BISOU A VOUS TOUS.
e-mail address email@example.com
Hello to all of you,
When I stumbled upon your site by chance and was in the middle of reading all of your stories, all of my memories resurfaced. First let me present myself, I am a Moroccan woman of 39 years of age. I have been married and have lived in Belgium for eleven years, but before that I lived in Kénitra (Port Lyautey) for 29 years, and half of that on the American base. My family and I lived just facing the golf course, and I still remember going down with my brothers to collect the golf balls which were a little bit everywhere. My father LEBBAR DRISS, staff sergeant**, and my mother Fouzia at that time had many American friends that they would have over to our house, and above all I have memories and also photos of these Americans during my little brothers birthdays. You did not stay more than a couple years after we moved off the base, but it was enough to mark our lives forever. You lived well; I still remember picnics, pigeon shoots***, and the café (oasis) where I would go to buy ice cream. After you left we moved into your houses, I went to your school, and everywhere that you had lived before, even if you were no longer there, you remained engraved in our memories and our hearts always. And all I regret is that I was too young at the time to profit from your joie de vivre**** and also to have not kept contact with all of the people who were truly the beautiful image of America. The only name that I have kept in my memory is BEL, an American who went on a trip with us one time and who often came to visit us.
BIG BIG KISSES TO YOU ALL.
POSTED: 09/13/10 1220 hours - Web-editors note! This e-mail was sent to this website August 13th but was not received by the server until this date. No explanation as to why???
I was born at this naval base on May 13, 1957.
My father was a chief petty officer, Bobby Long and he and his brother, Fred Long were both stationed there.
I am not sure of the dates, but I know he was there from 1956 through 1958.
Would you have happened to know them?
I have HUNDREDS of pictures from this place. My Mom and Dad are divorced, but they were from Oklahoma. My Mom 's name is Sally.
Let me know and I will dig them out and get them to you. I still have a beautiful couscous table my parents brought back along with tons of other things.
Karon Long-Cox - firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 09/08/10 0945 hours
When we (squadron VP-26), arrived at Port Lautey, we were checked in by our Passports, I recall the Airport Guard, welcoming us to the base. It remined me of the movie "Casablanca", VP-26 personnel assigned me to the base dispensary, the Sr. Medical Officer was Joseph Pinto, CDR, MC, USN. I was asigned to the Medical Air Evacuation Section, transferring patients to Germany and CONUS for further treatment.
Spent many hours at the MATS terminal, requesting flights for patients. The "Connie" was used for transport at the time and we waited
for space, the flights originated in Naples or Athens and were full of passengers returning to CONUS. Enjoyed the city and the had the honor of dining at the Royal Family Pavillion. Spent a great six months, visited Rabat and enjoyed the train trip to FEZ. I recall my visit with the local Ham Station (CN8ET) as, a ham I had the privledge of using the station. We returned to US NAS Brunswick, ME after a great tour and had a
lot of memories.
John H. Peck HM1(AVT) USN (Retired) ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 09/03/10 2250 hours
I was stationed at the Marine Barracks, Port Lyautey from 1957 thru 1959. I had the privilege of serving with a company of great guys. They were good years and I sometimes recall rememberable experiences with family members. My best to all who served in a unique location of the world during the Cold War years.
Charles Recktenwald (Gunny) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 09/02/10 2230 hours
First of all, THANK YOU, Lou, for the great website and for allowing my posting. The following is a re-post and the reason for me to re-post is because of two responses I got from other readers of this site. One reply was from Mr. Ward Voit who also has some pictures on the site here and a comment he shared with me just made me even more proud of my father but also more curious of what things he did while being there. Mr. Voit said he didn't know my father but seeing what his age was while he was there, he assured me he was called "Pappy" or something of that nature. lol
To the best of my knowledge, my father was stationed at Port Lyautey during WW2 and I am just trying to find out some info about what he might have did while there. He went into the Navy Sea Bees shortly after Pearl Harbor and was sent to the New Jersey area and worked there before going overseas. He was "older" (29-30) when he went in and already knew how to weld so he ended up being an instructor teaching others how to weld. He returned home sometime around December 1945. He NEVER talked much at all about any of his experiences during the war and even my mother never heard him share much about it all. They are both gone now and I am just a curious son getting older and more curious (and more proud with every tiny bit of info I dig up) and having a huge regret that I didn't "pry" more out of him about it. He was a Machinist Mate, Second Class with CB Maint Unit #566. His full name was Emmitt Lawrence Thompson but I am not sure if he went by Emmitt or Lawrence while in the service but he went by Lawrence at home. He was from Oklahoma and went back home there to spend the rest of his life. Any info that anyone has about that unit and what things they might have done while there, I would be honored to hear. My email address is email@example.com. Thank you for the great web site and thank you so much for allowing me to post here.
POSTED: 08/31/10 0930 hours
I was stationed at Kenitra (1962-64). I was in the base theatre when John Kennedy was assassinated. I worked NAS Supply, unloading the supply ships
when they came in and I was the mail runner on base. I traveled all around the base picking up base mail and delivering in a little gray jeep.
Spent a lot of time at "the fleet club" and at the base club. Ran around with a few mates that worked in the fuel depot. Tom Gallagher and Tom McCabe
come to mind. Took several trips to Rabat and Casablanca. Also a few 'hops' to Gibraltar.
Bill Brahney, AK3, USN ~ WBrahne@aol.com
POSTED: 08/24/10 1520 hours
I WAS A NAVY CT "R" BRANCH STATIONED AT SIDI YAHIA FROM DEC.68 TO APRIL 70. NEVER FORGET THE SMELL FROM THE PAPER MILL ACROSS FROM THE MAIN GATE. TOOK MANY BUS RIDES INTO KENITRA TO ENJOY THE REX BAR, MAMA'S, ETC. USED TO SOBER UP WITH MOROCCEAN COFFEE AT THE ELDORADO. SAW MANY MOVIES AT THE FANTASIO. THE HOTEL MAMORA WAS MY SECOND HOME
INTERESTING WEB SITE. THANKS.
MIKE SHAPIRO ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 08/12/10 2230 hours
I was stationed at Port Lyautey while attached to FICELM (Fleet Intelligence Center Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean) from 1958 to 1961. I was a PT2 when I arrived, and made PT1 in November. I came back for a second tour in 1963 (PTC by then), but didn't stay very long this time. By then, FICELM had become FICEUR (Fleet Intelligence Center Europe). In November 1963, we packed up and moved FICEUR to Jacksonville, FL. Sure hated to see that happen.
I spent a lot of time in the Fleet Reserve Club downtown run by a retired chief quartermaster. For a while I was one of the night managers at the club. Also spent a lot of time in the Marine NCO club across from FICELM. As I remember I also left a lot of money in the club playing poker. <G> Good times in Tangier, Rabat, etc., as well. I remember this one villa out of Rabat that had ......
I remember the 1958 Bob Hope visit very well. Our skipper was Captain Dawson. His nickname was "Bull". He had a Vespa motor scooter that had a bull's head painted on it. While Hope and the others were playing golf, the skipper was riding around the course following along with Bob Hope. The XO (can't remember his name) was sitting behind him facing aft with a silver tray and a martini shaker providing Hope and his partner with martinis. I didn't have a camera at the time and missed a chance for some great pictures.
I spent over 34 years in the Navy, and my Morocco tours were the ones I enjoyed the most - especially the first tour.
Lcdr, USN (Ret) ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 08/06/10 2115 hours
Enjoyed scrolling around your Porty Lyautey site. My wife and I spent the first two years of our marriage in Port Lyautey, 1956 - 1958. Our oldest son, now 53 was born in the Navy Hospital at the Air Station in 1957. We lived in an apartment over the Esso Station just outside the gate, at the bend of the Sebu, near the prison until we got base housing. There was a gift shop next to the station, under our apartment window where the visiting brass used to be taken to get their camel saddles, leather goods, etc.
I served at the NAVCOMMFAC at Sidi Yahia and four or five of us would carpool out to Sidi every day. Remember my monthly Shore Patrol duty in Port Lyautey til the early hours of the morning and then ride shotgun on a bus load of sailors and marines who were, shall we say, happy, back out to Sidi! Also remember Shore Patrol duty in Rabat. Lots of action late in the evening especially at the VCS, and Suzanne's.
Morocco is still remembered fondly by my wife and me, especially our motor trips to the Atlas Mountains, Fez, Meknes, Tangier, Volubilus, etc. Such memories! The Salty Dog at Mehdia Beach and many others.
Have some good color photos of those days posted on Joe Glockner's link on your web site. Thanks for a "trip down memory lane".
Joe Palisi ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 08/04/10 1200 hours
Thanks for having such a web site, I went to Kenitra from Vietnam and lived in the city or on base from 1973 to 1977. My wife, Nora - who has passed away, and I loved it there. We visited all the major cities on base tours or via motorcycle and loved the locals and the country. My son, also deceased now, was born there in Nov 73. Living there made him the person he was. Base life broadened his outlook on life and allowed him to see things he could have never experienced in the states.
When I was there I was a DK1, and worked in disbursing for a couple year then moved on to Special Services, where I could take many tours to the fabulous locations such as Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakesh. I miss the days of sitting down town and having café ole and mint tea.
You web site brought back many memories, thanks.
Fred Hawkins ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 07/26/10 0630 hours
My name is Doug Rattazzi (L/Cpl) stationed at Main side Marine Barracks First Guard Co. 2nd Plt. 1960-61. Love your site and the memories the photo's bring.
Worked Front & Back Gate and FICURE. Can be reached at Rattazzi@aol.com. Semper Fi.
POSTED: 07/10/10 2215 hours
We were stationed in Kenitra from Oct. 1966 to June 1967 with the USAF. My husband was one of two instructor pilots in the F5 to train the Moroccan pilots. He was killed on June 26, 1967 in a training flight along with a Moroccan pilot. My youngest child was born at the base hospital in March 67. I have several photos taken not only at his funeral there, but photos of the AFofficers and top Moroccan officers of the squadron. My hope is to some day visit Morocco with my 3 children.
Mary Wilson Goodenough ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 07/05/10 1025 hours
We were stationed at Nouasseur Air Base south of Casablanca from September 1957 to March 1961 and made several trips to the Naval Base at Port Lyautey to see what the base exchange and commissary had that Nouasseur didn't have for sale.
Currently I'm writing my memoirs about our years in Morocco and the trips that we made around the country. Of course, I need to write about Port Lyautey also. In fact, now that I think of it the Navy was very good to us when we were returning from the Med. Cruise which left us at the base at Cadiz, Spain. A Navy plane flew us to Port Lyautey but the Air Force was not there to meet us! Thankfully the Navy provided our group with a bus ride to Nouasseur which was about 100 miles.
A few years ago I discovered that a college classmate had been a Naval doctor at Port Lyautey at the same time we were at Nouasseur. He was sent to Agadir to provide medical care immediately after the earthquake that devastated the city in April 1961.
Charleen Oerding ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 07/05/10 0715 hours
My father, LCDR John J Cash, was stationed at Port Lyautey from approx 1956 to 1958 with my family. I was born at the Naval hospital Jan. 1958 and was delivered by a Dr. Poff. I know my parents loved it there. As so many others have written, I too hope to make it there someday.
Christine Cash Johnson ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 06/30/10 2230 hours
I am Fred Greenwood and I was stationed at Port from June 1962 to July 1964. Arrived as AGAN and left as AG2. I worked for AG1 Don Swanberg at the Rawin site along the golf course. Worked in Don Smith (Smitty's section for 4 months and then as his replacement when he shipped out. He may be remembered for his offtime which he spent as a country music DJ on the radio station). I spent the last months of my tour in the weather center cryptosection. I worked in Rawin with John Impeduglia, Del Jandrew, Butch Huhn, and others I can't recall. Would love to visit Morrocco again. Have many fond memories of my tour but like many young people I failed to take advantage of all that was offered. Oh, but that we could do it again. Thanks for the site.
Would like to hear from other weather guessers from this period. email email@example.com
POSTED: 06/18/10 1830 hours
I found this site while looking for information on the base hospital, where I was born in 1962. My father, PHCS Paul F. Fereday (he was probably a PH2 or PH1 at the time) was station there and lived off base in Kenitra.
Thanks for an interesting couple of hours as I looked at all the photos and read some of the stories.
David P. Fereday ~ David.Fereday@dbhds.virginia.gov
POSTED: 06/17/10 1900 hours
I was so happy to see this site! My dad was Lcdr. Jerry Krueger( GCA) and we were stationed in 1961-62. I was only in 5th grade and loved it there. I remember all of it. I was hoping I could connect with some families that we knew in the Navy! I have lost touch with all of my good and wonderful friends that I grew up with when my Dad was in the Navy!
Faith Hendrickx (Krueger) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 06/13/10 0820 hours
I was stationed in Morocco twice. Original time was at the NAS 57-59..super duty and outstanding job.
Second time was 63-67 at Sidi Yahia (NCS) again, super duty and more than outstanding job. Would go back in a heart beat, if there were chance to meet people from the local area again. However, since years have passed, am sure most of the folks I would want to see again have passed on. Morocco was one of my most interesting duty assignments during my Navy career of 35 years.
Raymond E. Steckman, RMCM, RETIRED ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 06/10/10 1925 hours
Thanks for the web link.
My family was attached to the US Embassy in Rabat, starting in 1960. I went to Highschool in Port Lyautey/Kenitra, back in from 1965 graduating in 1969. Plenty of great memories of the base and the great bunch of guys there. So much so, I enlisted in the Navy in 1970 and then got posted to Davisville RI. Love history and am reading everything I can find about Port Lyautey from operation Goalpost to the NTC closing in the mid '70s.
Can still remember the royal blue French fighter planes on the runway and adjoining tarmac on the east access road when I first arrived and then later the Moroccan F-5 jets steep inclined take-offs just outside the school building's windows. Of course we can't forget our own airport terminal with the MATS aircraft just outside the passenger fencing. I can still smell the overstuffed brown chairs & couches in the waiting area! (must have sat there too long...)
Can still see the Moroccan personnel in and around their barracks, down the hill from our BEQs and the Hospital but this side of the Acey Duecy CPO club. I remember the Moroccan officers shopping in our PX, sorta exercising their 'base priviliges'. And, I remember the total lack of our flying Old Glory, looking instead at the green star on a red flag.
50+ years later, I find this site! Sometimes it only takes a nudge like this to nudge this old mind back in time. Thanks for the memories!
Andre Milot ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 06/08/10 1245 hours
Hi there Lou,
I wrote to your website 02/07/09 because I lived in Kenitra from 1966 to 1969. My name is Susie, I am English, and I worked at Mama's, La Hutte and 007.
This is a big thank you because I have since had three people contact me, which is wonderful. People I had not spoken to for over 40 years.
Unfortunately, I no longer have the same email address - and I can't see a way to change it on the site. So if there is anyone else out there who might have known me and would liketo get in touch - my email is now email@example.com
POSTED: 05/26/10 1930 hours
Greetings from Phill Miller, CTO3, stationed at NCS Sidi Yahia in '69 -70. Too damn young to really enjoy it. I'd love to go back today.
I remember hail right around Christmas...very exciting...almost like snow in Minnesota where I had come from.
Currently working for the Veterans Administration in White City, Oregon... "VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics", a
residential Treatment program for Vets.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 05/16/10 0115 hours
I don't recall all of the details after these forty-seven plus years, but do recall that we spent at least one day - if not more - in late 1962 waiting for weather or something! Took off from there and landed in the Canary Islands, then on to Norfolk for discharge! Trying to capture some of my past now and finally found the correct spelling of the base.
Thanks for your work. I try to help with our ship website and I know the time you invest.
Tom James IC2 Sec-Treas ~ email@example.com
USS Dahlgren Association
225 Nale Drive
Madison, AL 35758
POSTED: 05/08/10 0740 hours
Hi, Lou Just came across your website and have been entranced reading memories of that place from those who were there.
I didnt see anybody who had been at FICEUR, the Fleet Intelligence Center, Europe, on the base,where I was assigned to during that time period.
My wife and I lived off-base in the apartment building that was directly across from the City Hall square at # 39 Albert 1st, later Avenue Mohammed V.
I had been previously stationed on the staff of the Airborne Early Warning Wing Atlantic at USNAS Argentia, Newfoundland where I met a Canadian girl
whom I married, and we both left for Morocco a couple of weeks after we were hitched in June of 1959. Our son, John, was born at the Port Lyautey base
hospital in 1961 and is presently a Captain, USNR, at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA, where he heads the Anesthesia Department.
Many, many fond memories of Morocco, including the following:
Buying a block of ice from the ice man down the street from the hotel
The busy café on the corner
Seeing tanker trucks carrying wine to the port for
shipment to France Wine brands such as Beni Malek and Boulouane the Marche market and the Boulangerie Francaise bargaining for fruit and
vegetables the outdoor movie on the base the Oasis trips to Rabat and Casablanca, Tangier, Marrakech, and Azrou and Ifrane...The Coq dOr
nightclub and belly-dancers in Casablanca
Administrative visits to the 6th Fleet, on the carriers Intrepid, Roosevelt, and Shangri-La, and getting seasick on all three ships.
Playing golf on the course at the base, and sampling fresh figs from the tree that grew there.
A couple of chergui windstorms, with blowing sand and temperatures off the top.
I had a good friend, Capt. Frank Heyer, who was Chief of Staff at the Wing in Argentia,, and who later was CO of VR-24.
We had a most marvelous Fatima, Dayia, who used to wheel our little John down to the Marche to buy stuff at prices far cheaper than I could bargain
Dayia had a brother named Regregui, and we were invited to his wedding in the Medina. We brought along a wedding gift, an electric steam iron. The men
ate separately from the women. I remember the apparent no-no horror when I, a left-hander, stuck my paw into the cous-cous at the wedding feast, and
afterwards was quickly given a fork.
I had a VW Bug in those days, and it was well looked after by Monsieur Roger Rougelin, who installed the yellow headlights that never worked
properly and which he insisted were home to the Devil.
We lived in that apartment building on Albert the 1stthe only steam-heated building in the city, or so we were toldfrom 1959 till our departure for
the States in October, 1962.
Just a few memories of that marvelous time and place. As I look over the Pacific Ocean from my place of retirement, Vancouver, British Columbia,
where Ive been for the past 35 years. I know that I wouldnt have missed the Moroccan tour for all the beans in China. If I still had my fez and
Moroccan slippers, Id be the happiest guy alive.
Nat Shapira, Lt., USNR, ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
FICEUR, NAS Port Lyautey, July, 1959-October, 1962
POSTED: 05/05/10 0530 hours
I was at the Marine Barracks Sidi Yahia 76-77. I was proud to have served with the people there. I was a dog handler. Played all the sports I could
and enjoyed the travel to Spain and Sicily with the different sports teams.
Thanks for the memories, Harrison Todd ~ Hrtodd1954@aol.com
POSTED: 05/02/10 0615 hours
I TRAVELED FROM NORFOLK BY DC 7 AND REMAINED IN PORT LYAUTEY FOR 2 WEEKS WAITING FOR MY PLANE FLIGHT TO NICE, FRANCE TO CATCH UP WITH MY SHIP THE USS FREMONT, APA 44.
LYAUTEY WAS GREAT. DAVID M. BARRETT, LTJG, USN. ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 04/27/10 1230 hours
Hi Lou - my former husband was stationed through the Navy Reserve at Sidi Yahia for two years from 1968-70, and I worked at Port Lyautey for the Navy
Exchange officer. It is hard to believe that the crown prince that I used to escort around the Navy Exchange is now the King. It was a wonderful
time - still wish I had my Moroccan maid. We lived in downtown Kenitra off the base with a bunch of other American sailors and their families together
with a bunch of French Moroccans. We still keep in touch with each other and our families have grown tremendously. We didn't have any children while
in Morocco but had 4 when we returned to the states, and then unfortunately went through a divorce. But we both have fond memories of Morocco and
their people/culture, and would go back there again in a heartbeat.
Sue Slocum ~ Sos1231@aol.com
POSTED: 04/26/10 2230 hours
Hello to anyone who might have been at Port Lyautey between 1942-1957. My father was David E. Culross and he worked in the Finance office there
on the base. He met my Mother, Laurette Lubrano Lavedera and married her in 1945. They returned Stateside and were stationed in Kentucky. In 1946
my oldest brother was born in Indianapolis Indiana while my parents were visiting my grandmother on my Father's side. They returned back to Morocco and my second brother and I were born at my grandmother's house in Casablanca in 1950 and 1952.We lived for a while on Medea Beach until all American personnel were ordered to live on base due to the dangers outside of the base itself. Dad continued to work in the Finance office until 1957 when we returned to Indiana and he worked at Grissom Air Force Base as the SAC Budget officer until his retirement which I believe was in 1986. Dad passed away in 2002 and is sorely missed by his eight children. Would be interested to hear from other kids that lived on base. Our house was on the circle and just off the runway.
I also, as others have stated, would love to go back but have been cautioned by family members and friends who have been there not to do so. They said it is nothing like I would have remembered it and would be a great disappointment. My being born there always intrigues people and it caused my daughter, who applied for a passport after 9/11, to wait six months while they researched my background. I also only have a photocopy of my birth certificate but fortunately have maintained my passport and have not needed it for anything else.
Anyone wishing to communicate can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Culross Kupec
POSTED: 04/26/10 2230 hours
My father, Harold Clarence "Nick" Carter, served in the U.S. Navy at Port Lyautey from Jan-Aug 1944. During that time he was in a plane crack-up and was injured and treated there. Later he was shipped back home. I have tried to locate information about his time there as well as his injuries. I have some photos showing himthere yet the government says they have no record of his being there or his injury. He is dead now butmy family would like to know a little more about his time in North Africa. Is there any way you can direct me to information on my dad's time there? I also have four photos I can share with your web-site if you are interested.
POSTED: 04/23/10 0630 hours
WEB-EDITOR NOTE! See e-mail following this entry
I was one of the doctors at the Port Lyautey Station Hospital (where you were born) from February 1959 to January 1961. There is a one in seven chance that I may have delivered you if you weren't a complicated delivery and if you were born outside regular working hours - ask your mom. Amyhow, my wife, her cousin, and I were on a Morocco Elderhostel in October 2005. From Rabat we hired a taxi and directed the driver to drive us to Kenitra. As we got to the gate I asked the Moroccan Air Force guard in my fractured French, to allow us to visit and explained to him that I had lived there for almost two years and had worked in the hospital. He refused to let us in. Friends of mine from California had been there around 1999 or 2000 while the movie "Blackhawk Down" was being filmed there* and were allowed to drive around the base and even went into the hospital, now being used by the Moroccan Air Force. Apparently the Moroccans have tightened up on whom they allow on the base as a result of the events of 9/11/2001. Anyhow, after we were refused entry, we directed the driver to take us over to Mehdia Beach, where we spent leisure time 50 years ago, then to Bouknadel Beach, now known as "Plage des Nations" and closer to Rabat, where we also spent leisure time. The city of Kenitra has grown beyond recognition, as has the stretch of coastal highway between Rabat and Kenitra. You'd probably enjoy visiting Morocco, but I'd recommend going with a group, such as Elderhostel. You might also visit the CCCL (Center for Cross-Cultural Learning) website, www.cccl.ma. CCCL is a Rabat NGO and might have some information of interest. But don't plan on entering the base at P. L. I have no idea what has happened to Sidi Yahia. Maybe someone else who reads your 4/19/2010 post on the Port Lyautey website may know.
*Blackhawk Down has scenes filmed on the base, especially of the air terminal area, and sweeping aerial views of the beaches between Kenitra and Rabat. Much of the action was filmed in the cities of Rabat and its neighboring city Salé, across the Oued Bou Regreg River. It looks much the same as 50 years ago. Salé was off limits to us, but a civilian friend and I went there anyhow. Luckily we survived.
A. Franklin White, M. D.
POSTED: 04/19/10 0200 hours
Hi, My name is Dawn Salamone Beresford and I was born at the Naval Hospital in 1960. My father was stationed at Port Lyautely then. He was previously
stationed in Sidi Yahia around 1957-1959. His name is Joe Salamone. At one point he coached the base's Little League team. I will be 50 this year and
I am interested in seeing the place of my birth. Does anyone know if I can actually get on to the base? I know it was closed by the US in the '70's,
but didn't know if it is still accessible. I have only pictures and my father's stories about where I was born and I figure at 50, it's as good a
time as any to go to Morocco. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any feedback.
Dawn Salamone Beresford
POSTED: 04/19/10 0200 hours
I was stationed in Port Lyautey in1957 and1958. 3rd class mechanic in the Seabees. I played on the base football team. I worked as the service mgr at the motor pool. Drove the wrecker on duty night had a great time in Morocco went by name Woody. I,M FROM HENDERSON KY been in the automobile business for 50 yr. 73 years old work ever day would love to hear from any of the guys station with me. Marion Bruce Woodring, firstname.lastname@example.org.
POSTED: 04/13/10 1720 hours
Served as a Parachute Rigger with the Marine Detachment from June 1958 through October 1958. Unit flew R4Q aircraft.
Charles W. Dunn
Life Systems, Inc.
FAA Station # KQ1R279K
POSTED: 03/29/10 1700 hours
Hi, and thanks for your time and work on the website. It is really nice.
I ended up here because I was trying to fill in the "places I've been too" application on Facebook, and could not remember how to spell Port Lyauttey, so I began phonetically typing in the way I learned to pronounce it, along with my knowledge that Morocco was a French territory while I was there. My first attempt was 'porte laoatey". Then I tried straight phonetics, and typed in 'port layoatay'. I was fortunate because through Wikipedia, that finally got me to your site.
I was in the 4th grade, and my dad was an Air Force Captain stationed in Rabat at the U.S. Air Force Command Center. We were there from spring 1953 thru fall
1956, Then we were re-stationed to the Tripoli, Libya A.F.B. for 6 mos. before returning to the states about mid-57 to Gardena, Calif. where my dad reported to Vandenburg, A.F.B.
Although I was young, I really enjoyed Morocco via the day and weekend trips we made throughout the country. It was a real good time in my life.
While in Rabat, we shared a duplex with a French Commandant and his family (7 Rue de Salon). They lived on the ground floor and we lived on the second floor, although we did get the driveway, tiny garage to store the firewood in, and the bigger part of the back yard.
Somehow my dad connected with the son of the 'personal secretary' to the Sultan' of Morocco. It might have been the 1949 Cadillac that my dad brought over there with us that attracted the attention. Anyway, this guy not only bought the Cadillac, he bought the Automatic Record Player and a whole bunch of American stuff that we had brought with us, and to help make us friends, he invited us to a Moroccan Dinner at the Sultan's Summer Palace which was only a short drive from our house. Wow, was that fantastic! He told us that we were the first foreigners (non Arab) to be there in that part of the palace.
Anyway, lots more stories, not enough time right now.
Again, thanks for the memories!
Richard Woodworth email@example.com
POSTED: 03/25/10 0800 hours
Hello ---My dad was stationed at the Marine Barracks, Port Lyautey in 1955-57 era. I looked at a lot of his folders and saw where names like Col Silvey, Lt Honse, SgtMaj Cipparone, Sgt Pierce, LtCol Morriaty,Col Manderville, IstLt Fred Kuhn, Lt Rapp, etc. Do these names ring a bell for anyone. Thanks
Sally Bern ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 03/07/10 0600 hours
What a fantastic Web Site. Well done. I was only 4 years old when I moved to Port Lyautey in 1955. My father, CPO Billy McKinnies was attached to VR-24 until his retirement in 1959. My mother, a french native of Morocco met my father in Kenitra. My maternal grandmother owned the Hotel Continental, across from the "Marche". I have a lot of fond memories of that period; Lake Roomey was a popular place for boating, fishing and camping out. My last visit to Port Lyautey was in 1973. I was in the Navy at the time, flew in from Rota, Spain. My Father, working for the Navy Resale Systems Office (Navy Exchange) was there on business as my Mother was visiting her family. Sadly, it was my last visit there. Morocco is indeed a beautiful country.
My Father joined the Navy Exchange system following his retirement in 1959 and retired from NRSO. He devoted his life to Military and Civil Service work. He passed away in 2001. My Mother is still around and still traveling the world as she has done for so long.
All the pictures on this web site are fantastic. Thank you to all that contributed. I certainly wish we had pictures to share, I would send them in.
Eric L. McKinnies: ELMCKINNIES@aol.com
POSTED: 03/05/10 1415 hours
Randy MacCloskey CE-3
Stationed from 9/68-10/69
Had a house at Media Beach
Worked with Russell Hope and Lou Romans
Johnny Perez Public Works OIC
POSTED: 03/04/10 0900 hours
My father was in the Navy and we lived in Morocco from 1970-1972. We lived in Kenitra for about a year before moving on to the base at Sidi Yahia. I will never forget living there or the great people we all met while living there.
POSTED: 03/01/10 0600 hours
My husband, Joe H. Danens AL1 was a crew member on the PB4Y2 shot down over the Baltic on 8 April 1950..From 1949 through 1954 I worked as
secretary to the Commanding Officer of the base..Captain Ford Newton Taylor....Captain Thurston Booth Clark and then Captain William Sisson....I had been a WAVE, YN1 and went civil service after discharge (1944-1948)...I am still involved with the DOD regarding the MIA/POW incidents..Needless to say I was thriled to find this website, actually, my brother found it and sent it on to me. I have some pictures and "boo cou" memories...wonder if there is anyone still around from that time...there is much more to the story, but I would like to hear from you first. Many many thanks for making this possible.
Ruth Rachel ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 02/21/10 0400 hours
I was a SeaBee with MCB-4 during a tour at the base in late 1954-55. Lived on "confusion hill", worked building some barracks and power sub-station on the base and buildings for the Marines at Bouknadel. Had a great time there. Made friends with two young arabs who worked for the American contractor also doing construction. They took us everywhere from their homes to surrounding areas. I particularly remember an outdoor souk in an open field where the children where treated to a delicacy - roasted grasshopper.
Our arab friends (I only remember the name of one: Bouchsaid Bensalem - my spelling) were gracious hosts; my buddy, Tom Gaul, and I had a hard time convincing them to let us pick up checks. We ate at the home of one of them and had cous-cous. A little girl, about 5, lived in the house and I had my mother send over a little dress for her. Unfortunately I gave it to him on the base to take home to the girl. The French guards at the gate roughed up our arab friend and tore the dress. I had my mother send another and I took it to her. In the 7 or 8 months I was there I witnessed two other incidents for which the French cannot be proud. Come to think of it they were not too fond of us, either.
I read one note from a sailor stationed on Guam who didn't re-up because he would be sent to Port Lyautey and it was worse than Guam. I guess that proves what can happen to your brain sitting on that rock for too long - and I had SeaBee friends who could attest to that.
All in all, I had great experiences from Casa and Rabat to Fez, Meknes and other places whose names I don't remember. It was the only duty station I had been to that I would re-visit if I could.
Bill Boyle - former BU1 with MCB-4 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 02/17/10 2050 hours
I was in transient while awaiting a flight to Fasron (Special) 200 at London in 1956. I believe that Morroco had just won its independence from France at that time. I then returned in 1962 for duty until 1966. It was then Kenitra. I worked in the Supply Dept. I arrived by ship in Casablanca and left by ship from Gibralter. Travelled quite a lot while there. Was an enjoyable tour. A great website.
Ron Cadari ~ email@example.com
E-8 USN Ret.
POSTED: 02/17/10 1340 hours
My father Sergeant William (Gene) Stinnett was stationed in Port Lyautey and then Sidi Yahia from 1956 to 1958. We went to School in Sidi Slimane (Air Force Base). My dad was our baseball coach. He started little league in Sidi Yahia and built the baseball field. We went to Wiesbaden, Germany for the Europe Championship little league games. My sister Melba had a best friend, Sandy Boudrou. I saw her name on the guest book, but her email was not correct. There were three boys, Phil, Bill and Robert Stinnett. We played baseball. I remember Greg Marshall, the Pugh's. it was a long time ago.
Phil Stinnett ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 02/11/10 1715 hours
Hi LOU: Thanks for the memories. I was with VR-24 from 08/54 until 10/56 (some with the det. in Naples). Remember my time as a flight orderly, with memories of many fellow crew members. After leaving VR-24, went to FASRON 200 Iin Blackbushe, UK for three years. Reired as PNC in 1973, and residing now in Omaha, NE. Would like to hear from some old shipmates, (Jim Tracy; Frank Murphy among many. I remember this as the tour of duty that convinced me that leaving the Navy after 4 years and living in Omaha would be boring. Thanks for the great site.
Darrell Brock ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 02/11/10 1430 hours
Wow! Where do I begin? I was looking for the house we lived in on Google Maps satellite view and stumbled upon your web site.
My father was stationed there in 1951 and again with our family from June 1961 to July 1963 when we transferred to Rota, Spain, for a year. The two
years we spent in Kenitra made a lasting impression on me and became one of the core formative experiences of my life. I had the good fortune to meet
people who took an interest in me and taught me about the things that they did, sparking an interest in learning that has been with me my entire life.
I learned French there and a little bit of Arabic, adding to the Italian and English languages I had grown up with. The cultural exchange provided me
with some very rich experiences and fond memories.
The family who sat at our table on the MSTS ship across the Atlantic had a little girl in her high chair who would eat just the butter with a spoon
from her buttered bread and leave the rest. I was convinced thats where her blond hair came from. They ended up living out at the beach during
their stay there. I remember the houses at the beach as a very humid area and they always warned us about going out into the water due to the strong
undertow and sharks near shore.
We lived off base in a quiet neighborhood not too far from the Princess Hotel where we stayed upon our arrival. Lausine (forgive my spelling) was
the owner of the hotel at the time, was a wonderful host, and catered to all our needs. The food was incredible and it seemed like every night was a
party with a large crowd. Josies Bar was next door with the jukebox blaring Edith Piaf songs at all hours. She was quite a character and my
mother got along great with her. We were introduced to many of the local French and Moroccan people who later became part of our lives there. Josies
husband also had a restaurant where my brother and I would have dinner when my father was out of town on flight duty in the Med and my mother was in
Naples with her sister who was ill at the time. I remember Monsieur Cabege (sp?), well known to the American community, who was married to a French
woman who converted to Islam in order to marry him it took me a while to wrap my little head around that one since I couldnt understand why anyones
faith would have to get in the way of getting married. They gave me a blue-eyed white rabbit as a gift and I still have the pictures of us in the
back yard with him crossing his front legs when he stood on his hind feet to reach up for a carrot. We also had a big dog named Joker who would eat the
oranges from the heavily laden branches of our neighbors tree that would sag over the wall and into our back yard. It wasnt the strangest thing our dog
did, but it did introduce me to new people. I also got a chance to meet a lot of people when I would take him for a walk mostly by being dragged
down the street all the way to the park so that he could bark at the swans in the pond when they would hiss & peck on his big nose. Getting back home
always got me a lot of attention due to the bleeding scrapes and torn scabs on my knees and arms, but what can you expect when the dog outweighed me? We
also had chameleons in our hedges, a duck, a chicken, a hedgehog, huge toads, and storks that would nest on top of our chimney which precluded
using the fireplace at all in the winter. We would put fresh orange peels on a bed of coals in a steel bucket in the hearth instead giving the whole
house a wonderful fragrance for the holidays.
I remember my father driving fast down the hill on the back road to the base where oncoming drivers would courteously flash their headlights to signal
that police were up ahead and not to get caught speeding. I also remember trying to count the number of white cowbirds as we drove through the golf
course coming up the hill past the gate entrance. He was with the VR24 squadron and was promoted to chief while we were there. I remember the
hangover he had from the initiation party still have some pictures from it, too. AZC Gerald John Peiffer, Jerry to all who knew him. He passed
away in February 1984. I remember a flurry of excitement over one mission when a Russian torpedo washed up on shore in Turkey and they had to fly it
to Dover in a hurry. Another incident that made an impression on me was the tragic death of a serviceman and his family from using an Aladdin kerosene
heater indoors without adequate ventilation. Never forgot that lesson on carbon monoxide poisoning One of the flights we took to Naples at
Christmas had a jet engine strapped down on a skid that would shift a little during turbulence. It was secure, but my eyes sure got big every time it
would move towards me in those cargo webbing bench seats we were strapped into. I was given a nice tour of the relative warmth and quiet of the
cockpit and had a chance to see the alps on one of the instrument displays. They always had the best box lunch sandwiches on those flights and I still
havent found a deli that makes them that good.
The food there was amazing, all the fruit and vegetables grew much larger and were tastier than we had encountered elsewhere. As a kid I never quite
understood how we could get the best tasting steaks when the local cattle looked so emaciated. I since learned that we had quality beef from
Argentina at the commissary at the time. I dont recall ever eating as much shrimp in my life as I did as a kid at the Princess Hotel restaurant,
especially on my birthday! I ate escargot for the first time at a restaurant that we drove for hours to get to one night along with our French
family friends, the Hamards, who helped me learn to eat in a civilized manner with proper etiquette. ;-) Music and dancing was just as big a part
of our lives as all the dinners and parties. Our parents used to go down to the night clubs in Bouknadel and Casablanca with their friends. They had a
great time. Through our French connections, they met a number of people in business and government and were frequently invited to functions. On one
occasion they even made an exception to their custom of men-only and invited my mother to join them for an audience in a palace, which was typical of the
way that my family always managed to break through social barriers of all kinds everywhere we lived. They would have been good diplomats if that had
been their line of work.
Our maid Zaira invited us to a special dinner hosted by her aunt in their home in the Medina. This was a pretty big deal to them and I was reminded
to properly behave according to their customs which was a rather moot point since a certain degree of circumspection was the norm given the number
of events and cultural exchanges that were the routine in our household. There must have been twenty kids piled on the back of our big American car as we
slowly waded through a sea of humanity getting to her place. It had a small garden courtyard and a seating area where the food was prepared and quite a
comfortable spread for the whole meal. The cous-cous and tagine were REALLY good and we had a great time. The house consisted of a patchwork of wood,
fabrics, and sheet metal with rugs on a dirt floor but it was just as inviting and comfortable as any of the lavish settings we had been in
elsewhere. Home is where the heart is and these wonderful people had big hearts in the right place.
I would often wander through my neighborhood on my own and met a number of interesting people that way. I couldnt dream of being able to let my
little daughter do that sort of thing nowadays here in the U.S., but those were certainly different times. I thought it was interesting to find the
goats sleeping up in the shady branches of a tree during the hot part of the day. I played with the kids next door where we would use a swiveling
blackboard on wheels in their garage teaching each other to write words in our respective languages. Ali was the eldest son and I still have the
wristwatch that he gave me on my 8th birthday. I also met an American family in the neighborhood who had a little boy that I would sometimes play
with. His father was an officer in the Navy and he spent a great deal of time teaching me about stamp collecting and helped me start my own
collection. They also had a six month old daughter who became very sick and suddenly died of pneumonia. It was a tragic loss for them and although I
was a youngster and didnt quite know how to express my condolences, I tried to make sure that I spent time at their place to play with their son and do
what little I could to help. Unfortunately all I have been able to find in my pictures of them were some of the little boys toys in their front yard.
Thanks for hosting your site. It brought back some wonderful memories.
John Peiffer ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 02/06/10 0700 hours
A search on Google for callsign NHY brought me here, I remember in 1953/54 I had to pass the occasional message from RAF Gloucester in the UK to Port Lyautey, it was such an unusual occurrence to have traffic that NHY was dubbed Not heard yet!
Ian Denney (ex RAF SAC wireless operator) E-Mail address removed upon request
POSTED: 02/05/10 0700 hours
Our family was stationed there from June 1956 to June 1959. My father was Tom Lancaster, leading chief of VR-24. We lived in town on Rue de orange for 18 months and then moved into the new quarters near the school (36-B). We had a wonderful experience and learned more about the world there than any where else we have lived. I have met a few people who had followed us back to the U.S. to Jacksonville, FL. I have two sisters, Janice and Karol and a brother Tom who was born there in 1957. Jan cycled next to a fellow for 2 years before she found out he had been there in 1956. Small world.
Ellen Lancaster Godfrey ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 02/04/10 0615 hours
Francis John (Tiny) Mazanec, Sr. Retired Chief Torpedoman, USN and Port Lyautey Alumni Association Member
Aug 18, 1921 - Jan 29, 2010
North Fort Myers, FL
Service Information: A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 10:00 at The Harvey-Engelhardt-Metz Funeral Chapel 1600 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida.33907
Please send condolences to:
Mary Ellen Mazanec, 1320 Harbor View Drive, N. Fort Myers, FL 33917
POSTED: 01/20/10 0645 hours
My name is Jean-Claude Lyall, and I am from Port Lyautey. We moved to the U.S. back around 1963. We now live in NC, USA. I am interested in corresponding with people who are from Port Lyautey, or have been there. Your site is great and I hope to meet others as well.
Please email me with any and all info that you are willing to share. I eagerly look forward to hearing from you!
Jean-Claude ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 01/19/10 1910 hours
I'm Vic Markey. I was stationed at NAF Port Lyautey and then Sidi Yahia from August 1952 until August 1955. Niether Sidi Yahia nor Sidi Boukanadel had been completed when I arrived but were then under constuction.
I worked in a Navy Maintenance Unit (EMU) on NAF P/L. Our shop was located at the base or the hill enroute to the main gate.
When Sidi Yahia was ready to be "cut over", I was reassigned there and worked as a High Speed Radio Operator (Morse). Our job was sending and receiving Morse Code messages from Navy ships enroute to, operating in, or transiting the Med.
Enjoyed my tour immensely. Saddened to leave (a bit) since, after 3 years, I had learned quite a bit about Morocco and watched, while there, as it sought and finally obtained its transition from French Morocco and French control to Morocco as an independent state.
Of course, Spanish Morocco and the International Zone of Tangiers also were reincorporated into the new Moroccan state.
Interested in hearing from anyone also there at that time or anyone with any questions that perhaps I could answer.
Vic Markey ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 01/19/10 1910 hours
Looking for any ANGLICO team members, either USMC or USN, who passed through during the 1950's.
Ron Selig / 2nd ANGLICO 1955 - 1957 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 01/18/10 1830 hours
My names is Amine. I found this great website accidently while I was helping my little sister in her homework which was about the history and old pictures of Kenitra. I read all your posts in the guest book and it's a great honor for me that you or your parents were and served here in the air base, and I'm sure when say that I'm speaking on behalf of all people in Kenitra that you are welcome here anytime. I want to show you this blog about Kenitra it contains many pictures all and new once unfortunatly there are no new pictures ( such as 2010 pictures) but I'm sure if someday you come here again you will defently like it, and thank you all
P.S: sorry, my english is not that good...
Mohammed Amine Rouh" email@example.com ~ http://kenitra-ma.skyrock.com/
POSTED: 01/18/10 1830 hours
Fantastic site. I was station at NTC Kentira from Autust 70 to Nov 71. Was an ET2 then and worked at Ground Electronics. Spent most time in the tower
and the receiver and transmitter site. ETC Ray Davis was the boss then. Can only remember a few people from those days. There was ET1 Richester
(GCA) ,ET2 John Scully, ET2 Gary Wetzell and Chief Davis. Always lived out in town and did one heck of a bunch of touring. Bought a VW there and
brought it back with me. I left in 71 and went back to Viet Nam with the Naval Advisory Group in 73.
I returned to Morocco in the spring of 73 and was stationed out at Bouk until July 76. Made first class shortly after returning. Had a heck of a
good time on that tour. Still remember some of the folks. ET1 Jim Pattison, ET1 Floroski, ET2 Steve Lyons, ET2 Mickey Lyons and YN2 Mike
Osborne who was replaced by Howie Coburn. The antenna crew was run by Rene`, a French man and his Moroccan crew. Ahmed was working in the snack
bar by the bowling alley. Ben Tami was the pin setter and John was the bartender at the Cork Lounge. Brought back a Portugese wife when we moved
to NAS Lemoore. We split up in 1982
I retired in 1986 as a Chief ET from San Pedro, building FFGs. I am now working for NAVSEA and out of Port Hueneme and live in Ventura.
Maybe there are others out there that may have been at either NAS Kentira or Bock dueing those times that may some others than I worked with during those
I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin (Lou) Lewis, Sr.
POSTED: 01/14/10 1145 hours
My name is Peter Brown, son of Peter Brown 2nd. My father, Peter Brown, was a Tele-Communications Instructor at the time. I was born on base in Sep 1957. If anyone knew him them, I would like to hear from you. He married a German gal he met in Gibralter Spain. He passed away in 1976.
Cool WEB site and PICS...Shared it with my family. And nice work.
Peter Brown ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 01/10/10 1900 hours
Just would like to say HI to the guys at the communication station. I was stationed on Guam in 1956-57 working in the communications control link (CCL) keeping all the circuits working. I thought Guam was a unforsaken place to work untill I talked with the guys in Port Lyautey. If I shipped over I would have got stuck in Lyautey so I said no thanks and got my discharge.
Orchard Park, NY
POSTED: 01/09/10 0900 hours
Just visited the website and it truly brought back so many memories. I was at USNTC fromJune 1969 until December 1970 serving in the Supply Dept. I was curious if there is a database for otherpersonel thatserved there and been in touch with the webstie during that same period of time in hopes that I coul d reestablish old contacts? I went to USNTC directlyoutof Class A school in Newport RI, and then after USNTC to the pre-comissioningnucleaus crew of the USS Reasoner (DE1063) in Bremerton Wash.
I want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into this website and plan to stay in touch in the future....Happy New Year.
William Fox SK2
POSTED: 01/07/10 0515 hours
Love the ste, it has refreshed so many memories. I was stationed in Kenitra in 1974 and stayed for 18 months, the best 18 months of my military days. I had traveled to Rabat, Casa Blanca, Marakesh, and Tangiers. There were a couple of us that went on a road trip to one of the Playboy clubs over there, and for the life of me I can't remember where that was at. There was a group of us that took a bus trip from some guys from Amsterdam to Terazue Beach. I remember that we had a great time. I'm hoping to find old members from public works that worked in the pipe shop.
POSTED: 01/03/10 2200 hours
There is now a Facebook page for those who served at Navcomsta Morocco or may be interested in the base. Just visit Facebook and type in Sidi Yahia in
the search bar. Hope to see you there.
Also, I have a website up for the Sidi base. The address is http://www.angelfire.com/nj3/navcomstamorocco
Joe Franzen ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 01/02/10 2040 hours
Lou - just want to echo the words of others commending you for the (probably thankless) job you are doing with this website. Have a great 2010 and keep up the great work! Thanks again.
Rather than repeating my P/L tale here, if anyone is interested in my duty there, check the 2008 Guestbook entry for 7/02/2008.
Ed Clayton Sr., AC2
Port Orange, FL 32129
POSTED: 01/01/10 1830 hours
HAPPY 2010 TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN STATIONED IN MOROCCO.
I had the privilege of observing 5 New Years celebrations in Morocco, (73-78), and to this day, they have meant more to me than any since. The people I was
stationed with there are still closer, and better friends than the ones I grew up with and went to school with prior to enlisting, and others I have met since my
retirement from the Navy in 92. For some reason, you can be stationed with a person for a few months, and form a bond with them that remains unbreakable
for the rest of your lives.
So, for others that find, or are sent this site, and read the guestbook, take some time to leave a note of your experiences in Morocco, leave your name and contact,
someone else reading your post may indeed be one of your shipmates that you have lost contact with, or maybe have not thought about for years. I can honestly say
you will not be sorry, especially if you are contacted by an old shipmate that "was there", and can help you relive your memories from "The Greatest Duty Station".
*Lou, all the best to you and yours in 2010, and keep up the excellent work on your Port Lyautey site, it is appreciated more than is probably noted*
POSTED: 01/01/10 1830 hours
Every year I like to post a Morocco memory here on the website. I do enjoy reading the posts of others who had the opportunity to spend time in
Morocco. My personal thanks to Lou for continuing to work his magic in keeping this treasure chest of memories going. Thanks Lou!
I arrived in Sidi Yahia right after Christmas of 1975. It was my first duty station. When I got my orders to Morocco I had no idea where it was. When
I figured it out I envisioned desert sand, exotic food and belly dancers, not cold weather. I was shocked to discover just how bone chilling cold
Morocco was when I arrived there that winter. When I got my orders to Morocco my orders were stamped "civilian clothes only." I was given a
civilian clothing allowance. Being young and dumb I brought very few uniforms and uniform accessories (like a Pea coat or working jacket) and
packed plenty of liberty duds. I did happen to have a dark blue windbreaker in my wardrobe. I was one very cold dude. Unfortunately, the exchange at
Sidi wasn't stocked with much in the way of clothing, mostly just Cigarettes and Beer (God love them). I had to send a letter home to my Mother with
instructions on how to find my uniforms, pack it in my sea bag, and ship them to me. It took FOREVER to get my sea bag. The day it did arrived the
PC2 (who was actually from NTC Kenitra) called me and man was he P-O'd. He didn't like the idea of hauling around the sea bag of some Seaman
Apprentice. He claimed it was a postal violation to ship a sea bag to Morocco. When I got to the Post Office to collect my sea bag he made
sentences using nothing but curse words and my name mixed with stupid and lazy. It was pretty impressive Sailor talk. Over the next 20 plus years of
my career I never transferred or went on deployment without a sea bag as close to full as I could carry or stow.
Morocco had a very unique smell, especially during the winter nights. I never smelled that smell again anywhere in my worldly travels. It was a
mixture of smoldering wood, burning charcoal, brochettes, and exotic spices all blended together in the damp salty sea air. At first it was nauseating,
but it soon became a delightful, alluring smell.
I moved in to an apartment downtown Kenitra after only a few months in Morocco. I had many memorable late night walks by myself through the
streets from the bus stop at Jack's Bar to where I lived. Walking home I would usually get approached by beggars or young kids wanting to joke around
(or steal my wallet), but I never felt unsafe. My favorite hang out was the club at the Mamora Hotel. This was a stop I frequently made on my way home.
It opened about 10 PM and didn't close till dawn. There was always a group of Sailors in there having a good time with the girls. They had a drink
there called "The Machete." Man that thing would hack you up and leave you speechless. It had Ricard (sometimes referred to a "Retard"), Vodka, and
Coke. It tasted and smelled like liquorish but it was very, very powerful stuff. I had many, many fun times at the Mamora, some I even remember.
I wanted to make a post to update my email address email@example.com on
the site. I always enjoy hearing from those who were fortunate enough to
get to share the enjoyable and wonderful experience of Morocco.
Marcus Wilbanks, RMCS(SW) retired
San Antonio, Texas