PORT LYAUTEY GUESTLOG FOR THE YEAR 2012
Click Here For The 2002 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2003 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2004 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2005 Guestlog
Click Here For The 2006 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2007 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2008 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2009 Guestlog
Click Here For The 2010 Guestlog ~ Click Here For The 2011 Guestlog
Greetings - just found your site and wanted to check in. My father, Walter Tatge, was a Flight Surgeon with VR-24 between 1951 and 1953. My mother joined him at Port Lyautey and I was born in 1952 in Rabat. My father passed away in 1999 but I just spoke with my mother and she is very excited about the site. She will be getting internet access soon and will be happy to peruse. I'll have to scan some slides and hopefully get them added to the collections.
Thanks, Paul Tatge ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 12/01/12 0800 hours
My name is Linda L. Garland Oestreich. My father, Thomas Tennent Garland, was a 1st Class Storekeeper in charge of the warehouse for the base Navy Exchange from 1954 through 1956 or early 1957. We lived in the town on a street I think was called Rue de la Memora. I went to school on the base during the week and at a local Catholic school in town on Saturdays. My brother, Bruce Garland, was born in the base hospital on 2 April 1956. I have fond memories of my childhood there (I was 5 when we arrived, and 8 when we left). Thank you for this website! If any of your visitors remember my dad, please let me know.
Blessings to all! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ Personal email: email@example.com
POSTED: 11/13/12 0600 hours
Hi,: I served aboard the USS Kenneth D. Bailey DDR713 from 1952 to 1956. I was an RM3 and on occasion, Port Lyautey would relay messages to the US. They were always helpful in doing this, as communications were often difficult.
Jim Gobetz ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 11/10/12 0800 hours
My Dad, Stan Obuchowski Sr., former US Navy Officer, is celebrating his 80th birthday and I was hoping to find someone who might have been in Port Lyautey with him. He was originally commissioned in Brunswick GA in the "poopy bag" division. Worked in Morocco in 1952-54 I'm guessing. He's not very forthcoming with the details. If anyone remembers him, or has any insight or remembrances of the time would be greatly appreciated. He recounts his time there very fondly.
Stan Obuchowski Jr. ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 10/31/12 0730 hours
My name is Adam and I am originally from Kenitra / Port Lyautey. First of all, I want to thank you for setting up this very nice site. Lot of memories are brought back and people who served togather at Port Lyautey base could find each and after so many years. That is really very nice and thanks to your site of course. I was a 6/7-year-old boy when my Aunt used to come with an american family to our house in Mehdya and spend some time with us. My Aunt worked for this american family (as a maid) for some years. They were at Kenitra and Sidi Slimane base? I do remember the name of the Mother (Ruth). The mother was tall and of some weight. My Aunt gave her (I mean to Ruth) the name of Jamila, a moroccan name. Ruth, with her husband and kids, used to call my Aunt (Gabie/Gaby), but her name in arabic is: Boughabia. As for us, Moroccans, this name is difficult to pronounce. I do know the name of the father too but I am not really sure of the spelling because my Aunt used to pronounce it in her own way. The name of the father is (gaze)? This family had 3 daughters and one son. One of the daughters her name was Kathie or Kathy? The eldest was named Kanie? The other one her name begins with the letter B. I am not sure of the spelling of the names because my Aunt did not speak good english at that time and as a small kid, I did not have the opportunity to speak or learn any english. I could not even correct my Aunt's english or pronounciation. We learned a lot from this family. They helped my Aunt a lot and as a kid, I do remember that they used to bring chocolate, candies, popcorn, littles toys/cars to play with and other things for us. One of my brothers, the eldest one, got married at that time and they helped my family by buying food, drinks and bringing lot of presents from the base. It was really very nice to have them with us and celebrate the wedding of my brother together. When this family left Morocco, we heard that they had gone to Florida. But we did not know where in Florida was exactly. They even wanted to take my Aunt with them to the States but she did not want to leave her husband and kids behind her. Now, if you know any thing about this family, please feel free to contact me. My Aunt is still alive and she is now 83 years old. She would really be glad to hear from them and especially from the kids. I thing that the parents are now dead. Those that I called kids are now parents and even grand parents. Thanks.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
POSTED: 10/21/12 1730 hours
I don't know why it's taken me so long to look this up but I finally did. I'm 85 years old and a Navy vet. I was one of the radioman from ComNavMed send to Lyautey to establish the radio station as a relay from radio station NSS Washington to the Mediterranean and served there for about a year before I was discharged.It was quite an experience and some good memories.
Tom Fitch ~Sunovafitch@aol.com
POSTED: 10/12/12 1530 hours
My name is Pat Leone. Served in Port Lyautey from May 1971 to August 1972 at NAS as AG3 under Chief Clairmont in weather office. Want to shout out to Buzz.Ron,Ken Marty and gang from Bouq beach.If anyone remembers email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can reminisce.
POSTED: 10/09/12 0730 hours
Lou - FYI - I watched on the Military channel last night a program called "Patton 360" and it was about "Operation Torch" and it centered on the General's invasion of North Africa at Port Lyautey. It was very interesting and most informative. After serving as an air traffic controller for 2 years there, from 1953 to 1955, I did not realize that such a terrific battle was fought there. There were many casualties and most came from French resistance at the old fort near Medhia. The destroyer Dallas was a significant player in the final winning of that battle, as it made its way up the Sebou River from the Atlantic. I surely hope that this program will be repeated sometime in the future.
My family and I lived on the 3rd level at Medhia Plage and we spent many an hour picnicing and roaming through the remains of that old fortress. Very interesting. We also found several other scars of "Operation Torch" on the beach and in the sand dunes. There was the rusted hulk of a landing craft up the beach several miles from the breakwater and up on the dunes we found a German 88 cannon that was still in almost pristine condition, even the breech opened and closed easily. At that time, we never realized the intensity of that battle called "Operation Torch". Just wanted to add this bit of trivia!
Ed Clayton, Sr.- AC2
POSTED: 09/16/12 1815 hours
Since I am now 86 years old, I doubt that any of my fellow Feet Air Wing 15 mates will see this. But I would be awfully happy to be shocked with a message. I was at Port Lyautey from 1941 until 1945. I was in the radio shack and alittle time running the base telephone system. Really hope to hear from someone.
Robert (Bob) Howe ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 08/25/12 0815 hours
My nameis David Eld (SK3), in NAS Port Lyautey 1952/1954. Served in Navy Exchange, Navy Commissary and Exchange warehouse. I woul like contact with anyone who remember me. Port Lyautey best naval duty during my 4 years. Any Port Lyautey reunions in 2012 or 2013?
POSTED: 08/24/12 1145 hours
Its been some time since I visited the great Port Lyautey web site. This is Joe Guderian, PH2, served in the Photo Lab from Feb. 1952 to Sept. 1953. Im now 80 and living alone in St. Marys, GA (My wife is in a nearby nursing home) so my memory is not what it once was.
I was assigned to shoot progress photo of the construction sites of Steers Grove, at Sidi Yahia and Side Slimane. Ive always wondered what happened to those sites after the Navy left Morocco. I also wonder if anyone remembers when the independence movement was active and there was fear that they might threaten the base. All navy personnel were instructed by the Marines in the use of the M-1 rifle if we came under siege.
I returned to Kenitra in 2001 but was unable to visit the base. At the gate I explained that I had been stationed there 50 years ago but was told Id have to get permission from Rabat. Anyone remember Big Boy, a local who was in the business of exchanging money in Tangier. (Knew a few sailors who were into it also.) There was also Five Mil Lil a good looking hooker who was named after her price. Fortunately I couldnt afford her. How I wish memories didnt fade. There were so many good memories from Mehdia and the town, and the base with Barneys Moroccan Bazaar and the coffee shot and the Paris Edition of the Trib. It would be nice to have some memories refreshed.
Best to all.
Joe Guderian ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 08/23/12 1130 hours
I loved staying there! It was a lot of fun. Dancing at the N.C.O. Club with my sister and other friends. And the wildlife/ And of course I had the camel that spit at me a lot!!! But so much fun!! Thanks for this web site!!
Frances Outland Meyer ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 08/21/12 0800 hours
My name is Larry Taylor and I have sent photos to you In the past. But I have changed my email address and I would like you to update to my new email address as I do get contacted by people from time to time. My new email is firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 08/11/12 0700 hours
I was stationed at Port Lyautey in 1960 and 1962. I got assigned to the Supply Division and worked at the Disposal Yard (handled everything that got junked). I also was attached to the "Tank Farm" where the gas aviation gas was stored. It also had a train for moving gas from the port to the base.
I can remember Mr. Holliday (He help get my wife a job at the NEX, so we could get home after my tour was up.) and Rudy Kirkland (Rudy remains one of my heroes for all he did for me during some bad times). It was quite an adventure, for an 18 year old. It would be great if I were about to locate them again..
Ron Whitehurst ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 07/26/12 1700 hours
My father passed in 2007. I was going through some old photos & found some from when he was there. Lester Helgeson was stationed w the 4th Rapid Relay Squadron. I do not have the year.
Christine Helgeson ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 07/09/12 1830 hours
I recently came across the Port Lyautey Guestbook and recalled that I purchased a book at a Kenitra USDESEA school used book sale, in part about the World War II "Operation Torch" invasion of North Africa. The book was written by a U.S. Army Lieutenant General, Lucian Truscott, who was in command of the troops landing on the Atlantic coast near the base. The ISBN is 0-89141-364-2, in case you some time get the chance to look it up. It contains a whole lot of detail, skirmish lines and successive lines of position, about the fighting the troops went through in order to finally gain their objective. I spent ten cents for the book when I saw it, and simply could not bring myself to part company with it when the base commander, Captain J. F. Lassiter, USN, tried to convince me to sell it to him.
POSTED: 06/29/12 1530 hours
I spent from March 1972 through March 1974 at Kenitra as Assistant Commend Staff Judge at what was by then called Morocco, U.S. Naval Training Command. What I found curious at the time was the supposed justification for having any U.S. Armed forces ashore in Morocco. The command welcome briefing explanation was that the command was in place because it ran a Moroccan armed forces communications school, which it actually did on the base, which was by then under the official command of a Moroccan Air force officer. However, what became apparent over time was that the Sidi Yahia communications station, and the Bouknadel Radio Transmission Facility, which were alleged to be present and permitted by the Moroccan government as an accommodation to the American armed forces for operating the communications training school, were the actual reasons for our presence in the country. It is my understanding that when, in the mid 1970s, satellite communications became effective in reaching our Navy subs in the eastern Mediterranean, and the superior radio propagations of RFT Bouknadel were no longer required for that purpose, it was soon thereafter determined that the Moroccan armed forces no longer required the communications school, and NTC Kenitra closed its doors along with NCS Sidi and RTF Bouk.
For whatever reason, I had a grand time in Morocco, peculiar politics notwithstanding. I arrived shortly after one unsuccessful coup attempt against Hassan II, I recall being told staged by unhappy Army officers, and a second unsuccessful coup, staged by Moroccan Air Force officers flying out of Kenitra. I recall tanks making an obstacle course for driving a vehicle onto the base at the main gate, and having to walk past sand-bagged machinegun-armed security posts with my wife on the way to the officers' club for some time after the affair and that one of my recently-acquired Moroccan Air Force officer golfing acquaintances disappeared from the date of the attempted coup forward, and his family shortly thereafter, from their housing just a few doors away from my own.
I have googled the base and am still able to identify the base housing unit my wife and I occupied. Strange sensation. Maybe you can never go home, but you can look back, so to speak.
Harry Stoller ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 06/24/12 1300 hours
I served at Port Lyautey as an officer in the Civil Engineer Corps assigned to USMCB4 from 1954 -1955 serving under CAPT Jim Bartlett after receiving my MS degree from MIT.
I have wonderful memories of that duty and visiting unique and exciting places in Morocco.
Since then I worked at several consulting engineering firms, founding KCI Technologies in 1988. I also served as Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Highways.
Jack Kinstlinger ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 06/15/12 0800 hours
Lou, I am writing because my wife was born in the Naval hospital at Port Lyautey /Sidi Yahia in 1958. Her father was in communications there in the Navy. It seems like a very different world we were in then from now. Memories bring back so many good feelings and can be an encouragement for hard times. Thanks for posting the memories.
John M. Burke ~ email@example.com
Orange Park, FL
POSTED: 06/13/12 1030 hours
I was TDY from the USS Intrepid with 4 F9F-8 Aircraft of VF-61 Jolly Roger Squadron. March 1956 until June 1956. Enjoyed the base and the golf.
Walter Hughes ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 05/29/12 0800 hours
I am the son of Capt. Edward H. Bayers. I spent 3 years in Port Lyautey. At the time my father was cmd of operations. I have great memories of the base. After 30 years of service my father retired in '58. We had a great send off from the base to honor his service and retirement. I have many pictures and videos of the base as well as my lighter never used and still in the box.
Edward H. Bayers Jr. ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 05/19/12 0330 hours
I was stationed in Kenitra from Jan '76 to Mar '77. It was my first duty station after graduating from Seabee Bulider "A" school in Port Hueneme CA. I flew from New York to Lisbon and then to Casablanca. The station bus picked us up at the airport and it was a 2 hour ride to the base. I felt as though I had traveled to the end of the world and I would never see home again.
I was wrong the next 15 months were probably my most memorable and rewarding time of my life. The people I was stationed with were great, Public Works warehouse and carpenter shop jobs were challenging - but the Moroccan people I met and worked with were some of the most endearing I can remember.
To this day I have fond memories of my time stationed at Kenitra.
BU2 Michael Spilsbury ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 05/04/12 0815 hours
I'm am writing to all of you hoping someone will receive this.
My father was stationed at Port Lyautey in 1956. He was a weather man. His name was Leon Doiron and was nicknamed "Frenchie." He passed away '97. My mother in 2010. The whole family (four kids) lived off base for 14 months. I am currently trying to find a map of the city was it was in '56. Have you any idea where I might find one? Trying to find where our apartment was.
I am attaching the announcement of the Christmas party held for the weather and a picture of some of the folks at the party. No idea who they were. Neither my dad nor mom are in the picture. Web-Editor Note! Click here to see the photographs.
I have looked at your web site a number of times. Had very clear memories of the chapel, and a couple of other places and all the memories have been confirmed by the pictures you've posted. Thank you so much!
Pamela Doiron Verstynen, PhD
POSTED: 05/02/12 1245 hours
Harry Jennings, NCS Sidi Yahia, early 1960's passed away yesterday from a sudden heart attack. Harry's wife posted the arrangements on his Facebook page.
Thank you, Susan Teal, email@example.com
POSTED: 04/27/12 0830 hours
I was an HM2 at the Station Hospital, assigned as a Medical Technologist. Most of my duties were in the Laboratory, but I did have to do thirty (30) days of night duty on the Medical Surgical Ward.
It was delightful duty at Port Lyautey. I did get the opportunity to see quite a bit of Morocco while there.
Otis L. Spencer HMCM USN(Ret) ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 04/19/12 1500 hours
My name is Edward H?. Bayers Jr. My father was cmd of Operations. I have great memories/pictures/videos of the base. He retired after 30 years of service. His last duty was at the base. We had a great send off touring the base for the last time and at the terminal boarding the transport. email@example.com
POSTED: 04/17/12 1440 hours
I am contacting you with the hope that somebody out there might remember my dad, Ronald Wick. My dad died back in 1988. I was only 18 at the time, and although he had been sick for a very long time, I wasn't expecting his death or ready for it when it occurred. I always loved hearing about his "misadventures" in the Navy, but I didn't pay nearly enough attention to them as I wish that I would have.I always thought that there would be more chances to hear them again.but there weren't.
According to my dad's service record and his own accounts, he was involved in many "misadventures" while in the Navy: his Navy "experience" was short-lived. My dad was ashamed that he had "misbehaved" while he was supposed to have been serving his country, but at the same time, I always got the sense that he probably wouldn't have done anything differently if he could have done it over again. He was only 16 years old when he enlisted.I think that he forgave himself for his youthful indiscretions.
According to his Navy record, he was in VW-2A Navy No 214 (the record lists this in several different ways). Documents from December 1953 signed by R.R. Sparks, August 1954 signed by J. H. Brannon, and November 1954 by William F. Beatty say that my dad was associated with "Airborne Early Warning Squadron TWO, Detachment ABLE Port Lyautey, French Morocco; I believe that my dad was transferred back to the States in January 1955.
My dad was very fond of some of the men that he served with. I remember in particular that he was always wondering what had happened to a guy named Joe. I know that my dad had said Joe's last name to me, but I cannot remember it. I'm not sure, but I have reason to believe that the nicknames of some of the guys that my dad was friends with (in addition to Joe) were "Smokey", "Useless" and "Windy."
I have a couple of pictures of my dad while he was in the Navy.one is of a group of men in front of an airplane. I don't know where or at what point during his service the pictures were taken, but I would be happy to share them if anybody is interested. (I had always assumed that the photos were from North Africa.).
Thank you very much for your time and attention!
POSTED: 04/11/12 0915 hours
I Addison L. Brown--0-789447 served as Navigator on a B24 (480th Antisubmarine Group) doing anti-submarine coverage from Port Lyautey from April 1943 to Nov. 1943. We did 15 hour missions covering the convoys going North to the UK. During that time we lost 50% of our flying personnel and were awarded the Presdential Citation form Pres. Roosevelt. Our crew flew in the "Sub-Mission" --the name of our B24.
We shot down an FW100 that was about to attack a straggler in the convoy---However they killed our upper turet gunner-Sgt, Kehoe and took out our #3 engine. Three of the German officers on the FW100 were rescued and taken aboard a Naval Vessal. We returned to Port Lyautey A.F. but it was socked in--so we went up to 2500' and bailed out.
The plane never did get out to sea, but crashed in the desert not too far from where we landed after bailing out. A French Ranger in a jeep picked us up. Sgt Kehoe was left on the plane--but some remanants were sent home. The Ranger drove us to his house where he communicated with Base to come pick us up. His wife and daughters had never seen nylon---our chutes. They were so happy to have all that beautiful material--for dresses I guess.
I have no pictures but a whole bunch of memories of Rabat, the Casbah, and the Officers Post---the old French Post--double deck bunks with Mosquito netting---movies down in the hanger at night---cold.
Addison L. Brown-Capt. U.S. Army Air Corps. ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Web-Editor Note! the 480th Antisubmarine Group was formed in Morocco in June 1943 from squadrons previously assigned to RAF St Eval, England who deployed to Port Lyautey as the 2037th Antisubmarine Wing (Provisional) the previous March after training with RAF Coastal Command in aerial antisubmarine warfare techniques.
The group's mission was to shore up scanty Allied antisubmarine defenses in the Atlantic approaches to the Straits of Gibraltar. German U-boats had very recently sunk four ships in an Allied convoy about a hundred miles off the coast of Portugal. Over the long term, the Allies wanted to increase air antisubmarine patrols and convoy coverage to protect their preparations for the impending Tunisian offensive and the subsequent invasion of Sicily.
Using modified B-24 Liberator bombers equipped with RADAR, external fuel tanks and other antisubmarine equipment, the 1st and 2d Antisubmarine Squadrons joined two United States Navy PBY Catalina squadrons patrolling from Morocco. The two squadrons were assigned to the Northwest African Coastal Air Force for administration and placed under the operational control of the United States Navy Fleet Air Wing 15, which answered to the commander of the Moroccan Sea Frontier.
The AAF squadrons flew their first mission on 19 March despite shortages of spare parts, equipment, and maintenance personnel. Ordinarily, three B-24s flew daily on operational missions, covering an area as far south as 30°N, as far north as Cape Finisterre, Spain, and as far west as a thousand nautical miles from Port Lyautey. Much of the time, the Liberators flew convoy coverage for ships sailing from or approaching the Straits of Gibraltar. Its antisubmarine activity reached a peak in July 1943 when enemy U-boats concentrated off the coast of Portugal to intercept convoys bound for the Mediterranean. The group destroyed and damaged several submarines during the month which aided in protecting supply lines to forces involved in the campaign for Sicily. At the time, the group was under the command of Colonel Jack Roberts and assigned to the Northwest African Coastal Air Force under the command of Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Lloyd, but they operated under the control of USN FAW-15 at Port Lyautey, French Morocco, now Kenitra, Morocco.
The group also covered convoys and engaged numerous Luftwaffe aircraft in combat. In September 1943 part of the group deployed to Protville Tunisia located between Tunis, on the east coast and Bizerte, on the north coast about thirty-five miles northwest of Tunis. For the first fourteen days, the 1st Squadron operated under the Northwest African Coastal Air Force. On 4 September, the B-24s began searching for enemy submarines and shipping between Sicily and Naples. the squadron covered this area twenty-four hours a day until the landing of the United States Fifth Army at Salerno, Italy, on 9 September, when it extended antisubmarine patrols to cover the sea west of Sardinia and Corsica. One B-24 destroyed three German flying boats northwest of Sardinia. In addition to the antisubmarine patrols, the 1st Squadron flew escort for several Allied convoys and covered the escape of Italian naval vessels from Genoa and Spezia to Malta following Italy's surrender.
After returning to Port Lyautey on 18 September, the 1st Squadron operated in the Moroccan Sea Frontier until it moved to Langley Field Virginia in November 1943. That return to the United States marked the final stage in the Air Force's withdrawal from its antisubmarine mission. The 480th was disbanded on 29 January 1944.
The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for actions that contributed to the winning of the Battle of the Atlantic.
POSTED: 04/04/12 1945 hours
Hey Lou, what a pleasant surprise to find your web site. I was a young Seabee working at Public works from May 62 to Jan 64. I worked in the Electric shop for a Civilian named Russ Hope or Pope. He drove a red Caddy Convertible, and had been there for years. I then went to the inspection branch, worked for Chester Barwick, who I later served with at Great Lakes.
I had a part time job as a Disc Jockey at the the radio station. I had the Country and western show and went by the name UNCLE RIP KIRBY. I did this until I transferred in 64. WELCOME TO THE COUNTRY AND WESTERN JAMBOREE, THE 1484 SPOT ON YOUR RADIO DIAL, PORT LYAUTEY, MORROCO.
I met and married my first wife there. She was visiting her Uncle the Navy Exchange Officer for the summer. Her Name was Pat Hughes, Sadly, she passed away last year. We had a great life in that two years. Lived out in town and rode a Vespa scooter everywhere. I have gone back to Morocco several times, while living in Spain, but it is not the same anymore. Once the French all left, and we started closing all the bases.Any of my old shipmates that want to write, feel free. e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uncle Rip Kirby, CECS , USN, RET
POSTED: 03/23/12 1500 hours
Hi Lou. Mike Hatfield here. My father was Lt. W.G. "Porky" Hatfield, a pilot in VR-24. I was a teenager when we were stationed there from 1958 to 1961. I really enjoy reading the guest books, looking for others I might have known while there.
I don't know if you are open to suggestions, but I have often thought that a page set up like an alumni page, where we could add our names under the years we were there, would be nice. I t would make it easier to find people we knew, compared to sifting through all the guestbook entries.
I hope you are doing well and not freezing (web-editor note, 84 degrees here yesterday and no snakes or bugs -ha). We are trying to keep the sand on the beach down here in the Florida panhandle.
Mike ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 03/20/12 0600 hours
I was honored to serve at the Base Hospital from 1973 to 1975 when they were closing the base. It was the highlight of my 25 year Navy career and I was only in for 3 years when I got there. What great memories from Morocco. So glad I had the chance to go there and live in the culture.
HMCM(SS) Elliott FOSS, USN Retired, ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 03/10/12 1000 hours
Dear Mr. Demas,
I stumbled upon your site quite by accident and was thrilled! I was born in the base hospital at Port Lyautey in 1957. My father was Robert Reed, USN. He was a diver and EOD at the time.
Thank you for posting all of this. It is a great look back to a time and place that has eluded my memory.
Sue Kuipers ~ email@example.com
Christ's Community Church
25927 Kay Ave Hayward,CA 94545
POSTED: 02/18/12 1720 hours
Just had a whim. I served at Sidi Yahia in 61 and 62. I was an RM2. I frankly don't remember names but would if I heard them. I was a traffic checker for a lotof my time there. I also played softball.
Mort Kraus ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 02/12/12 1510 hours
I was stationed in Sidi from 1971 to 1972. I was an RM2 stationed at the comm center. My name is Gary Glass , my email is email@example.com. Had many good times and friends there.
POSTED: 02/09/12 0730 hours
I just stumbled upon your website about the Naval Air Facility at Port Lyautey, French Morocco through a chance email exchange with a new golfing acquaintance who went to the American school on base from 1958 - 69. My father was a weatherman there from about 1952 - 1954, Leo A. Lee, CWO4, USN (Ret.), so the photo of the Fleet Weather Central patch and all of the photos are really exciting to find.
There's mention of Ray Boylan who was at Weather Central at about the same time or a little later. Do you know if he's still alive, and if so do you have an email ? Dad transferred to NAS Norfolk and then retired in 1957.
Dan Lee ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
San Jose, CA
POSTED: 02/07/12 1030 hours
I was pleased to find your web site because it brought back fond memories of my service at NAVCOMMSTA PT LYAUTEY at Kenitra during 1957/58. I look forward to traveling back in time as I explore the entries and information on the site.
George Jackson ~ email@example.com
POSTED: 01/16/12 1030 hours
In rereading some of Dolores' letters to me while at Port Lyautey in 1947 she writes of a wine I told her I liked. Did you or any of our mates ever hear of a wine with a name that "sounds" something like what she writes??? "Don't tell me you are starting to drink Kin-Keyn-Nunt wine - sounds like quite a drink."
Web-Editors Note! Any old shipmate remember the wine Jerry is referring to above?
POSTED: 01/12/12 1915 hours
Thank you for maintaining this amazing page! I have stopped here often to scan for any names, families, or events that I remember from my time in Kenitra and Bouknadel in the early 70s. My father, RMCS James S. Steele, my mom Beryl, my sister Kim, and I were stationed at Bouknadel from 1970 - 1973. Sadly, I must say that my dad passed away June 2011.
We were introduced to John and and Paulette Mendez (daughters Maria and Christian) who ran the Astor Hotel and owned some villas by another Navy family, Robert and Patricia Reed (daughters Terry and Sheila). We spent the first year or so living in a huge villa off of Rue Mohammed V in Kenitra before moving on base in Bouknadel. The Reeds also lived downtown for a while and then moved to the base at Sidi Yahia. Man, what great memories I have of those 3 years!!!! We made lifelong friends of the Mendez family as well as several Moroccans who adopted us as their own and treated as like royalty.
I remember many, many weekends packing jerry cans of gas in the trunk of our Toyota Corona Mark II (bought in Norfolk before deploying to Morocco) and travelling the highways and backroads of the four corners of Morocco. Fez, Meknez, Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Tangier, Azrou, Ifrane, Volubolis, the gardens outside of Bouk..... and so many more! What crazy trips, the four of us stuck in that little Toyota with our family German Shepard Fritz, listening to 8-track tapes of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Lee Greenwood, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, the Ventures, Credence, and who knows what else while caravanning with the Reeds in their huge Pontiac Bonneville convertible and other friends!!! As a side note, our dog also travelled to Cuba and Italy with us too. One of my favorite vacations was when my grandparents flew to Morocco from Pennsylvania and spent two weeks touring with us. We even took the ferry across Gibralter to Spain and drove the Costa del Sol and stayed in Malaga. When we were transferred to Naples, Italy from Bouknadel in 1976, we drove to Tangier and took a drive-on cruise ship tour of the Mediterrenean Riveria before offloading in Genoa and then driving down Italy to Naples.
Oh, also can't forget the long bus rides from the jr./sr. high school on Kenitra back and forth to Bouk. Talk about fun trips - the school bus doubled as the station shuttle and used to go from the high school to downtown Kenitra by the souk and market shops before going back to Bouk. We used to get off the bus at the market, buy a bagette of French bread, some kettle chips, oranges, and gouda cheese to snack on the way home. Mom used to get so mad at us for not eating our dinners!!!
I remember being on lock down on the base at Bouk during the three attempted Coups in early 70s. One by the Army, one by the Air Force, and the other caught before it got started. Marines in their battle gear and us being told to be ready to leave on a moment's notice, leaving everything we owned behind. We could hear the helicopters and machine gun fire in the distance as the rebels were hunted down. I remember being at the high school and watching the fighter jets take off when the rebels tried to shoot down the king's airliner too.
I remember my parents playing softball and bowling in leagues a lot there too. My dad was an avid golfer and spent lots of time on the golf courses in Kenitra and Rabat. It sure was fun being a junior high teenager there! I think I still have the Moe stick that I traded who knows what to get!!! We used to barter all the time with the local Moroccan kids for chameleons, walking sticks, and trinkets. Usually involved swapping candy, sodas or cigarettes that we had swiped from our parents! Many summer hours were spent bicycling around the base, playing sandlot ball games, and at the base swimming pool learning red cross safety stuff, racing, and diving.
Some of the Bouk family names I remember are the Brinkmans, Cashers (kids David and Paula), Crosbys (kids David, Selena, and Marlene), Mastantoneos (son Tony Jr. - I used to babysit him), Wrights (daughter Nancy, can't remember the son's name), Porters, Pipers (kids Tracy, Brian, and Jeffrey), and Smallwoods (kids Kevin, Audrey, and ?). Another thing about Bouk: it was pretty wild that the base was in the middle of a cork oak tree forest! Us kids loved climbing on the soft cork bark and swinging on rope swings on those huge oak trees!
Not too bad for memories from 40+ years ago!!! I still have many of the vinyl albums that I bought in the little base PX on Bouk. Spent lots of quarters and dimes in the little geedunk and 2-lane bowling alley too. Who can forget the evening matinees to watch High Chapparal, Mannix, and other shows either. My first paycheck job was at Bouk in 1972 or 1973.... Worked part-time as a base librarian for minimum wage, I think $1.72 an hour!
The Christmas holidays there were very special times - spent them with the Mendez family and the Reeds. Bob, Pat, Terry, and Sheila Reed were our "adopted" Uncle, Aunt, and cousins. One of my best friends there was Lon McGuffin, who's family lived downtown for a while and then I think moved to Kenitra. Ok, I think I have rambled on enough for now. Thanks again for this amazing site and the trip down memory lane!
Jim Steele, Bouk '70 - 73, firstname.lastname@example.org