Thursday, October 22, 2015


We went to Morocco for work a few years ago, I was curious to
go because my Father had been there working on the US Navy
base and I grew up hearing stories about his time there.

We were in the hospital this morning and I was trying to talk about something
to get my father interested in talking.  As he ate a few bites of the apple fritter
I smuggled into the ICU I mentioned that we went to Morocco a few
years ago, and we even went to Marrakesh.  My Father perked up
a little and said, "I went there too,  we went in a truck".  Which must
have been a crappy trip, because we went on a crappy train ride
from Casablanca and it took all day.   I can't imagine a ride in a 2 1/2 ton
truck in that heat.

[I know he's told me where his base was,  but I don't remember where
or how to spell it.  (quick google and it's Port Lyautey, and I would have
never spelled it like that, I remembered Port Liotee.)]

My father was in the Seabees and they went to Morocco on an LST
in the mid 50's.  It was after my Father's unit spent several years in
Cuba and Trinidad.  , and he had already made Chief.

The barracks that the French had left them were up on a hill, and the
rebels were shooting out the lights on the base and occasionally hitting
the barracks.  The MCB commander told my dad to take apart the
barracks and move them down the hill.   Since the buildings were built
up on skids, or had two big 4x4's along the base of the long axis,
my dad suggested they just disconnect everything and drag the buildings
down the hill.

It worked.  They had a big d-4 bulldozer, cut all the water and electricity
and dragged the buildings down to new foundations, pulling them in one
long train to avoid multiple trips up to the top of the hill.  He was quite
a clever young guy in the seabees.

I didn't get much more today, just "we went to marrakesh in a truck
and it was terrible".  I should have been taking notes as a teenager
when I worked with him on his camp and the stories came thick and fast.

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