A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

History: Libya in the Matawan Journal

Libya became the world's newest nation on 24 Dec 1951, according to a photo caption in the 10 Jul 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal.
Given the recent stories about Libya, I thought I'd check for articles in the old Matawan Journal that mentioned Libya. There were more than I thought.

The 30 Jul 1942 edition of The Matawan Journal noted that Mayor James C Auchencloss of Rumson was of the same Scottish clan as Major General Auchinleck, commander of the British army in Libya.

The Strand Theater in Red Bank was playing A Yank in Libya as part of a double feature, according to the 1 Oct 1942 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The United Nations General Assembly established an Advisory Council to aid and consult Adrian Pelt, the UN Commissioner for Libya, who was consulting Libya on its post-war transition from an Italian colony to an independent state, according to a front page photograph caption in the 16 Nov 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal. 

Libya became the world's newest nation on 24 Dec 1951, according to a photo caption in the 10 Jul 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The 19 Apr 1956 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the engagement of Beverly Ann Ellery to a Libyan diplomat at their Embassy in Washington, DC. Miss Ellery was working at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. She graduated from Keyport High School.

The 28 Mar 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal said that John F McClosky, of 4 Dibling Street in Union Beach, attended a reception at the Grand Hotel in Tripoli, Libya on 15 Mar 1957. The reception was hosted by US Ambassador Tappin and his wife in honor of Vice President Richard Nixon. McClosky was identified in the article as a civilian worker for the US Government.

First Sergeant William W Rinear of Matawan was a 17-year veteran of the US Air Force assigned to Libya when he was photographed with First Sergeant John Coraczi of Milwaukee, Wisconsin discussing nearby El Uotia, Libya firing range operations. The accompanying article, on page 13 of the 6 Mar 1958 edition of The Matawan Journal, discussed firing range operations in a bit of detail.

Airman Third Class Charles F Sellick of West Keansburg, was to be transferred to Wheelus Air Base in the Kingdom of Libya, according to the 23 Jan 1964 edition of The Matawan Journal. His parents, Mr and Mrs Charles F Sellick, Sr, lived at 4 Thorne Place in West Keansburg. He had been trained in the maintenance and inspection of US jet fighter aircraft at Amarillo AFB in Texas.

Wikipedia says Wheelus AB was operated during the Cold War as a strategic bomber base and training center. Strategic Air Command and a detachment of the 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing operated out of Wheelus until 1970. Perhaps Sellick was trained to service the then new F-4 Phantom II?

The US had already negotiated its withdrawal from the base when Muammar Qaddafi took over in 1969. Libya passed the airbase to the Soviets soon after the US left in 1970. The base became the headquarters of the Libyan Air Force.

The US Department of Defense was looking to hire teachers for their overseas dependent schools at the elementary, junior and senior high levels, according to the 28 Jan1965 edition of The Matawan Journal. Libya was one of the named destinations. Applications were being processed through Temple University in Philadelphia.

Airman Second Class James E Ross, Jr was to be assigned to the small unit of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) at Wheelus AB, having graduated technical training for emergency radio repairmen at Kesler AFB in Mississippi, according to the 25 Mar 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal. His parents were Mr and Mrs James E Ross, 9 Holly Street, Old Bridge.

MATS provided global airlift services of military personnel and equipment. MATS had transferred most of its operations to Rhein Main AB, Germany in January 1953, according to Wikipedia.

Airman First Class Bruce Makuk of Matawan had recently been transferred from Stewart AFB in Newburg, NY to the Administration and Finance Department of Wheelus AB in Libya, according to the 4 Apr 1968 edition of The Matawan Journal. His parents were Mr and Mrs George Makuk, 110 Ravine Drive in Matawan. Bruce graduated Class of 1962 from Matawan High School.


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