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Page 16 text:
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Our first port of the Mediterranean cruise of 1952
was Oran, Algeria, made famous to all of us by the
North African campaign of 1942. Coming into the
beautiful harbor on Monday, .lanuary 21, WC Were
amazed to be greeted by a full fledged hail storm.
Very few of the crew were prepared for this kind of
weather in what most of us considered would be the
torrid climate of Africa.
Oran is the ccyoungestn city to be visited, but
nonetheless it has had a very stormy history. Settled
in the 10th Century by the Andalusian Arabs, it has
been taken, retaken, pillaged, and rebuilt by each of
the various conquerors of North Africa.
1 Oran has always been considered a most strategic
city because of its large port facilities and its location,
being the first large harbor east of Gibraltar on the
Under the enthusiasm of Cardinal Ximenes, Spain
conquered Mers-el-Kebir in 1505, and Oran in 1509,
and a third of the Mohammedan population of Oran
was massacred. The inquisition was introduced and
the fortifications were restored and Oran became the
Penal settlement of Spain. In 1708, the Bey of Mascara
seized the city, but the Spaniards recovered the city
in 1732, but after an earthquake in 1790 when great
damage and huge loss of lives wasisuifered, the Bey
of Mascara again appeared and a truce was made with
the Bey Mohammed, who took possession of the city
in 1792 and made it his residence instead of Mascara.
After the fall of Algiers, the bey fllassanj placed
himself under the protection of the conquerors and
shortly thereafter moved to Levant. The French Army
entered the city in January 1831, and took formal
Oran is the chief port of Western Algeria, the
capital of the departments and military division of
4cNow, hear this! Now, hear this! Station the
special sea details. As these words come blaring over
the intercom, a general fever of excitement begins
spreading over the crew. Even the old sea dogs feel it.
It won't be long now before the dull and routine life
aboard ship will be traded for rich experiences ashore.
Yes, its liberty for all hands soon.
ccNow all the liberty party lay up to the quarter-
deck for inspections: THAT'S IT!! Liberty call 11
Just a Hnal inspection before going ashore. The Navy
wants to make sure we are all smart and military in
appearance. For, after all, one of the primary reasons
for being in foreign port is to give people of other
lands a good impression of our Navy and its aims
. As we all line up for inspection, we are anticipat-
ing the good time we'll have ashore. For some itls the
first foreign port, and for others, it's just a renewal
the same name fteehnically one of the three
ments in the French lic-public in Algeriul. Uran 18
the head of the Gulf of Uran, 261 miles by rail South-'
west of Algiers, 220 miles east of Gibraltar and 130
miles south of Cartagena, Spain, built on the slopes
of Djebel Murdjedjo 11900 feetj, and the Fort of Santa
Cruz at a height of 386 meters the to east. The city
was originally cut into two parts by a ravine, which
has for the most part, been covered by boulevards
and buildings. West of the ravine lies old port, about
which rises what was the Spanish town, but few traces
of Spanish occupation remain. East of the ravine,
the modern quarter rises, like an amphitheatre and
is extending more and more to the northeast and to
the southeast along the plateau of Karquenta, where
the city's center now lies. A ring of populous suburbs
surround the city. Oran is the second city of Algeria
in commercial importance, and is a close rival of
Algiers. Gross tonnage has reached 16 million tons on
the import and export trade. There is no U.S. consulate.
The architecture of the city is most representative
of the peoples who have conquered and inhabited the
city. The mosque and adobe-like construction has been
subdued by the influence of the present population
which is two-thirds European and one-third Arab.
While in the city we visited Mers El Kebir, oft-
pictured home of the French Foreign Legion. We went
up into the native quarters and purchased rugs and
silks, and some made it to the rug factory, twenty-
iive miles away.
At night we were introduced to some strange new
fto us but actually thousands of years oldl dishes such
as cccous-cousn and ccshiskebabn. The restaurants and
clubs that we want to remember are Cafe de Paris.,
Crillon, and the Windsor.
of good times had before in the same port or others
For every man in the fleet, liberty means some-
thing different. To some, it is a chance to capture,
through photography, the spots which we read about
as a child. To some men, it means a quiet day aSll0l'0-i
walking around and enjoying the crowds of a city
and the feel of the land. To many others, it is a chance
for a good meal at some little spot, almost lost to
other sailors. Of course, some men go ashore to forget
about things which have grown out of proportion T30
AS you look at the liberty party, you can B66
that the eager-eyed, smooth-faced kids, the salty old
sea dogs, and even the reserves are ready for the beaches
.You know that whatever the individual sail01"s
15, he will return to the ship, having accomplished its
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