Gabon I training in St. Thomas
- It all started here:
- On Memorial Day, as we honor all those who have died in service to
our country, two names especially come to mind within the Gabon
context- John Morascini and Karen Philips.
John served in Gabon I and was one of the hardest working (and
stubborn) people I've ever met. I recall one day when John, I and
some Gabonese were unloading the refrigerators from the port to
Ovendo, John got upset that we were just "dallying around" and within
a short time, in a frenzy, tore all the crates open and got all the
Probably the most infamous early time of Gabon I was the Marshal
Erdman/John Morascini incident. Marshal Erdman was a rich architect
who designed our schools and acted like a little tyrant. He would go
beserk when anyone disobeyed him. One day he slapped John for
disobeying an order and John turned around and smasked his hand into
the wall, breaking it. Mutiny ensued and we all demanded to the
American Ambassador that either Erdman leaves or we would all go
home. Erdman was never seen again in Gabon.
John was a great guy who we in Ganon 1 all miss. He died in Viet Nam
when he stepped on a land mine.
Karen Philips served in the Peace Corps in Oyem in the late 90's. I
don't know much about Karen other than she was from the Philadelhia
area. Karen, while serving her country in Gabon, was murdered in a
still unsolved crime.
To both John and Karen, we and the entire US owe a great debt of