E. Allan Lightner Jr., 82, a retired Foreign Service officer and former ambassador to Libya who as the State Department's senior official in Berlin in 1961 had a memorable and highly publicized confrontation with communist forces, died of a heart ailment yesterday at his home in Belfast, Maine.
In October 1961, two months after the Berlin Wall was erected by the Soviets and East Germans, Mr. Lightner was twice detained by communist police after crossing into the East. Both times, he was released only after armed U.S. troops crossed the border to free him.
Under Berlin's governing treaties, the French, British, American and Soviet forces not only have their own zones of occupation but also have unrestricted access to the other zones. Mr. Lightner was to illustrate that this country intended to insist on its treaty rights despite the erection of the wall.
On the night of Oct. 22, when Mr. Lightner and his wife crossed to the East at the Friedrichstrasse checkpoint in his marked car, they were detained by communist guards. They were freed when eight Army MPs, with fixed bayonets on automatic rifles, crossed to East Berlin and demanded that Mr. Lightner be released. While the eight soldiers were in the East, U.S. Army personnel carriers and M-48 Patton tanks gathered on the U.S. side of the checkpoint.
After returning to West Berlin, Mr. Lightner turned around and again entered East Berlin, and was again detained by the communists, only to have the U.S. Army re-enter the East after him. After his second release, Mr. Lightner returned to the East, for the third time that night. He was not stopped on the third trip and was never stopped again.
His official title in Berlin, where he served from 1959 to 1963, was assistant chief of the United States Mission, Berlin. He served under an Army officer. From Berlin, Mr. Lightner went to Libya, where he was ambassador from 1963 to 1965. He later spent three years as deputy commandant of the National War College before retiring in 1972. The former Washington resident moved to Maine in 1974.
Mr. Lightner was a native of New York City and a 1930 graduate of Princeton University. He joined the Foreign Service in 1930. He served in Latin America, Oslo, Moscow and Riga, Latvia. During World War II, he served in Stockholm before going to London in 1944. Over the next year, he worked on plans for a postwar Germany.
From 1945 to 1947, he served on the State Department's Central European Affairs section, becoming its associate director. He then attended the National War College. From 1949 to 1951, he was deputy director of the Office of Political Affairs in Germany under U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy. Later assignments included that of consul general in Munich from 1953 to 1956. He then spent three years as deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs until going to Berlin.
He was the co-author of the book "Department of State." He had been a member of the Metropolitan Club here and DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired).
Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy Boyce, whom he married in 1953 and who lives in Belfast; two sons, John Boyce Lightner of Portland, Maine, and E. Allan III, of Belfast; a daughter, Babette Lightner of Minneapolis; a brother, Lawrence, of Northfield, Mass.; and a grandchild.
Channa Weinberg, 59, a former associate director of the Inter-American Development Bank who also had been an official of the Bank of Israel, died of lung ailments Sept. 12 at her home in Chevy Chase.
Mrs. Weinberg was born in Paterson, N.J. She graduated from the New School for Social Research in New York City, where she also received a master's degree in social science.
In the early 1950s, she moved to Israel, and for many years she was a senior economic adviser to the governor of the Bank of Israel. In 1985, she returned to the United States. For the next two years she was an associate director of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, and for the past three years she had been a private consultant.
Survivors include her husband, Jeshajahu "Shaike" Weinberg, the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, of Chevy Chase, and three children, Meira Meyerson and Ruth Weinberg, both of Israel, and Nami Weinberg of San Jose.
LYNDALL H. HALL
Lyndall H. Hall, 83, a branch chief in the Internal Revenue Service who retired in 1970 with 30 years of service, died Sept. 15 at The Hermitage, a retirement home in Alexandria. She had Alzheimer's disease.
Miss Hall, a former resident of Arlington, was born in Croswell, Mich. She moved to the Washington area in 1930 and worked as an accountant at the IRS.
She was a former worthy matron of Miriam Chapter No. 23 of the Order of the Eastern Star, and she was a member of Pi Omicron, a women's business sorority.
Survivors include a brother, Jack Hall of Croswell, and a sister, Bobbi Smythe of Florida.