Happy Birthday Chief
April 1, 1893, the rate of Chief Petty Officer was introduced into the United States Navy.
Happy Birthday Chief
April 1, 1893, the rate of Chief Petty Officer was introduced into the United States Navy.
Drank Too Much
By Garland Davis
We started the reunion out in Branson
I made the first night but I’m not too sure about the second
I was telling this sea story or maybe it was a lie but not going to change
But I got drunk in Branson and I just can’t remember my name
I guess you could say I can’t drink but Doc’s moonshine will start your heart
Too many nights drinking had left some permanent scars
We talked of Subic, the girls, and what passed for love
But I got drunk, passed out in Subic and can’t remember their names
My fault brought it on myself and I guess I can’t complain
Doc said son that moon will cure what ails
For their love, they wanted Hondas and other expensive things
But I passed out in Subic and wish I could remember their names
They treated me nice and I’d like to go there again
But I passed out in Subic and I just can’t remember their names
I brought it on myself
Kinda drank too much in Subic and I just can’t remember their names
Now I am an old man in Branson and wish I could remember my name
National Vietnam War Veterans Day
On March 28, 2017, President Donald J. Trump, signed into law The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are 6.4 million living Vietnam veterans and 9 million families of those who served during this time frame. We make no distinction between veterans who served in-country, in theater, or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. All were called to serve and none could self-determine where they would serve.
U.S. involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisors in the early 1950s, grew incrementally through the early 1960s and expanded with the deployment of full combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975.
This national commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President to thank and honor our Nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. In 2007, the 110th Congress incorporated language in House of Representatives (H.R.) 4986 authorizing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Naval Act of 1794
Today marks the 225th anniversary of the Naval Act of 1794. The act authorized the construction of the Navy’s first six frigates including the USS Constitution, which is now the world’s oldest warship afloat, still in commission, and manned by US Navy Sailors!
Medal of Honor Day
OLONGAPO BACK IN THE DAY!
MYTH OR FACT?!
Olongapo, Subic Bay, Philippines was it a place that had a reputation that was overly exaggerated by the thousands of Sailors and Marines who had frequented it?
Or maybe it was just a Dream!
In actuality what it WAS was a town in the Philippines with a seemingly unending row of Night Clubs and other establishments located in a tropical paradise that was situated just outside the Gates of one of the most critical and important US Navy Bases in the World.
Most all of the Bars and Nightclubs there came complete with some of the best music and each club had a bevy of beautiful women present who seemed to be almost Angelic……all there to provide company and comfort to lonesome Sailors who had been too long at sea, and to help them relax and feel human again.
Each Night it was much like a carnival atmosphere for Adults Only…
Music blasting from every doorway, Glaring Lights, Jeepneys and Trikes belching Carbon Monoxide fumes and sounding their horns while transporting folks all around town, the Spicy Aroma of the many different foods being prepared along the sides of the road filling the Air,
Occasional fist fights and altercations between Sailors and Marines that generally lasted no longer than it took for each side to realize that it was much more fun to drink beer and flirt with the women than it was to fight with each other.
Then there came the “PARADE” of curfew violators at midnight..a nightly event where all who was out past midnight would be paraded back to the base by Shore Patrol and the Armed Forces Police aka AFP.
The lucky Sailors and Marines would find their way to other domiciles in order to spend the night with their Honey-Co’s.
Each Day awakened with the sounds of roosters crowing, and the hawking of vendors selling cold Orange Sodas and such to soothe the thirsts of many who were making their way back to their Ships after partying too heavily the night before.
It was WAS Paradise…..true, it was a bit “Rough around the Edges” type of Paradise, but nonetheless, it was indeed what many would classify to be a Paradise,
There was absolutely no place like it on earth…… Good People, Good Food, Cold Beer, Smiling
Faces, Beautiful Women… and plenty of them, almost everywhere you looked.
Not only were there many beautiful women there, most everyone encountered was super nice and hospitable.
I vividly recall my first trip there, I was but a young Sailor experiencing his first exposure to a foreign port…
Upon exiting the gate we were first greeted by the almost gagging smells emitting from “Sh*t River”, a stagnant and barely flowing open sewer with a bridge over it that connected Olongapo to the Base….
A river in which kids dove from small boats into the rancid water in order to retrieve coins tossed to them by the Sailors and Marines crossing the bridge into town…
And then finally…..after listening to all the stories from my shipmates for many weeks prior to pulling into Subic……
I entered Olongapo for the first time and I could not believe my eyes.
Oh sure I had been told many times by the Old Salts of the many unique attractions of this Port but I believed them mostly to be nothing but overly glorified memories of the ones relating them to me…
WOW was I ever wrong, and I discovered that ALL they had told me was True.
In the later years of my Navy Career, while crossing the pond we often “Pumped Up the Newbies” with tales of what they could expect when we hit Subic Bay.
It was during these times that I remembered back to when I was once like these young Sailors…..
And now it was their turn, many of them had never even left their hometowns, and now in what seemed like they went at warp speed after exiting Boot Camp, they found themselves on a US Navy ship manned by a crew of seasoned Sailors…
Churning across the big pond and traveling into adventures that they could never really conceive of without actually experiencing them.
Being there with these young Sailors as they first exited the Gate at Naval Station Subic Bay, then crossed the RIVER and “The Bridge” that in many cases initiated their graduation from Boys into Men,
I found great pleasure in escorting some of these young shipmates into one helluva Port and at the same time recalling the days when I had first had that amazing experience.
Now unfortunately, gone are the days of Seventh Fleet Liberty in the World’s Greatest Port…..now changed and “Civilized” immeasurably from the way it was back in the days when young Sailors and Marines first met Dr. San Miguel, Fell in Love way too many times, and experienced the greatest Liberty Port in the World….
Those days that I experienced long ago were extremely happy days.
They were happy days spent with beautiful people in a place that seemed to me to be a Paradise on Earth!
I always have, and always will love the Philippines and the fond memories I have!
So all the stories you have heard are true and a fact and more…LOL!.
An embellishment of a story told by Jim ‘Hambone’ Hampton
He was from New Orleans. His name was S. E. Thompson. That’s all just the initials S. E. When you asked what they stood for he would tell you nothing, Just the letters.
Many years later and another ship he told me this, “My Mama was a Hippie who never grew up. She made a living by selling hand-painted greeting cards to the tourists on Bourbon Street. She didn’t work on Sundays, that was the Lord’s day. Me and my brothers and sister went to church every Sunday. My Mama had five kids, The last one, my sister was the only one born in a hospital. Pregnancy to my Mama was nothing and delivering a baby was just a little uncomfortable. Her Mama was staring at a vase of roses when she was born and named her Rose. Mama believed in tradition. She named my big brother Side Walk. She stopped to smoke a cigarette before she went into the hospital and had him right there on the sidewalk. She was on the way to the hospital with me but stopped at the Seven Eleven for a Slurpee. She delivered me right there in front of the Slurpee Machine. She named me Seven Eleven. As soon as I was old enough I went to the judge and changed it to S. E. She said if I had been a girl she woulda named me Slurpee Jane. The brother after me is named Bluebird Cab and the youngest brother is named Pinot Noir. She had him in the Liquor Store because she stopped for a bottle of wine for dinner. My sister is named Elizabeth Bob after the delivery room nurse and doctor.”
But to get back to the story. S. E. ended up in my fireroom. The recruiter had assured him the Navy had a shortage of Chaplain’s Assistants and he would let the Training Center know that he was a lay preacher in his church and highly qualified for the position. Although he decried the wrong perpetrated by the recruiter, he was game, shrugged it off as the Lord ’s will and turned to, working to be a good BT.
While the rest of the division was running the streets in Olongapo, He stayed aboard and studied his bible or went to volunteer for one task or another at the Chapel Center.
The other BT’s planned his downfall during the next Subic inport period. They took up a collection. The first-night inport, they worked out a deal with the Mama in their regular bar. The BT’s and Mama picked out the youngest, most innocent looking girl in the bar.
A couple of others came up with a story to lure him out the gate. They told him it was a BT party and he would disrespect them if he didn’t attend. Reluctantly he let them lead him to the slaughter.
When he arrived at the bar, all the BT’s were at a table, each with a girl. He refused a beer, by saying, “I don’t drink.”
BT1 said, “Of course, I forgot, Bring him a Mojo.” and to S.E., “It’s a kind of Philippine Kool-Ade.”
About the time he hit the bottom of his drink, the chosen girl walked up to him, took him by the hand and led him to the stairs. We were waiting for him to come running down the stairs and make a dash for the ship. But he was up there for over an hour. Then he came down, ordered a pitcher of that “Kool-Ade, talked with mama, Gave her some money, picked another girl and went back up. By the time to go back, he had been up there with three girls. Mama told me the next day that she had to give them the day off to rest up.
After that, you wouldn’t know him from any other steamin’ BT.
I asked him those many years later why he went with the girl and gave up his religious beliefs. He said, “Oh I still believe as strongly as I did then. But, I had an epiphany going up those stairs. ‘If the Lord didn’t mean for a man to get pussy, he wouldn’t have made them girls so damned pretty.
I have been a member of USSVI for a long time now and recently joined the Naval Submarine League.
The problem with both has been proximity. Since I live in a rural location away from submarine homeports, I am reliant on a USSVI base that is neither convenient for travel or receptive to new ideas. Don’t get me wrong. They have a core group of people who keep the doors open and that is great. But like most older veterans groups, change is hard and often not desired.
I ran into a guy at a gas station near my home today who saw my dolphins on the front of my car. Turns out we both served on the USS Ohio (about ten years apart). I asked him if he was a Sub Vet and he replied that he had been at one time but the meetings are always held over an…
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By Garland Davis
I first met Ray in 1964 when I reported to the Navy Commissary Store Yokohama for duty. Ray was a CS3 on his second enlistment. I was a CS2 with barely three years’ service. The others stationed there were either brown baggers with their wives impeding safaris into the wilds of Yokohama or were unmarried non-rates with the habit of staying in the Enlisted Quarters and playing with their stereos or going to the theater for the movie.
Ray and I had some Westpac cruises under our belts and were of a like mind that good liberty started with a run to the seediest bar in the most run-down area of town. We became acquainted during my check-in tour.
The Housing Activity in Yokohama was spread out all over the city. The Headquarters were in an old racing stadium building. There were three major housing areas and numerous small clusters of houses in many places throughout the city. There was an area that contained the Commissary, Navy Exchange, Bowling Alley, Theater, Gas Station, and the Post Office. The enlisted quarters were in Bayside Courts, an old Army BOQ complex. In the days of open bay barracks, being assigned to quarters where I had my own personal room was something like paradise. There were two clubs, The Seaside Club in a housing area and the Zebra Club downtown near the Chapel Center and not far from a single sailor’s paradise, Chinatown.
Ray was assigned to drive me to the various places to get my check-in sheet signed. We went to the HQ Building and picked up the check-in sheet. The next stop was the Seaside Club where we had a liquid lunch and got most of the signatures on the check-in sheet by passing it down the bar. We figured we had accomplished as much as possible that day and spent the afternoon in the Club. That left us the Chaplain, the Post Office, and a few other signatures to get the next day. Ray explained that checking in or out was usually a three-day affair. He asked if I would like to hit Chinatown with him that night. I enthusiastically accepted his invitation.
We went to the quarters at Bayside, where he helped me arrange for the services of a maid from one of the women who provided maid service in the building. Afterward, I shifted into civilian attire and we caught a 90 Yen cab for the Zebra Club. Ray told the driver, “Skosh Hayako.” All I can say is at the time I was glad that he didn’t give him a “Full Hayako.”
Ray was the type of person who had two goals in his everyday life. Alcohol and Pussy. On payday, Ray would divide his pay into fourteen equal amounts which he placed in fourteen envelopes in a three-ring binder. He budgeted for his food, drinks, and pussy. Since we didn’t have a galley, we received extra pay to purchase our meals. You must remember in those days the exchange rate was Yen 360 to $1. The most expensive drink in the club was $0.35 and all drinks were $0.10 during Happy Hour. Meals were as cheap as $0.25 in the NEX Cafeteria.
After the taxi dropped us at the Zebra, we had a couple there and then navigated the alleys to Chinatown. My first experience in the bar life of Yokohama was the seediest joint in the most run-down area of Chinatown. The Tiger Bar on 4 ½ Street. We walked through the door and the Mama-san said “Irashai Ray-san, you want beer, deska? Ray indicated two and we sat at the bar.” The place had five barstools, three booths and including the Mama-san. three over the hill hostesses. I figured Ray had brought me to the place bar hostesses go for their twilight tour. About the time I started my second beer, the best looking one of the bunch asked me, “You want to go to a booth and I kiss your chinpo, only 500 Yen.” I must have had a confused look on my face because Ray said, “She wants to suck your dick for 500 Yen.” It turned out that the Tiger Bar sold cheap beer, cheap ass Tory’s and Nikka whiskey while giving hand jobs and blow jobs in the booths. I became a frequent customer.
Ray had the duty on the day he shipped over. Duty at the Yokohama Commissary meant that instead of getting off at 1600 you had to work until 1800. Ray collected a few hundred dollars reenlistment bonus. Ray told me we were going to party. He told me to meet him at the Tiger Bar at 1900.
I arrived shortly before the time and was just taking a bite of my first beer when Ray came through the door. The Mama-san asked Ray what he wanted. He threw 72,000 Yen ($200) on the bar and told Mama-san, “Lock the door and everybody get naked.”
That much money was a small fortune for the Japanese in those days.
A good time was had by all!