Naval Air Station Cubi Point

HISTORY OF NAVAL AIR STATION CUBI POINT, PHILIPPINES!

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This is an aerial view of NAS Cubi Point in the Philippines (now Subic Bay International Airport).

During the Korean War, Admiral Arthur Radford, the Chief of Naval Operations, wanted a naval air station close to the Navy’s base at Subic Bay.

This bit of land was only 3 miles away from the fleet anchorage. Civilian contractors were initially given the job of building the base, but they said it was impossible due to the local rugged terrain, so Admiral Redford handed the job to the Seabees.

Three Seabee units worked for five years building the base which at the time was the largest earth-moving project since the construction of the Panama Canal.

The Seabees completed work on the air station in 1956.

Admiral Arthur W. Radford made the inaugural landing himself on the new runway.

In honor of the Seabee battalion that constructed the base, Construction Battalion One (CUB 1), the base was named CUB1 Point but over the years became better known as “Cubi Point”.

NAS Cubi Point became the Seventh Fleet’s main aircraft repair/overhaul depot.

During Vietnam, the base’s engine shops were turning out 2-3 overhauled engines a day to support carrier operations in the Tonkin Gulf.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo damaged the base and in 1992 it was handed over to the Philippines as part of the withdrawal of permanent-based US forces from the islands.

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New Year’s Day 2020

New Year’s Day 2020

By Garland Davis

Somewhere at sea, 0900…

Boatswain’s mate of the Watch pipes attention

“This is the Captain. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy 2020. I know the cooks will be preparing a delicious cookout on the fantail this afternoon. The cookout was originally scheduled to start at 1100. That has been changed to 1500.

We will be passing near the track of the USNS Oiler. They are lingering in the area awaiting a rendezvous with the battle group tomorrow. Since the Cheng informs me that we are down to 96% fuel, I have decided to take this opportunity to top off our tanks. I anticipate being alongside Oiler at 1130 hours.

The XO informs me that conditions in the passageways and berthing spaces are not up to standards, so we will spend the morning titivating those spaces that are not up to standards. I expect all Division Officers, Chiefs, and LPO’s to be providing hands-on supervision to ensure that all spaces are shipshape.

Again, A Happy New Year to all hands!”

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Merry Christmas

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Cake Decorating

Cake Decorating

By Garland Davis

Before I enlisted in the Navy, I spent some time in a vocational school where I learned how to bake. The school concentrated more on yeast-raised products, bread, rolls, and pastries. There was a short section on fruit and custard pies, and a short course on cakes. I think we may have spent a day in the classroom with no hands-on practice about cake decorating.

While working in the bakeshop at NAS Lemoore, the CS2 who did the infrequent cake decorating showed me some techniques and let me practice forming letters and borders with leftover icing. He showed me how to layout and letter a cake.

After I reported to USS Vesuvius and became the ship’s baker, I used the rudimentary decorating implements I found in the bakeshop to sometimes add some color to the cakes I baked. It was in CS “B” School where I really learned more of the art of decorating cakes, but a three year assignment to the Commissary Store in Yokohama allowed my budding skills as a decorator to atrophy. I did decorate a couple of birthday cakes for my wife’s brothers and sisters.

After being assigned to USS Mahopac, I acquired some rudimentary decorating tools and sometimes added some color to cakes. Mostly roses. I developed the ability to make flowers. After Mahopac, I was assigned shore duty at NAS North Island where I supervised the bakeshop for eighteen months. I often decorated cakes for functions and for the mess line.

Assignment into USS Morton also gave me the opportunity to sometimes decorate cakes. My next ship was Ponchatoula. To tell you the truth, I was getting a little burned out on cake decorating, so I didn’t let on that I could decorate. I had been aboard for over a year. The ship was getting a new Commanding Officer. The change of command would be on the day that marked the twentieth year since the ship was commissioned. I did a large cake for the occasion. One side contained the ship’s crest and the other commemorated the change of command.

We moved the cake from the bakeshop to the messdecks. I told the Supply Officer that I had done the cake. A short time later the two Captains and the XO were in the mess decks to see the cake. It was decided that after the change of command and ship’s birthday remarks, a cake cutting would be held in the messdecks.

Another three-year tour in a Commissary store with no cake decorating and then I was off to Japan. I don’t recall doing any decorating while in Hammond although I’m sure that I probably did. I had an MS2 in Midway who was a better cake decorator that I could ever hope to be. There was a lot of demand for decorated cakes for one reason or another. I have heard it said, “Airdales want a cake every time they successfully land on the carrier. We did a lot of cakes for every time a pilot added a hundred carrier landing to his log, squadron CO’s birthdays, and etc.

The decorator and I did an elaborate cake for the Marine Detachment’s Ball. We were enroute to  Subic so we did it in the butcher shop which was kept at a temperature below 50°, that way the icing wouldn’t melt in the heat. After we finished, I brought the Marine Captain, the First Sergeant, and the Gunny in to show them the cake. They were so happy, that they invited me to their Ball. A short time later, I walked past the butcher shop and there was a Marine with a rifle standing at Parade Rest by the Bakeshop door. When I queried him about it, he informed me that he was Honor Guard for the cake. The Marine Detachment maintained an armed guard on the cake until we pulled into Cubi and the cake was transported to the Marine NCO Club.

Oh, the Ponchatoula cake. When everyone arrived in the messdecks for the cake cutting, we found that three large pieces had been cut out of the cake. It was later determined that the Sounding and Security watch, the Cold Iron watch and another snipe had celebrated early

BTW, if you ever get the chance to attend a Marine Corps Ball, jump at it. They throw a good party!

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A SAILOR DIED TODAY

A Midway shipmate and good friend passed this morning. Master Chief Mess Management Specialist Gary Dewitt is pictured on the right. During his three years as the MS Detailer, he affected the lives of thousands of Navy cooks.

Shipmate… I wish for you fair winds and following seas, deep green water under your bow, your main rifles trained in the posture of peace and a gentle breeze at your stern.

A SAILOR DIED TODAY

Papers tell their life stories

When politicians leave this earth,

Their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing,

And proclaim that they were great.

From the time that they were young,

But the passing of a Sailor

Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution

To the welfare of our land,

Some jerk who breaks his promise

And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow

Who in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his country

And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend

And the style in which he lives,

Are often disproportionate,

To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Sailor,

Who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal

And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians

With their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom

That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,

With your enemies at hand,

Would you really want some cop-out,

With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Sailor

His home, his country, his kin,

Just a common Sailor,

Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Sailor,

And his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us

We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,

We find the Sailor’s part,

Is to clean up all the troubles

That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor

While he’s here to hear the praise,

Then, at least, let’s give him homage

At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline

In the paper that might say:

“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,

A SAILOR DIED TODAY.”

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