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WAR STORIES FROM PARADISE
You have traveled back to 1979!
Entries are posted by the year the writer arrived, so be sure to check either side of the year you're looking for to find your old buddies, shipmates, and sweethearts!  I'll update this page as I receive your warstory! No anoymous reports - only if you're willing to put yourself up to the ridicule of the world will you be entered into this Guestbook!  Also, please note that the email addresses listed are those at the me the entry was received - some of them from 1997!  Sorry if they don't work now...

Send in YOUR Story NOW using the convenient fill-in-the-blanks form!


Troglodytes
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Wannabes


1979

Gonzo = hendersoncrh@windstream.net

Citizenship = USA; Service = USMC; Outfit = LST Fredrick or Tuscaloosa AAV Company "Amtracs"

My_Quest = Find old friends

My_Warstory = I remember we offloded from the LST Frederick for an LTI inspection and we were on the beach for a couple of days. We were the AAV "Amtrac" company with 12 tracs on the beach. The guys I remember that were in on this quest were C.J., Yates, Deuteau, Gonzo and Dream Weaver. We partied with the Seabees one night in their BEQ's and drinking JWR and other beverages. We were all drunk as hell and ended up stealing a Navy work van and took it for a joy ride on the only road on the island. We ran out of road and ended up putting a tool box on the accelerator and driving it into the ocean. We then commandoed back to our place on the beach to pretend we were asleep the whole time. We could see the van in the surf down the beach while it was still dark with the lights still burning. What a night.

 

 

November  1979

Name = Bud Biery budbiery@cox.net
Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = USS Wabash AOR-5

VT_of_a_Swallow = The last person that asked me ended up in a crevasse

My_Warstory =  Deigo Garcia 1979   We were transiting supplies from Diego to the gulf of Oman to supply the Kittyhawk battle group during the hostage crises in Iran 1979. We made 5 trips crossing the equator 10 times plus the ceremonial one make 11.On one of our stops at Diego the Captain let us go ashore.We had been at sea for 55 days. I went ashore and had a donkey burger and a formaldehyde beer. When I returned back on board the Bash a crusty old chief told me I would have a back ache in the morning. He was right. He said walking on sand after walking on steel for 55 days caused the back ache.


1979 to 1980  one great year
stephen mcwilliams = retirednavy69to90@yahoo.com
Citizenship = USA; service = USN; Outfit = Supervisor of day maintenance main powerplant
My_Quest = I wish I could go back and visit the place.

VT_of_a_Swallow = as fast as his ass can fly.

My_Warstory = At first very scared about taking orders to D.G. but that was the best thing for me and my career. Made up to senior chief engineman. (was a certified Diesel Inspector) which I feel helped me make senior chief. Any of you get a chance to get orders there for one year take them but before taking the orders ask your specific detailer to see what he can do for you. I got a "C" school out of it prior to going there and I got another "C" when I left and any ship I wanted to go to. (had to do my sea time) The Navy was good to me. A beautiful Island to be on. Wish the Navy would let me go back for awhile. Love eating the lobster and fresh fish. And getting to know all those who are there now.


Nov '79 - July '80 Also Jul '77-Mar'78.
Chris Dains = mcdains4464@yahoo.com
Citizenship = USA; Service = U. S. Navy Seabees NMCB 133
My_Quest = Truth, Honesty, and the American Way
VT_of_a_Swallow = hmmmm

My_Warstory = The Rock  … most beautiful place I have ever been - so natural, at night you could see ten million stars in that sky so clearly - never like that anywhere else. During the day, gorgeous water and beaches - would have made a phenomenal resort     but instead it was "The Rock"  ..  big hard piece of stubborn bright as shit every day coral, went under water when it rained hard, felt like you were completely alone when the generators ran out of gas at night. Awesome people    getting really fuckin drunk     regularly. $2.00 quarts of booze at the package store, many, many, many fun and lost days. Worked at setting up the POL pipeline prefab yard that first tour - BU2 Moody leading us, setting up hooches we stole from town as they were replacing the old plywoods with the new mobile home type and setting up that production line   ..  spending those two weeks in Port Hueneme beforehand learning equipment being sent there just for us, and then unloading the present we hid for ourselves that Christmas after our trailer unloaded at ship offload and partying very hard for weeks after     lots of Gin  ..  and yes, Kevin Eddy I remember that barbecue wagon we all built. That second time  ..  TAD to the pier team for the entire deployment, which was awesome for me. Worked in the water a lot of days setting concrete forms and heavy timbers, drank beer, smoked weed in the outdoor racketball court, Christmas Eve ka=bomb and fallout, watching SC Ries try and help our little LT up into the hooch that was Charlie Co office after someone ripped the stairs off the building one wild Sunday night right after we got there. So many good times - so very little time.  


1979

Steve Folkes = folkess@aol.com

Citizenship = USA; Service = USAF;

Outfit = Aircraft Maintenance

My_Quest = Iranian Hostage Crisis

My_Warstory = I was one of 34 Air Force personnel sent to Diego Garcia to convince the Iranians to release the American Hostages. We lived in the plywood/screen huts and ate by the campfire every night. We set up a stop gap system that helped supply beer and sodas for everyone until the supply ships came in. My hat is off to all of my Navy Brothers for taking us in and helping our mission. Great Friends - Great Memories.

 

 

1979 - 1980

Name = Melvin Herzing

submit_by = mherz238@aol.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = NMCB Five Det Diego

My_Quest = Touch Base

VT_of_a_Swallow = Brown or English?

My_Warstory = How bout the queens chickens, coconut crabs, donkey burgers, other side of the island.

 


1979

Hello Ted,

Recently discovered your site and enjoy it very much. Don’t know if you are still maintaining it, but if so this tidbit may be of interest, given the touch of humor your site contains.

     My name is James Bond and I was on Diego Garcia from March through July 1979.  (I left the island five days after you arrived.) At the time I was a civilian DOD employee working for Defense Mapping Agency. This agency was a descendant of US Coast and Geodetic Survey which you mention in a 1968-1970 item on your site. Indeed, Kirby Crawford was my supervisor in 1979.

      After the initial survey of 1968-1970 was done, Diego Garcia became a satellite tracking station for a special annual mission that lasted anywhere from four to six months. I was part of the two man tracking team in 1979.

      That’s how I found my way to Diego. However, the incident I relate concerns the USS Constellation. From a letter I wrote home in late April, there is the following excerpt:  "the aircraft carrier Constellation almost ran aground on an uncharted shoal east of the island several miles. It would be very humiliating to have a ship sink in the middle of the ocean because it hit a rock."

      Very quickly a survey ship was dispatched to the island, together with a survey team from NAVOCEANO. The team arrived two weeks after the shoal was reported. After two weeks of their work, I wrote the following: "The NAVOCEANO people here surveying the area where the Constellation reported a shoal have found nothing. Something’s wrong somewhere."

      Nevertheless, the Navy wanted to be perfectly sure nothing was hiding in the waters off the east side of the island, so they kept the NAVOCEANO crew busy – which certainly wore on the nerves of their surveyors who had been prepared for a short mission. Finally on July 9th, "The final NAVOCEANO people left today. Their three week mission lasted nine." No shoal was ever found. It was eventually concluded that someone on the Constellation made a very expensive error.

      Please rework the story as you see fit. I would prefer not to be mentioned.

      I was actually lucky enough to get a photo of the wild horses while there. It isn’t a great picture, but it shows the three horses which were still alive at the time. It is attached and I don't mind being credited for it.

 Best wishes,

 Bond, James Bond

 

 

79/80

Dennis McMaines = mcmainesd@charter.net

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN ; Outfit = USS Dixie AD 14

My_Warstory = My war story, We arrived with no idea of what lay ahead. No pier to tie up to, no beach landing spot for our liberty boats. So first thing was to build a dock to pull up to in the boats we took to shore once every 6 days for 5 hrs of liberty. It was called the Dixie pier. We were the first destroyer tender to be stationed at the rock. Performed a lot of first's durning our 5 months anchored in the bay. Loved the Mars raido connection to the states, when it worked. Cell phones were a bit in the future then. Donkey burgers, baseball, beach combing, crabs!!, swimming, best tee-shirt, "Every week is chicken choking week in Diego Garcia". The Sea bees were a fantastic group of guys. We worked together on alot of projects on the beach. Did lots of welding projects for them. They always had the coldest beer at the end of the day. If there was such a thing as a cold beer. Got to go on a refueling missiom on a KC-135 somewhere over afganistan. Filled up 2 B-52 bombers. Watched from the belly viewing place on the aircraft. Will never forget looking into the eyes of the bomber pilot. Your that close when hooked up. Enjoyed the fishing off the half sunken barge in the harbor. Coconuts,yumm. My only regret about the whole visit was, I was to young to really of appreciated the beauty, and experiance of being on such a isolated island in an area of the world that I would no doubt never be in again in my life time.

 

 

1974-1975, 1979-1980, & 1981.

Project Manager on the 1st P.O.L. facility in 74-75, Engineering Chief for PW 79-80 and Minor projects for MCB-62 in 81

Robert Reagan reaganre@hotmail.com

Citizenship = USA; Service = US Navy Seabees; Outfit = MCB10, NavSta Diego Garcia (PW), and MCB62

My_Quest = Quest?  To live as long as I can

VT_of_a_Swallow = as fast as you can drink a beer!

My_Warstory = First let me say that I have two years and one month of my life on that Island. I am one of the few people who has driven all 31 miles from tip to tip.  In 1979-1980 I put 27,000+/- miles on a Dodge Ram pickup in a year and most of my job during that consisted of finding places for people to sleep. 

     Myself and a Brit Chief that I cannot remember his name sort of established the Diego Garcia Yacht Club as a way for his and my troops to have something to do besides drink, read books, fish or watch porno movies from the library.  Lot of hard work and a lot stories that I don't have enough time to write my stories now but would like to post this and write more later if that's possible.  Some are strange and some are sad but I saw PT. Marianne before the dredge fill, runway extension and buildings wiped it out  I was there in the formative years 74-75 as it really was still getting started and then when I went down in 1979 it was a sleepy little backwater with total island population of approx. 1300 with 650 of that the resident Seabee Battalion for about three months until the Iranians took the hostages and life as we knew it changed overnight.  Within two weeks the PCS personnel had grown to almost 5000 people and had another 5000 or so in transient to and from ships.  It was a nightmare.  My last 3 months in 1981 with MCB 62 was interrupted by an old knee injury that got reinjured and I got medevacked to Subic and the on to FT Gordon, GA for an operation and then went to Fleet Reserve in November, 1982.  I had never seen your site until I stumbled on it the other day and was very pleasantly surprised as it brought back memories.  When I left in 1975 the P.O.L. facility that I was building was on a 1/2 mile long, 100 foot wide causeway out into the lagoon and Pt. Marianne was still a pristine with the cemetery, church and a few cottages and the largest mango tree on the island.  When I got back in 1979 it was all under the dredge fill from the anchorage expansion project. The causeway was pretty much gone and the new fuel pier at the end of it was under construction.  It was a total shock.

 

 

1979

 

Bill Halley = bilhalley@hotmail.com

 

Hi,

I just found your site & it brings back many good memories.

I was one of the 26 Brits on the island in 1979 & these are a few pics of our (unsuccessful) attempt to catch Hector.

Regards

Bill Halley