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WAR STORIES FROM PARADISE
You have traveled back to 1980!
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
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2015
2016
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2018
Wannabe


80-81

Bill Compton = comptonbill@hotmail.com

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = nmcb-40

My_Quest = to tell what happened to coconut crab after donkey gate ride VT_of_a_Swallow = My_Warstory = lots of liver juice out there. boones farm- mellow days, easy nights and gutter mornings always changed by what came in the cargo containers. old Milwaukee (old mildew) I have never forgotten that horrible fake milk, bearable cold-undrinkable when warm Concrete transmit mixer crew with tom m- that concrete pump was difficult at best junior-ride over to donkey gate in deuce and a half- tried chewing tobacco (worm dirt) for first time-bad idea junior-one more EO was with us and it was not willie farmer. he still owes us a case of beer-he never got caught and we didn't turn him in.

we caught a coconut crab and stuck him in compartment under drivers door.

went back after a day and released him from truck in shop during lunch. back of truck was still filled with palm fronds.

beautiful island-blue lagoon with out brooke shields-only rosey palm.

best t-shirt-"every day is chicken choking day on diege Garcia"

 

 

80 81

jr bridgeman = bridgemanva@hughes.net

Citizenship = Irish american; Service = Seabees; Outfit = alpha co mncb 40

My_Quest = to survive tide haul

VT_of_a_Swallow = about as fast as a the black bird leaving the rock

My_Warstory = what a ride on the rock not sure that going to the plantation side of the rock after hrs was worth exo's mast and 15 day restriction and the loss of one of those fabulous stripes. My god man we were on the rock for crap sake. How much more restricted can you get than the ROCK! what a joke. I think Willie Farmer was the only one that didn't get caught, and he stole a grader in the field to make muster in the morning. Lots and lots of drinking. Great sunrises and sunsets. like no other place on earth.

For the record Hector the hammer head was 17 ft hung out at the fuel pier. the real big ones were off the reef at Tide Haul. 12 to 15 ft from dorsal to tail fin. scary fish I tell ya.

Always wondered how in the hell those C-5s stayed the air when landing and taking off. they looked so slow.

Bob Rodgers and Gordy, Vince and the rest of the band were great. Diego burger sucked just as bad as the Brits. Got put on report for throwing killer washers at the chickens while I was on swimming pool watch. that's right swimming pool watch. that aught to tell you something about that place.

Recently attended an MNCB 40 Alpha Co reunion outside St Louis Mo 2 weeks ago and the stories were great. they are talking about another one next year. if anyone is interested go to FTN40.ORG you will find lots of compadres there.

If anyone knows how to get in touch with Bob Rodgers and the others from the band we would like to hear from them at FTN40.ORG for the next reunion.

 

 

July 1980 (I think)

Stephen O'Brien (I'm pretty sure) = sfsteve31761@gmail.com; Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = VA-165 Boomers/AT Shop & AIMD.

My_Quest = Your "lol"s & "lmao"s; VT_of_a_Swallow = 3.815 fps when I'm eating mint choc. chip ice cream; My_Warstory = When I had completed the courses for various avionics used on the A-6E Intruder with my training squadron, VA-122, at NAS Whidbey Island, WA, my fleet squadron, the Boomers of VA-165, was already deployed as an element of CVW-9 aboard USS Constellation on Gonzo Station at the height of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The lengthy journey to join my new shipmates began at Travis AFB in northern California. The 1st leg was a 17 1/2 flight to NAS Cubi Pt. with stopovers in Hawaii & Guam. While awaiting transport to DGAR, I was more than happy to get my 1st taste of the legendary hospitality of Olongapo City for a week and a half. My flight to this British version of a tropical paradise 7 degrees south of the equator arrived in the dead of night. Myself and 3 fellow travelers were assigned racks in half-finished transient quarters where the nearest source of potable water was little more than a meager 1/4 mi. stroll away. We were awakened by the lovely sing-song voice and humorous mock-anger of a PO3 from the SeaBee unit we would be working with during our day-long layover. The heavily-shaded path along which he escorted us to the chow hall for breakfast did little to prepare us for DGARs extreme heat. After chow, when the temperature was a measly 95 degrees, we were introduced to the SeaBee grunts we were to pair off with for the day. My partner/construction guru was Hank, a 5'9" 210 lb. good ol' gorilla from Georgia whom everybody called "Wanker", I presume as some sort of backhanded tribute to our British hosts. As the air temperature neared its zenith, when the 100 degree mark was but a fading memory, I found myself lodged firmly between a rock and a hard place. Having spent the previous 7 months in the great state of Washington, where folks don't tan, they rust, do I expose my pale torso to the fierce equatorial sun, or do I continue to wear the clingy, sweat-saturated t-shirt that was my sunscreen? I opted to keep my shirt on, rather than risk severe 2nd degree burns to my chest and back. My most vivid recollection of my brief visit to DGAR occurred when "Wanker" approached a rather formidable-looking stack of 12' 4"x4" wooden beams, squatted next to it, wrapped his arms--which were literally as thick as my legs--around prox. 10 or 12 of the stock lengths, and stood up (lifting with his legs, not his back), hefting the load as if it were made of Styrofoam. He then called over his shoulder for my 5'7" 155 lb. self to "get the other end." Yeah, right! I chuckled and suggested he call the marines for this one, 'cause that was NOT going to happen. Fortunately, and thankfully, he conceded my inferior upper body strength and scaled the burden back to a more manageable 7 or 8 beams.

 

 

December 1980 - February 1981

Aboard the USS JASON AR-8

Kevin L. Mackey <ar8jason@hotmail.com>

I was an ICMan (Interior Communications Electrician) aboard the USS Jason AR-8, US Navy Heavy Repair Ship for WestPac/Indian Ocean Cruise 80/81. Our ship was in the midst of flight ops / Vertical Replenishment (practice) and a radio call came in on the bridge from the Helo pilot. He wanted to know if we had a divers aboard. The Officer of the Deck told them "yes, we are a repair ship." He them to call for a diver to come to the bridge and get on the radio. The officer in charge of the divers came up and the pilot told them that there was a shark in the waters below the Jason. The diver said, "Of course their is, this is the Indian Ocean." He said "you don't understand, there is a huge shark setting on your anchor." "Every time we fly out it is there."

We would from time to time go to the pier to load supplies and return to anchor, and the shark would take up position on our anchor. ... Since we were the USS Jason, named after the Greek Mythology "Jason and the Argonauts" the shark was given the name Hector. It was so identified with the Jason that when we returned to the US, and then changed home port to Pearl Harbor, I was still aboard, late 1981 when a sailor from the photo shop came up to me and said, "Mackey, you were on WestPac 80/81 checking a clipboard, and he handed me an manila envelope from a stack he was carrying and said, "Complements of the Admiral of the 11th Fleet." I asked what it was, and he said he didn't know, that a photo had come in and they were told to print copies and deliver them to everyone that had been aboard for WestPac 80/81. I open the envelope and a copy of the picture that appears at the top of your Hector Page was in the envelope. It took me to realize that the photo was of Hector.

He was given his name in Very late 1980 (we arrived in early December). ... He was still alive in 1981, when we left in late February.

He was so connected to the USS Jason, that the Admiral sent us the picture, 6 months or so after we left Diego Garcia. ... It seems odd that the photo claims an earlier origin. If that was true, why was it not circulating when we were there, and why did the Admiral send it at Navy expense to us long after we left?

A couple of years later, I heard some sailors were sent with the mission of catching Hector. The sailor that told me the story, told me they caught him with a steel cable using a motor LCM and an electric wench. The pulled him aboard and killed him. He said the measurements were 28 feet long and he gave the weight, which I have long forgot.

Some of guys in December were fishing from the fantail and were getting bites, but the line would snap soon after the bite. They figured out they needed to use steel leaders, and then they pulled up a small hammer head. Just as they got it to the top oof the water, Hector surfaced and ate it.

Kevin L. Mackey

ICman aboard the USS Jason 1980-1983 -- US Navy 1979-1983 -- IC-2 upon discharge

 

 

1980-1983

UT3 Frank "Doc" Birdsall = Birdsallfencing@yahoo.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

My_Warstory = I often look back on those years of service and think about the true friendships made with some of the most sincere , honest, trustworthy and bravest people I had ever and have ever met. It was an honor to have known these folks and served with them. And when it was time to party we were unmatched!! Some of my greatest memories and fun times were in and with NMCB 1. CMDR YANKOOP & co. "THE FIRST AND FINEST"

 

 

1980 - 1982

Name = Tom GIllespie = tomgillespienmcb40@Yahoo.com

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = NMCB40

My_Warstory = I remember landing on Diego Garcia in November, 1980. Thrown a duffel bag in the back of a jeep and long lonely ride to Camp Cummings. Got stuck in living quarters with Les Nebel and five other degenerates that smoked dope. I remember putting on my first set of boxing gloves and sparred with Nick Groves. I boxed in that smoker and got my butt kicked from one of the boys in the fleet. Got into a fight (hard to believe) and went to my FIRST Captain's Mast. Cost me money, extra duty and restrictions but it was well worth it. My best buddy at that time on the Island was DT2 Larry Maez. Rest in Peace Bro. He died in November 2007 of a heart attack. Played alot of softball but we weren't quite as good as the Killer Bees. Went back to CA home port in March, 1981. Was on the Forty Flyers Softball Team. Made it to Semi-finals and Home Port Championship but lost on last game and was inducted into NMCB 40 Hall of Fame later that year. Went back to Diego September, 1981, on a debt with Charlie Company where I met Daryl Hopkins, Rich (Pierre Cardin and all Forty Thrasher Softball members. Wonder where Lt. Rosmond (aka Uncle Rossie - lol) is? Hey Daryl, you did beat the F@ck out of Korzenaski that night. I was the one who dumped the shampoo and soap on his bed and he blamed you - and it was on.......it was a classic! Went to another Captain's Mast and the Captain told me that I was taking FIGHTING and FORTY a little too serious. More money lost and demoted to E2. How can you go into the Navy as an E3 and get out as an E2. Just ask me - I know. Went to a detachment in Italy and pounded the shit out of a Marine in a boxing tournament. Remember that DHop? How about you Russ Nichols? We worked together by the runway in Sigonella. Went to Captain's Mast there - couldn't reduce me in rank anymore so they took more money....Hey you guys, wonder where Allen Rounds is these days? He always thought he was Satan. What a f@ckin nut! Wish all you guys the best - send me an email!

 

 

1980 1981

John Paine = sam1776adams@yahoo.com

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = NSF

My_Quest = World domination! VT_of_a_Swallow = 10.12321 meters per second

My_Warstory = I replied to a sailor here but his email is not good so I thought I would post this similar DG boat stary here for all. March 1980 - Feb 1981

I worked at I-site as a generator operator (EMFN), I was to start my watch at like 4Pm if I remmember soooo myself, a guy I recall as Twiggy, and lastly Vargas rented a 16 foot boston whaler boat from the marina that morning

The day was sunny but the swells were 4-6 feet high and we had troule getting the sheet metal guards back on the motor (had to remove to wind the stupid pull rope) so after we got it started and together we decided NOT to shut it off again. We set off to try our luck chasing porpoise and Vargas was gonna try fishing with his huge pole setup.

I was on the tiller as I was the only one with boating experience and away we went, we stopped after about and hour in about the exact center of the lagoon..... left the motor running while in neutral. Vargas tried fishing but had forgot his sinker but we happened to see the "U" bolt in the clevice that was part of the motor safety teather line so it was lowered away in hopes of a juicy fish. After 30 minutes or so we gave up on fishing and were getting ready to go when Vargas said"Twiggy....Do you want to try driving the boat?" he said "sure" so I explained the 1/4 turn throttle to him and how to steer.

Twiggy sits down, shifts into forward and turs the throttle.... FULL and the little boat shoots forward. We went right up a swell and flew off the top.... Twiggy freaks out and tuns the tiller and as soon as we hit the boat veers violently full left full speed and right back up the same swell x2. We went up that swell 3 times when we heard the motor racing cause it was out of the water. In fact... is was off the boat also and made a rude gurgle noise as it sank to the depths.

There we were, shipwrecked LOL. we had 2 oars on board set up for oar locks but saddly the boad was not equiped for oar locks. We tried rowing the few miles to shore to no avail.... with blisters it was a certain failure. We were in the current headed for the mouth of the lagoon. We were not equiped with correct clothing, sun screen, ciggs, water, beer... bad shape.

We drifted for several hours while rotating issue T-shirts from body to head , legs ect to try to slow down the sun burnning that was a certainty. Finally we drifted opposite to where the mike boat offload OPS were going on and we yelled and waved and received a casual wave hello from a friendly sailor on the ship.... drifting on. There was a fast attack sub slowly cruising the lagoon, all hands were in dress whites having a ceremony on her hull, again we screamed and waved, they changed course and again we were alone.

Almost to the small islands the waves were getting ALOT bigger we heard the sound of an engine. It was a launch coming right at us, soon it pulled up and it was the Chief from the marina.... sees we have no motor and gives a disgusted look... throws a very SHORT rope and we tie off and he guns it. The rooster tail is landing BEHIND our little boat.

We arrive back at the marina around 6PM or so, my chief(a brit) from the power plant was there... we were long overdue. My chief asked "How was the motor running?" I said it ran great ..all the wat to the bottom! He said " I just rebuilt that motor last week!" I felt small all of the sudden.

We had to fill out some paperwork for the lost motor and I had to go to finish my watch. I later pulled water blisters off the size of peaches... took a week before I got over the sun sickness. We survived but we stranded some 9 hours, cigs ran out... sucked!

My nose looked reptilian for some time due to the sunburn, the sun can be deadly, cheers to all my friends here and there. John Paine :)

 

P.S. Hello, I was just at he DG web site and saved a pic that had Robbie Burns in it.... wow! I signed up twice for the web site with stories, does anybody have contact data for Robbie Burns or his running mate Scouse Eded (the only name I knew him by)? I was the EM that was assigned to the power plant and stood many late night watches n the switch gear with those two guys and have been trying to find them for some time now. Thanks John Paine, DG survivor 80-81

 

 

Here's his earlier submission:

March 1980 THRU Feb 1981

John Paine = sam1776adams@yahoo.com Outfit = NavSupFac worked at I-site power plant My_Quest = LOL, to find some lost friends!

VT_of_a_Swallow = 10 meters per second give or take Hahaha

My_Warstory = I was 18 when I arrived at the rock, I rememember walking to the town from the air strip with my duffle on my back and these TAN CB types said "Welcome to butthole hill" I though..... Great, just great :( I at fist was bummed out but later came to fit in and enjoyed (kind of) the different surroundings and the guys. At that time Diego was still pretty small, we had splinterville area for the overflow lodging and I had the luck of living on a cot in the gym for the first week or so.... I still remember the heat.

I later got into a quad room that was straight across from the chow hall front door, I had some cool roommates and friends.

Shannon Bussard room mate, Very unique laugh and had a broken arm from falling off a generator.

Bill Smith was down the row, cool guy that had his wife send him a box with her panties LOL I can still hear him as he would peek in.

Duke, he was a fireman that was sent to Hong Kong after drug conviction.

Domingo, First class Filipino.. kept to himself alot but a nice guy.

Chuck, (First Class) he was a CB at the power plant and was one of the smartest electricians I ever knew... I have stayed in the electrical field as a contractor all these years. Current Electrical Contracting serving NW Arkansas located in Kansas OK.

Louis Sardinas (Sardinis?), also Filipino and cool roommate.

Scouse EDEN, British sailor.... cant remember his real first name. I miss talking to him.

Robbie BURNS, British sailor from Liverpool .... miss knocking the Queen and having him get mad.

Kenny Walrath, engineman... I still am in contact with him after all these years.

Calvin HILL, Knew him from bootcamp... would like to chat again.

MOUSE, A CB type in my quad, sgtarted his room on fire once via a cig LOL, he would do his inspecion wich boots that were varnished lol, he would put them on at the inspection sight as to no crack the finish.

Vargas, we lost a boat motor in the lagoon off a 16 foot smaalll boat.... arg, so sunburned after that.

Twiggy, same as above with the boat, cant recall their last names.

LOL, I used to razz all the flippers that were there working on the island. Low and behold I went back there to the PI a few times and am now married to the most wonderful btfl filipina!! Thank you USN for introducing me to the PI, I will one day soon have a home there also.

Any of you guys that know/knew me feel free to email and maybe get together, I live now in SE Oklahoma and ewould be jazzed to hook up!

John Paine

 

 

Dates_Aboard = 1980-81

Name = Sailor Sal = salvatore@oems.ch

Citizenship = USA

Service = Merchant Marine

Outfit = Heavy Lift ship bring in the goodies

My_Quest = Get a copy of the video of my Hair cut

VT_of_a_Swallow = Africian or European

My_Warstory = OK you all gotta remember the fund raising navel relief festival..... I way the crazy sailor who auctioned/donated my hair to the relief fund, the brits won over the american forces, it seemed the tables were turned when this aussie Brit Rep Amazon layed down the last 100 bucks to take over the auction, on the condition she was going to cut it herself! when asked if she any experience in hair cutting she replied, she sheared lots of sheep and could not wait to get me between her legs and get started, at that point the whole island went wild!, she would cut off locks and people in the crowd we attaching the lock to the caps to sport a ponytail, she cut off half of the hair on one side and half of the beard on the other and left me like that, until another brit took over and shaved me clean! one comment way from jesus to krishna in in two hours flat.... well it was for a good cause!

287 days on the island, it was a real experience

 

 

Dates_Aboard = 1980-1981

Name = Brian Sharkey = sharkey@sharkeystavern.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = NAVSUPFAC Public works Transportation dept My_Quest = I.m here to show my family what their Dad did in the navy VT_of_a_Swallow = My_Warstory = I remember some guy off a sub tender knocked out three guys with one punch each. the em club drained out all Seabee as they and chased that poor sob all the way to the fleet pier before he was taken into custody by shore patrol and sent to spend the night in the brig for his own safety. I also remember the our fist ship off load using the new sub pier. I was driving a tractor trailer, unloading connex boxes and hauling them to a staging area and returning to the pier with MTs. I pulled up next to the ship and waited while the Phillipino longshoremen hooked the box to the ships crane, I was hanging out the window talking someone who was handing out box lunches when I realized that the long shoremen had failed to disconnect the box from the trailer when my truck and I began to be hoisted in the air about 20 feet I leaped from the cab and landed 2 feet from the edge of the pier. needless to say i spent the rest of the day at the em club.

 

 

Dates_Aboard = 1980-1981

Name = Clete Long

submit_by = cletelong@gmail.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = nmcb 40

My_Warstory = looking for sum guys jay jenkins, joe molina, tony wallace, eddie oats, eddie zapow, mike watson, tony duhamel, jim duback, jerry tewles, terry monser, willey, reedy. or any one else that may remember Clete Long.

 

 

1980-1999

Andre Bennett <andrebennett@hotmail.com>

I remember the photo of Hector used to hang in the diveshop where the cement ships used to discharge back in 1980. I was an original crew member on the USNS JUPITER, and afterwards worked for Maersk doing the same job as Able Seaman, then Bosun. Worked in and out of the lagoos from 1980 to 1999. Thank you for maintaining the website. I wish I could get a shore based job there doing something. I miss the place. Andre.

 

 

Dates_Aboard = 1980-1981

Name = Oscar Ward

submit_by = akaoward@aol.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = Navcomsta (R-site)

My_Quest = Skid the Mid one more time!

VT_of_a_Swallow = An unladen swallow may fly at around 11meters per second My_Warstory = Interesting place the rock was, I remeber my time as a mess crank durring 1980 I was in charge of making the bug juice and ice-cream after a while and the seabees begain calling me bugboy even away from the galley. Altho working the shifts at the comsta where after the last day of mid watch would would "skid the mid" meaning stay up after we got off and drink till we passed out usually on the beach. Anybody got any MOJO my cup is empty...lol

 

 

1980

Russ Young = hodabe@sbcglobal.net

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = bravo company

My_Quest = sober by 2nd gear

VT_of_a_Swallow = depends how far he drops after i kill it

My_Warstory = Wow it was a haze. Stayed drunk most of the time. Lots of parties. Remember it was the best fishing ever . If I could only remember what I caught. Staying up all night drinking scotch and getting singled out by the chief at muster in the morning.

 

My name is Carol Nunes. my brother, Dave Nunes, NMCB5, was stationed on d.g. in 1980. i am looking for his buddies who served with him on the island "where the elite meet". i can be reached at gmamadog@yahoo.com. thanks for your help and thanks for this great site!!

Aztec Reprographics

3821 Falmouth Road Unit 6

Marstons Mills, MA 02648

508-420-1880

508-420-0130 (fax)

 

 

Hi,

My Name is Kenny Greco and I served on DG in both '79-80 and '81, some of the best memories of my life. I'm looking for a good friend of mine named Kenny Horn who served '79-80. I would like to get back in touch with him if possible. Please email Pinscher319@gmail.com if anyone has a clue about the other Kenny.

 

 

1980

Carol Nunes = gmamadog@hotmail.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = NMCB 5

My_Quest = to find the guys my brother dave nunes served with VT_of_a_Swallow = My_Warstory = my brother dave nunes was on d-gar in 1980. i am looking for anyone who served with him. his 50th birthday is this year and we would like to surprise him with some of his old seabee's!! please contact me if you served with dave.

 

 

1980

Richard Riordan <riordan_199@yahoo.com>

I was on Diego Garcia 2 times. 1974-1975 with MCB-10 Alpha Company and again with Naval Support Facility from 1980-1981. I also have pictures to back up my claim.

 

 

march 1980 - june 1981

Name = cm3 voss

submit_by = bobby_voss@hotmail.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = public works alapha co/ wrecker driver

My_Quest = still alive

VT_of_a_Swallow = speed limit 35

My_Warstory = I got delay for 6 days waiting on a flight over to the rock. Great Time!!!!!! After arrival I wonder why I was the choosen one for this duty. At first I was shocked. Then I got into the swing of things and loved it. I hated Shore Patrol at the EM Club. I got into more fight with drunkin shipmate of the SPEAR!!!!! OH I almost forgot to mention my hats off to the guys of the fight _______ forty. I ruin more uniforms in 6 hours of watch at the club. Thanks guys. Truth be known it something to look forward to. When i wasnt working i was drinking ice cold bud or hot oly gold depending if the ice machine worked. Ship off load milvans of hot beer and cigarettes waiting to hit the island. I never figure how you can open a pack of cigaretes and the white paper had brown spots all over them. Just thinking about them brings that nasty taste back. Grilling a bean burger still cant figure out how they manage to call them hambuger.

 

 

1980-1981

Don "DJ" Johnson = djsellsorlando@yahoo.com

Citizenship = Red, White & Blue; Service = USN; Outfit = NMCB "Fighting Forty"

My_Quest = To get a kidney transplant!

VT_of_a_Swallow = as quick as she can

My_Warstory = So cool to have found this site. Read lots of the stories some of the blotterheads wrote here. Dodge City was a friggin way cool experience that I personally have remembered and cherished for all these years. Some days did suck, but the place was just awesome if you made it that way. Most of you guys will remember me as the one who ran the beach alot. I worked the barracks for a bit throwing rebar, then they sent me out to the crusher to work with Chavez climbing that flipping hopper and getting scorched. Worked with "A" welding some engine blocks and the piperat team with Givens and company on that flipping burning hot tarmac area we were in. Fucking Hordorf breaking the cherry picker and Paquin. I need a year book type thing so I can faces and remember more names. I remember a bunch but not as many as I should. I remember that dickweed Jimmy something or another got Vasquez busted for the "cid", we were ready to feed his ass to the sharks in the lagoon for that one. Bus, Paquin, Bob and the Band, Randy Dailey and so many more. Couple of dudes I could do without also, like Bob Wright, what a dickhead. Saw elsewhere on the web where Seabees have local chapters and a national reunion. That would be cool to get all Bees that spent time on DG together and have Bob and the boys rock some fuckin kickass FREEBIRD like they did on the hump party....

Nowadays, I am a real estate broker in Central Florida, concentration in commercial. Things are still going well even in this economy. I'm optimistic about it all.

I had kidney failure in the last several years and go to dialysis 3x a week now while waiting for a kidney transplant. I also do patient advocacy for ESRD patients such as myself. My kidneys failed in all places, China ... LOL ... almost didn't make it home.

Great catching up. Feel free to email those who might remember me! Laterzzz

 

 

April 1980-April 1981

Leroy Lawrence jlawr914@ec.rr.com

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN Seabees

Outfit = PWD

My_Quest = to catch up with old friend and try to remember.

VT_of_a_Swallow = Depends on the size of the worm

My_Warstory = Just found your site. very cool. just remembering some of the times there. driving up to Isite seeing how many crabs we could hit with our van. Partying everynight and day.

Taking the rowboat out to the middle of the sewage lagoon to burn one cause we thought that would be a safe place. so many memories so little time.

Would like to here from anyone that remembers.

take care

Seabees Can Do!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Dates_Aboard = THE SUMMER OF 80

GARY FARMER FARMBOSDAONE@AOL.COM

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = 11A - SHIPFITTER SHOP

My_Quest = UNCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE

VT_of_a_Swallow = ABOUT 80 MPH IF I'M THROWIN' ONE A SHORT DISTANCE AT A BRICK WALL DOESN'T GET MORE TREMINAL THAN THAT !

My_Warstory = THE JAX DROPPED ANCHOR IN THE LAGOON THE SUMMER OF 80 AND THE WORLD THAT WAS DIEGO GARCIA BECAME VERY CLEAR.....FANTASY ISLAND. THERE A FEW THINGS THAT I WAS AWARE OF CONCERNING "HECTOR" THE HAMMERHEAD SHARK. THE AJAX SHIP'S PHOTOGRAPHER HAD TAKEN THE DIFINITIVE PHOTO OF HECTOR FROM THE AFT SECTION OF HECTOR SWIMMING ALONGSIDE AND JUST BELOW THE WATERLINE OF THE CAPTAIN'S GIG, A SMALL CABIN CRUISER, AND I BECAME "THE" SHARK HOOK MAKER OF NOTE. TO MY KNOWLEGE ONLY ONE SHARK WAS EVER BROUGHT ON BOARD VIA A FARMER MADE GRAPPLIN' HOOK. THE MASTER AT ARMS HAD TO CLEAR THE SHIPFITTER SHOP OF GAWKERS AS WE WERE ATTEMPTING TO HAUL THE GNASHIN' BASTARD INTO THE SHPO VIA THE POWER WINCH BUT HE PUT A STOP TO THAT BUT I DID GET A SOUVENIER TOOTH THAT I HAD MADE INTO A PENDANT. THE SHARK WAS HAULED AFT ON A WEATHER DECK AND INVICERATED BY THE BLOOD THIRSTY FEW, JAWS FANS, NOT DOUBT. THE ATOLL WAS NOT WITHOUT IT'S ADVENTURE ESPECIALLY IN THE LAGOON SNORKLING ! THANK GOD FOR LOW TIDE AND HUGE HEADS OF BRAIN CORAL TO EVADE THE ANKLE BITIN' SHARKS MAKING DINING FORAYS IN THE LAGOON. THE COCONUT GAUNTLET GETTING FROM ONE SIDE OF THE ATOLL TO THE OTHER MADE ONE VERY AWARE OF FALLING OBJECTS CRASHING DOWN ON YOUR GOURD. THE BEER WAS COLD BUT NOT NEARLY ENOUGH IN VOLUME UNLESS YOU GOT THE CHITS FROM A NON-DRINKER. NO WIMMEN, EXCEPT ENS. SHIELDS TO LOOK AT AND THE USO TROUPES ( MISS AMERICA !) WORKED ON SHIPS ALONGSIDE AND A COUPLE OF MERCHANT/MILITARY SUPPLY SHIPS. THOSE GUYS ATE LIKE KINGS ! I ALWAYS VOLENTEERED FOR ANY TRIP OVER TO WORK AS THE SURF N TURF AND BREAKFAST FARE WAS GREAT. THE FISHIN' FLOAT WAS A GAS ! A SUPPLY OF BEER AND FOOD AND HOT FISHIN' ACTION TOOK THE EDGE OFF THE OTHERWISE BORING DAYS. THE DIEGO GARCIA SWIMMIN' POOL WAS A CRYSTAL CLEAR POOL OF WATER DILUTED CLORINE THAT ATE YOUR EYES OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS BUT COULDN'T STOP THE EIGHT INCHES OF ALGAE FROM GROWIN' ALONG SIDES AND BOTTOM. THE TENNIS COURT WAS AN ASPHALT SKILLET IN THE SUMMER SUN AND THE BALL PARK WAS DEFINATELY A "NO SLIDE ZONE". THE BRITS WERE A GENERAL PAIN IN THE ASS AS THEY SEARCHED FOR "CONTRABAND" EVERYTIME WE SET FOOT ASHORE. PLAYBOY AND EASY RIDER MAGAZINES WERE GOLD ! THE SEA BEES WERE OKAY AS LONG AS THEY HAD ENOUGH ALCOHOL AND DIDN'T LOSE ALL THEIR MONEY TO YOU IN THE INFREQUENT POKER GAMES. THE BRASS STEERED CLEAR OF EM TERRITORY AS WE OUTNUMBERED THEM AND WITH A SNOOTFULL OF LIQUID COURAGE SHOWED 'EM NO RESPECT AS WITNESSED BY ALL THE XO / CAPTAIN MAST'S. THE TRIPS TO AND FROM THE D.G. PIER WAS NOT WITHOUT IT'S ADVENTURE EITHER.

REGULAR SALT WATER SOAKINGS COMING AND GOING DID LITTLE FOR YOUR ATTITUDE OR BUZZ WHILE TRANSITTING.

THERE IS LITTLE MORE I CAN ADD TO MY TALE EXCEPT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT TO BE WITH WIMMEN AND SOME TASTY BUDS. I FOUND THIS WEBSITE BY ACCIDENT WHILE LOOKING FOR HOW D.G. IS TODAY....I DON'T RECOGNIZE IT AS THE D.G. I KNEW AND I'M GLAD THEY BROUGHT THE WORLD OF D.G. UP TO DATE AS IT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT OF DUTY STATIONS I'D EVER EXPERIENCED. A SHOUT OUT TO THE 1980 CREW OF THE AJAX !

MEMORIES ARE FADING WITH AGE BUT I CAN, ON OCCASION RECALL THE GUYS OF 11-A AND SMILE. THERE IS AN AJAX ASSOCIATION LOOK IT UP AND MAKE CONTACT WITH OLD SHIPMATES IF YOU WANT [ed note: http://ussajaxassociation.org/]. LATER.....FARMER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING......................

 

 

80-81 81-82

NAME = harry kern

E-MAIL = harryelectric@comcast.net

SERVICE = seabees

RANK/RATE/JOB = ce3

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out on The Beach

MY WARSTORY = its a wonder we have any brain cells left. the weak ones would start lining up at 8 am.remember ron guim, pat ward, denny walls, buzz sawyer, louis rico, dave slimgen,john kovacs paul willis ed knickles joe procter ham, wedge, others that names escape me ,is it any wonder

 

 

1980 -81

NAME = Randy Dailey

MY QUEST = 200 m.p.h.

VT of a SWALLOW = Only 37 m.p.h.!

E-MAIL = jedattn@hotmail.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = U.S.N. Seabees

UNIT = NMCB-40 'C' Co. Fightin' Fuckin' Forty

RANK/RATE/JOB = Steelworker/Scummer(as Cheif Dorrell would call us) then.Car freak now/still whatever

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = First of all - What a trip finding this fuckin' site ! I remember bending a shit load of rebar and "goin down the road " with Hambone (Hamilton) and gettin' hammered pretty often with Roy Childers , Les Nebel , Gary Bohnencamp and Pat "Bus" Bussanmas then that fuckstick Bobby Wright would come into the hooch and lay on top of someone.I still talk to Albert Parkhurst. He didn't make it to Diego because he crashed his bike just before deployment.

Anyway I remember one night (little) Howie Belssing getting so hammered he got in a fight with Foley all because he wouldn't back off when Foley asked him if he was lookin' for trouble after Howie said somethin' stupid . Foley hit Howie one time Howie hit the pier on his back knocked out eyes wide open and he was snoring all at the same time ! I felt sorry for Howie, well for a second and then I had to laugh my ass off. I think that was one of the Jungle Juice party nights when Dave Towe got so hammered he pulled his dick out (again) so I grabbed it and took him for "walk" it was funny as hell because he didn't think anyone would do it. And I remember : Y.C.J.C.Y.O.C.O.B.??? Your curiosity just cost you one case of beer and havin to beer bong a six pack ! Thank God I/we survived.

 

 

April thru July 1980

NAME = Rex Chilton

MY QUEST = To get one of those blasted chickens

VT of a SWALLOW = all the way into next week

E-MAIL = rchilton@uabmc.edu

NATIONALITY = bama

SERVICE = AF

UNIT = Boom Operator, tanker task force

RANK/RATE/JOB = Ssgt then, retired now

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = This is a No-Shit Drinking Story

MY WARSTORY = Well,we arrived at diego from Gaum just after the Iran rescue mission, which sadly went very south. Thanks Jimmy. So we thought, ok pack up and head back to Guam, Wrong! Stayed for a couple months doing missions with the guys off the "Connie and Ike. Great bunch of pilots.

Before leaving the rock we were told to buy as much bottled beer and red man that we could, the seabees needed supplies. So we did. Once on Diego a duce and ahalf met us on the ramp and we sold them back our "supplies" at our cost. Now I have read where guys bought cases of beer for 20 bucks but not from us, all we wanted was our per-diem money back (of course we kept enough beer for ourselves). This turned out to be a very good thing to do, the seabees treated us great. Spent many hours at the E6 peir with Don Woods and the guys form the 133rd out of Gulf Port MS rasing all kinds of hell. My good bud and great boom, Kevin Doyle and I have talked about our time on Diego. Hope those guys from the 133rd are still kicking and doing well.

 

 

1980's

Phil Furze <tatahn2@yahoo.com>

After a 25 year career (retired in 1994) I still have nightmares, of the time I was in transit from Oman to Japan. Back in the 80's I was in the Navy and I had to suffer 7 days in 'DaGar'. The warm lagoon waters, the sandy beach, the trip to visit "Katie", drinking beer with the Aussies. It was horrible!

P Furze

MSG USAR (ret)

 

 

1980 to 1984 RBRM - 1993 with BJS

NAME = John L

MY QUEST = Returning just for the Expat club sunsets and Margaritas

E-MAIL = johnjel1234@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = USA

RANK/RATE/JOB = Contractor with RBRM and BJS

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Want to Return When the First REAL Club Med Opens

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = After having been gone from the island for approx. 10 years I took a job with BJS to see how Diego had developed. I had been there from 1980 with RBRM during the construction years.

In 1982 the Navy approached RBRM and told us they had 10,000lbs of frozen lobster tail they wanted to sell. Since we had our own food budget we bought the lobster and started Surf & Turf every Friday night at the expat mess hall.

When I returned in 1993 I was in the O club and noticed that someone was getting a lobster dinner for their birthday. I thought "No it couldn't be the same lobster we bought in "82." Guess what! It had no taste and was really tough.

So much for lobster at the "O' in 1993. By now I would think it is all gone.

 

 

1980

From: Chris Kelley <whotmewory@nc.rr.com>

28 Feb 2008

What a great thing it was to see you have Hector on the web.

I believe that the photo that George Wilson scanned for you is one taken in November, 1980 from the fantail of the USS Puget Sound AD-38 by the fantail watch or someone with him. We were stationed there in the Fall / Winter of 1980 to relieve the Dixon. I actually saw a hard copy of this when our Master Diver Chester Stanley showed it to us. He was so proud of it he would not share copies.

The British customs officials at the time had lots of anecdotal stories about him and told us that British and American sailors from WWII has seen or heard of Hector during the war; which made him quite old in 1980. In a 1970s / 80s book called "Shark!" the author insisted hammerheads got no longer than nine (or thirteen?) feet long. I forget which, but after having seen Hector, I was sure wishing there was a way to tell the author about the Diego Garcia shark.

One thing that struck me was the British stationed there told us they had no record of Hector killing or maiming any man. Funny, the British told us not to swim in the lagoon; the Americans told us not to swim in the open seas - or was it the other way around? Anyway, we swam in both!

I have a neat photo of some WWII guns on the beach where we swam. I'll send them from home as work won't send e-mails larger than a certain size.

The reason swimming in the open ocean was frowned on were the black tip reef sharks that populated the black coral reefs on the slopes about 60-90 feet down. I guess they were worried the sharks would wander up for a nice bite of calf meat.

At the time we were there, there were mostly crazed Sea Bees, chickens and donkeys - and an army of coconut crabs. Sleeping in the open screened huts on the [then scarcely populated and untainted] island was a lifetime experience. I wondered then at the future when Hilton or the Sheraton would ruin the island, or civilians from the PI would move there. Later, last decade, I saw an Air Force film showing PI civilians and barracks and enlisted quarters and...ugh! I am so glad I got to see the place before that mess.

Thank you for having this site on the INet!

Cheers!

Chris Kelley, PE

Professional Engineer / Hydraulic Specialist

Apex, NC

Former MM2/DV, R5 Division Dive Locker

USS PUGET SOUND, AD-38

 

 

1980

David Semenke <blake@execpc.com>

I was stationed at Deigo Garcia in 1980 for six months while my ship the USS Emory S Land visited it. I was temporarily assigned to the customs division on the island. While there we took part in operations related to the failed Hostage rescue in Iran. The transport plane carrying something, I'm not sure what, landed there and only certain people were allowed on board.

I saw some pretty interesting stories while there, one was about a former soldier who was in Vietnam and was well decorated - Congressional Medal of Honor and was carrying it with him. He joined the Navy and was being transferred to his ship by way of Diego Garcia as a seaman. As I was going thru his things I found a lump inside of his pants cuff and confiscated the trousers as possible contraband. It was soon determined that the material was harmless but still he missed his flight out. He was also livid cursing an Air Force Sargeant in the Phillipines, telling me that the guy was jealous that a seaman had the Medal of honor while the Sargeant had twenty years in and nothing to show but good conduct. He missed his flight in the Phillipines, as well, while waiting for the Sargeant to return his belongings. He felt the Sargeant took too much time and must have planted it there. I don't know what happened after that but he said that when he reached his final destination he was going to have a chat with the Captain to see what could be done about the Sargeant.

Also while I was wandering around the island one day I found the anti aircraft guns but I was puzzled by the remanants of a structure nearby. It looked as if the foundation was all that was left with steps leading down into it. In the center was a concrete slab that rose up to the height of the walls with a base that looked like a pyramid and very little room to walk around it. I was wondering if you know anything about it.

Another thing that I want to mention, and I personally feel that someone was pulling my leg, is that according to rumor a Japanese soldier was found on the island long after world war II and did not know the war was over. He actually killed himself before they could get him. Of course this is just a rumor and frankly I don't believe it.

 

 

1980/81

NAME = Russ Nichols = russn1@knology.net

MY QUEST = To find and "remember" old friends

VT of a SWALLOW = zzzoooooommmm

NATIONALITY = White

SERVICE = Seabees

UNIT = MCB Fightin' Fuckin' 40

RANK/RATE/JOB = 6 damn years and still left as BU 3rd class!

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Want to Return When the First REAL Club Med Opens

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I was shipped to 40 outta A school in 80.40 had just already got to The island, so I came late by a month. But 7 months were a big plenty. It's a wonder I'm alive. I was put in a "hooch" with 3 others I knew from school, Greg, and a couple others I'll have to look up. Put on the "Hot Tar Crew". With one I recognized Wade Hovey, Kees Peer, along with others. All quite foggy yet. Need others to refresh my memory.

My story was, not long after I got there. My friends, and all the new friends, all were partying one night,(imagine that), and at that hootch, they had a sheet of "Micky Mouse" acid. Never tried it till that night, they talked me into it, so after a bit, someone had the great idea to go for a walk to the beach,,, they took us to the jungle, and "Ditched" us! Then once we decided we were lost, and freaking out, we started what we thought was back to camp. The "older" guys that ditched us, now were hiding behind trees, and scaring the shit outta us. I was never so glad to get back to camp, and back to my hootch. Never done acid since. But don't underestamate me, we all drank, and smoked lots of "Beaners" hash, or partied with Loui Rico (R.I.P.) And who can forget the girls off the ship that ended up in one of the circles. Lines of men. Never me though!

 

 

June 1980 and Feb 1982

NAME = Edd Keudell

MY QUEST = The Grail...no the Ring

VT of a SWALLOW = 94 knots

E-MAIL = mapperhd@msn.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = USN Submarines

UNIT = SSN 694

RANK/RATE/JOB = SK2/SS

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

MY WARSTORY = I remember pulling along side the Ajax and them lowering the brow to our deck. When some of their guys came over to attach power and whatever some of them were so terrified of touching foot on a sub that they crawled on their hands and knees.

On my second glorious trip to the island with the most pristine beach I've ever seen, I got drunk during a softball game in the near-equatorial sun and had a black out. Someone told me later I bitched out one of the O-gangers back on my boat.

Rumor has it that someone finally caught Hector...

 

 

1977 and 1980

NAME = Rick Baptista

MY QUEST = Who Knows

VT of a SWALLOW = Who Knows

E-MAIL = r.baptista@comcast.net

NATIONALITY = White

SERVICE = NMCB-40

UNIT = Pipe rat; Crane crew; Batch Plant

RANK/RATE/JOB = EO3 to EOC

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = This is a No-Shit Drinking Story

MY WARSTORY = What can I say! I stole the truck loaded with Alpha Company, crashed the donkey gate and chased them fucking brits down the road. To bad Barto got caught. Sure was a long walk from the plantation to t-Site. If it wasn't for the human chain at the donkey gate the rest of us would'nt have got caught. Well there you GO LT. Rock now you know. Well he always knew but just couldn't prove it. If Bll the Head didn;t hit that Brit with his sneaker they might have let us go. Well thats one story of many I can tell. Was a fun place and did alot of drinking. Having the shits during Shipoff load cause of bad Turkey Ala King. Looking for Bad Bart; Dan Hosher; Ron Ried etc. Hey Dog Face I thought that was in Newfoundland I broke your back. Anyway I should be getting half that check. For all that recall this story send me an e-mail

 

 

From: cfonteno@peoplepc.com

To: easy501@zianet.com

Date: 23 Jan 2007, 08:56:52 PM

Subject: Diego Garcia

All Hail Dodge!

Love the site and would like to be a member. I did T.A.D. transit duty in the early days, 1980-81 on my way to meet the USS Ranger for West Pac. Lived in Splinterville while working with my Squadrons shore detachment VS-37. Fond memories of the place. I even have a picture of me next to the "Footprint of Freedom" sign that was up between town and the airfield. I'll share that with everyone upon successfull citizenship to the Republic. Chuck Fontenot

 

 

1980

NAME = Trish Schiesser, mother of LY SPEAR contingency, Andrea Robin Schiesser, Cosier, McDonald, Rose

MY QUEST = To tell the members of this group about my daughter who served aboard LY SPEAR in Diego Garcia 1980.

VT of a SWALLOW = Depends upon how big the drink is.

E-MAIL = lilreddog1@Yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = Caucasian, USA

SERVICE = U.S. NAVY

UNIT = Boatswain's Mate

RANK/RATE/JOB = E/2 or E/3. Deceased.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Other

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Other

MY WARSTORY = My daughter, Andrea, was a member of the crew of the L.Y. Spear, out of Norfolk, VA. Her ship was called up during the Iranian Crisis in 1980. She was never where she was supposed to be at the time to be there, she had more Captain's Mast's than anybody else I know of. She wound up in the brig and in the engine room, on bread and water, while in Diego Garcia. But, she was a brilliant woman of 18 who didn't know who she was. She could have attended Annapolis, but puposely flunked the test so she could follow in her father's footsteps (he was in the Merchant Marine at the time)around the world. So, she opted for a ship, and she got the SPEAR. She became one of the first women Shellbacks on a non-combatant vessel. Her father never became a Shellback, since he was on non-navy ships while crossing, but he was an Officer in the Naval Reserve, so Andrea saluted him when they were together. Andrea was a sweet, kind, and generous woman, who loved her family very much - maybe that is why she screwed up her naval career and lasted only two years until it was mutually agreed upon that she exit the service. She was married, first marriage, to Fred Cosier, who was aboard the LY SPEAR - has anyone heard of him? or heard from him recently? He doesn't know that our Andrea, at age 40, died of breast, lung and brain cancer on July 19,2002. We miss her terribly and these websites really contribute to our well being. She is up in heaven now, looking down upon all of you, all of us, sending nothing but golden words to cover our heads as we plow along in life. If you knew her, please send me an e-mail at: Clara19126@msn.com - I am Trish Schiesser, her mother. God Bless everyone of you.

 

 

1980

NAME = lytelle john mcgowan

MY QUEST = trying to piece it all together

VT of a SWALLOW = unknown to myself

E-MAIL = ljmcgowan56@charter.net

NATIONALITY = white

SERVICE = navy

UNIT = uss ly spear weapons department

RANK/RATE/JOB = e4 busted to e1

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = as an ex army veteran, i joined the navy for adventure and to help me cope with life. all that drinking and smoking earlier in life made me quite an onnery character. there i was stationed at norfolk on the ly spear and then the iranians decided to take some hostages. so we had to take a vacation in paradice. i was known as mad mike cause i was always angry and in trouble. it was rough going accross the ocean because of rough seas and a lot of stuff got tossed around on bourd. i wished i was more into socialising because there were some pretty chicks aboard and a lot of really great people. HELLO TO ALL THOSE THAT REMEMBER ME. liberty boat duty was hell and all there was to do at d. G. was to drink, bowl, eat DEW BURGERS, and help the CB's build a park. back on the ship, we serviced submarines and a one or two surface ships. i finally ended my tour of duty at norfolk...the captain giving me six months to live because of my drinking and drugging.ireally needed that kick in the rear to change the course of my life. now i'm a succesful dishwasher at shoneys restaurant. ahoy to all you mates that remember me.

 

 

1980

NAME = MIKE SMOLLON

MY QUEST = FIND OLD FRIENDS

E-MAIL = MSMOLLON@AOL.COM

NATIONALITY = USA

SERVICE = MSC

UNIT = LIBERTY-MSC CREW USNS RIGEL

RANK/RATE/JOB = COOK & BAKER

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out on The Beach

MY WARSTORY = USNS RIGEL - MCS SHIP WE JUST SAILED INTO DIEGO GARCIA MANY OF THE CREW LANDED ON SHORE FIRST TO GET SOME COLD BEER! wE WENT FOR A SWIM AT THE BEACH WHEN WE HEARD A HUGE BOOM THEN SMOKED BILLOWED FROM OUR STACK. ONE OF THE OFFICERS WITH US 3RD ASST. ENGINE DEPT. SAID WE MUST HAVE BLOWN A BOILER. THIS MEANT DRY DOCK EITHER IN SUBIC OR SINGAPORE. I WISH I COULD REMEMBER HIS NAME BUT HE WAS A PROUD IRISH AMERICAN SO HE GOT DRUNK AND HOISTED HIS IRSH FLAG IN PLACE OF THE BRITISH FLAG ON DIEGO. HE SPENT THE REST OF HIS STAY IN THE BRITISH BRIG, HE SAID IT WAS WORTH IT!

 

OLONGAPO, SUBIC BAY - AN AWSOME LIBERTY!

 

ANYONE WHO REMEMBERS THIS ADVENTURE PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.

 

REGARDS TO ALL - MIKE SMOLLON, STEWARDS DEPT. USNS RIGEL 1980 OR 81 MSMOLLON@AOL.COM

 

 

1980

CHRIS KELLEY <whotmewory@triad.rr.com>

I loved your site!

I'm attaching for you a copy of a photo of the old W.W.II Brit guns that were on the "foot print" back in 1980. (editor's note - sorry Chris, I couldn't open the attachment for some reason)

Diego was much different then: SeaBees, Divers, rock crabs and laws against sodomy of the goats and chickens! I was a 2nd Class diver working on the pipelines there. The Brits said not to dive outside the atoll; the Americans said not to dive in the lagoon - so we dived in both - netting black coral and urchin stings!

I remember hoping - in the open, screen sided Quonset huts we slept in then - that the Sheraton or Hilton would never mar the little atoll.

I'm glad I'm not ever going to visit the place as it has been trashed now.

Cheers from NC!

Chris Kelley, USN, USAFR Ret.

NC licensed Professional Engineer

Yadkinville, NC 27055-8109

336-251-2018 (mobile)

whotmewory@triad.rr.com

 

 

1980

NAME = bud downer

MY QUEST = find old buddys

VT of a SWALLOW = 2 mph

E-MAIL = cjd8364@sru.edu

NATIONALITY = american

SERVICE = navy seebeas

UNIT = cbmu 302

RANK/RATE/JOB = E-3 discharged in 1982 MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = i was detailed there from subic bay pi. i remember the kill dozer episode' the barracks burning the iranian hostage situation making ice formaldahide flavored beer . there was the beer drinking donkey coconut crabs and the best snorkeling and fishing anywhere in the world. i am from pittsburgh pa and the steelers won the superbowl that year. the C-5s bringing in all the helicopters they used for the rescue that went wrong. sitting on generator watch in that train car i'm still shaking.the whole time i was there i never ate in chow hall it was that bad. some of the guys iremember where tim thrasher ut, paul foley ce,paul perkins eo,oh my head its hard to forget but if anyone remembers me please contact me, still live in pittsburgh go steelers. been a firefighter for 20 years its great but whish i was still in, go figure.

 

 

1979-1982

NAME = ed crays

MY QUEST = find other NMCB3 seabees

VT of a SWALLOW = Dimples from Subic

E-MAIL = crayzys@aol.com

NATIONALITY = Italian

SERVICE = US Navy Seabee's

UNIT = Naval Mobil construction battalion 3 gold team

RANK/RATE/JOB = EM3 equipment mechanic

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Want a Job as Far Away from My Wife as Possible

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Jolo's pics wanted, wheres the pic of dimples Dave? Who remembers Florida club and the brown derby?

 

 

1980

NAME = Terry Monser

E-MAIL = tmonser@comcast.net

NATIONALITY = Mex-American

SERVICE = Navy

UNIT = Fightin Forty-B co.

RANK/RATE/JOB = ut3

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = So many to tell. We didn't know it then but we had a great time. Buzz Sawyer turned me on to this site. I still keep in touch with him. One of things I remember was the half way party we had, everybody was shit faced from the get go. There was a few of us that got hold of some acid and I

decided, since I was a veteran of many trips at my previous duty station (NAS Fallon,NV), that I'd take 3 hits that day. So at the party I got used to reaching into the cooler and taking beers got out of control fucked up. the party ended and we move everything to the em club. By this time I was in and out of reality, so some of this is hazy. I started to reach over the bar and into the cooler for beers and the bartender was getting pissed. the MP's were called and I was led away. some how I got away from them and spent the next 10 or 11 hours hiding from them. I would go into the jungle for awhile and pop into one of the huts and scream that eveyone was after me. I'd start freaking out and Frank Long, who had duty that night, would send me out the back door of the hut and point me in some direction and tell me to hide some more. Frank, did I ever say thanks? Well, anyway I came down finally and was told of what i

had done and of course had to see the co. chief. He wanted to send me to the brig but ut1 Rudd (I think that was his name) put in a good for me and I just

had to do some extra duty for awhile. I have a hard time remembering peoples names (I wonder why). I do remember Buzz, and Frank, and Rico(R.I.P.), Twitch Morrison, Steve Foley, Steve Kelly, Tom Reedy, Wah Wah, thats the only name I remember about him,Russ Young. As I sit here thinking some names are coming back, Chris Murphy, Eddie Oates. Well anyway, the time we spent on DG was a pretty wierd time and I like looking back at it. My daughter is sick of all of my Navy stories. Drop me a line, I'd like that.FTN-40

 

 

October-November 1980 (TDY)

NAME = Michael J Monz Jr " Mighty Mike"

E-MAIL = mgtymike33@hotmail.com

NATIONALITY = USA

SERVICE = USAF

UNIT = MAC OL

RANK/RATE/JOB = SSGT /E5 during my time on the BIOT

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Professional Adventurer Looking For The Ultimate Get Away

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = I am a Born Liar, and Want To Tell About All The Sex I Had on Dodge

MY WARSTORY = Assigned to the 619MASS HICKAM AFB HI, was hand selected by the 834th Airlift Division to enroute at Clark for inbriefing and ACM Status on a C-5 for the 8 hour flight to Deigo Garcia ( BIOT) to establish the MAC Operationing Location.

What a task considering we had to deal with the squids, who were nortorious for tearing up things and calling the ramps of everything a "deck". Came upon an old 40K loader that missed the upgrade to deisel. The navy filled the tank of this gas vehicle with the stuff, when it did run, it blew the most perfect smoke ring. I shipped it back to clark.

We MAC troops had it fairly well considering during this time the joke was " a women behind every tree" due to the lack of. in fact female head count was 0. Still we had a couple of trailers colocated to the beach on the bay side. a couple of the navy cooks would hang out there and assist with the beer

drinking. Beer Drinking... crew dogs took my order, and the next Charlie 5( C-5A )arrival(next day) had my request filled. 13 cases of the good ol SAN MIGUEL. Next day at lauch I sent 12 of them cases back for refill.

Long days and some hard work to get things on track and running. But the mission was accomplished, and the "Deigo Garcia Resort" T shirt made for some enlighting talk with females looking for the ultimate escape...hehehe

 

 

Nov 1980 Mar 1981

NAME = Tom Persing

MY QUEST = don't know still lost in the haze

VT of a SWALLOW = Just before the cat swallows it

E-MAIL = boilermaker1959@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = USA

SERVICE = Navy

UNIT = USS Jason 11A

RANK/RATE/JOB = HT2 I Quit

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = This is a No-Shit Drinking Story

MY WARSTORY = Was there in 80 81 I voluteered to work on the ammo ship ( Merchant Marine} They didn't care for welding and cutting hot work. I managed to get done what they wanted without striking an arc. The Master fed me beer and good chow. I was late on the 2200 Liberty the Master kept me late at least he vouched for me. I nevwr drank a beer or anything else on the island.

 

 

 

1980-1981

NAME = Mike "DOGFACE" McKinnon

MY QUEST = The story

VT of a SWALLOW = Good?

E-MAIL = www.mikedfmck@aol.com

NATIONALITY = U.S.A

SERVICE = U.S.N

UNIT = "PIPE RAT"

RANK/RATE/JOB = SW-2

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Please Select a Title For Your Story, or Select 'Other'

MY WARSTORY = It wasn't Hordork and Bland that got into a fight over a burger, it was Mark Givens and me "DOGFACE" that got into it. And if I remember, I was so drunk that Givens kicked my ass. But one time that sticks out is when all the "PIPERATS" checked out a duece and a half and went to the other side of the island. We played frisbee football and I fucked up my foot. Bland had to drive back and the asshole hit a tree. Then I had to go before the ROCK and lost my drivers license. Hell, I didn't give a shit. I still keep in touch with Buzz, Latting, Thompson, Mitchell. Chandler, and a few others. If anybody can get in touch with Rick Baptista tell him thanks alot for breaking my back. I get a nice check from Uncle Sam. And tell that asshole to e-mail me. As for Mat Bland I think he is still in Chino. Later all my "SEABEE BRO'S"

aDDENDUM: On the war stories you have it wrong. At the begining you state that I was a BOOT that cought up with 40. You are completely wrong. I was in 40 from 1978-1981. I was also the crew leader of the "PIPERATS" in 80 and 81. Please get it straight.

 

 

1980

NAME = amanda

E-MAIL = amndypanda74@aol.com

NATIONALITY = i am an american and i love boys

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Please Select The Category That Best Discribes Your Interest in Diego Garcia

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out in My Room

MY WARSTORY = ok one day i was asleep in my room and then came my boyfriend and said that the phone was 4 me and

 

 

1980-81

NAME = Mike (mick) oeler

MY QUEST = to find the end of the road

VT of a SWALLOW = 714

E-MAIL = mmi20032000@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = american

SERVICE = fightin fuckin forty

UNIT = charlie company/ pipe rats

RANK/RATE/JOB = SWC-3

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out in the Club

MY WARSTORY = Anyone remember the pipe rats? Pipelining from the pier to the new tank farm. Mike Hodorff, Mike McKinnon, Mark givens Matt Bland, Jimmy "Rocky" williams, myself, Chief Henson, Chief Durrell. Eric "abdul bow wow kalcan". (you had to be there) and a few others. Quite the crew.

 

If any of you guys are reading this, who was that lifer fuckstick SW-1 we got about halfway through the deployment. He was all hung up on proper uniforms of the day. Ours was shorts, mangled shirts and unstarched hats, it was a little on the hot side if memory serves. He tried his damndest to get us to tighten up. Never happened.

 

How about the automated tig welder? I remeber me and rocky had some officer wantingto watch it one day. So we fired up on a 24", or 36" pipe weld. This was inside a tarped hut, about 130 degrees inside this fuckin thing, and we told the "o" that once we started the weld we couldnt stop till it was done. Which was bullshit. Poor cocksucker nearly passed out from the heat. Fuckin hilarious, for us anyhow.He couldnt wait to get outta there.

 

I remember mail call, with the "special packages". Before the brits wised up. Whoever got the "box" was damn near mobbed as soon as he got back to the hooch. If ya know what I mean.

 

The great steak heist and cookout. (nuff said)

Bob Rodgers and the band jamming.

Boxing matches, we had a guy, Nick somebody, who was pretty damn good.

 

One special delivery of blotter acid, 30 hits I think, wow.

The softball team.

Riding in that fucking cattle wagon everyday out to the pier.

Eating off that lousy roach coach, since we were out in fucking timbucktoo we had to stay out there for chow. Last ones to eat, fuck.

Mike Mckinnon, myself and a couple others saying "fuck it" and driving to the chow hall, when we got there the "cook" told us he turned the grill off already. Let's just say that he eneded up turning it back on.

 

Food poisoned with some turkey shit, and the whole battalion running to the outside shitters in the middle of the night.

 

Racial tensions ran high for awhile, dont remember why.

Hoarding booze in our lockers.

 

Mike Hodorff and Matt Bland had one of the longest fights I ever witnessed in our hooch. It started over the last cheeseburger. These two guys beat the fucking snot out of each other in the hooch for like 30 minutes, with breaks in the middle. All the other roomies, 4 of us I think, just watched. Then they shake hands when its over. Un-fuckin believable.

 

takin a 5ton truck to the lagoon to play football, and wrecking the fucker into a palm tree.Knocked a hole in the radiator. Im sure we had a couple beers that day.

 

Checkin out the SR-71 at the hanger, watching it takeoff.

That "milk"??? served warm. what was that shit called?

 

Damn man, I could go on all day with this stuff.

 

I gotta say, looking back, what a wild fucking time it was. You didnt realize it at the time, but it's a pretty good memory.

 

By the way,

 

F.T.N..

 

And, Buzz,(Joe Sawyer) yes I do remember the day you were talking about.

 

 

Dec 1980 - Feb 81

NAME = Kevin Mackey IC-2 Crew Member of the USS Jason Ar-8 (Then ICFN)

MY QUEST = Remembering the days

VT of a SWALLOW = SPLAT - Terminal Velocity of a Swallow is the same as a bug on the windshield. ZERO!

E-MAIL = In the book in BRANSON Missouri

NATIONALITY = U.S.

SERVICE = US NAVY

UNIT = USS Jason Repair Ship stationed at DG during the Iran Hostage Crisis

RANK/RATE/JOB = Interior Communications Fireman, Out in 1983 as IC-2 still aboard the USS Jason AR-8 (AKA "USS Love Boat" and the "Jolly J"

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = The Jason arrived at Diego Garcia (B.I.O.T.) on Dec 11, 1980 at 08:48 and remained there until after the Jan 20 release of the American hostages held in Iran. We departed for home on Feb 18. 1981. We arrived with a crew of aproximately 800 men and 45 women. YES WOMEN. Another 45 or so women came aboard while the Jason was there. This made us very popular with the natives.

Very shortly after we arrived, the EM Club ran out of beer. We had a ships party ashore, with free beer, and we again were very poplar with the natives. Several "crashed" the party with our welcome.

New Years Day 1981, IC-3 Danny Sotelo, myself and another sailor (can't remember who it was at this time) went snorkling in the harbor looking for oysters. Danny was an experienced diver and we had found a HUGE oyster shell on the beach. We figured if the oysters were that large, there was a possibility of huge pearls to be found. The harbor was very shallow so we snorkled a long way out but was still in water about 6 foot deep when we found an oyster. The other sailor was digging one out with stick we had brought with us for the purpose while I watched with my snorkle mask in the water. I noticed a large shadow pass by, to my side and back, and assumed that it was Danny who we had not seen for awhile. We assumed Danny had gone on to deeper water. I turned to look to see Danny but instead what had passed was a large shark. The other guy pulled up the oyster he was digging out and asked if I had caused the shadow, and I said no. Realizing what it had been he asked where Danny was. We assumed that Danny had been attacked and that is why we had not seen him in some time. We swam the long distance back to shore all the time worring about Danny. Only when we got back to the beach did we find out what happened to Danny. In the beach we found a note in the sand, saying "Gone to the Club, Danny". We made a bee line to the E-Club to read Danny the riot act for putting us through the anguish.

More one of these days ...

 

 

1979-1980 &1981

NAME = Kenneth P. Greco

MY QUEST = I would really love to go back to D.G. and work in some capacity.

VT of a SWALLOW = 8,999 mph

E-MAIL = kgreco05@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = Caucasion, but what does that matter !

SERVICE = U.s> Navy Seabees

UNIT = June 79 to May 80 -steelworker NAVSUPPFAC, 81 NMCB 4 Detachment , February to July.

RANK/RATE/JOB = SW3 (then), I left active duty in July 81 just after we got back from Diego Garcia (our deployment-NMCB 4).In Jan.84 I became a police

officer and remained one until June 96 when I retired. I spent several years in the Reserves after active duty, and have been out of the Reserves since 91.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = This is a No-Shit Fishing Story

MY WARSTORY = One time I was fishing in the lagoon on one of those 15 ft. Boston Whaler boats that you could rent out for free at the marina.This had to be early 1980 or late 79.I was fishing with another steelworker- enny Horn. Usually When you fish in the lagoon you would only wait a couple to a few minutes before you hooked a red snapper, grouper, or one of God's most beautiful fish on God's most beautiful fishing location!So, me and Kenny were out on the lagoon for about an hour and didn't get any bites.So, I reached my hands into the good old Indian Ocean lagoon to wash them off, leaving my fishing rod alone in the boat, and yep! you guessed it!,I then got a bite and my rod and reel went out of the boat and into the beautiful blue and green waters of the lagoon.I looked down at the lagoon in dismay and anxiety, and Kenny Horn just said "it's gone Greco, it's gone!".I was ticked off to say the least cause we still had almost a whole day left out on the lagoon.So, we stayed out there and Kenny continued to fish, since I no longer had a rod and reel.A little while passed, and we used a little Seabees "Can Do Spirit and ingenuity". We had snorkeling gear with us, so we went over to the other side of D.G. into shallower water, and I put on the snorkel gear,got out of the boat and used Kenny's line from his rod and reel with the bait on it(raw chicken from the chow hall),and went snorkeling for fish in that mode!I saw one of those puffer fish with the spike looking things sticking out from it's body amidst some coral,dropped the bait and line in front of it,it bit and we had a catch.Then Kenny reeled it in and we so continued.There's alot of other great memories fron D.G. that are to numerous to mention(like when me and the same Kenny Horn were snorkeling on the ocean side of D.G. and a 12 ft. Mako shark was near us).Diego Garcia-"truly the best duty location in the Navy", even though you didn't think that when you were sent there back in 79,80,& 81.I like to say hello to all those guys I was stationed with back then like Kenny Horn from the story,Jim Tavenner,Dave Edwards,SW1 Garland Evans,SWSC Reagan,Mark Rickaway,John Beausejour a.k.a. "animal,SW2 Holland,BUC Hass,John Stallings,Perry(don't remenber last name),and a lot of others that I was there with in Public Works(NAVSUPPFAC),and to all of the guys I was ther again with in 81 with NMCB 4,s Det.(J.Miracola,N.Hederman,C.Straney,M.

Formosa,R.Duncan,T.Curran,& others)."Thanks for the memories"! I am currently looking for work and I am sick of waisting my time and efforts with alot of the so called "perfect employers looking for the perfect candidates for employees".I'm not perfect and God knows they ain't either !I can work and am willing to do so.Please E-mail me at kgreco05@yahoo.com.

Thanks for your time in reading this warstory and request for employment-Kenny Greco.

 

 

1980

NAME = Then UT-3 Terry Willey {Alias Wiley Cyote]

MY QUEST = Find Freinds from the old days on Deigo

E-MAIL = streetshakngrafix@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = Navy Seabees

UNIT = nmcb fuckin 40

RANK/RATE/JOB = UT-3 Now medically retired after 12 Years

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I remember passing time away drinking and smoking shit, Fucking withe the chickens and just plain ass gettin trashed all the time!!!!

I remember Building the Biggest Dam Potatoe Gun That Fired a Coconut at least 100 feet to the zeros huts and hiding the fucker under the trailer and laughing our asses off! Mike Boles, Mike Watson, Jerry Tewes, SOW, Larry Jonesy, and to my close friend Roy davis whom I soent a numerous amount of nights gettin toasted with! If anyone of you are out there from bravo company please contact me! Ain't none of us gettin younger

 

 

1980 some time arounf Feb or March I think

NAME = Bill Verstelle

E-MAIL = verst@pacbell.net

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = USAF

UNIT = TDY from Beale in support of SR-71

RANK/RATE/JOB =

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = I'd Like to Share Precious Memories of Drinking/Fishing/Snorkeling/Sailing on Diego Garcia

MY WARSTORY = I was told that I was going TDY to a Island in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia and it was a paradise. My orders said confindencal location and I was told it was a secret mission. Well when we landed in Okanawa We read in the Stars and Strips what our mission was...so much for a secert.

We were told that we would be eating real well, Steak for every meal. Well after a flight that seemed to last for ever We saw the Island on the radar scope and when the Island came in sight I remember thinking how small it was and could we really land a KC-135Q on such a small island. Well the runway was just long enough and we all stepped out to a Hot humid blast and I remember it being hard to breath. When we left Beale it was Winter.

We were driven to some old wooden sea Huts on the bay side and that was to be home for the next 30 to 40 days. The mattresses were piss stained and full of sand. We cleaned it up as well as posiable and stowed ours belongings.

We had a young Lieutenant with us and all he talked about doing when we land was eat a coconut, so he finds a tile knife (we were not allowed to bring any knifes with us) He grabs the first coconut he finds laying on the ground and attacks it with the knife. Well it takes him a while but he finally get down to the nut and crackes it open and looks inside and it's full of worms, he throws it down and doesn't look at another coconut the rest of the trip. We had a guy with us from Hawaii and he tells us to only eat the geeen ones in the trees and not the brown ones on the ground. The rest of us eat a lot of coconuts until we got the running GI's.

The next day I head to the Chow hall for some of thoes steak and eggs I was told I would be eating. When we got there we were told that a Navy ship had a refrigerator malfunction and lost all its meat so they took all of ours, all they had was some fish rolled in stale potato chips and this warm milk in cartons that doesn't need refrigeration and some stale toast. I could not eat that crap so we went back to the main area and found these Diego Burgers we called them donkey burgers and even though they were not Burger King it was better than the chow hall.

Well now I can't sleep or eat well so the only other thing to do was drink. The beer was cheep but not so good the cans had rust on them most was warm and not to many brands to choose from but hey when a bunch of GI are stuck on a island they will drink any thing. We were running our tankers back and forth to Okanawa so we placed orders for food and lots of good beer even Pizza. So life was getting better, we was doing a lot better that the Seabee's who were stuck there for a year or more and did not have the dilivery service that we had. I felt sorry for them they worked so hard and than have to be away from their families for so long and not a women in sight. They the Seabees treated us ok we drank a lot with them shared our beer and did have a few fights but most of us were so drunk we didn't even remember a fight the next day.

I remember swimming in the bay with Snorlels we check out and I remember how beutiful the coral and fish were. We also check out row boats and went fishing you could see the fish and catching them was a piece of cake, we had some great cookouts. Our young Lieutenant got to go fishing with the Navy Capt and our Colonel in a boat with a outboard motor out in the ocean, well the LT hooks into a big grooper and fights it for a long time than all of a sudden his pole bend all the way over than goes slack. Well he pulls in a 10lb grooper head with no body, than a Hammer head shark tries to get into the boat to get what is left of the grooper. Well this scars the shit out of the LT and the Capt and Colonel get a good laugh.

The other things I remember was a 5 lane boweling lane and out door movie theater and no women on the island. I was in the enlisted club one night and the Dutch navy shows up with their nickers and white hats with a white fluffy ball on top. They had more American money than we had and clean out the ship store, but they did buy us a lot of drinks. I also remember a lot of chickens and those coconut crabs but didn't see any donkeys. We were told that these were British subjects and we were not allowed to mess with them.

When we launched our tankers one day some guys in a jeep drove behind them with rocks and bits of coral flying everywere and they got a little messed up. Well the next day when we were ready to launch I was told to go out to the road and stop any one from driving behind the planes. Well I was waiting for engine start and look into the bay were there was a school of baby fish in a ball so I was throwing small rocks into the middle of them just to watch them scatter and go back into there ball again. Well there was this Brit walking down the road and he sees me throwing these small rocks at the fish so he run over to me and chews me out for throwing rocks at the little fish, he says the fish don't have a chance and I will kill all of them if I don't stop. Man what a werdo, I think the chap had gone off his rocker, spent to much time on this island and need to go home and get laied. I later spent a couple of months in England and found out that this is normal thinking for the Brit's Know wonder we kicked them out.

When I was there I hated it and could wait until I got home to a normal life but now many years later I have a fond place in my heart for this island. It was a weard feeling while there kind of like being in a different planet but it was an experance that I will always remember. I regret that I didn't take any pictures I just wasn't into picture taking than, I did have a 110 camera but I lost the film before I ever developed it. I would like to go back now and see how things have changed. I also remember how bright the stars were and I could see the sothern cross...what I could have seen with a telescope.

Our mission was to bring fuel (JP8) in for our SR-71 which would later in the year make a visit to the island another team before us took down one of out SR-71 hangers a Beale and installed it on the island...I wonder if it is still there??

 

 

79,MCB5, 80-81 det Diego MCB5

NAME = Michael P. Jones

MY QUEST = Relate stories, find others

VT of a SWALLOW = Constant

E-MAIL = diegodrifter@msn.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = USN Seabees

UNIT = MCB 5 First deployment, BOQ's, second Hanger, Com station add, and generator bldg add.

RANK/RATE/JOB = BUCN, BU3, BU2. Diego, Diego, Sigonella, Adak. Lets see after my alchoholic binge and failure at school, just had to resort back to what the navy taught me, Ya still pouring concrete.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out on The Beach

MY WARSTORY = Got to admit, Diego has special place in me. First time there I just turned 18, Tropical Paridise. The most enjoyable activity would be snorkeling. All the colors and tropical fish, manta rays, giant sea turtles, then the mory eal at low tide on the reef, couldn't see him but he sure would tear up the stick we stuck in his hole. Now what would we have done if he decided to come out and do that to our legs? Always wanted to see a shark out in the water. Those damn crabs. I would crash out 0n the beach now and then or maybe it was pass out. One time the waves coming in woke me up, glad it was dark sure hate to see what else was eyeing me. Two guys down the first deployment. Did they ever find Mcbride? Then the Eo found on the beach getting eaten by the crabs, This happend within two Months of going home and I decided to take it easy in the water, cause i wanted to go home! First time was good , drunk and crazy.

Second time The Det , back to back was with the Groggers in Tyroliaville. I got stuck in that crowd late in homeport, but I think they accepted me. Was going to Guam then 2 weeks before deployment "THEY" decided to have me go back to Diego. For a week I just said to hell with you, then had to put in a "CHIT" to fight it, Ya they just laughed at me, The Co of MCB 5 said they needed me, I new what was going on, and of course the Det CO was turning others down. So off i went this time was fun riding back wards in a c-141 with about 3 windows half way around the world. Well I sure proceeded to get drunk when I got there, wouldn't you know it I was first for watch, so I went to react hut to sleep it off, Then had to do on island counseling, for awhile then Got in some more trouble and spent the last 2 months of deployment sober. Back to states and drunk again till I was 27, been sober since I'm 44 now. The opportunities I missed from drinking.

The Iran crises started just as we left the first time, 6 months later we went back, All hell was breaking loose on Diego, has been ever since. I liked it better when it was just a Seabee island 2 flights in a week if your lucky, Peaceful it was. The second time there 2 flights in a day, ships subs marines. I envy the first Seabees in the early 70's.

Hell of a lot of crazy shit happened there, mojo, toga parties, fighting, just too much to talk about. Second time there I about just didn't want to leave, guess you can call it "institutionlized". I found peace there with all the fight I had in me when i got there the second time, Good friend of mine Don Miller BU mcb 40 came over two months into my second time and he got me out of my fighting shit. I lost contact with him when I got out, I was stationed with him up in Adak. Don Dudek an Electrician I befriended there, I found him several years ago and with these damn Pc we keep in good contact

Miles Simmenou? I beleive it was Ted Gourd Cal surfer used to say, Cowabunga or was it knarley? I asked him one day what it meant, Hell he didn't know, just a surfer term for cool waves i beleive. We lost 2 guys each time there.

I kind of grew up there, spent 16 months in my late teens. Hell 5 years active duty I spent close to 3 years in isolation. I don't regret any of the navy time, just wish I had more life under my belt and wasn't a drunkard.

 

 

1980

NAME = Mary Ellen Shannon Nigh

MY QUEST = to find out if kittens are aerodynamic

VT of a SWALLOW = african or european?

E-MAIL = sionan37@hotmail.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = USN

UNIT = USS LY Spear

RANK/RATE/JOB = ICFN

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Professional Adventurer Looking For The Ultimate Get Away

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I arrived at DG after becoming the first enlisted female shellback since WWII and possibly ever, since at that time nurses were occifers! Our ship was the one relieving the USS Ajax, which had a couple of female occifers. We had over 100 enlisted females onboard the Spear so our CO called us together to have "a little talk" about the Navy's policy on male-female relationships. No fraternization! Period! I was on the first liberty launch ashore and we were met by a bunch of horny CB's waving MUTIPLE PAYCHECKS! I explained that I wasn't interested in ending up in the brig, and the guys decided that just talking to a female and looking at something that didn't look like a deck ape was pretty good. I got interested in a sweet but slightly older British Officer (there were two on the island and he was the younger of the two). Then one day onboard the Spear they announced as how anyone interested, could take a tour of a real live nuclear submarine. Now my job didn't involve going onto the sub, but our shop supplied power to the subs, so I was interested. I climbed down the hatch and one of the guys was escorting me around the Baton Rouge, explaining what I was seeing. We stepped up onto the control room deck and we passed close to the navigators station, where there was this cute guy. I made some remark to him and he said hello. I explored the control room a bit and then left. A couple of days later I was helping to organize bingo night (we didn't have a lot of entertainment) on the mess decks, when crossing the gangway, here comes that cute guy from the BR. I asked if he wanted to join me and away we went. Several picnics on the DG beach, swimming in the DG swimming pool, some illegal canoodling on the Spear's bow later, we got engaged on top of the BR. On December 27, 2004 (just a few days ago) we celebrated our 24th anniversary! We have 2 sons and many fond memories of DG. Both of us hope that one day we can return to the scene of the crime! P.S. About that illegal canoodling, we were once run off from our favorite spot by a male chief and a female occifer!

 

 

1980

NAME = James H. Martin

MY QUEST = to fly to DG someday to help the USAF erect the portable B-2 hangar

VT of a SWALLOW = 1 f.p.s., from mouth to stomach

E-MAIL = jmartin@logis-tech.com

NATIONALITY = US

SERVICE = USN

UNIT = VA-52 off the USS Kitty Hawk, transient to Clark AFB PI

RANK/RATE/JOB = LT in 1980, retired as CDR in 1997.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = The USS Kitty Hawk, CV63, had swung by in December 1979 to pick up the the H-53 helicopters for the Iranian hostage rescue operation. On the way to DG [alone, we ditched the remainder of the battle group in the Malaca Straits during a night high-speed underway replenishment with the White Plains] we launched an EA6B to DG, the 4-man crew included the squadron CO going in to liaison for the H-53 pickup. The EA6B disappeared, fate

unknown, presumed crashed at sea. The same month, another EA6B crashed in the med, killing my best friend's Whidbey Island roommate. So during our 10th month of deployment we picked up the H-53s and headed for Iran, the loading was a fly-aboard at 2am--no piers for carriers existed then and the whole operation was too damn secret.

During early January operations my CO and roommate went in the water in their A-6 off the catapult. We ran over Bruce Miller the BN. Our skipper CDR Butch Williams was alive as he passed down the port side, but his chute pulled him under and he drowned despite the heroic effort of the rescue swimmer who got Butch's body back to the surface. My friend Clint Provenza escorted his body back in an S-3 that refueled through DG on the way to the PI.

After a month and a half of sneaking through the straits of Hormuz in the dark and spying on Iran, we were relieved by the USS Coral Sea, we thankfully passed the H-53s to her in February [they later made a mess of the rescue] and we high-tailed it East. I had a firm PRD and commitment so within COD

range the CO launched me to DG. A fellow squadron mate was with me and we were manifested 10 days later out of DG, the wait backlog was that long [and mail used to take 30-45 days back then]. Getting drunk in an open-air hooch [the only kind at the time] that night we met a C-5 maintenance crew on a layover. Their landing gear was broke and could not be repaired on DG. The C-5 was going to take off at dawn, before all the manifested passengers would show up at 8am as-ordered to "wait all day long, just in case". My buddy and I slinked onto the C-5 pre-dawn as 'maintenance crew', thankfully I was an Aviation Maintenance Officer, albeit Navy! We had four box lunches each to help us survive the 17 hours flight to Clark AFB PI, yep, 17 hours in restricted-speed flight, with the landing gear PINNED DOWN all the way. Noisey, too.

That was my one night on DG, in a giant rainstorm, not sober for a minute.

My buddy and I holed up in a Manila hotel for a week and waited for our commercial flight home to Whidby island, WA. Sure was better in Manila in 1980 than it was in DG. Things have really changed.

 

 

1980-ISH

"Mike Buchinno" <mbucchino@charter.net>

Here's my info anyway!

>USA (the best country in the world!)

>USAF

>TDY (AF temporary duty) Operation Busy Lobster

>E-2 A1C to E-4 Sgt active AF crew chief on the KC-135A's & Q's back then, E-5 SSgt active AF jet mech on the F-15A's & E's in the late

80's, E-6 TSgt Arizona Air National Guard on KC-135E's in the 90's, E-6 TSgt New Hampshire Air National Guard(retired)on the KC-135R's

now.....

>Stroll Down Memory Lane.....

>Actually I Have A Real Story To Tell.......

>Well, back in those days there was a regular TDY exercise named "Busy Lobster Tanker Task Force" to Diego from Kadena AB, Okinawa (where I was serving an accompanied long tour at the time). I was lucky enough to get two different 9 day long TDY's to Diego for these excellent, frequent exercises. We brought a few tanker's and some F-15A's and IIRC, an E-3 AWAC's from Kadena, plus a C-5 from Travis. I have many pictures of the place, and even more fond memories. Staying in the elevated half plywood/ half screen 'hooches', the f***'in jarheads waking us up every morning, the Brits in their khaki shorts and their security shakedown/in-briefing, the coconut palms, the pristine white sand beaches, the rusted cannon 'guarding' the entrances to the north, the donkey gate, the picnic at SeaBee park, goin' out 'crabbin' after dark, the warning not to "f*** with the Queen's ass, the Queen's pussy or the Queen's crabs" (donkeys/cats/coconut crabs). They told us that the coconut crabs could crack open a whole coconut with their claws, so it was best not to get too close...The "Pentograph" fuel manifold systems on the flightline were so limited in flow, that if you put 2 aircraft refuels on at the same time, it took twice as long to finish. The runway that was so narrow that after a C-5 took off, it's outboard engines hung out into the unpaved areas and blew so much gravel (FOD!) onto the runway that no one else could use it until a sweep truck cleaned up the big mess. The barbeque of assorted fish from a deep sea fishing excursion some of the guy's went on one day, where we all got a taste of barracuda (it was delicious!). The two poor guys that got shared shitless while out snorkeling on the lagoon side, when a large shark fin appeared between them and the shore. The stories of Hector the 26 foot hammerhead. Finding some awesome red and blue coral and shells on the beach. Riding my 10-speed racing bike around that I brought along on the airplane (they stopped allowing bikes to be carried on the planes shortly after that time). Getting woken up in the middle of the night by the crash of a coconut on the tin roof. Having to De-Ionize our own water with a fire hose (sloooowww!)for the water injection system on the tanker. The almost complete lack of females on the island, the only ones being a couple Filipino's that worked there. The open air theater where we watched old movies at night. Wow, what a lot of memories of that strange and wonderful place! I'll post some pic's soon if possible.......

Thanks, Mike Bucchino, Sr.

 

 

1980-1981

Subject: You never know what you got till it's gone!!!

Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 18:21:13 -0600

From: "Scott Brown" <josephscott13@msn.com>

What happen to the rock ? Tidal waves had to have hit it. I wish I could have been there!!!

ABH3 Brown Crash Crew 80-81 [see his surfing pictures on the Surfing Page]

 

T. Max Devlin <tmax01@verizon.net>

Hey.

My name is T. Max Devlin, a moniker I sort of picked up on the "Footprint of Freedom" itself. (My real name is Tim, Max is a nickname I picked up in the

service, and DG is where it finally stuck for good; now even my mom calls me 'Max'.) I was senior PO of workcenter 610, VP-4 deployment, USN, in nineteen eighty something. Wasn't 'till almost twenty years later I realized it was the greatest time of my life, but even then I knew it was great. Sunrise over the Indian Ocean is the kind of thing I wish I could still experience every day, even though I wouldn't have seen it even once if I hadn't been ordered to be at work at 0530. ;-)

I hope someone is still there at the PPDRDG. It is nice to know I wasn't alone in appreciating that god-forsaken nightmare of a paradise. But to be honest, I only found you because I heard something that really creeped me out about what the US is doing in the BIOT these days. "Camp Justice", is that

what they call it? Sure as hell not the way those who almost-secretly love it would want Diego Garcia to be introduced to the wider world, eh?

Thanks for your time. Hope it helps.

hmmmm.... Well Max, actually "Camp Justice" is just the USAF tent city where another generation of young Americans are sweltering in the tropic sun. If you are referring to the rumored prison, well, I'm afraid I don't know anything about that, but I'll ask you this in exchange: Have you forgotten?

 

 

79 and 80

DENNIS MULLOY, NMCB-5 1979 and DET Diego 1980

<dennis.mulloy@navy.mil>

Hi, I would like to contact some of my old buddies from NMCB-5 Det Diego Garcia. In 3 years I did two tours of duty there. 4 months

with the main body in 79 and a full 8 month deployment in 80-81.

Looking for some of the old 'Groggers'. Shackelford, Jensen, Gourd, Brewer and anyone else who spent that special time in our

young lives.

We were on the fire station block crew, and worked also at the airfield laying the tarmac..

Thanks!

 

 

80-81

NAME = Gordy "gertin" Jenkins

MY QUEST = to find the grail (really to maybe hear from some of the great guys I was lucky to know)

VT of a SWALLOW = african or american

E-MAIL = s.jenkins1@cox.net

NATIONALITY = hard headed welch kraut

SERVICE = US NMCB 40

UNIT = H Co.

RANK/RATE/JOB = SKSN-SK3

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Saw Joe "buzz" sawyers story and some the memories came out of the alcohol fog. I remember jammin with Bob R and Jim Z and Vinnie and Keith (fleet sailor)on the beach (picture in the at ease page in the beginning of the cruise book, in orange shorts, my better side) and any body else for that matter, every chance we got. Seeing Ed's, Steve's & steve's, Mike's, Bob's, and lamby's names in print like this blew me away. Who could forget, or is it remember?, loading the icebox trailor with ice and shitty headache beer, going to the other side to cook the shitty burgers, chase chikens with blowguns, feed the donkey beer after beer after beer, and of course, drink and jam. Losing the outboard in the channel, seeing the train line form behind the pig from the tender with the guy crying he didnt want to be last, lol.

Watching good softball, seeing the blackbird take off, getting to meet miss america and say hi to miss conecticut (my home state), getting the giant clam shells from steve, the purple from "cool" johnson, waiting in line for a diego burger?, yeah did it, and of course a new years eve that thankfully i didnt remember much of (and dont really need too, i have the pictures, and a cracked molar}.

But most of all i remember great, great people. Frank T, Mark G.,mike B., Frank L. and on and on. Being quite mellow now (wife, two kids, no drinking, i know, i shoulda quit when i was there) i find my self telling my kids about the old crazy days in 40.

Ray Johnson, was that you i saw at "witch meadows" campground in ct, holloween, oh maybe6 or 7 years ago?, if not you have a twin.

Bob, if u see this bro, hope your still jammin, I am, with a great bunch o guys.

Ed N., if you see this, what a great trip home, Pat W. thanks for the hospitality, thanks for the ride and the memories

Hope to hear from some of you soon

 

 

1980 -1981

NAME = Frank Gonzalez

MY QUEST = Locate friends from Grissom AFB

VT of a SWALLOW = ?

E-MAIL = Frankg807@aol.com

NATIONALITY = PR

SERVICE = USAF

UNIT = 307 OMS

RANK/RATE/JOB = SR. AIRMEN

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = I'd Like to Share Precious Memories of Drinking/Fishing/Snorkeling/Sailing on Diego Garcia

MY WARSTORY = Anybody out there remember the time the Subchaser piloted by an Admiral overshot DG. Well I was the assistant Crew Chief that helped prepare our tanker to take off and rescue them. At the time we were laying out on the beach in the shark infested lagoon enjoying our many free cases of bear.

We were told that our efforts saved their lives. The tanker arrived within three minutes of them ejecting to save them. We were all given Commendation medals for our efforts.

Does anybody out there recall hoew the philipines would go out to the lagoon during the low tide and circle around the sharks to catch tem for dinner?

 

 

1980 '81 and'82

NAME = wayde hovey

MY QUEST = try to get back a few lost brain cells

VT of a SWALLOW = all i know is it just ain't fast enough

E-MAIL = nmcb40cc@yahoo.com

NATIONALITY =

SERVICE = Navy

UNIT = nmcb40 charlie co

RANK/RATE/JOB = got out as a BU2 after Rota Spain dep

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out on The Beach

MY WARSTORY = hell we were passed out all over the damn place had some of the best times on that shitty little island got some great pics of our crew drunkards everyone of them i'll scan some and post some if it's you in there give me a shout most of my memories are lost in tomenting Tisue you know what i mean i'll get those pics posted give a hollor ror an old drunkard

 

 

1980 - 1981

NAME = Bu3 Kelly Weaver

MY QUEST = Rusty Tipps, Scott Jerome, John Schlichter

VT of a SWALLOW = i dunno

E-MAIL = weaverboxing@aol.com

NATIONALITY = American

SERVICE = USN SEABEES

UNIT = BRAVO COMPANY

RANK/RATE/JOB = BU3

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Please Select The Category That Best Discribes Your Interest in Diego Garcia

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Had many fights, in & out of the ring...Capt. D.C. Black saved me from CourtMarshall. Whipping Marines, AirForce boys & Guamanians..before one of our own was murdered there

 

 

May '80 to September '80

NAME = Jim Catron

MY QUEST = wake up tomorrow...

VT of a SWALLOW = Vt>=delta dawn.

E-MAIL = jcatron@email.wcu.edu

NATIONALITY = Scot-Irish/Moravian

SERVICE = kill'em from30,000' USAF (ZOOMY!)

UNIT = KC135 tanker avionic support

RANK/RATE/JOB = staff sgt then, PFCivilian since '84.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I left Seymour Johnson AFB in eastern North Carolina in early May of '80 to go to a "FOL". We had tankers going to Diego to support whatever shit was going down in Iran. Leaving PI we escorted two F15s on the way to Kadena.About halfway across the fighters spied the USS Constellation being shadowed by a Soviet trawler."Watch this!" they said and proceeded to peel off and do a low level fly-over the trawler. Our young A/C told everyone to hang on and took our KC135(boeing 707) into a wing over down to 100'! Our boom operator off-loaded a thousand pounds of JP4 on the Russians!

When we landed on a Saturday,the Chief Brit came out to do the customs inspection on the planes-he was the only one around. As we were sitting on the parking ramp by our planes, he told us what wasn't allowed on the BIOT island.."blowguns, drugs,Easy Rider motorcycle magazines,firearms, etc...But you chaps don't have any of those things,do you?" We told him "no",he turned and left and the adventure was on! One a/c crewchief had been to 'Nam and took me on his plane to show me how he travelled to an unknown situation. Under two big padlocks on the container reserved for tiedown chains and such, was an arsenal of guns and ammunition, all private stash of this well-prepared airman. "Sure glad he didn't ask to see this box"...

Good to arrive on the weekend-A picnic was scheduled and someone was needed to get up early and keep the 'Bees from commandeering the whole picnic grounds.Gave me and my bud a chance to try out the Kief that traveled so far. WoW!! A "Bee cop came by-see what we're up to...gave him the dozen or so half-empty whiskey bottles that were left by the previous partyers- That put us on the good side from the get-go! Plus, we were AF and had two planes arriving EVERY Saturday from Guam or Kadena-"What'cha need? We can get it for you! Had two spools of parachute cord arrive (thru channels-hehe)from the states via Mac..Thanks, guys!

Our AF group had to correct the image our former people left,that is one of "NO horse trading!" Our new OPs officer set aside a slush fund to aquire whatever we needed. "Don't use it for steaks or beer",he said. No problem! A case of beer was worth a case of steaks anyday! And we always had beer coming every weekend! Had a Navy one-star arrive with a broken autopilot on his "personal"AF tanker-you know,spit-shined engine cowlings,Lt Col.s' for pilot/copilot..His aircrew got pissed because another zoomy and I boarded the plane (after the 'dignitaries' were greeted)in standard uniform of the day..cutoff fatigues, no t-shirt,fatigue shirt unbuttoned-It WAS night-time..

"Who the hell are you?" AF. "WHOSE AF?" Same one as you, sir... I don't have to fix your autopilot- you can fly manually all the way to wherever you're going..spare parts are real critical here.I don't care. "Just fix it! The following week we were notified that a PACAF inspection detachment was coming for a "suprise" visit on Saturday.The 30 year, Berlin Airlift veteran (who made E9 while in Diego!)running our outfit told everybody AF to shave,get a haircut,put on long pants,T-shirt, polished boots,etc..-look STRAC! And we did! The high level Kadena crew couldn't find any signs that discipline on Diego "had gone to Hell..".They departed on Sunday, and everyone went back to the uniform of the day-cutoffs,etc.. True, no females,initially,but one 'Bee detachment(?)was rotating out and the new one arrived to find rumor of FOUR naval females that stayed shipboard,being occifers..Episodes of near toxic levels of alcohol consumption resulted..

There was even an attempt to set fire to one of the JP4 shitters (unsuccessful).

Got to fly with a helicopter crew that was doing touch and go's. Thanks! to the very friendly guys that gave a zoomy the nickle tour of the place!

An SR71 'Blackbird' spyplane came in to show off! That mach3+ plane also got two of the coveted "Busy Lobster"logos painted on the twin vertical stabilizers. In Chevrolet Orange!

The most hilarious event was getting a speeding ticket (and not having a bus license-there were 27 guys in and on the square blue AF step-van going to chow).A Brit officer chewed me out and made me give him my DoD license!(Had 3 more in my wallet)

Housing for us was the newly built SEasia style of plywood hootches, tinroofs,side screens for windows all the 'way round with wooden shutters for the storms! Our hooch was decorated with a stole sign from a Phillipine bar- The Bat Cave-and soon had a 'frig-again from our navy brethren-Thanks!

If I recall correctly,the holds on the ship bringing in supplies- BEER!-leaked and the salt water trashed the aluminum cans resulting in the infamous "shortage" of '80! Us zoomies instructed every AF arrival to buy all the beer he could afford and bring it with them!When the big side cargo door opened on the tanker,there was always a line to buy Coors at $10 a case! Big markup over class 6 stores! But it was COLD, refrigerated by travelling at 30,000'. One young 19 year old airman got the name of "Crash" Craddock because he rolled a power cart on the flight line! A submarine crew came in.Driving on the flightline we saw a REALLY pale,sickly-colored young fellow walking about in new jeans and shirt fresh from the BX.He said they had just spent the last 3? 6? months underwater and was stretching his legs.. They were a hard drinking lot,always yelling DIVE-DIVE-DIVE! at their table!

Then the Phillipino's came to do contract KP work in the mess halls. All you could eat lobster soon became half a tail... At dusk you could see little brown people running all over carrying things they had "found" around on base-plywood, toilets,you name it,if it wasn't too heavy, enough of them would improve their hootches with everyone's stuff.After all they were there for a year!

(This may turn into a book!)

Enough for now-jcatron@email.wcu.edu 68th Bomb Wing SAC

 

 

September 11, 1980 - April 15 ,1981

NAME = Daryl Hopkins

MY QUEST = life long physical fitness

VT of a SWALLOW = .69

E-MAIL = not now maybe later

NATIONALITY = African American

SERVICE = Navy

UNIT = NMCB Fightin Fuckin Forty

RANK/RATE/JOB = E-1 then now Retired E-5 T.E.R.A program. 1996 15yrs. 4mo. 21days. and to many hours to count.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Other

MY WARSTORY = Lots of P.I. purple hazed beer fogged memories all good. but what sticks out most in my mind is the Forty Thrashers softball team. Staring my self D.hop, Tom Gillespie, Joe Proctor, Mike Hawkridge and so many others. I remember or record after the season was something like 56-9 we had a team ritual of rocking a chicken after every game but after the first 20 or 30 games it was getting kind of crazy.I remember Olie olson was the C.O. of 62 I had a few friends from the Battalion as well as friends from NMCB 5's det. How about the black out lots of smokin going on then. pink floyd on the boom box. captains mast for the beating of a 2nd class builder from my det Bu2 Ken Klowsloski whooped his ass good! more than worth the 20 days restriction and extra duty.well until next time FTN!

 

 

Feb. & March 1980

NAME = Allen C. Hatcher Sr.(TSGT.)

MY QUEST = To find out who is the regular crew chief .

VT of a SWALLOW = Is this for beer or hard hard stuff?

E-MAIL = allenhatchersr@hotmail.com

NATIONALITY = United States of America

SERVICE = U.S.A.F.

UNIT = CREW CHIEF on KC-135A Sratotanker (T/sgt)

RANK/RATE/JOB = S/SGT Paul Harmon Crew Chief KC-135A.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Professional Adventurer Looking For The Ultimate Get Away

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Well I guess I got the ultimate get away when I went Pacific Tanker Task Force on a supposed 30 day TDY from McConnell A.F.B, Kansas. We, my flight crew and two ass't, were sent to Anderson A.F.B.,Guam for tanker support of the B-52Hs that were flying the 33 hour nonstop missions to Iran and back to show the Iranians and the Soviets that we were still players in this hostage situation.

Originally we were supposed to go to South Korea for the joint war games that were going on there,but as luck would have it the tanker we launched to Diego Garcia crapped out about about 2 hours out. Me and a couple of other NCOs had gone to the NCO club to get some chow and have a few drinks, mities. At about 23:00 the line chief tracked us down to give us the bad news,"boys you're going to Diego Garcia ,so get your shit together and get down to the flight line and preflight your bird".

Lucklily the only thing we had to do was service liquid oxygen and we were ready to go. Our flight crew showed up at around 05:30, they noticed that we were a little bit under the weather, chuckle chuckle, I told our Aircraft Commander that we had been sucking on pure oxygen to revive us, he just laughed . Once we got airborne and at altitude we just settled back for the 10hour plus filght to Diego Garcia.

After flying for over 5000 miles I was Awakened by being weightless in my fold down crew bunk, "holy shit what the hell is happening", then all of a sudden gravity kicked in and I was plopped back down in my bunk. I jumped down out of my bunk and scrambled up to the cockpit. As soon as I entered I saw that our boom operator Bruce was flying the plane. Our two pilots Jesse and Tom turned around grinning and said "hey we didn't do it" and pointed to Bruce. He turned around said " Oops, sorry about that,".

When everything calmed down I could see we were on final approach to Diego Garcia. It's a good thing we had good navigation aids or we would have missed it for sure. At least it was bigger than WAke Island ,but not by much. As we landed I exclaimed " We have the distinct honor of being the first tanker from McConnell A.F.B, Kansas."

After landing, refueling and putting our bird to bed, we hopped a bus to where we were to be billeted. We were the only ones on the bus except two sailors and the driver. Due to my Boy Scout training I was prepared, I had brought along a couple of cases or COORS beer which I had imported from Derby, Kansas, this beer was still ice cold from being at 30,000 ft plus lying next to the cold aircraft skin. To shorten this I gave each of the sailors an ice cold beer,I will never forget the looks on their faces, halfway around the world they get a taste of home,one of the guys actually had tears in his eyes. To me this had made the trip almost worth while.

We settled in and started flying a couple of missions a week. What would happen is that our tankers would go up and hit the B-52Hs from Guam that were on their way to Iran to buzz the Soviet navy then they would fly back and we'd top them off for the long flight back to Guam.

After being there for almost 30 days things started to get real interesting. One evening I noticed some activity at the gymnasium so I ambled over the to see what was going on,as soon as I walked in I saw that the entire gym floor was covered with cotts and on those cotts were combat dressed and armed Marines. "oh shit something is coming down big time", so I got my ass out of there.

The next day my replacement tanker arrived, low and behold it turned out to be another McConnell bird, Paul Harmon's. When I recognized the plane I just busted out laughing and couldn't marshal the bird. All of a sudden the pilot put the brakes on and stopped right there, then the cockpit filled with bodies and the pilots window opened up. When they saw it was me about 4 arms stuck out of the window giving me the The Hawian Good Luck Sign, you know the finger. I regained my military bearing and brought them in. I was like old home week having one of our own with us even thought we would be leaving in a few days.

I warned the guys that Diego Garcia was a whole different world. Later that evening Paul Harmon and I went over to the enlisted club to have a few beers. We were sitting there when two juiced sailors were playing so full contact ping pong decided to play through,the ping pong ball landed on our table and one sailor decided to play the ball where it laid. The sailor ran over hit the ball off the middle of our table it was a nice chip shot. Then the game was on. I told Paul to finish his beer and that we had better scram, because all hell was going to break loose. Sure enough just as soon as we walked out the Master at Arms with his boys to break up the fight. Paul commented "These guys are animals", I told him that's what happens when you get guys who have been cooped up on a ship for months and they finally get a chance to blow off steam. As we were walking back to the barracks we saw all sorts of passed out sailors in the grass and leaned up against the palm trees with a can of beer in there hands, ahh memories.

With in a couple of days my crew and I rotated back to Guam and them a couple of weeks later we got back home . It was April 24/25, 1980. We got back to kansas around 03:30, my wife and 3 year old son were there to greet me. The 30 day TDY turned out to be a 69 day TDY go figure. At around noon our time Gail woke me up and said honey you need to get in here and see this. The TV news was going wild about the failed rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran.

Later on when Harmon got back he told me that they were tasked to refuel the C-130s that flew into Iran. And that it was real spooky cause they flew just off the coast of Iran, but they had an escort of F-14 tomcats to keep the Iranians off thier ass.

Well so much for my small tale of high adventure in the far off land of DIEGO GARCIA. T/SGT ALLEN C. HATCHER

 

 

1979,1980,1984,1985,1986

NAME = Joseph P Stropole

MY QUEST = Old Friends, and Enemies....

VT of a SWALLOW = 60 MPH in a Windshield

E-MAIL = jstropole@mail.com

NATIONALITY = USA !

SERVICE = Merchabt Marine

UNIT = USNS Rigel, USNS Mercury, USNS Jupiter, USNS Ponchatoula

RANK/RATE/JOB = 3rd Asst, 2nd Asst

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Decided to Join A Monastery, But Couldn't Find One Stateside

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = This is a No-Shit Sailing Story

MY WARSTORY = 1984, Ready to leave the skids, for the rock, civillian merchant marine waiting for the REPAT flight, the animal launch (remember this one ???) Broken Faces (not mine), Broken dreams, and then broken airline tickets, somebody smacked my favorite CHENG, the offender was a jarhead....The rest was BIOT history....

 

 

1980

NAME = Eric Gutierrez (Chico)

E-MAIL = Egutie9706@aol.com

SERVICE = USN

UNIT = NMCB 40 Charlie Company

RANK/RATE/JOB = SW1, 8 years of service

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

MY WARSTORY = I met NMCB 40 as a new boot while they were deployed to Diego in Decmeber of 1980. I then returned to Diego on a detatchment from 1981 to 1982. After Diego, I deployed to Guam and then to Rota Spain. I was then able to secure a TDY assignment with the 31st NCR as a weapons (81mm) instructor. I then re-upped and served my last three years with CBU-409 in Long Beach, CA. I made a lot of good friends while serving and regret not keeping in touch with them. If you are one of those individuals please forgive me and drop me a line. Most people that I served with remember me as "Chico." I was given this nickname by a good friend (Mike Hodorff) because I was one of the few hispanics in the batallion. When I first went to Diego we worked on the barracks project for the fleet sailors. When I returned in 1981 we worked on the Officer's Club during the entire deployment. I now live in my home town of El Paso Texas. Recently my wife Sandra and I went on vacation to San Francisco via Pt. Hueneme. I tried to get on the base but was refused due to tightened security probably from 9-11. This was very disappointing to me because I really have alot of fond memories of my Navy days. To all of my old friends, Doug, Mike, Floyd, Bob or anyone else that I served with, please drop me a line.

 

 

1980

NAME = Dan Flak

MY QUEST = To follow that star no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.

VT of a SWALLOW = Depends on the weight of the buckshot in the cargo department.

E-MAIL = dan.flak@danflak.com

NATIONALITY = U S of A

SERVICE = Air Force

UNIT = Air Force Commander (only 3 AF people on the island at the time)

RANK/RATE/JOB = Then - captain

Now - Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Decided to Join A Monastery, But Couldn't Find One Stateside

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I spent a year at Diego one month (Aug 1980).

I was sent there from my C-130 squadron at Yokota to coordinate the airlift. Although only a captain at the time, they put me in field grade quarters which were far superior to the quarters given the aircrews. We could never get it straight with the XO about not inspecting the quarters during crew rest.

I could tell which crews would be trouble: those coming off the plane grumbling and complaining. Then there were those crews that came off the plane already in cut-offs, carrying the cooler and the fishing equipment.

I had a friend of mine who worked the command post at Hickam. He had the Pacific, and I had the Indian. Between us two captains, we controlled about 2/3 of the free world's airspace.

It took me about 15 minutes to figure out that although the Admiral thought he ran the place, the real power was with the Chief. The Chief had a thing about stationary supplies that were only available in Japan at the time. I quickly established a supply line and with a willing import-export executive on the Japan side (my wife). I could get anything I wanted on the island.

In 1980, there wasn't much traffic in and out of Diego. A busy day might have been 3 or 4 airplanes. Most days it was just two. We worked all kinds of hours, but there was a lot of time off. We did manage to get some transportation and visit the plantation on the other side of the island. We did bring a beer for Missy the Mule.

I spent most of my free time sleeping on the beach. When the temperature is a constant 80 degrees with a sea breeze, it's easy to nod off.

There were several events that happened while I was there. The first was the Miss America tour that came through. They put the women up in an undisclosed location with a marine guard on them. I don't know who was guarding the marines. Miss Arizona seemed to be the favorite. They "laid over" at Deigo and then went onto the Gulf to entertain the sailors on the ships.

On the way back one of the aircrews showed me the autograph Miss Arizona made in his "black book." It seems he showed her where the crew loft was and how to get comfortable there. Her entry read, "Thank you for letting me sleep." He said he hadn't figured out what to tell his wife about that yet.

I had a C-5 come in with an engine out. That was a lot of fun. Where do you park it? And what do you do with all those people? I convinced the aircraft commander that due to extremely limited billeting to keep only those crew he needed to taxi the airplane, and send the rest back to Clark. We'd bring them back with the parts. He kept 12 and sent 18 back. I got a great view of the island from the tail. It was the tallest structure on base.

Another incident that occurred was that some sailor got drunk, stole a vehicle and had a 70 mph meeting with a tree. He was in bad shape and the medics came to me asking how quickly I could get him out. I had one partying aircrew on base, and a C-141 due in. I asked the aircraft commander of the crew on the ground how long he thought, if they stopped drinking right now, that they would be ready to fly. He told me he thought he could sober them up in about 6 hours.

I went to work flight planning (it had been a while since I had done a flight plan for a C-141) and got the engineer on my team prepped to do a pre-flight on the incoming bird. It then occurred to me that it took 24 hours to get flight plans approved in those days. The Chief told me not to worry about it. He apparently had connections. He also had about half the island standing by to service the aircraft when it came in.

I commandeered the airplane, much to the displeasure of the incoming crew (they were Reservists and insisted it was "their" airplane), and decided to deal with that matter at some other time.

The medics had the injured sailor in stable condition by this time, and we sent them all off to Clark. Then it was that I realized that it was Sunday, and the runway at Clark was closed. Once again the Chief managed to get me the autovon connection I needed on the first try so I could call them and inform them that I was sending a C-141 their way with such and such an ETA.

The reserve crew were being real pains in the you-know-what. I got them airborne on the next C-141 out. Then I informed the command post at Clark that they were coming their way and that something looked funny in the baggage and maybe customs should give them a thorough going over. The command post came to the same conclusion.

My tour was cut short by a couple of days. My wife took sick and was admitted to the hospital at Yokota. I couldn't get through on autovon, so I fired up an APU, cranked up the HF and phone patched through Clark. Everyone on the planet knew about my wife's kidney stones. People on Vega (23 light years away) now know about it. We knew a lot of the C-130 folks at the squadron there, so we got tons of phone calls from Japan and the Philippines shortly after our return.

I do have some pictures, but they are lost in the noise level of about 5,000 pictures I took in my 3 year tour at Yokota.

 

 

1980 through 84.

ROB HODGES <hawkeye6936@attbi.com

My how Diego Garcia has grown up. And now a new aircraft added to the TDY stock.

I used to fly in and out of the sandbar for MAC from 1980-1984. I was stationed at Clark with the 9th Aeromedical Evacuation Sq.

In those days, the females were in the lagoon aboard ships protected by USMC law enforcement.

In thoses days, A pallet of mail got you surf & turf box lunches on departure.

Then, billeting was in the gym......so much for Crew Rest.

And back then, Norton loadmasters and Flight Engineers nude sun bathing found out why they shouldn't have.

BIOT Customs would "ask" for the names of the crew "for bulleting purposes" of course. No biggie unless one of the males happened to be named "Francis" or "Carroll" The whole island showed up at the crew entrance door.

When we did bring female nurses, oh brother!

Great site. A lot of hard work. BTW, the link to the British club is now dead.

Rob Hodges

 

 

1980

From: "DAVID POPOLA" <gunsforfreedom@hotmail.com>

hi ted,

really enjoy your site. in january of 1980 i was detatched to diego garcia to provide weapons support for vp 23. i guess cause vp 4 didn't have the hackles harpoon update package for the p3 orion. ok by now you are wondering what my point is ? well heres the deal i haven't been there in over 2 decades

and was wondering if you were ever contacted by the other personnel that were detached to diego in 1980 from nas brunswick maine.

i have message traffic in hand to verify my claim I being one of those from nas weapons brunswick maine that established and manned the first weapons and stowage capability on diego garcia. at that time my rate/rank was aoan popola. if my story spurs any interest thats cool e-mail me back. if not i will go

back to drinking my beer.

you know being an ao is kind of like a mother handing her son his brown bag lunch - if you ain't gonna eat it dont bring it back home drop the damn thing some where along the way.

sincerely , d.popola

 

 

1980

NAME = Eddie Young

VT of a SWALLOW = Is "swallow" a noun or a verb?

E-MAIL = the7youngs@earthlink.net

NATIONALITY = US; SERVICE = USN; UNIT = VS-31 ; RANK/RATE/JOB = AW2

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Miss Piggy(US-3A COD) was transferred from Midway to IKE and assigned to VS-31 during the Hostage Crisis. A major difference between Miss Piggy and a real S-3A was Miss Piggy's lack of ejection seats. In the event of a serious inflight emergency 1800NM from anywhere but saltwater and seasnakes, the survival procedure was to ditch the A/C, deploy a raft, and call for help(yeah, right!).

Highlights of flying Miss Piggy from Gonzo Station to DG and back included:

 

A near collision with a Royal Thai Airways 747(so much for ICAO flight plans).

 

TWO inflight fires, the first one a real "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, We have liquid & lumps in our flightsuits" experience.

 

A single engine day carrier landing with an extremely nervous U.S. Congressman and his extremely nervous entourage.

 

Landing at DG with 300 pounds of fuel onboard after losing our Omega Nav system and being steered RF/DF by a P-3. We were about six minutes away from a much unwanted swim-call.

 

Flying Miss America and four runners-up(Bob Hope's USO Tour). Shortly after takeoff from DG, I served box lunches(with sodas)to the ladies. After lunch, one beauty asked "Where's the bathroom?". I pointed to the relief tube within arm's reach of my jumpseat. She unhesitatingly replied "No thanks". 2 hours later she asked "How does it work?". Thinking quickly, I fashioned a box into a funnel, placed it into the tube and gallantly volunteered to hold it for her. After some animated conversation with her peers, she decided to try it! Keep in mind that its difficult for most(some?) gals to pee while wearing a flightsuit. She unstrapped and made her way to my side, partially stood up, unzipped the flightsuit, wriggled out of it, dropped her panties, positioned herself carefully over the funnel/relief tube, and did her business. By this time, the pilots were going apeshit as I was giving them a blow by blow account of the proceedings over the ICS. They were trying to crane their necks around the bulkhead into the passenger compartment for a peek. I enjoyed the whole show, as there was no room for me to move from my jumpseat. It worked so well for the first that the rest of the gals decided to go too. You can only imagine my joy!

 

 

1980

NAME = Richard Nigh

MY QUEST = To become a towel boy at a disrepuatable whorehouse

VT of a SWALLOW = African or European?

E-MAIL = A3rdRILA@HOTMAIL .COM

NATIONALITY = 'Murican dammit; SERVICE = United States Navy; UNIT = U.S.S. Baton Rouge (SSN-689); RANK/RATE/JOB = QM1 (SS)

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = I am a Born Liar, and Want To Tell About All The Sex I Had on Dodge

MY WARSTORY = 22 years ago this week the U.S.S. Baton Rouge (SSN-689) "The Big Red Stick" (Or big red something or other.) arrived in the beautiful harbor of Diego Garcia. We snuggeled up tightly against the U.S.S. L.Y. Spear (AS-36). The Spear was the first Navy ship to forward deploy with wimmin on board. We were warned by the COB not to fool around with the females on board the Spear. It was a quite interesting time aboard the BR. Walking into the head in middle level and finding one of our machinists in freshly creased dungarees, clean shaven, and putting on the stinky stuff. Going to the Hydraulics shop. Hell, we'd been underwater for 3 months. To make a long story short. My wife and I will be celebrating our 22 wedding anniversary this December. I proposed out there in anchorage B-1. (I don't know if it's still called that.) With a hammerhead shark named Hector for a witness. We really do have plans to go back one day, and attend to some left over business from our first visit. We may be the only sailors who have genuine romantic memories of Diego, without having to worry about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy."

Richard Nigh QM1 (SS) & Mary Ellen (Shannon) Nigh ICFN

 

 

1980

NAME = Bill Edwards

MY QUEST = To find the TV of a swallow

VT of a SWALLOW = E=MC2 or something like that

E-MAIL = N8ARW@aol.com

NATIONALITY = US; SERVICE = Uncle Sam's Canoe Club - Navy; UNIT = NAVCOMMSTA; RANK/RATE/JOB = RM2 then...Owner Computer Aided Design (CAD) Service Bureau now...

ALSO: Ham Radio Operator N8ARW (VQ9WE on DGAR)

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Want to Drink A Lot, Cheap

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = There I Was, Passed Out on The Beach

MY WARSTORY = My War Stories have more to do with before and after going to Diego.

After successfully dream sheeting for Naval Radio Station (R), Sugar Grove, WV out of RM School. I decided to apply a strategy when dream sheeting my next duty station from NRS Sugar Grove. I dream sheeted: Glasgow-Scotland, Reykavik-Iceland and Adak, Alaska with my Ultimate Duty Station as Down on the Ice in Antarctica.

My orders come in with my detailer deciding that NAVCOMMSTA Diego Garcia needed me far more than any of my preferred choices. I called to plead my case with the detailer, telling him that I wanted COLD weather locations. I'm thinking 7 degrees South of the Equator was a bit out to far North. But off to DGAR it was! When I called my folks to let them know where I was headed, my dad said, Diego Garcia? Didn't he used to pitch for the 68 Yankees?"

On the island, in addition to the normal activities (read: drinking), I spent a lot of time with the guy's of the NMCB Det. at the MARS station running phone patches back home. We didn't have Cable & Wireless yet, although being a Radioman, at least we had access to the Autovon line. I also spent a significant amount of time at the Ham Radio Station making more contacts than I cared to log. As an amateur radio operator, DGAR was like being at the Ham Radio answer to Mecca. In amateur radio, DGAR was, and still is one of the rarer contacts to be made around the globe.

While making contacts with other hams around the world, I managed to consume a vast quantity of fresh popped popcorn. Several of the fellows had managed to get a 50lb bag of popcorn they had swapped one of the transient air crews a case of steaks for. Also, along the line of snack foods.....While some of the domestic beer on the island was nasty from baking in shipping containers, who can forget the bags of stale Doritos from the exchange? Expiration dates on the bag being 6 to 9 months old! Only the finest for the boys on Dodge.

I loved the room inspections..."There's coral dust under your rack!"...Duh...No kidding, were living on a frigin' island with coral used as aggregate in the concrete....Of course in Antarctica, it probably would have been ice! Sheeshhh...Talk about bullshit...

After leaving the Navy, I went to technical school and ended up landing a job with a international fire protection firm in Cleveland, OH. One day at work, my manager calls me into his office to give me my next assignment. He starts to tell me about this contract we were awarded with the Navy. Some

little island out in the middle of the Indian Ocean that no one has ever heard of called Diego Garcia. I proceeded to tell him I had been there, done that and had the t-shirt(s). He ended up giving the project to another designer. I suppose he figured that I had already paid my dues. So much for my return trip back to Fantasy Island!

I have enjoyed Ted's web site almost as much as Diego itself. I would like to petition the PPDRDG to create a position of Communications Minister for which I could apply. It's obvious with my communications background, that I could easily learn Smoke Signals and Drumbeats for secure intra-island communication. Hell, I can still send and receive Morse code better while drinking, plus no one notices any slurring!

Survivor TV series my ASS! We got to have some great times on Diego Garcia and were paid to do it! Hail to our leader Ted! Thanks for providing such a great forum...Long live the PPDRDG!

 

 

80'-'81

NAME = Joe "Buzz" Sawyer

MY QUEST = To leave the island and the Brit Rep

VT of a SWALLOW = 714

E-MAIL = SwyBzz@AOL.com

SERVICE = Seabees; UNIT = Bravo Co. NMCB-40; RANK/RATE/JOB = CE-2 and CECN

MY WARSTORY = Aaahhhh Diego,

Nice place to be but under the wrong circumstances. Good nights listening to Bob Rogers and the guys jamming in the 40 club hut. Drinking so damn much that you would puke.But it felt great to relax and forget the shit that was going on. Rain, heat, humidity, more rain, warm beer, Donkey Burger, supply ships arriving, hut searches by the Brits.

Merrill Lamb,Mike "Dogface" Mckinnon ( I still see him ) Steve Foley, Steve Latting, Tom Reedy, Scott Valler, Rick Moon, and many more. Remember the big fire at the OP's building? How about the Miss America USO show? Ship unload duty? Partying on the beach? Good times there but also bad times like a certain night of Sept. 30, 1980. If you remember what happened that night then I guess maybe then that you knew me. Well gotta go, I'm glad I've found this website. FTN-40 Buzz

 

 

80-81

NAME = Rich H (Ski); E-MAIL = rhulcha1@twcny.rr.com

SERVICE = Seabees CM; UNIT = Public Works; RANK/RATE/JOB = E4 finished with honorable

MY WARSTORY = I was hanging out with some of the 1st and 2nd class petty officers in one of those god forsaken hooch's with the friggin moss growing on the steps because we hated pissing in the jet fuel (JP5). We were eating jallopeneos and drinkin smirnoff (average day) when we got this idea to rent a 14' deep V row boat with 4 hp motor and try fishing in the lagoon. The 5 of us thought it would be fun. We managed to haul everything in the boat including the 5 of us and a case and 1/2 of anchor seagull piss beer and the fishin' poll.

We got about 100 yards off shore when the waves started hitting hard. It turns out, when old Willy Wilson mounted the motor he must have thought it would tighten itself to the transom, well need I say more, that thing came screeming out of the water, flew off the transom and was dangling underwater by a chain which somehow he thought to connect. We all scrambled to save the beer while the motor, still running, was thrashing around under the boat. I think Hector high tailed it to the ocean side.

We managed to make it back (fishless) laughing our fool heads off. We made Willy pay for the motor. I was 18 then and 40 now but glad to have the memories. Any Seabees in public works or nmcb 62 around that time, shoot me some mail. Ski

 

 

Spring of 1980(To the best of my recollection)

NAME = Kenneth Mangum

VT of a SWALLOW = Is it diving or just floating?

E-MAIL = mag@astrosfan.net

NATIONALITY = Texan; SERVICE = Navy; UNIT = USS Dixie (AD-14); RANK/RATE/JOB = Just a regular MMFN working in A-gang back then, but I was actually doing my time in the galley while anchored out in the lagoon at Gilligan's Island. Now, engineer for oilfield company working in the Gulf of Mexico.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = For all you people out there wondering where all the nautilus's went, I will tell you. As mentioned before, my ship was anchored out in the lagoon for five months during the Iraninan Hostage crises. I caught the ship for the last two months there. Me and a friend hitched a ride on a jeep that went through to the British side of the Island. We jumped off and headed for the beach and found lots of shells of course, including 2 nautilus's, so we each got one. Those things could have been there for years I guess. Anyway, you're all familiar with the usual beer drinking binges, picnics and such, boxing matches, softball games,....so I won't bore you there. Oh, about the picture with the palm tree almost horizontal, I swear I have the same picture, well, had it darn it, I may still have the negatives somewhere!!!

 

 

1980 iran hostage situation

NAME = richard torres

E-MAIL = torres_richard@hotmail.com

NATIONALITY = Spanish-American; SERVICE = U.S. Marines; UNIT = 31st MAU. COMMO PLT MSSG-37

RANK/RATE/JOB = newly promoted Corporal. Now retired since 1995. Home Aiea, Hawaii.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = Well alot of water has gone under the bridge since 1980. Hard to belive it will 22 years. It was my first deployment from Hawaii. I was embarked on the USS RACINE LST 1191. We referred to it as the raisin - a flat bottom section of hell to we called home. I will never forget the sunsets on deigo, to this day i always tell people that they have never seen sunsets like that, even in Hawaii. There was nothing much to Deigo back then. We trained during the day, not too hard as there was limited area to do serious training. At night we cooked hotdogs, burgers, seafood and drank beer. I remember looking at the sunset with a beer in my hand and thinking how far i was from anything. We had a great time there and I was with best guys I ever worked with. Their names: Cpl. Mike "mad" Lloyd, Sgt Threult, Sgt Idso, Cpl J.P. Johns, Cpl D.C. Caldwell, Cpl Fast Eddie, L/Cpl Danny Laguia. On the other hand I may be headed back as a contractor - telecommunications for a year. Funny how things come around.

 

 

Just came ashore with a few of the crew for some cold beers

NAME = Mike Smollon

MY QUEST = Messmen/Cook Officers Galley

E-MAIL = Msmollon@aol.com

NATIONALITY = American/Irish

SERVICE = Military Sealift Command/USNS RIGEL - unrepped with the 6th fleet during hostage crisis in the early 80's

UNIT = Stewards dept.

RANK/RATE/JOB = I was about 21 years old my duty was a cook/messmen in the officers galley. I left the sea for family reasons about a year later reluctently never to return.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = My Time There is Lost in an Alcoholic Haze, Help Me Remember!

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Actually, I Have a Real Story To Tell

MY WARSTORY = I was aborad the USNS RIGEL with MSC the crew started to be ferried ashore once my friends and I came ashore we went straight for the beer hut. We just hung out at the beach enjoying a few cold beers laying around. When a explosion of smoke plumed from our ships stack. I remember enough that I had said "OH SHIT" what was that? the friends I hung out with were young officers names have abandoned me but the ranks as I can try to remember were 2nd mate, 3rd mate, 3rd engine, a couple of other guys I think were deck dept. I was the only stewards dept guy in the group. One fellow was nick-named Mad Dog what a guy he alone made the voyage awsome! Where is Mad Dog? I last heard he was sailing out of California with a union company. One fellow among us was a proud mick who thought the British flag flying over DG was a bit lonely so he hoisted his own Irish Flag above the British as a result he spent the rest of his liberty in there brig. Leaving DG was memorable for me since I was initiated under King Neptunes rule from a poly-wog to a shell-back going to DG. With a starboard list resulting from the boiler blowing up we headed for Subic

bay for repairs. Olongapo, Olongapo where art thou Olongapo! GOD that was a great town, bless those filipino girls! Hope to hear from some of you guys.

 

 

1980, 1981, and 1982

NAME = Larry Ortega

MY QUEST = to find the Holy Grail

VT of a SWALLOW = European or African swallow?

E-MAIL = AKAZILLA@AOL.COM

SERVICE = USN; UNIT = NMCB-62; RANK/RATE/JOB = I was a cook on my first deployment, and a steelworker on my second one.

MY WARSTORY = I was on Diego 2 deployments back to back. Great fishing! I still have the shells that I found there. My wife has them on top of her piano where they have been since I sent them to her from Diego. When we see NATURE specials, they talk about Cone Shells and how poisonous they are. We both look at the great big cone shells in our living room and think, "Boy was I ever dumb to pick those up."

There was a fleet guy there the first time I went there. His name was Lee Reddick Jr. He was there when I arrived, and still there when I left 8 or 9 months later. When I came back 6 months later, he was still there, and he was there at the end of my second deployment too. Does anybody know if he ever left the island? Does anybody remember Darrel Oates, Kenny Barr, Max Parker, "Trego", "Critter" from NMCB-133,Mike Baddners, Ron Parvin or the weird CE that ran the MARS Radio station? How did Olson ever make it to Admiral/Radm? He was too busy getting soused and getting into fights. If you know these people, let me know. I am going to go look though my old cruisebook and see who else pops into my brain.

Some of the jobs I was on were the pier, the fual farm, "C" site, and extending the runway to handle B-52's. For the people currently on Diego, Remember that place well. When you get back to the real world and tell people about it, they will not believe you. They will not believe how clear the water is, how white the sand is on the beaches, or how good the fishing is. You may (or may not) think that Diego sucks, but over time, it will become one of the best places in your memory. I liked Diego when I was there, but then I like isolation duty and fishing.

Best Wishes,

Larry Ortega aka "Taco"

P.S. I am the guy who took the picture of Hector the hammerhead shark - When we landed the boat (16 foot Boston Whaler) I gave the picture to Nigel, the Brit Rep. A friend and I had been out fishing and had hit a school of Cuda. After about an hour of fishing, something hit my line really hard and I brought up about a 6 or 7 foot white shark. We tied a rope around the tail of the shark, and headed back in to the beach at the SEA huts where we lived at the time. As I turned around to take a picture of the shark, I snapped the pic, and all I got was a pidture of Hector swallowing my shark and biting through the rope we has used to tie it to the boat. When I told that to everybody on the beach, they said "NO WAY, talk is cheap". I showed them the picture, and we ended up drinking warm beer with Nigel and we gave him the picture.

P.P.S. I'm trying to track down Max Parker, Scott Zoeller, Mike Badners and any of the other "Delta Dogs".

 

 

1980

NAME = John Flynn

MY QUEST = To find the Grail.

VT of a SWALLOW = English or African?

E-MAIL = jflynnstl@aol.com

NATIONALITY = American; SERVICE = US Navy; UNIT = Military visitor

RANK/RATE/JOB = LT, Bombardier in A-6 squadron on USS Eisenhower. Was later editor of the Navy's Approach magazine from 83-86, now a management consultant with big firms, currently working on logistics modernization for the US Army.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = I'd Like to Share Precious Memories of Drinking/Fishing/Snorkeling/Sailing on Diego Garcia

MY WARSTORY = I was on Diego twice for short periods of time, but it made a strong impression. The first time I was in transit from the states to the Ike on Gonzo Station during the Iran Hostage Crisis. I arrived from the Philipines in the quasi-comfort of a C-5A "Aluminum Overcast." I spent a couple of days mostly walking around the island, drinking at the club and enjoying the cuisine of Diego Burger, the only fast food joint on the island. The first night I slept in a quonset hut in the jungle, but thereafter I stayed in a litte air-conditioned shack that was assigned to the air wing. I found it very peaceful and relaxing. I think of Diego as Jimmy Buffet's idea of heaven. Finally, I hitched a ride in an S-3A that was being ferried out to the ship, which was about 5 hours away. I spent the next 8 months flying recon missions off the coast of Iran and preparing to attack, which we never did.

 

The second time I was on the island was months later when I got to play "Survivor" in a Search & Rescue (SAR) exercise. I got dropped on a remote part of Diego with just the stuff I would have had if I had punched out of an A-6. Then I had to go through all the procedures: Using the hand-held radio, signal mirror, smoke flares, etc. to get a helo to come and get me. After several hours, I got "rescued" and my reward was to get to spend a few more hours on the populated part of the island, visiting Diego Burger and the club once again.

 

My time on Diego was short, but the experience has stayed very present in my memory. It struck me as having the rare charm of being completely unique.

 

 

1980-1981

Billy Bob <lumpdawg@pacbell.net>

Organization: just another slug

Sir,

I was a member of the class of 80-81 and will never forget my experience on Diego. I have some incredible stories I would like to relate about my 12 month hoot. My only concern is the statute of limitations issue. Could any one hunt me down and haul my ass off for shit I did twenty years ago?

Billy Bob

[editor's note: Yes. And they read this page regularly to find guys who might have stolen the CO's jeep on night, or fished illegally for lobsters. Several correspondents have wound up in Portsmouth Naval Prison because of their indescretions on these pages. So look out, Billy Bob, they're coming for YOU!]

Here's his follow up story:

Honorable President for Life,

As all of us sailors will testify, you got your 'no shitters' and your 'sea stories'. I would submit to you that this is a 'no

shitter'.

I reported to Diego July of 1980, after begging, pleading and down right promising the detailer a three finger reach-around. Ultimately I convinced him the US Government would be better served if I was sent over there as opposed to Bahrain. This was the first time I had ever heard the expression "Be carefull what you wish for." The Iranian hostage crisis was full tilt and you couldn't skip a stone acrossed the lagoon without hitting that tub the Ajax or the other odd assortment of those big gray things. As a SeaBee with NSF Public Works, I was grateful for the discomfort of a sunburn in a cot full of sand in Splinter City.

I didn't do 'haze gray and under way' and for the 11 months and 23 days I was on the Rock, I spent a total of fifteen minutes on the Ajax, chasing down collar devices. You think the Ajax looked bad from shore? Take a mike boat over to her. Classic case of 'good from far, but far from good!'

Within my first 60 days on station, I had the drill figured out. The detachment from NMCB-5 was always partying. They had a cool bar set up. The regular barkeep was from Jersey and his mission was to get the FNG's to buy rounds. 'Shop talk buys a round' stated the plaque behind the bar. Sure as shit stinks, he'd snag me with 'Hey man. How's the work on the airfield doin?" 15 guys standing around for the bell to be rung and he banged me three or four times before I got the clue.

At least I got my name up on the Ralph Master. The Ralph Master was a crudely fashioned piece of one foot by one foot plywood enscribed with the names of who ever puked after raging at the beer hut. Had my name up on that thing several times. My first entry was after about three months on the Rock. I got my moving papers from Splinter City to the PW barracks near the chow hall. Stuffed my seabag, threw it on my new rack and blitzed over to the NMCB-5 beer

hut. Grabbed a Donkey Burger on the way. This was time to celebrate. "Make it a sloppy Donkey, boys. Just moved outta Splinter City". I made it to 5's camp and just started slammin' beers down. Keep in mind, these were the pull tab Budweisers. Don't drink the sediment crap that settled on the bottom. Took me years after being back in the World to quit doin' that. Anyhow, I started gettin' dizzy and I got about 20 feet out of the beer hut when I lost the Donkey

Burger in a most unflattering manner. Man, I just hurled and hurled. Made it back to my new barracks where I impressed my new roomates with my wit and charm. I ended up dry heaving out front of the barracks all night.

I lived for mail call. The C-5 flying overhead meant a lot of things to alot of people. For me, it was fresh food and mail call. I ended up being the mail call dude for Public Works. AFRTS TV would play the stupid commercials with USO bimbos announcing mail call. These broads were pretty as home made soap but I damn near blew a rod every time I saw the commercials. I would dash over to the post office, grab the mail bag and head back to the barracks. I would pass out the packages and letters. This went on for a while. I just happened to notice one day one of the Brits followed one of the guys back to his room. Gave him a pocket knife, "Open the package, mate". Word had it the sailor ended up in a Singapore brig. Seems some one sent him some of those left handed cigarettes. But nobody messed with me. The Brits had no idea. I would leave my packages in the mail bag, pass out the mail and just mosey to my

room. I got over for the most part. Then, the post office started hanging on to the packages. They would issue a slip of paper with your name. 'Report to the post office to collect your package'. I accumulated three or four of these slips after 2 weeks. I finally beat feet to the post office and there's the friggin' Brit Rep. Aw crap. "Open the package, mate." I knew exactly what it was and I was crappin' my britches. Two el bees of Mexico's worst migrane-inducing chronic busted up into quarters. And I was on the road to hell. I swear I hemmed and I hawed for a lifetime. I

stammered out a weak assed "I ain't never seen or heard of some one named Sue Love. You gotta send it back." Sue Love was the super secret return address and I knew right away I was a dead man. Sure enough, they sent it back, although I think some one got the hint. My last three months, I stayed away from the ilicit crap. More than once, the Brits had fun shaking down my roomates, who were clueless but made my life uncomfortable.

I could go on and on but I'll just share some memories before I bail: fighting over Drumsticks Ice Cream cones at the chow hall that had been defrosted and refrozen beyond physical recognition. Chowin down on the best seafood and crab I have ever had. Drinking ice cold Michelob out a bottle. The Zoomies from the KC-135 det would sell it for 20 bucks a case. And I gladly paid it. Standing in line for 4 hours for Coors being sold out of a refrigerated milvan, buying

my 5 case limit and going back for more. And then dragging a case to the base theatre to see Willie Nelson and Dyan Cannon in 'Honeysuckle Rose'. Standing in the MARS radio line for hours and talking to a mechanical voice that was 'sposed to be my girlfriend. "I love you, over." Drinking Strawberry Daisy, some long life milk by-product crap that was

chunky in every other box. Watching the majority of the NMCB 5 detachment bumping around at three in the morning after drinking the Mojo that got dosed by yours truly. Farting in front of the fan in our 20 man hut in Splinter City and leaving to the howls of my drunken partners. Pulling coral out of my ass after trying to boogie board on the ocean side of the Rock in the biggest, hollowest, closed out tube of my life. Stealing a tank of helium, draggin it out to the cannons and huffing helium with Ace till we puked our guts out on the beach. Electrocuting land crabs with a megger on the airfield. Wrestling with the Public Works CO at the picnic beach near Public Works. He'd throw these BBQ's once a month and get down with us. Seeing my first chick on the island after nine months. She was a Zoomie air crew babe and she was wearing Charlie perfume and I almost passed out when she walked by. Getting dragged off the C-5, goin' back to the world for good, by the Air Ops officer to restore power to the airfield lighting so the god damn plane could take off. Seems the the switch was in the safety postion and the ATC couldn't get the airfield lights to come on. Being denied advancement and retention by my first class, only to be pen and inked recommendation for advancement and retention by my CO. Being denied orders for school at Port Who-Needs-Me and assignment to Public Works Pearl

Harbor, only to have it thrust in my face my very last day in the Navy awaiting an honorable discharge at Treasure Island. Not no. But fuck no.

Billy Bob

"Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies."

 

 

1978-1980

HARRY CONLON <HWConlon@aol.com> See his 1978 story.

 

 

 

January to September 1980 AND March to November 1981

Kurt C <cannbefit@home.com>

MY QUEST = To see if any of my ole' Seabee pals are still alive and puking

VT of a SWALLOW = Too fast for me to mention (but I know how fast a rat can run through a sea hut, how fast a chicken has to run to miss being hit by an orange, how fast a donkey must run to get through the donkey gate....

NATIONALITY = American; SERVICE = USN Seabees - '79-'84; UNIT = NMCB 1; RANK/RATE/JOB = Equipment Operator 3rd Class

MY WARSTORY = One warm afternoon while riding home in the back of a 5-ton with a bunch of stinking, sweaty pigbees, I decided it would be nice to cool off the next jogger we saw with our left-over 10-gallon jug of iced water.

So...my buddy and I grabbed to cooler and as we drove by him (his back was to us headed toward town) we got him good!! It was great!

The only problem was he just happened to be a Warrant Officer and you know how mad they can get...So he cut the next truck off at the pass and hitched a ride after us. As soon as he got into town, he found us and demanded to know who did it. We confessed.

To make a long, and much worth it, story short...we wrote an apology letter to him and promised never to do that again.

What's the moral of this story? It's ALWAYS worth it when you can soak an Officer's head!

Enjoy the 80 degree weather in those olive green shorts and black ankle-high work boots - and don't let the foot rot bite!

 

 

1980-1981

DAVE <DChap578@aol.com>

Hi, I retired from the Navy 2 years ago as a BMCS. I spent a year in DG back in 1980-81 and hated it at the time, but later realized it was really fun. I was a BM3 at the time working at harbor ops driving a Mike-8 boat supporting the 13 anchored ships and Sub tender. They were still working on the pier when I left. The most interesting boatrun I made was offshore to pick up a Seabee in an intertube with his bags on his way to the USA. Elian Gonzolas had nothing on this guy! Fishing was really great and we were allowed to go anytime as we were in charge of our own boats. Sometimes we would go "outside" and troll and get large tuna along the reef edge. One time a 275 pounder. I understand that later though that there was a boating accident and that was changed. We used to have stringers of large Grouper and Snapper while we were anchored "inside" and would have to pull them up occassionaly to keep them from the big hammerheads. Is the legendary Hammerhead "Heckter" still around. Well I wish I was there with today, it was a lot of fun. Even though I was in "Splinter City" open bay barracks. When I retired in 1998, I went from driving Tugs, LCU's, Ships, and boats to driving a Drawbridge in Jacksonville Fla. (rides smoother). My last duty

station was a PC out of Little Creek, lots of fun. Enjoy your day, Dave.

 

 

1980 VP-48 Deployment (also '79 & '81 & a year in '78)

DAVE "DJ" JOHNSON <Ejection4@aol.com>

Great site, OLE DG brings back memories, I was there for my year in 78, and went back with VP-48 in 79, 80, 81. I would like to become a member. thanks for the memories Dave "DJ" Johnson

 

 

1980-1981

SHAWN DONOVAN <shawnfromut@webtv.net>

Discharged 1982 now work for the airlines ..... it was a different place to be. u would have to have been there to know.

 

 

1980-1981

DALE EDMONDS <daleintx@webtv.net>

I got to Diego Garcia in Feb 1980 and left in Feb 1981. I had heard lots of different storys about the place befor I got there and not very many of them were good. I was very apprehensive about the place when I arrived and stayed that way for a year. I was Personnelman recruit straight out of A school. I was immediately put to work doing what we called receipts PN where I checked in everybody and did some indoctrination and helped people with their travel claims and whatever other paperwork was needed. So I was usually the first person people had any contact with on the island. Just to list some of my shipmates that worked in personnel: PNC Plummer, PNC Richards, PNC Colt, PN2

Rowel, PN2 Hooker, PN3 Johnson, PNSN Kaschak, and me PNSN Edmonds.

Being a PN standing duty was pretty easy I was the autovon switchboard operator and could call any place in the world for free. I had lots of people want to be my friend when they found that out. I would have pilots from carriers fly in and I would help them call home or just anybody else that needed to but I was breaking the rules by doing it.

We worked 5 days a week and half a day saturday. Not much time for fooling around. However i did fish and snorkle a lot. Diego Garcia had beautiful reefs in the lagoon and it was a real pleasure swimming in the tropical waters. I saw so much different tropical fish and other sea creatures not to mention swimming up on an occasional shark or two. I had a nice air conditioned barracks for most of my time but was moved to the recently built sea hooches when my replacement who out ranked me came. The sea hooches were full of mesquitos and it was all i could do

to sleep at night. This was during the Iran hostage crises and they were really sending many people to the island and there were no quarters for them. Many people lived in the gymnasium which we called the Diego Hilton. There was a little burger stand on the island which they closed later but you could buy a donkey burger if you got hungry and didnt want to go to the chow hall. The ships store was always empty of most of the important stuff people wanted except when the supply ship came. Then the lines would be a block long trying to get the stuff you needed or wanted. Sometimes we ran out of beer on the island and then people started getting stressed and irritable and very cranky. I remember the cigarettes were stale and old and had little black dots on them except Benson and Hedges so that became my brand from then on. For me it was a rough year I really got tired of the tropical island stuff fast. No

woman or civilians there until about 10 months after I got there.

Actually there was quite a lot fighting between people on the island. I was in a few fist a cuffs myself with people. Most of the people missed their familys a lot and I couldnt tell you how many mens wives diviorced them while they spent that year on the island. I did many divorces and the paperwork for them. I guess wives just couldnt stand being apart from the husbands for a year. If you asked me if i would like to live that year over again I would say HELL NO. So thanks for letting me tell a little bit of my story for my year on Diego Garcia B.I.O.T.

 







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