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You have traveled back to 1983!
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!


Rick Gegenheimer

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = NSGA Classic Wizard

My_Quest = Sanity or loss of it

VT_of_a_Swallow = Mach -0.2

My_Warstory = I was ending the eve watch and getting some grub at thw chow hall, on my way to my civilian job at Cable and Wireless. On my Diego wheels aka bike, i was riding just outside the chow hall, all of a sudden I am laying in the coral, as the rock shook violently. We had all heard the story about the ruskies sneakkng into the coral caverns and laying charges to blow us outta the ocean. I looked to the sky waiting for the blast which would end my life, along with all my shipmates. Well after a bit the shaking stopped, and there was an eerie quiet and calm as nothing made a sound. Soon after all of the fire alarms went off, the doors of the hooches and barracks flew open and people went running and screaming from the buildings. Pure pandemonium. I realized it was an earthquake, as I grew up in california and had just done a stint on Adak, AK. We had a few everyday. So I went to C&W and my colleague Marc Terrian was locked inside and panicked, his eyes were wild and he let me in and recounted how he was always taught to goto a door frame during an earthquake. He did that, but the doorframe he went to for protection was the exterior door! Looking up while secure in the frame he watched as the water tower tetered to and fro away from him and towards him. Needless to say he had only a few words of advice “I am going to the bar!” Good luck!! So I relieved him, then proceeded to find the number for the tsunami warning center in Hawaii. I called them and asked hello this is Diego Garcia have you seen any activity here? The guy on the other end says, “Who?”, I repeated myself “Diego Garcia”, the guy say latitude and longitude.  I told him and I hear him say Hmm, Ohhh, Wow!!! “Diego! You have a Tsunami moving at you around 120 mph! “Good Luck Diego!” And he hangs up!!


John Hidalgo =

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = VP 46 The Grey Knights

My_Warstory = My war story is that the earthquake that hit on Nov 30th 1983 was also my birthday. I was upstairs in the old wooden barracks when it hit. The British police told us all to muster at the highest point on the island which was the swimming pool at 9 ft above sea level. We just looked at each other and said yeah, right so me and a few shipmates went out to the 1st class pier and said goodbye to one another over a bottle of Quervo Gold. Luckily, as fate would have it, the sunami did not hit as we expected. Hard to believe we survived a 7.6 that lasted for 72 seconds and are still here to talk about it.



Name = Joseph Howard Leonard

submit_by =

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = NAF Weapons

My_Warstory = In 1983 while station on Diego Garcia my duty station was at NAF Weapons Department. While There I Received an Assault which lead to a Head Injury which put me out of the service. It was Covered Up to make it out to be a accident. i'm leaving out a lot but after being discharged i didn't receive any medical benefits and became a Homeless Veteran the Dav fought for my benefits mean while i Help Started The Va Homeless Program out of our Local Rescue Mission. After years of fight for my Benefits I'm Now Considered 100 percent Service Connected Veteran. I Wish To Know What On That Day IN 1983. Who What And Why This Assaulted took Place? it's been just about 36 years since this happened and I need Closer. Thank You For Your Time.


joe cronin (cpl) =

Citizenship = USA, Service = USMC, Outfit = 3/6 STA (Attached to Kilo 3/6)

My_Warstory = I was a sniper with 3/6 STA platoon attached to Kilo 3/6 in the fall of 1983. Flew in from Fuji and played React duty with some training for a couple months on Diego. then to Subic for more training and some libbo with pretty girls. Then back to Oki for some more training and some libbo with some not-as-pretty girls. Diego was hot, full of land crabs and narry a woman in sight. the Filipino squids would throw some crankin parties in their sea-huts but didn't take too kindly to drunkin Marines wanting to fight each other after a few beers. the movies they showed at the e-club weren't bad sometimes (saw cannonball run for the first time one afternoon) but overall just another hot and sweaty place to train then, train some more.



83’ - 84’

Name = Rick Gegenheimer

submit_by =

Citizenship = USA

Other_Country =

Service = USN

Other_Service =

Outfit = Classic Wizard

My_Quest = Live life to the fullest and celebrate each journey VT_of_a_Swallow = Mach 5 - parasitic drag My_Warstory = I was ending the eve watch and getting some grub at the chow hall, on my way to my civilian job at Cable and Wireless. On my Diego wheels aka bike, i was riding just outside the chow hall, all of a sudden I am laying in the coral, as the rock shook violently. We had all heard the story about the ruskies sneaking into the coral caverns and laying charges to blow us outta the ocean. I looked to the sky waiting for the blast which would end my life, along with all my shipmates. Well after a bit the shaking stopped, and there was an eerie quiet and calm as nothing made a sound. Soon after all of the fire alarms went off, the doors of the hooches and barracks flew open and people went running and screaming from the buildings. Pure pandemonium. I realized it was an earthquake, as I grew up in California and had just done a stint on Adak, AK. We had a few everyday. So I went to C&W and my colleague Marc Terrian was locked inside and panicked, his eyes were wild and he let me in and recounted how he was always taught to go to a door frame during an earthquake. He did that, but the door frame he went to for protection was the exterior door! Looking up while secure in the frame he watched as the water tower teettered to and fro away from him and towards him. Needless to say he had only a few words of advice “I am going to the bar!” Good luck!! So I relieved him, then proceeded to find the number for the tsunami warning center in Hawaii. I called them and asked hello this is Diego Garcia have you seen any activity here? The guy on the other end says, “Who?”, I repeated myself “Diego Garcia”, he says lat and on, which I gave him, pause, longer pause, he has the phone cradled in his shoulder and I finally hear ooh, Oh, uh..uh Diego? Yes I said, you have a a Tsunami moving at 120 mph towards you! Good Luck Diego!! ‘Click’!!!

March 1983
From William McNeil aboard USS Dale.  A home-grown band for the enjoyment of the residents of DG!

April 1982 - July 1985

Kevin Sokolick =

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = Satcom - 'R' Site

My_Quest = Still trying to figure that out.

VT_of_a_Swallow = Not sure.

My_Warstory = DG was my second duty station. I came from NavCamsEastPac Hawaii where I did 3 years. I was an ET2 when I got there and a ET1 when I left. I knew quite a few people when I got there from my last duty station. I have several stores but I'll just list the things I remember during my time there.

1. Working at 'R' site in the big golfball dome that was around the Satcom antenna.

2. Living in Splinterville in an open air Sea Hut for about a month or so when I first got there.

3. Seeing a Sea Hut that a drunken CB knocked down with a piece of contruction equipment.

4. Living in an open air Sea Hut on the beach after the CB Battalion left the island.

5. Partying in the jungle.

6. Being told not to pass out in the jungle because the coconut craps could break your head open.

7. Crabs crawling on the outside of the building at 'R' site. We would spray them with Tricholoralethylene which made them dance and then all there legs would fall off.

8. Cats and chickens running all over the place.

9. Getting shocked from a 5000 volt power supply.

10. Jungle volleyball.

11. Chow Truck

12. AFRTS Radio show with Charlie Tuna.

13. Duran Duran "Hungry Like A Wolf"

14. Trips to the Philippines (Bars: Port Orient, Kontiki, Flying Machine, Maverick City, Randy Rams, Red Lips, Murphy's, Green Beret Lounge, The Viking, Rum Runner, Holy city Zoo, Moon Doggies)

15. The antenna field at night time.

16. Mail Call

17. 8.2 Earthquake and a weeks worth of after shocks.

18. Attack on the Island. Base shut down because a OS on one of the ships in the lagoon thought they identified a ship on the plantation side of the island. False alarm.

19. The Plantation (went there once).

20. The crystal clear, warm ocean water.

21. Coconuts falling on the Sea Hut metal roofs and making a big bang.

22. First Airborne Rock Concert (Cheap Trick, Kansas and Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers). Seeing Robin Zander of Cheap Trick walking out of the chow hall in sweats.

23. Rain and the mud.

24. Smokers (they stopped these not too long after I got there).

25. Going to the pool and hanging out.

26. Watching movies in the open air theater.

27. U.S. Army Special Forces war games on the island (after the Navy I joined the Army and was in the Co. C, 2nd BTN, 19th Special Forces Group).

28. Listing to music on a Sony Walkman for the first time.

29. Eating at the Seamans Club (shrimp scampi).

30. Boxed milk that did not need refrigeration (I stopped drinking milk then and there).

31. Walking on the beach on the weekend and getting burnt red by the sun.

32. Riding on the C5 and in then jump seats on the C-141 back and forth to PI.

33. Reading the book "King Rat".

34. Watching MTV videos that people sent the states. 80s hair bands.

35. A guy who started trouble in the old chow hall and got arrested by the Brits and when they were trying to put him in the back of a Land Cruiser he kept yelling "Your not my ally".


Like everyone else who posted on this website, you had to have been there to know what I am talking about. We were young, single and had no responsibilities. I would not mind going back for a day. Time to splice the main brace.


October 1983

AJ Durham =

Citizenship = USA; Service = USMC; Outfit = Kilo Co 3/6 2MarDiv

My_Warstory = Never forgot being on a react drill and the rain rolled in. We we stuck on the far side of the Island for half a day. The banana crabs came out to greet us. Needless to say there was a lot of legless crabs by the time we left. The sharks in the lagoon where something also. Cats and wild chickens all over. even the ugliest girl sailor was a star at that place.




Tamara Rhodes Reyes =

Citizenship = USA; Service = USN; Outfit = shipstore/diego Garcia

My_Quest = to find people I hung with

VT_of_a_Swallow = 820

My_Warstory = I loved being on the island, it was my first duty station out of A school, and I wish I could have stayed forever, I mostly hung with the Ropos they knew how to party and they were a lot of fun, I was good friends with a female ropo her name was Carmen she married a sailor and left the island with him, we had tea time together just about everyday. I also hung with the master at arms guys, I was there for the quake, but my biggest memory is when the liberty boat capsized in the lagoon one of the sailors was hit in the head by the boats propellar, it sliced the back of his scalp off, several of them were killed by the sharks, one of the surviors tried to kill himself at enlisted club by slitting his wrist with pieces of his beer can, my bunk mates were one Linda Bryant ( bama)and kay ralston kay used to get drunk and strip naked and run from the mater at arms, I was there when they caught Hector the great white what a sad day. I was friends with a sailor his name was Jeff Tobin he was from vegas I would love to find these people I really do think of them often!



Name = Roger D Hoskins

submit_by =

Citizenship = USA

Other_Country =

Service = USMC

Other_Service =

Outfit = bulk fuel company 8th eng sup bn atatched to charlie company My_Quest = if there is anyone that was there with charlie company 8th eng sup bn VT_of_a_Swallow = ?

My_Warstory = yr was 1983 before the invasion of grenada we came in via a flat bottom ship called an LST wasent there very long before some one started takeing pot shots at us they stold our ssgts sea bag and pack every he had his duce gear was strone on the ground cuz they couldent do any thing with it the grass was so tall you couldent see the qunsit huts the air strip was a mess and the locals came on base like it was cool till we put up 21 miles of barb wire the would also steal the ply would off of the observation towers on the ranges for there homes till we drilled holes all in them so they would leave them alone we spent days in the burning sun mixing concreat in the back of dump trucks and sifting the sand so we could patch the air stip so the C 130s could land to get ready for the invasion they kept it all pretty hushed back then they didnt say and you dident need to know until it was time for you to know we chopped down the jungle by hand cuz the enginers found a cement slab on the hill that was a american flag who know how long before we got there thay said the base hadent been functional since vietnam we stacked the rocks pianted them and spelled usmc under the flag again then the rains came day in and day out and the humitidy was killer after it rained any of you that were there then should remember the sea urchins they suck when you been running pt in 100 plus heat and you want to cool off but dont realize the lagoon water is black becouse the caral is covered by them we drank alot does anyone rember the marzule



Michael Broussard =

Citizenship = USA; Service = USMC; Outfit = Wpns. Co. 3/9 1st Mar. Div.

My_Warstory = I really don't have a war story. I just wanted to say that diego garcia was the most beautiful place I had the pleasure of being sent by the U.S.M.C. In 1983. I really enjoyed my time there and if their is anyone reading this that was there at the same time please contact me at (Wpns. Co. 3/9) P.S. Semper Fi Do or die.


Richard S. Watson <>

Dear Sir,

As a bit of background, I was employed as a MSCPAC Staff Purser and was sent to DG in early 82 for my first tour of 13 months.  I returned in 83 for 10 more months and then again in early 85 for about 8 more months.  During that time, I worked for the CO of MPSRON 2 and lived on the island - first in old splinterville, then to a quonset in front of the "O" club.  Then they built some apartments and I was given one of them, talk about heaven..... 

     Anyway, during my second tour, I was allowed to join in the Brit Club as a member.  I purchased a ball cap and T-shirt from them which is after these many years, starting to fade and get a bit ragged so I am investigating a means of obtaining some replacement articles and wonder if you happen to have any e-mail addresses for the Brits on the island that I can communicate with?

     Getting on in years now and only have very FOND memories of the great times that I spent on DG.  I can send you a bunch from the civilian/military side of living on the island if you would like me to.

Thank you for your kind attention to this.


Richard Watson Staff Purser (ret)

Can anyone help Richard out on this one?


Paula Scarborough []

     I was a BM3 when I arrived on the Rock in July of 1983. Worked in Harbor Ops, then in the tower. Would love to find some of my friends from that time. Brits: Steve Payne, John Gough, Eddie Eldridge, Pony Moore, and many others. US Navy: Bob Enloe, Tom Bray, Chief "Willie" Williams, Lisa Harris, Jeanette Jenkins, and more that I can't seem to remember right now. I would really love to hear from any of you.

     Thanks for the great site. I have lots of pictures that I am going to dig out and send to you. Great fun like the Columbus Day Parade, and the horse races down at the Brit Club.


Name = William (Bill) Thibault

submit_by =

Citizenship = USA

Service = Contractor

Outfit = Engineering

My_Quest = information

My_Warstory = I survived three condecutive years, including the earthquake.The Navy Has changed a lot since I shipped out 1942---46.

81-82-83 diego Garcia

Name = james turnmeyer

submit_by =

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = seebee/c-company

My_Quest = old freinds

VT_of_a_Swallow = don"t care

My_Warstory = I remember all the things I read here.I was the raft designer for both rafts.Spent time in lock up for jumping back in the ocean after a shirt with money or I.D. HEY I was drunk! Hi Hoppy, Animal,scott z.Bob Stetham was a close friend,I miss riding motorcycles with him. Got pics of scraper deal.coconut crabs,those were good,you name it I was probably involved.Still see and talk with Ivan, [mike Tatarinowcz ]Like to here from all who remember.I would like to plan a harley ride, Tim Boyd, if your out there. And if anyone is wondering I never went to jail or prison!  

In and out 1982-85

Randall Stout

Citizenship = USA

Service = USMC

Outfit = united states central command

My_Quest = pictures of the SS Letitica Lykes burning in DG

VT_of_a_Swallow = 40 pesos in Subic in 82

My_Warstory = i was the action office for all the NTPF ships for three years.  Everyone ragged me that an ammo ship would go first - wrong.  I had to testify about the fire on the Letitica Lykes, but was not there for the fire.  This is the one that allegedly had a 1000 bed hospital capability on it, but the Marine Corps took the money for something else - a more personal something else - and filled the Letitica with barely 200 beds and medical junk.  Understand one of the causes of the fire.  Definitely would like a picture of that fire.  My take a way from this or lesson learned if there is a tragedy and you have a copy of the load plans burn the load plans.


June 1, 1983 to August 29 1983

Name = Steve Beverly;

Citizenship = USA

Service = USN

Outfit = USS HOLLAND AS-32

My_Quest = No Idea

VT_of_a_Swallow = 70 mph

My_Warstory = Everybody on the tender thought we were in pergatory - I thought I was in paradise - If my children were a little bit older - I would get stowaway on a tramp steamer (or whatever) and try to get back to that beautiful island.  I learned how to sail - to dive - to not jump when you are laying on the beach and a coconut crab walks over you - the EM club was a friggin blast.  I had such a great time!


Dates_Aboard = jan 83-jan 84.

Name = todd arve <>

Citizenship = USA

Other_Country = american

Other_Service = navy seabee

Outfit = nsf transportation/public works

My_Quest = find the fountion of youth

VT_of_a_Swallow = depends on size of upsidedown margertia

My_Warstory = diego,dodge,the rock..paradice or pergatory? subj;shake n bake 83.1st let me say thank you ted, your site has not only brought many smiles but a few lol, also sadens me to see pictures of trash littering such pristeen beaches.i should start at the begining,apon arrival via alaska,hawaii,japan,pi..i arrived on dodge where i was billeted to splinterville,mind you i knew no one, it just happend to be the weekend so..liberty..wandered around and found diego burger &the marina decited to rent a boat. well 48hrs later check in time hung over and 2nd degree sunburn the X.O. WAS NOT happy.almost wrote me up.anyway..check in to transportation for duty,dont know if it was the sunburn,or x.o. but i was made island dispatcher for milt. vech,s. 7days a week 12hrs a day 6am.for the next 6months.,at the time i thought it was a punishment..but no moring muster no shaving,inspections..GREAT..spent the 1st 3 week in splinterville then moved to d circle where every a.m. i would drink beer outside and watch NMCB 62 morning quarters and laugh,sometimes to loud.i really dont recall if women were there when i arrived but i know they were trickeling june i was on days,shining boots,ironing greens,ect.ect..yea right!!my little philippine friend only charged $10 a week.any way shake and bake..myself and mabey 5 others were way on the south end of the island,you could see ocean from the lagoon.cant recall everyone but i know EO1joe miller was there we were barefoot drinkin rum&cokes when it came you could hear it first..then it was like a million very large ballberings rolling under foot. most of the water in lagoon rushed away so quick fish were flopin around..when it came back and it did!!we held onto coconut trees.thats when it got scary,ole miller says,WELL!THEY FINALLY DID IT!we all look at each other?who did what?&he saysTHE RUSSIANS!THEY FINNALY DROPPED THE BIG ONE!now mind you we are drunk,and the cold war is rageing and on top of that we were all just we all hopped into either a duce&1/2 or a weap,s any way back in dodge snake is tryin to sell surfboards...there is so many other great memorys,raft the lagoon race,we did finish ..last but loudest!!4th of july fireworks!newyears 84.and some i would like to keep 4 me.let me finish by mention a few names..EOC KIRBY,EO1MILLER EO2c kajonnas,EO2kathy evans,EO2dave vadbunker,CM2john f greeley,eocn kim tyler,eocn rose barns,EO3 rick mckeen,&my friend dee debartillo EO2tomm,blacky.. those of you ididnt mention,sorry you are not forgotten, i will always have fond memorys of diego i was truly sorry to leave.not only the island but my friends as well.agian ted, thank you for a great site!if any ole bees remember me,drop me a line...

And here's more from Todd:

Citizenship = USA


Service = USN

Other_Service = USN SEABEE/CAN DO




My_Warstory = to log in more about things,in which i did or did not see or por-tis-apate in,i recall vaugley? w/out saying names.. that!!we had 2 much fun!!the work sced. sucked..but hell this w/paradice on earth!!if u did your job A-MEN!!QUIT UR SNIVLEN!! tomorrow is ...tomorrow.i saw many crack,falter &fall.2 bad !SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT! IN MY DAY IT W/VOLENTEER ONLY,who could ask 4 more..i learned  from,old bee,s  68-72 it w/the place 2 b..heactor..tuna ..&of coarse $ cheep formalidahide.thanx VIETNAM! IM SHURE I W/LIVE ANOTHER 20+YRS..but back 2 my goal;1983:i learned many things that yr,#1- 2 watch your pee,s & q,s dont piss off the C.O..X.O..ESPECTIALLY THE SHOT DOC. OR THE DISPER. CLEARK. Y U ASK?SHOT REC.IRREPLACABLE--PAYCHECK?..ECT..ECT..BUT I FOUND  GOOD ALLY,S ON THE ROCK.ONE day w/lounging at cannon pt. i ran it into some a/c guys from cb/62 all i had w/ mabey 13 (hot) warm beers & w/a 5 gall bucket & min.r-12..(FREEON)30 SEC. LATER MY BEER W/FROSTY...THANK GOD 4 seabees!!i also wanted 2 add w/drivin I-SITE..T-SITE..BUS one late eve.. after dropping off 3/rd shift.i w/on my way back to dodge w/i ran over ?? it turned out 2 b a very large coconut crab w/47 pass.bus 2 my disbeliefe,it got up & walked away ihave 2 many more storys wish i could b there now........ best 2 the FNG,S new bees.. and all officers. i salaute you.CAN DO!WILL BUILD! WILL FIGHT!! special thanx to ted..,fleeters ,squids ,wingnuts ,SEALS ,USAF,USMC.  army ,ect....thanx,s agian ted..YOUR SITE MADE ME VERY HAPPY!

1983 to 1987

NAME = Carmen Floyd ( Austen-Smythe)

MY QUEST = Dig up Memories of the past, and smile about them

VT of a SWALLOW = Who gives a ....! have another beer!!!!


NATIONALITY = Dual National, UK and US...god Bless the Queen and USA!!!!!

SERVICE = Royal Navy


RANK/RATE/JOB = Well was a kick butt chick with the help of my Royal Marine Comrades and NSF Security, have since left now the Fire Marshal for City of Columbia SC USA...go figure, still giving folk h..l!!!!

MY WARSTORY = well in continuance from the Shake and Bake (7.6 on the Richter Scale and 100.00 on the sphincter scale!!!) I would love to hear from the gang who were there when I was.  Since joining the Columbia Fire Department, I have discovered that my former Fire Chief, 'Jack' John Jansens son was on DG with the airport FD, Ran into a merchant marine whos father in law was my landlord in Havelock NC....John Kersanac!!! you Dog and one of the Battalion Chiefs with Columbia Fire Dept was one of the first SEABEES on the "Rock" way before I got there...Alma Hill you salty Dog!!!!  so if anyone knows of whom I speak, send me the dirt!!!!

Ooh lets see, does anyone remember;

Joe Hoole USMC

Rob Belpedio, AFRTS

Chief Manasalas NSF Security ( dont think I spelled that right) Eric Salinde, NDSF Security Bill Rhoades, E Site Ramine Geisler, Airdale and any other poor soul who served at that time................!



NAME = Delos Hamblin




UNIT = VP-46

RANK/RATE/JOB = AMH3 Honorably discharged in 1984

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

MY WARSTORY =     Approximately 60% of the titles apply in my case but the one I remember best is the earthquake and tsunami. I was working night shift at the time and had just got back to the barracks,laid down on my rack and was listening to England Dan & John Ford Coly on my walkman,almost asleep,when I sensed lights flickering and my rack shacking. I ripped off my headphones and headed for the door which was difficult with the shaking and of course the power was out at this time! Just as I grabbed the door knob someone behind me yelled "get me the hell out of here!", he threw me on the floor because I was in his way and I guess I wasnt moving fast enough.Turns out he was a good friend of mine!He apologized later and said he panicked.We were on the second floor so we had to negotiate the stairway to get to ground level, once there the shacking subsided but then we heard the British police telling us to run to a particular side of the island because a tidal wave was on the way! We didnt get far and they told us it had broken up on some coral reefs and it was okay to return to our barracks. Everyone was wanting a beer or two and of course those who had it was making money! Once back inside the barracks the aftershocks kept everyone up.   I dont know why, but another incident I remember well was doing a grease job on one of our aircraft. The aircraft was on the flightline and we had all the external access panels off, some laying on the ground. A C-5 Galaxy was parked nearby and was taxing to the runway when its jet wash started blowing our panels all over hell! I was amazed at how much thrust those engines put out to do that, and that was at taxi speed! Looking back on the five months I spent in Dodge(the other month I spent in Kadena on a detachment) it wasnt that bad. We played alot of raquetball, drank, watched movies in the outdoor theater and drank,and of course worked 12 hour days seven days a week. But the memories was well worth it. Not to many people can say they've been to Diego Garcia, and most have never heard of it! I would do it again! GOOD TIMES!!!


July 1983

NAME = John P. Miller




UNIT = 1st Bn 5th Marines, Wpns Company, 1st Mar Div

RANK/RATE/JOB = I was an E-3, Lance Corp. at the time. We were sent there as a Security Detachment. An it was a really great place compared to the Rock, Okinawa, Japan.

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = My story really isn't a war story but is a story of great times and the most fun I had while in the Marine Corps. I had a fellow friend, (Marine) Henry Martinez, also stationed in the unit and many other fellow Marines. We were there over the 4th of July 1983 and built a Budweiser Raft that was one of many homemade entries by many service personnel. I have to say that our raft was too heavy and about halfway across the bay it sank with us on it. It went for the cause. Anyway you had to be there to understand. If anyone remembers when our platoon was there get ahold of me.


1983  and1984

NAME = Eddie T.

MY QUEST = To follow the Bald Eagle

VT of a SWALLOW = 11 meters per second, or 24 mph.





RANK/RATE/JOB = Operation Specialist

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane


MY WARSTORY = I was there a few times and had a great time. I am a disabled vet and proud that I served my county. I just want to share a brief moment about my first time there. I was award R&R by my CO after I had done some 'Great TS Stuff'. Need to know only sorry guys. But I got to take a Helo ride (me only onboard) to the island and have three days off. I was told there was a girl under every bush!!! I was told that there was great food and beer (not really a drinker but would like to have a beer). I was told that the base club had some really beautiful ladies. Man!! After over 100 days underway and those 17-20 hour days, I was ready to sleep!!! Yes, sleep!!! Have a real meal that was not cooked in pure grease, was not burnt (what is this tonight?). Was not stinking up the galley (darn, is the Circus onboard?). And was not still flopping in your plate!!!

     So, I get to the island and a Navy Commander comes and greats me and seems pleased to see me and meet me as well. He wants to hear of my cruise and my job working with the combat center, etc. etc. I liked him right away. He had a really nice guy kind of feeling about him. Not a phony like most officers I have met and have been.  I forgot his name (Williams?). If anybody knows let me know. I get to my room and unpack and then go to this club there. I see a bunch of drunks and some sober people. I only see one lady. She is about four feet wide wearing kakhi shorts and is a LTJG and hanging out by the pool table. I shoot a game with her and talk about my cruise. She is a really sweet lady. I think her first name was Diedre. So this is the women on the island...all rolled into one. But, I liked her. I love people and love to talk to people as well. I was glad to see a lady. We talked about her family, her dogs and cats and what she did (radar, sonar kinda stuff).  I get a beer (San Miguel) which we called 'skunk beer' when you get a bad one once in awhile!! After my many trips to the Phillippines you know what I mean. I nursed tat beer all night long since I am not a real drinker. I drink once in awhile and never got drunk in my Navy career. This is true. I am still this way. So, I have no drunk stories to tell.  No, I did not boff the LTJG either. I did enjoy her company for a short time. Just too much too do on a short R&R. But I had a great time. Even got sunburned on my 18 inch guns (arms) and back. My neck looked like it was on fire for a few days. OUCH!!!

     I want to talk about a Hammerhead named Hector. I was up on the bridge one day on watch chatting with my CO. I looked down on the starboard side and saw a young whale approaching the ship. It rammed it's head into the bow about three times. I said ' Wow! Look!! There is a whale by us. It must be a young one. Maybe it's sick or lost from it's mom. Hey!! It is bumping the ship with it's head'. At that time a guy on watch with me looks through a sent of binoculars and said 'Damn. Shit!! That's a shark'!! So I went down and up to the bow as fast as I could and watched this monster swim for about a bit and then it left. Somebody near me had a camera and took some photos. We think it was about 25 ½ to 27 feet long. Now when I get to the island (as mentioned above) I went on a tour and went fishing and went diving. I saw some of the boats you could rent out that had some bit marks in them. I got a few photos and if I ever find all my Navy stuff I will add them to this site. I saw a boat that had the motor chomped on and was pulled off by Hector. Now, these are stories I am getting from the locals (military) and they really believe Hector is the one that goes after anything that moves. This is his territory and don't mess with him. I heard of guys who claimed the have gaffed him once or twice and he holds a grudge for all of this. Maybe so? I anybody has been there after '86 let us know if you heard of stories of Hector. I want to know if he lived a long life. They can live up to 40 years and some have been known to live up to 50 years.

     Yack, Yack, Yack. I got lots to say but not enough time to say so about all of my adventures. It is a wonder I am still alive after all I have done.  Bangkok, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, Germany, Italy, Spain, Down Under (hmmm the women there), the Phillippines etc. I have been all over the world and lived in more countries and grew up in more countries than almost anybody. I should write a book on my life living in other countries. Man!! I have some stories to tell. My dad was a USAF pilot for 33 ½ years so we traveled all over the world.




1980 to 1984 RBRM - 1993 with BJS

NAME = John L

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



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.


Larry Rushing's Crab Race at the CPO Club 19831983

NAME = Larry Rushing ETCS US Navy

MY QUEST = Enjoyment of Life!

VT of a SWALLOW = Depends on how tall the building is, or if he sees the Radar Dish!




UNIT = USS Cape Cod AD 43

RANK/RATE/JOB = ETCS US Navy Retired 1985 from USS Cape Cod AD 43 in San Diego

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 = I have a picture taken at the Chiefs Club on Diego Garcia, am trying to figure out how to send it to you!

We had picked up some Hermit Crabs off the Beach, wanting something to do, we staged a "Crab Race" on the Bar of the Chief's Club!

The "Cape Cod" was also nick named the "Cape Coed", with 1000 Men and 200 Women on board.

We had just left the Phillippines, Stopper over  to take over from the Yousemity, Serviced a few ships and then went on to Mombasa Kenya, on to Baharain from there.

Cape Cod was on its "Maiden Voyage" and we all shared a great time in our lives, as well as doing our Jobs to the best of our abilities.

Our visit to the "Foot Print of Freedom" was a Highlight in our Cruise!

I remember we were there for the Columbus Day Parade (Phillippino's dressed as Indians?) and Pete Brag won the Sail Boat Race!


march 1983 to april 1983


MY QUEST = To recon the area, and go where no man has gone before....

VT of a SWALLOW = When it hits your head you'll know


NATIONALITY = Hispanic/american indian

SERVICE = U. S. Navy 1980 - 83   USMC 1986-1990

UNIT = TAD VRC-50 USS America CV-66

RANK/RATE/JOB = Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) Airman  USN 0944 Fire Direction Controlman  USMC

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 in My Room

MY WARSTORY = "Dodge" was an unbelievable experience. The day we flew off the boat we landed and were given billets in some WWII Quonset huts that was the first sign, then went down to the lagoon and ran into some filipino national who were TAD from Cubi Point chow hall to find out that not to mess with the crabs.  Fished in the lagoon for the better part of the night and got drunk and staggered back to the house.   I was told that the only way you could sleep around this place was either DRUNK, or suffer the consequences of being sober.  Well drunk, it was and the mosquitos didn't bother at all. The following night sober.... Pulling the sheets up over your head is a good idea to keep the little critters away, but you will steam bath all night long under the sheets. The deck was a few 1X4 butted up together, which allowed the skeeters to find their way up from below. The temperature was around "London Broil" and the brits were as honory as ever.  Something right out of gilligans island.

1983 to 1984

NAME = oliver neal

MY QUEST = to live



SERVICE = navy

UNIT = radioman

RANK/RATE/JOB = radioman e-3 got out after 4 years and went into law enforcement in colorado.

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 = I barely remember the year I spent on the rock, "still drunk", but I do remember it was alot of fun and alot of plans on how to escape, I.E.

making rafts. I do remember it was the place I lost my virginity. Of course with one of the few women that were stationed there. I still think about you Barbara. I was working at the com center and the building started to shake with the ceiling tiles falling down to the floor. Everyone ran outside and we all

were thinking that it was the end of days. When the shaking stopped and the power came back on we went back inside and started to get the equipment back in order. I have to say proudly that I was the one who sent the first emergency action message to Hawaii regarding what happened, or at least I thought I did.  I know it's not much, but hey I was there and it was my claim to fame, I guess. I don't remember all the names of my drinking buddies, probably cause I was eternally drunk. I heard the donkey on the plantation side of the rock died of liver failure shortly after I left. Go figure he could down a 12oz faster than anyone I knew. Hey Barb if your still around send me some mail, like to talk about whats been going on with you.



NAME = david ranney

MY QUEST = find out if people can still drive to the plantation and beyond.

VT of a SWALLOW = i'd have to say 200 ft.


NATIONALITY = american

SERVICE = navy seabees

UNIT = public works-construction division RANK/RATE/JOB = builder 3rd class MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Please Select The Category That Best Discribes Your Interest in Diego Garcia SUBJECT OF MY STORY: = Please Select a Title For Your Story, or Select 'Other' MY WARSTORY = while stationed on diego garcia, i and my fellow seabees had many adventures.

  we made a kayak and crossed the lagoon, and while paddling a shark came up beside the small craft and was nearly as long as the 12 ft. boat that was only inches out of the water, cooler of beer was strictly ballast.

  it swam for awhile and then disapeared.

  and also the plantation offered alot of fun.

   but the biggest event had to have been the earthquake that interupted our peaceful island i believe in october of 83. it registered 7.2 on the scale and we were told one of the "columns" holding up the island itself, cracked.  the filipinos were running around the island with life preservers on. it was pretty scary.

   all in all. it was quite a one year span that was quite out of the ordinary.


      dave ranney  usn seabees



81-82, 83, 99-00

NAME = Andy Bigelow




UNIT = NMCB 62 and NAF


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

MY WARSTORY = First deployment after joining the Navy and NMCB 62 as an Ensign.  Arrived advanced party and departed delayed party ('81-'82: 9 months). Last full Battalion deployed to DG. There were no Dets during this deployment. Living in a Seahut was a unique experience. Nothing like going into the Seabee Camp's Enlisted Club and sending guys back to their huts to put on some clothes.  At least a towel!  Or have a guy try to crush his fellow Seabee's with a scraper.  Be careful of who you pick on as they may not think it's funny especially around large pieces of construction equipment.  Good thing he didn't know how to operate it correctly.  We did such a great job they let about 40% to 50% of the battalion go home about 3 months early then the Regiment doubled our workload as we had to tie up all the loose ends as the last Battalion. Saw the first group of females, that were perminently stationed on island, arrive.  Interesting, especially when we heard they had been told to stay away from the Seabees and out of the Seabee camp during their briefings before arriving on island. Volunteered to go back as AOIC of the "Last Det." with NMCB 62 ('83: 8 months).  Chief "Huck" worked hard to complete my JO training.  Tough not being the big boys on the block as the Seabee population dropped from 900-1000 to less the 150. Could not keep the NAF MA's from chasing a wayward Seabee into the Seabee Det camp. Always made for an interesting evening when this happen.  Went back as PWO ('99-'00: 13 months).  Things change but still stay the same. PW was located in the old Craft Shops (leather, woodworking, Audio/visual) we (NMCB62) completed in 82.  Had the power go out 20 minutes before midnight 31DEC99.  Not Y2K just a failed lightning arrester but it made for an interesting 30-40 minutes at every Y2K party on island unitl power was restored.  The original Seahuts are all but gone though they are bulding new one in the contractor's camp.  Seabee's are back, they realized they still needed them on island and currently have re-established Seabee Dets on DG.  Diego Garcia is one of the best kept secrets.  The family separation is tough but if they ever do allow families to come on board, nobody will want to leave.  Made full circle - First deployment during first tour then last assignment before payback tour and retirement.


83 to 87

NAME = Carmen Floyd (formerly Austen-Smythe)

MY QUEST = To share the crazy times on the "Footprint of Freedom"

VT of a SWALLOW = Hey I have the script to the holy grail!!!!


NATIONALITY = Brit/Amercian Dual National

SERVICE = Royal Navy

UNIT = Royal Overseas Police Officer number 4 BRITS

RANK/RATE/JOB = Was ROPO 4, since left RN, now Battalion Chief with Columbia Fire Dept SC USA

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 = Well I just read Chris Butlers story of the downed Helo..........well guess what?  I was one of the ROPO's that found the hand and foot of the one of the crew members that washed up on shore on Ocean side, not too far from where the flip flops or thongs as the US say wash up on the


I witnessed the docking of USS Carl Vinson's arrival to DG for th first time.

DG was an special place and will be as long as I can remember it!!! would love to hear from anyone who remembers me!!!


Carmen Floyd


From:  "Carmen Floyd" <>


Date:  05 Oct 2006, 04:10:12 PM

Subject:  DG

Dear Ted,

I must say it is a pleasure to visit your site, it brings so many memories back and looking at the photos I remember many of those faces!

You see I was stationed on ‘The Rock” from ’83 to “87!!!! With a couple of breaks in between.  I was affectionately known as ROPO 4, with the BIOT Police!!!!!

I was there the night we had the ‘shake and bake, then thought we would all perish from the impending attack of the ‘tidal wave” The only thing I remember was who was zooming who!!!!!

I was also the only female Brit female Cop on the Rock.  Things were booming back then, the Seabees were phasing out and RBRM was taking over, Penta Ocean had finished dredging and the deep water basin for visits from carriers like Carl Vinson (after top gun was made) could visit us!!!!

I really miss the smell of fresh mangoes being flown in from Singapore to DG on a C141 courtesy of MAC air!!!

Well now this Brit is a US citizen and a Battalion Chief with the Columbia Fire Dept in South Carolina…..go figure, it was too good to pass up and I decided to hang with my American cousins……………….YEEHAR ( no I do not watch Heehaw!!!)

I just wanted you to know that your site brings me much joy…………….keep it up!!!

Carmen Floyd



Looking for Alice Louise Eubanks Marsh.  She was a dear friend and I miss her terrible. Maybe someone has contact info. She and Victoria Reinhardt were buddies of mine in 1983 on the rock.

Scott Zoeller

Construction Manager

Selig Enterprises Inc.

1100 Spring Street Suite 550

Atlanta, Ga 30309-2848

404-898-9007 direct

404-875-2629 fax


On and off from May through August 1983

NAME = Bruce McCausland (former ET2(SS) on USS BOSTON (SSN-703)

MY QUEST = find the Holy Grail???

VT of a SWALLOW = European or African????



SERVICE = US Navy (Submarines)

UNIT = Visiting Diego Garcia on USS BOSTON

RANK/RATE/JOB = I was outta there after we finished deployment!

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = Okay...The place we know, the date was July 4th 1983 and we were in-port at Diego Garcia, actually aside the sub tender...was it the USS Emory S. Land (AS 39)??  Whatever, at the last minute I decided to enter the "4th-of-July Diego Garcia Bike Marathon" so I rented a single-speed "junker" and entered the race!  I peddeled like hell and somehow finished, much to my surprise, 2nd in my age catagory (whatever that was, since I was 24 years old at that time) for single-speed bikes.  I was aching for days afterwards, but I still have the trophy from the event and a tee-shirt!

I remember the fireworks that night and couldn't help but find it ironic: Here we were celebrating our independence from the Brits while all this time being "hosted" on their island!  Since we had a base there I always thought it rather rude, akin to "thumbing your nose" at your hosts!  ...downright wierd!

Anybody else remember those races?



Mar-Apr 1983

NAME = Nelson Frolund

MY QUEST = To never die wishing I had done . . .

VT of a SWALLOW = Depends on what it's hit with- but I think it's about 180


NATIONALITY = American, dammit!


UNIT = VP-1 det from Philippines

RANK/RATE/JOB = Was: a young E-2, 17 years old (!)

Now: Marine sanitation systems engineer, and back as reserves

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 = Greetings fellow fans of Dodge- you know it's funny how we really dissed the place then, but looking back, and seeing these pictures, you really imagine it was fantastic. It doesn't help that I write this in the middle of a really crappy wintry day in central Ohio- the intense green and blue tropical colors and brilliant puffy clouds seem like a dream now.


     I was with my first duty station, VP-1, was a non-rate, and was sent from our deployment at Cubi Pt, Philippines to Dodge for 6 weeks. My job there was 7 days a week, for 5 hours a day. I walked the apron doing a security watch from about 6-11 p.m. every day, carried a radio and a nightstick(!). Had to phone into the tower watch every 30 minutes. Walking the ramp, checking to see if the planes were locked and not leaking hydraulic fluid, fuel, etc. But the C-5 that came once or twice a week was sometimes unlocked so I'd climb way up into the cockpit and radio in from there. Other times I'd walk down to the beach just off the end of the runway and if the waves weren't crashing, radio in from there. Or, go to the workshops and check in with my VP-1 mates.

     The best part though, was every day, having nothing to do but watch the most incredible sunsets over the water, or down the length of the runway, brilliant plays of light and color among the fluffy little clouds, orange and red and purple, the aquamarine of the sea reflected on the undersides. And the wicked little rain squalls that would quickly move in and over the thin land dumping an inch of rain and be gone in minutes, leaving that fresh rain-washed scent.


     5 hours of work a day gave me lots of free time- could drink till dawn with the night check guys, or sail on the lagoon, or just lay on the beach listening to reggae. I discovered Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, and Grand Marnier on those quiet days under the shady palms. Drinking was mostly done out at the point- and mostly with hard liquor mixed in a garbage can with red punch (mojo) or green kool-aid (bullfrog). We'd go right out the back of the Modex, a short walk through the palm forest and there were a couple of picnic tables and campfire remnants 20 feet from the water.

     Back then there were only two clubs we could go to- the enlisted club, which wasn't that great, or the better Merchant Seamen's club, with it's great hamburgers and Ms PacMan game, which I probably dumped $50 into over 6 weeks.

     They showed movies at night in the outdoor theatre- great environment, warm breeze, a big old rum and coke, and Brooke Shields in "The Blue Lagoon". Those two kids could have been on Diego Garcia instead of someplace in Fiji.

     We didn't mess too much with the massive coconut crabs that inhabited the palm forest, but a few of the older bigger (18" wide)ones sported paint on their backs, usually unintelligible, probably due to the inebriated state of the artist.

The Accommodations

     Anyone here who lived in Splinterville? That collection of wooden huts, un-airconditioned and rustic as hell, just south of town? Shortly before I was there, the CO got tired of people bitching about it (hello, that's what sailors DO) and forbade people from calling it Splinterville, renaming it Splendidville, and erecting a big sign at the entrance. Yeah, that really fixed the place up...

     By 1983, most sailors permanently stationed there (for the year) lived in regular barracks that were almost new. We temporary VP guys stayed in this rediculous building called the "Modex" - a 2-story flimsy shack barely better than the modex. Well, it was air conditioned- but because it was so poorly insulated, every window had an air conditioner crammed into it to keep the temperature nice and cool. But of course it was dark like a cave all the time. Which was a nice if not shocking contrast to the brilliant sun reflected on white crushed-coral roads outside. My glasses always completely fogged seconds after stepping outside.

The Females

     Let's see, if I remember there were 1200 sailors on Dodge when I was there- and 2000 Filipino civilian men, doing construction and all the service jobs. We didn't interact too much with them, and they lived in their own Splinterville. But of the 1200 sailors, 200 were women. Most of them, feeling the pressure of the isolation, wouldn't so much as talk to a guy in a friendly way, knowing it was a small community and reputations could be destroyed pretty quickly. But a few were enterprising and mythically huge sums of money were supposedly acquired by those providing a badly needed service. There was a rumour of a particularly ambitious girl who got caught with $12,000 in the bottom of her seabag while waiting for the flight out after a year there- more money than she would have been paid by the Navy! Anyone confirm this story?


     The store in town (a tiny Navy Exchange) had the most complete 15' rack of skin mags I have ever seen outside of an outright porn/sex shop. It was amazing, the variety, the fetishes that some of them fed! I never had to buy any- not that I would have been embarassed, even at the tender age of 17, because EVERYONE looked at them- they completely littered the bathroom floor around the stalls attached to the Modex.

The Water

     When I was there, there was a massive dredging or some other large contruction project going on that made the lagoon water very cloudy, so it was good for sailing but not much else (i.e. snorkeling or scuba). The ocean side was off-limits past knee-deep water, due to abundant sharks. Another rumour going around was that a few months back a Filipino fisherman had fallen off the edge of the reef when he hooked a big one, and had been subsequently devoured, some parts washing up a few days later. Anyone confirm this story?

     Since my Navy time, I went to college and worked in South Florida, lived and worked in Brisbane Australia for 6 years. Before the Navy I was on a liveaboard sailboat for a year in the Bahamas, and during my Navy time spent 9 months in Hawaii and 2 1/2 years in the Philippines. But my 6 weeks on Dodge were the most purely Jimmy Buffett-esque tropical experience of my life. Maybe it would suck to be there for a year, but 6 weeks definitiely wasn't long enough.

     Anyway, that's all for now- overall it was a great experience and I'd do it all over again, even in today's much more "PC" Navy.




NAME = Jon P rasch

MY QUEST = Bad memories

VT of a SWALLOW = 350 million miles a second




UNIT = 3rd Btn 6th Marines K Co

RANK/RATE/JOB = Pfc Rasch then,

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = There I was asleep in those Philipino bath houses they cald huts, you know where they had saturday day night chicken and cat fights.

Which we found out later ws breakfast. I was fire watch hell I forgot what platoon all I know was it was hot about 88 degrees 100 percent humidity. Any how pvt Snow came in drunk and layed down then he gets up goes to the next hut, you could here screen doors always popping open or closed then silence. screen door popping then my hot door popping then snow laid down again. Then yelling and screeming from the hut snow returned from. screen doors popping then my door popping open and there was Cpl Tomeleski he made the hulk look scrowny. Where the hell is Snow?. I quickly as any 130 pund guy would do to a 240 poun dguy who really was my squadleader, I promply pointed to Snow.With one quick movement this cpl had snow by the throat I could see snows eyes bulging in the darkness I heard his feet dragging the plywood floor as he was dragged ouside. I heard his body recieving impacts that could not be imagened. See Snow was a psycho drunk you get the on the Island of paradise, early that day another marine pissed snow off he let it slide, untill he was drunk so he uncorked on hime while he was dead asleep many things happen but you dont do that. But dont let the Island fool you I think every 18 year old should stay at least 2 months on her. I was there in 1983 with 3/6 K Co 2nd marine div and also 2/6 2nd Mar Div Hell the brits even gave us a short hand gun course it scared the hell out of them because one of our guys almost shot the instructor the second time I was there.

Take it easy and leave the donkeys alone

2/6 2nd mar dif







NAME = Mike Stone

MY QUEST = stroll down memeory lane ( what memory I have)

VT of a SWALLOW = how should I know


NATIONALITY = us citizen


UNIT = Main Power Plant

RANK/RATE/JOB = EN3 at the time - Did my 4 yrs and got out

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = To many memories to put down.. Many a drunk day and night.. Working at the MPP and playing tricks on my co-workers - Almost flipping the van ( on more than one accasion coming back from MPP) Breaking a bone in my foot while jogging with a beer ( they told me you could either get in shape or become an alcoholic during your year on the rock  I tried to do both) Spending two weeks leave in the PI with Dale Naab - My long lost friends Joyce Deyo, John Pataky, Stepanie Bedwell, Debbie Holbrook and to many others to remember.. Watching great sunsets.. Getting in several fights one of which I still have a scar over the eye.. All pictures I had from that time have been lost.. I was young and dumb and could not wait to leave and now just wish I could go back and visit again...If you remember me don't be shy send an email




NAME = Steve Anderson, AW1 VP-46 Flight Crew 7 (SS1)





RANK/RATE/JOB = AW1, SS1, OPS/Trng CAC-7 retired USN 1993  MAC(AC) from NAS ALAMEDA

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = I was there for the "great quake" of 83, and having lived thru a couple growing up in southern california, quakes come and go and this one was no different. I was attached to the OPS dept of VP-46 and living in the old SeaBee huts in D circle also i think. When the quake started shaking the whole island, like a rag doll. The funny thing was initially alot of us thought that others were just rattling our houches. But when we realized what was happening, We grabbed our beers and walked to the center of the island. This also was just after the Island got there first or second influx of females. When we where here earlier, the only women on island were the workers. But we now had female sailors and barracks going up, quite the development, but i degressed.  We heard lots of the women, and some "male sailors' yelling we were going to die, we were going to die, and we shoujld all head to the center of the island to survive. Now as i drank my beer, I figured, MMMMM die maybe, but the center of island sure wasn't going to keep us alive, since the highest part of island was about 22feet above sealevel, and that was the pool i think. So a group of us, including some mighty cute new female additions to the island, sat around on the picknic benches and drank and talked most of the night awaiting the worst, which becasue of the location of the island and its topography, amounted to something like 6-8foot waves awashing the beaches. All in all,  I loved my time there, from the softball games, the county dancing at the clubs, and the fine people i grew to call my family when we were far from home.



1983 and 1984

NAME = Daniel Halifko

MY QUEST = Wax messianic on need to know basis

VT of a SWALLOW = Consult compression algorithyms



SERVICE = Merchant Seaman (Oil field trash)

UNIT = on motor vessels Trojan Express and tugboat Ellen.F

RANK/RATE/JOB = I was able-bodied seaman, chief stewart- cook,

now I work in commercial paint stores

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 there the night "The Rock Rocked". The night of the Nov 30 1983

earthquake.I not only "bought the t-shirt, I SOLD the t-shirt,

to commemorate that night and still have one.

      I am concerned for my brethen that worked there during this recent tsanumi and I am clamoring for news, here on Dec. 28, 2004.

     I was a Florida resident, but oil-field trash civilian working offshore in Louisana and Texas. The experience landed me two six month contracts with Offshore Express of Houma, La on the motor vessels Trojain Express, tugboat Ellen F and a couple other tugboats in DG. I completed the 2 six month contracts with 2 months overtime, which afforded me 2 wild & crazy R&R trips to Angeles City, next to Clark Air Force Base in the Phillipines and a six week delay enroute in Madrid and Ibiza, Spain on the way back to the states.

    On the night of the earthquake, our tugboat Ellen F. was docked "downtown", walking distance from Seaman's Club. I was lying in bed asleep, when I was awaken by a low to medium hum & vibration.  First thing I thought was, the generator was going to blow on this 45 year old rust bucket on a tugboat. Previouly "Bo", the engineer, mentioned several times that the generator was on it's last leg. Think of Scotty from Starship Enterprize..."I'M giving

it all she got Captian....amymore and I think she's gonna blow."

     So, big rumble vibration...I go run topside, preparing to jump over-board  thinking the engine room is going to blow up,when I noticed a wierd small "chop" in the water, almost like jell-o being shaken when only half solidified. I saw all the lights go out on the island, and then I knew it wasn't our generator. I also watched this old make shift tower, that was downtown, silhoueted in dim moonlight, sway back and forth, just like the palm trees.

     Hey, we had the next day was business as usual.

     But, I am really did DG fair on this Dec 27, 2004 earthquake and tsunami?



November 1983 to December 1984

NAME = Miriam Smith

MY QUEST = Life and fun

VT of a SWALLOW = Are you kidding?





RANK/RATE/JOB = Data Systems First Class

MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

MY WARSTORY = I was reading a book called "End of the Earth World News". It was a story about a meteorite that was to pass close enough to the earth to pull the moon out of her orbit, then go around the sun and come back and crash into the earth. I had just got to the point where the meteorite was creating huge earthquakes and changes in the waether patterns whe I fell asleep.

     About fifteen mintues later when I was in that wonderful twilight sleep, I  awakened to shaking.  My first thought was, this is just a dream from that stupid book. But the shaking did not stop. Then I really woke up.  Now I was a little disoriented, but having lived in San Francisco, I knew that running outside was not the right thing to do, but could not remember what I should do. Plus that night I had decided to sleep in the buff, so I wasn't exactly dressed for the occassion.

     Now, my roommate and I both liked our privacy, so we had used the furniture in our room to create some seperate living space for ourselves. As I was laying in bed trying to remember what to do in an earthquake, I remembered that we had stacked two short dressers on top of each other and they were at the head of my bed. So I jumped into action.  I stood on my bed, butt naked, and held onto that dresser through the rest of the quake. And that is my DG earthquake story.



March 1983 to March 1984

NAME = Michael Slavin

MY QUEST = Correction of Earthquake Infor November 30th 1983

VT of a SWALLOW = 2.5 mph




UNIT = NAVSECGRUDEPT (Communications) Crytographic Technical Operator


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 =  I was there the night of November 30th, 1983, just started the second shift at work when the quake hit. I worked as an Cryptographic Technician Operator, possessing a Top Secret SI clearance based on SBC by the NIS. As soon as the quake hit, I realized exactly what it was (been through several before in California), and advised everyone to get out of the building ASAP. Of course everyone was very scared, the whole building was shaking and as we scrambled outside all the power went out. (The one thing about the "ROCK", when there was no moonlight/stars out, it is one of the darkest places in the world)The other strange thing about this earthquake, instead of shaking hard like solid land in the states, the ground actually "rolled", it was almost like standing ontop of waves on the water!! I believe that was due to the coral that the island rested on/was made of.There was alot of screaming going on and it was "Pitch Black", you could not see your hand in front of your face!! A couple of us turned on the lights of some pick-up trucks that happened to be parked right outside of the security gate. Right when the lights came on the vehicles the inital quake ceased. I'll tell you right now, when it stopped, I have never ever seen (then or since) sssoooo many people light up cigarettes, smokers and none smokers!!! I seem to remember everyone out there that night lit up!!! As soon as everone had calmed down, backup power came on and we reentered the building to reestablish communications systems and inspect the site for damage. The Radioman at the other communication center was typing that the main water supply line in his building had split and they were taking on water!!!!!Crazy stuff but all true, we lived throughout the next week with the typical aftershocks and eventually everything returned to normal. The other thing I have been reading about the quake that day was the actual richter scale reading (stated to be between 7 and 7.7)

     I have the "Pacific Stars & Stripes" article from the paper dated Dec. 2 1983, It reads as follows: WASHINGTON (UPI)- An earthquake reaching 5.5 on the richter scale jolted the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia Wednesday but caused no injuies to its 5800 people, most of them U.S. Navy personnel, nor major damage, the navy Said. The quake, registering between 5 and 5.5 on the scale, knocked out electricity and communications for about an hour, a navy spokesman said. It caused a minor rupture in a fuel line, he said.

     The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information center in Golden, Colo., said the quake "was centered on or very near"

the island of diego Garcia, 1600 miles south of Bombay.

     The British-owned island is used the United States to stockpile weapons, fuel and other military equipment aboard ships for use by the Rapid Deployment Force in the event of a crisis in the Persian Gulf.

      None of the 16 ships laden with the equipment was damaged nor was the 12000-foot runway affected by the quake, the spokesman said.

      Actually, the runway did suffer some damage and prevented the larger planes from landing, for (if memory serves) about a week or two. Obviously, the Goverment did not want everyone to know that we could not land our biggest bombers etc...national security and all.

      I really would love to go back for a year and just save a ton of money. Duty free booze/everything, case of beer went for $2.50, Fifth of Jack Danials $3.00 etc...lots of partying fishing, got tons of pics with just cases of beer in the frig and nothing else except vitamins.Still have my stereo system that I bought at the PX.

      Also, have a story about Hector the Hammerhead that I will put up next time. Much love to all that served on the "ROCK", it is a very limited fraternity that we can all be proud of, especiall to all those from 1983-1984. Peace to all and Merry Xmas, pray for our troops.




     In about 1983 or so I found out where Diego Garcia was, I was a Machinist mate aboard the USS Savannah AOR-4. We anchored off the coast and were shuttled in by liberty boats. When we got off the boat in DG it was very hot and humid. There was not much to do except drink and snorkel and get sunburnt.

     I remember snorkeling in the lagoon with sea turtles and various sea life. It was real nice. The crew of the Savannah AOR-4 packed along about 100-200 cases of 3.2 beer and had a large drunken picknick. We drank until we could no longer stand up and then passed out.

     The other big event that went down while in DG is that we Lost a CH-46 helo there. The CH-46 was flying around and picking up short timers from the battle group to fly them to the carrier so they could fly out on the next transport to the states. ( to get out of the navy ). With about 9 people plus the crew on the CH-46 they flew twards the USS Milwaukee to get a few more people. When the CH-46 got to the Milwaukee it lost one of its engines and crashed into the side of the ship and sank quickly to the depths. Most everyone got out alive but one poor lifer squid. He inflated his CO2 vest B4 he got out of the helo and was sucked down with the CH-46. He was due to retire from the navy and was on his way home to the states but that lifer didn’t listen to the aircrewman B4 boarding the aircraft. Always remember to only inflate you CO2 vest when you are clear of the aircraft.

Chris Butler


USS Savannah A0R-4



Tom MacDougall <>


Found your site yesterday.   Already traded an e-mail with Snake (Seabee warstories from 83).   I was there for a year around 83.  Really enjoyed the site.  I will send in my own warstory as soon as I can.   I was a bootcamp Builder when I got there but learned quick.

Thank you for the memories.

Tom MacDougall

Tech Staff

Commonwealth Telephone Company

100 CTE Drive

Dallas Pa, 18612




Michael Slavin <>

Trying to locate Lisa Hamilton and anyone else from C-site, from March 1983 to March 1984.  Left for Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) from D.G, and never saw her/anyone else from the Rock again. Well except for Don Knapp, my old LPO/friend. Anyone still out there feel free to contact me "Michael Slavin" @ Thanks, and by the way this is really a great site and lol...




As I am writing this, I am raising my glass in salute to you.  I came across this little peace of cyber paradise completely by chance. I'll explain as briefly as I can.  I too am a Diegoian. Arriving on the coral reef the 1st week of Jan. 1983 and will never forget stepping off that plane and feeling that humidity hit you in the face. and that smell, I can describe it but still to this day, 21 years later I swear I can still remember that smell like it was yesterday. But that smelly, hot & humid little rock was my home for the next 15 months. and it was probably one of the best experiences of my life !! My 1st child was conceived on that island and I had the best tan of my life !!  And the EARTHQUAKE !! which is how I came across your site in the 1st place. You see, I was sitting with some friends watching a mini series on TV called 10.5, about a killer earthquake in California. I brought up the DG Quake, which I hadn't brought up in years and later that night while on the computer typed in "Diego Garcia earthquake" into my search engine and you popped up. I have totally enjoyed  exploring your pages and the pictures have brought back great memories. I have several pictures from my time in paradise, will just need to hunt them down. If you like I can forward them to you and you can feel free to post them if you like. In closing I would love to become a member of your club. Sign me up!


NAME = Jordan Taylor

MY QUEST = The Grail

VT of a SWALLOW = European or African Swallow




UNIT = Security

RANK/RATE/JOB = L/CPL Head of USMC Comm Det. India 3/9 -

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 with the USMC reactionary force. I was quiet drunk at the time and we got activated. The CO sent for me to fire all the comm gear up, and roll. Little did I know at the time it was because we decided to take on a P-3 Squadron on in the E-Club. I remember because it all started with a quiet game of BEER HUNTER. Good times by all!!! Looking to hear from anyone there that night.




NAME = Ryan Welhaven, but my nickname back then was Bill

MY QUEST = Talk some trash about DG

VT of a SWALLOW = F -  you    ; )


NATIONALITY = Minnesotan


UNIT = Marine Detachment, USS Holland (AS-32)

RANK/RATE/JOB = PFC back then, retired SSgt now.

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 = Of all my 20 years active duty, that first deployment I did on the Holland in 1983 was far and away the most wild, mostly due to the 3 months spent anchored in the lagoon on DG.

     There were some strict rules regarding who could get off the ship and when. Liberty call at 1630 was pretty much it... except for official duty on the island, or crewmwmbers who needed to participate in the remedial PT program (which was run by the Marines). Our SNCOIC hooked it up where if we Marines got off the ship to do the PT program at 1000, we could stay on "liberty" the rest of the day. It meant that we would have all the beaches to ourselves in the middle of the day, while the others had to return. Used to buy a case of beer for around 5 bucks, but it was nasty stuff with all the junk put in it, so more often than not, in was the hard stuff. After a quick stop at the package store, off to Cannon Point... Snot-slingin' drunk by the time the others got on libbo.

     On the cruise over from Charleston, the ship CO brought 2 new Dodge vans, griped down on the helo pad, for use as special services shuttles while at the island. They said "USS Holland" in huge letters on the sides. At libbo call, we Marines were assigned as drivers to shuttle crewmembers in these vans to the softball field for tournaments that were going on. Of course, all of the Marines off duty would pile in and head out, too. After we dropped off all the Sailors, us Marines would then go joyriding around the nether regions of the island in these vans.... ripping around the jungle, going out to the plantation, and just basically acting like 16 year olds with Dad's car. Of course, there was mass quantities of alcohol involved (seriously, the driver never imbibed!) and it wasn't at all uncommon for the driver to return to the softball field after the games with the van smelling like puke, piss, and beer, and mud splashed everywhere... much to the chagrin of the returning softball fans.

     The Seaman's club was usually the hangout, good strong rum and cokes, ham and cheese sandwiches, and trying to beat the Galaga video game. The tv lounge had some really bad obscure videos and we would all booze it up in there, watch the stupid movies, and go back and do it all again the next day.

     Back then, fighting was a way to relieve stress and boredom, and was partaken in often... nothing major, just boys being boys. Never saw anything get out of hand... except once where there was some homosexual advances made on a drunken Marine by a Sailor on the beach which got ugly and nearly ended up with a couple of guys getting court martialed for assault, but nothing ever came of it.

     As a ship with a large number of women crew members aoard, there was a whole lot of romance going on, along with all the drama that goes with it. My young-azz managed to avoid all that, but I know of a few marraiges that were made out there.

     Have so many more stories... it was an unbelieveable experience!!



"McMenamin, Mark" <>

Subject:  Earthquake on Diego Garcia


     I was stationed on Diego Garcia from April 1983 to April 1984. The earthquake knocked me out of bed...and I was not drunk. Nor were most of the rest of the inhabitants that night. I was a forecaster at the Navy weather Office and the next day we were the ones to contact the Center in Golden Colorado. The quake actualy occured some miles to the north and at the time there was a fear of Tsunami (which is a tidal wave caused by underwater Earthquakes. The fear was unfounded. But with the highest point on the island at that time being the outdoor theater, you can imagine the concern.  Also , in reference to the killing of the dogs in 1971, there is a conflict. Your site says the U.S Navy did it but another gentleman claims it was the British :  In any event. I like your site. I enjoyed my time there.

Mark MCMenamin USN (ret)

I serverd Twice Once in the Battalions and PW. Last time 83 to 84

     NAME = Vincent Peluso BUCS (SCW) Back then called Snake!

     MY QUEST = To re-visit the second best duty station, the best being Winter over on the Ice

     VT of a SWALLOW = To busy working to notice or to drunk to remeber

     E-MAIL =

     NATIONALITY = US Italian Made!

     SERVICE = United States Seabees

     UNIT = Last visit 1983 to 1984 Public Works "Builder Shop"

     RANK/RATE/JOB = On the Island I was a Second Class now I am a BUCS, Still Active Duty for one more year, that will be 26 years, Just intrested in reading about DG, and hopefully getting a coin for my Shadow Box,

     MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

     MY WARSTORY = Arrived on the Island Paradise for my second tour, the year was 1983, I was heading to Public Works as a BU2. Arriving there I was given a room in Splender Ville (SeaHuts) Stayed for a week or so then moved into those really great BEQ Rooms, Three Roomates.

     The Regular Navy was arriving more each day, Mainly the first non-CEC Officer as the "CO". Girls were arriving also, and the Work was great. Now the Two intresting stories all happen in a span of a couple of months. We were traveling on a Saturday evening on DG1 in the builders Dodge Power Wagon, it  was New Years eve, "if I remeber right! We had just left our BU Shack that we had built back in the scavy, It had power and a fan (Hard to come by back then). As we were driving back to camp, security pulled us over and then the ture wit of the Seabees came out, As my buddy and I are standing in front of the "Old Man" a week later, The "CO" kept hitting is fist on the desk saying, "This is not Dodge City any more" "You F---ing Seabees need to wake up"  Then with the remark only a True Seabee could say, back then (Not today) The "CO" said to my Buddy. "Tell Me why you were drinking and Driving" " And I want the F---ing Truth"  My Buddy a BU3, With a calm responce said. "Well Captain, "I was to Fuc---g Drunk to walk" That cost stripes!!! Well the next story! DG had a Earth Quake! I was told 7.4 Big one. And the Higher ups were talking about a tsunami coming, and every one was to meet by the pool. Barney and me decided that all the structures needed visual  inspections so we dressed in our uniforms and told the MA's that we were  inspecting the BEQ rooms for Structual damage, needless to say, in our state we  could'nt see a crack in the wall. Our mission was to drink as much free booze from every room as possible. Then, We ran to the builder shop cut out surf boards from PLYWood and proceeded to return to the pool. Now mind you the Girls were newly arrived and the panic mood was high, because of the potential Tsunami, In our drunken state we decided to make note that since a tsunami was coming We had surf board for sale. This went over like, Well you had to be there as we were being chased and swore at to no end, but brother were we laughing.

     There are alot more intresting days and nights.




October 1983

     NAME = AJ Durham

     MY QUEST = Be all that the good lord have me to be.

     E-MAIL =

     NATIONALITY = African American


     UNIT = K Co3rd Bn6th Mar2ndmarDiv

     RANK/RATE/JOB = Cpl

     MY INTEREST IN DG IS = Stroll Down Memory Lane

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

     MY WARSTORY = We were the security force for the island for seven weeks.  Our regimental Co flew in to see us and was shock at our chow hall.  The flips were our cooks. we had all the damn wild chickens walking around.  Every none and than a stray cat would ambush a baby chick.  Never forget being caught on the far side of the runway and the rains came in. Needless to say, that was were we stayed that night.  We had a buffet of them big ass banana crab.  I turned twenty on Diego. It was, me a fifth of brass monkey, canadian mist, a six pack of Old English 800. I pasted out in that little picnic area beside the hanger where the sold the booze at.

     Stayed horny, I was there when those navy gals were turn tricks with officers.

     Anybody that was there at the time give me a holler.

     P.S I was the Armorer for the detachment there. We left there and went to P.I.

     We were there for the 1983 Marine Corp. Ball.

1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993

     NAME = Dave (K9) Hardy (nice picture of me!) ed note: on

     MY QUEST = For you to contact me

     VT of a SWALLOW = |African or European?

     E-MAIL =



     UNIT = K9

     RANK/RATE/JOB = Ex-ROPO ex-RN (Royal Navy) now merchant navy.  Yes I have just returned from the Gulf as well.

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

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

     MY WARSTORY = Been there, seen it, done it, couldn't get a t-shirt 'cos you had already bombed the placed out.

     \regards \\k9

     \\dave hardy

May 83-84

     NAME = Bret Wolcott

     MY QUEST = Take a trip down memory lane

     VT of a SWALLOW = Huh?

     E-MAIL =

     NATIONALITY = American


     UNIT = PWD Water Plant

     RANK/RATE/JOB = Just a boot camp out of A school then.  About 680 days til retirement (UT1).  Counting down the days just like being on Diego again. WOW.

     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 = What a culture shock, leaving the states for the first time and ending up on an island whose name is bigger than the land it represents.  Had a great time there.  Those were the days when the Seabees swarmed all over the rock.  Mojo parties seemed like every night at the grass shack.  The earthquake sticks out most in my mind. 30November83, about midnight if I remember right.  7.6 was the Richter scale reading.  Just got to bed with some of the guys still out in the lounge doing their thing.  Imagine waking from a sound sleep with your rack bouncing about a foot off the floor.  Thought the fellas were messing with me until I put my feet on the floor and felt it rolling underneath me.  Got to the door to the lounge to find Dave Vadbunker standing calmly in the doorway. Must have balls of most Seabees. That was just the start of a very very long night.  Up until the next evening fixing water leaks, holding my breath every time an aftershock hit, hoping the island would hold up, which it did.  Enjoyed the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders coming.  Worked at the trouble desk then,  held up a trouble call for three days so I could go fix it, I had duty the night they came in, and get a close look at those beauties.  All that wait just to fix a leaking showerhead, it was just about bedtime when I arrived with my partner, didn't get as good a look as I'd have like but did get to see some in their nightgowns.  It did the trick at the time.  Thought I was going to get killed when I got back to the lounge and showed the fellows that I was there.  They were kinda pissed that they weren't invited to help out.  Those days are long gone but definitely not forgotten.  The friendships that were formed there and the memories are some of the best things to come of it.  Oh yeah, I still have a clip of Sammy, the thoroughly scrumptous maiden, that graced the pages of Cheri magazine next to an article that some hard partying Seabees sent in.  Outstanding article guys.  Made another trip to DG in 91-91 with NMCB 7 det. Had a great usual.  Actually thought about ending the career the way it started and go back for another year but I think I'll hold on to the memories that I have and finish it out where I can be with my wife and children.  To the people who haven't been to DG and are reading these stories, you don't know what you're missing.


1980 through 84.


See his 1980 entry...



DG was one of the greatest tours I had. I volunteered but had no idea what I was in for. The first day was hard.  My roommates came off of shift and made sure that I was welcome. Everybody at R-site and C-site were really likeable. The Hail and Farewells were great. We just seemed to be one big family.


83w/VP46 first full P3 deployment

NAME = Michael Dion

MY QUEST = To communicate with NAF shipmates






Dear Ted,

     May I take this opportunity of saying thank you to you for creating such an EXCELLENT site and collection of other sites and links about Diego Garcia.

     I was stationed there from January 1983 until January 1984, I was with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel. I was personally a Royal Navy Physical Training Instructor assigned to the Royal Marines Detachment as well as fulfilling the duties of customs officials.

     Your site has brought back some wonderful memories and recalled a bunch of things I had since forgotten about DG. I even spotted a good friend of mine, Steve Penberthy (another PT Instructor) in one of the pictures.

     It is incidentally the first time I had researched DG using the internet and I have been online for over five years, god knows why it has taken me so bloody long to do a search? But I am real glad I did. I have spent loads of time reading through the pages and looking at some of the pictures, it is pretty amazing how the place has developed in nearly twenty years.

     When I left in Jan 1984, and yes I was there for the earthquake, a company called RBRM (Raymond, Brown and Root, Molem) were the construction company building literally everywhere. One of the problems that the earthquake caused was a slight crack in the runway, which at the time was being widened to accept the B52's I believe. The accounts I have read about the earthquake are indeed very accurate, especially about waking up in the morning in a pile of empty beer cans.

     Another 'funny' about the quake is that shortly after we had 'accounted' for everyone and reassured ourselves and others that we were ok, the Brit Rep, at the time Cdr Tony Hodgson, called all the Brit Party NP1002 into his office to get and give a debriefing. He allowed us all to call our families in the UK immediately so that we could inform them of the situation before they heard it via the UK media and prevent any unnecessary panic for them.

     Anyway, after all the calls had been made, we were all sat in his office and suddenly one of our ROPO's (RN Police) said "Hey boss, what about the "Flips" in the R&R Center?" He did of course mean the Philippino workers who stayed out at the center. Right away two of the ROPO's said "We'll take the Land Rover and go check on them".

     As it happened the Land Rover only managed to drive some of the way due to some fallen trees on the road, they ended up about a few miles short of the R&R Center so decided to go the rest on foot. Armed with only small flashlights to find their way, the two ROPO's managed to progress a few hundred yards when they heard some rustling and shouting in the distance. As they got closer they realised that the voices were indeed the two Philippino workers. As the two came into the light (obviously delighted to see some other humans!) they were ecstatic with joy and when their euphoria died down one of our ROPO's quipped; "Well guys, it looks like we're the only four left on the island!" ................. To which one of the workers fainted and the other ran away in hysteria! I guess you had to be there to really see the funny side. By the way it took them a further 15 minutes to find the one that ran!

      Ted, as I said, you have rekindled many memories for me and for that I again thank you, I have even dusted off the four full photo albums I have and started to find some good pics to perhaps start my own web page and add a link to yours. But if you require any photos please do not hesitate to ask.

      I would love to be able to make contact with some of the friends I made on the island during my time; some names that immediately spring to mind are: Tommy Keener (Seabee), Tom Pendleton, Mr. Lee Leftridge who ran Special Services (although he was in his sixties back then and I would be surprised if he is still with us). Is there a contacts or re-union link on your site at all that could possibly help me locate some folks? I now live near Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida, yep it's the golden sands that I just couldn't stay away from!

      Who knows I may still yet have another beer with those fellow DG's..............

Yours sincerely,

Sam Clues

Diego Garcia 1983-84

June 2, 1983 to August 28, 1983

NAME = Steven L. Beverly

MY QUEST = To be the most stylish dressed in a Vulcanized Ruber Chicken Suit

VT of a SWALLOW = Hopefully Massive


NATIONALITY = United States; SERVICE = U.S. Navy; UNIT = USS HOLLAND (AS-32) Resident Tender; RANK/RATE/JOB = YN2 Then - Now - Director of Operations for a National Van Line

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 Sailing Story

MY WARSTORY = My time on "THE ROCK was absolutely amazing - my other shipmates thought it was hell - I thought it was paradise!!!!!!!  We just happened to have 177 women aboard the ship - The first ship to circumnavigate the globe with females attached.  I learned to sail - first on 14' Lasers - then on a 22' Two mast boat.  Sailing in and out of all the traffic in the lagoon was great.  Fishing with a 9 ton storage supply crane was out of this world the red snapper was used for bait to catch 7' - 8' sharks. - I also learned how to scuda dive and grabbing the shell of a big loggerhead turtle and letting him pull me through the reefs was out of this world.  I have just told my wife that I am going to hitchhike to Hawaii and then catch a Tramp Steamer to Diego Garcia to catch up on some fishing and to reminisce.

     I hope someone (anybody) can help me with my quest to return to "The Rock"

     When we left "The Rock" we went to PERTH Australia, just in time to catch the boys from FREEMANTLE retuning with the AMERICA'S CUP - what a party that was - the whole continent was drunk for 2 weeks.

     My best to everyone on "The Rock"  - HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON!!!!


Steven L. Beverly

162 Circle Drive

Torrington, CT 06790

SEND PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




       I was on DG with the Marine Detachment from Aug 83 to Nov 83, I loved it!  It was like paradise!  Where else can

 you go and wake up to sunny days almost all the time, tropical breezes, and coconut crabs!!!

       I retired from the Marine Corps in 1999, and have been around this earth 3 times.  Been to about 45 different Countries and I must say that the most picturesque place is DG!  Would go back to visit in a heartbeat!

      Semper, Mike Brown

Aug 1983 - Aug 1984

NAME = Scott M. Simms

MY QUEST = To find the Grailie Hole

VT of a SWALLOW = African or European?  With or without coconut?


NATIONALITY = Passport says "US"; SERVICE = USN retired; UNIT = T-site for 12 mos and R-site for one; RANK/RATE/JOB = ET3/2 in 1983.  Retired CWO.

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

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

MY WARSTORY = Donkees (two, not sure of gender)--I was a T-siter and got rather fit between olympian sessions of beer-guzzling and a port/report watchbill.  Took me ten months to get fast enough (as well as the stamina) to catch a donkee while screaming through the T-site antler field naked--no shoes either.

10/11/01: In Singapore now en route Hawaii after spending the last two weeks, or so, on Dodge as a DoD C4I contractor.





     I realy enjoyed reading through the opinions of people who were on Diego Garcia.  Some were funny, some scatheing, but all entertaining.  So with that I wanted to add my own thoughts/experiences:

     I was stationed on D.G. in 1983-84. I was only 19 yrs old and it was my first duty station out of A-school.  I actually had two first impressions.  The first was in the air on my way in - The water was SO BLUE!  Used to seeing the gray waters of New Jersey I was in awe!.  My second one was after I got off the plane - My GOD, it's HOT!!!  There was an earthquake that year, something like 7.6 in the Richter scale.  My first (and last, actually).  I didn't sleep for three days.  My complaints were few actually.  The rain, the isolation (until I got to know people), stale smokes, constant shortage of everything in the company store, rosey palm.  But - I made some friends that I still have today.  Played softball year round.  Great picnics. Fed beer to the drunken donkey.  Among other things.

     Well, that's my two cents.  Thanks for the memories!

Regards,  Michael Ambrosio


83 NMCB 62

NAME = Bill Witter

MY QUEST = To find the holy grail; VT of a SWALLOW = African or European?



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

MY WARSTORY = Too many stories to list. Last full body deployment, first women on the rock, Missy, a very large acetylene bomb in the middle of the night,and more coconut than you could shake a stick at!!!!





I was there for the earthquake. I was working in R-site, It was the end of my shift,  the third shift had just arrived. Then a roar approached which sounded like a squadron of low flying B-52's. My supervisor said "Earthquake"!!! at that second 98 % of the staff was out the door. Me and My supervisor and another guy from Jersey were the only one's left from our staff. Copiers the size of Volkswagens were rolling across the floor. Ceiling tiles fell, I prayed for the shaking to end so that I could live! the power went out abruptly. After the quake ended I was instructed by my supervisor to do a perimeter observation to assess any building damage. I peeked out the door and saw the prettiest site. US MARINES in defensive positions around our building. I was impressed with their rapid response!!!  As I walked pass the emergency generator it decided to go on. Yikes. Enough to make you shit yourself. To my many good friends that shared that experience I will never forget the camaraderie and cohesiveness under such a potentialy deadly occurence.  Hip Hip Hooray for the "Footprint of Freedom"  Scott Sheffield.



SERVICE = US Navy; UNIT = VP-46; RANK/RATE/JOB = ET-4 back then/ Now - civilian (Thank GOD!!!!!)

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

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

MY WARSTORY = I was one of 5 members of VP-46 to head out there ahead of the rest of the squadron "to get things ready" they said. It was bad enough to be out in the midle of nowhere - but to be there without your unit, well - no mail or anything for over a month.

     While I was there I learned that they put formaldihide in the beer to keep it "fresh". The only thing to do was drink the hard stuff, and there was a little of it available at some liquor store that was never open.

     I was there for the quake in 1983. In fact, I had just stepped off the van that brought me back to town from the airfield. I was working nights in those silly mobile maintenance vans they had set up as an AIMD (aviation intermediate maintenance dept.). I was walking past the outdoor theater towards the new 3 - story barracks when it hit. As a California native, I had been in a few quakes, but this was the strongest by far. Having been on the island for a good

amound of time by then, I was hooting and hollaring and cheering the quake on. It was GREAT! Everyone around me was getting very pissed, but it was exciting. When it was over, we weren't allowed to go into our barracks for awhile, so I went and got my boogie board and headed for the beach. If we were going to get wasted by a tidal wave, I was at least going to get one last good ride out of it! Unfortunately, the tidal wave never came, but from time to time - up until I left the island a month later, water would suddenlt rush up the island pretty far.  The waves were great, but unpredictable....

     All in all - I look back on the experience as very tough, but rewarding. I still have pictures that I took and developed in the old photo lab they used to have there. I have some incredible sunset shots and some pics from cannon point. I can't mention cannon point without mentioning the girl who "pulled a train" out there one night. I got out there too late. They had just started exporting women to the island in masses. Oh well.


Oct. 83 to Mar. 85

NAME = Randy Collins

MY QUEST = play stratego all nite and hop to PI



SERVICE = navy

UNIT = Rsite tty repairman (ET shop)

RANK/RATE/JOB = RM3, Honorable discharge 85. R and D lab tech BFGoodrich.

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 = Et3 Ski and I had spent the day drinking Mojo getting ready to go the the First Airborne Rock and Roll Division USO show. (Robin Zander, Rick Neilson ect.)  We were so wasted I don' remember much about the show but at the end Zander said all we need are a couple of sailers on stage and we were there.  Jumped over the fence and on the stage. Got to sing "born to Be Wild" on stage until DG cops grabbed us and asked for Ids.  We broke loose and ran off stage and into the crowed then to the barracks. They were the best of time and the worste of times.

     I heard a lot of bad stories about DG before I got there but it was the best time of my 4yr hitch. Anyone know were I can get some good coconut crab?



1st Time December 1975 (3 months), Second Time May 1978 (4 months), Third Time January 1979 (3 months), Forth time March 1982 (18 months) August 1983 - December 1985

NAME = Jack Kaltenhauser



MY QUEST = To return safely to the land of the Main Exchange


SERVICE = US Navy Seabees -  Brown & Root Civilian

UNIT = CBMU 302 Det Paradise (1st 3 times) Electric Shop Supervisor (NSF PWD) 4th time - General Foreman Brown & Root the last time

RANK/RATE/JOB = CE1 Honorablely discharged

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 = It is 2130 I had just finish with the "S's" and was going to cop some well desired sleep when the world when Rockin & Rollin.  I dove under my rack (I lived in the tiltup barracks on the 1st floor.)  The phone rings it is the EM at the MPP call to tell me that the engines were jumping off the floor. The power goes out. Time to go to work, Paul Denton and I bail out of our room and head for the MPP, the tower calls and has no power and and S3A on approach with no gas to "Bingo".  It is DG or the water. We go to the emergency generator and find it running but the main breakers are open.   We decide to "Smoke Test" one time. It holds, we have runway lights.  Now Security is calling, They want lights in town ASAP to help calm the troops.  We start check out the system. Open all the UG lines feeding the sites and turn on the Main Overhead lines into the Waterplant.  I am standing in a room full of High Voltage equipment

when aftershock #1 hit it is almost 7.0 and I get real nervous.  Everything holds and as soon as the shaking stop we turn on the lights "downtown".

    By the time we get everyone (all the sites) back on station power the sun is up. We get a look at the damage to the new messhall, the road cracks at the donkey gate, the swimming pool which has raised up out of the ground.

     No one is hurt, we all have our memories.

     Boy I hate earthquakes.




I was there as a CM2 PWD "83-84" complained about when I was there, missed after I left.




My quest:  to brew

VT of a SWALLOW: african or european

Nat:  us; Branch: Navy  NSGD; Rank: CTM3

     I got there new years eve 1983. Hung over from formaldihide (?) laced beer Jan 1, 1984.  Gawd, that stuff was awful!

I worked at C-site and started a short sheet on day 1.00001.  Fixed, put together, and maintained dozens of bikes because I had access to the tty ultrasonic cleaner.  An endless source of beer from gratefull patrons with rusty (imagine that) chains.

     War storeis?  Got a few.  Pouring beer down the donky at the plantation.  Not sure how it works now, but then we needed permission from the brits to go over and needed one kakki for every 10 E6 and below.  I put together 3 trips.  On the last one we emptied about 6 cases of beer all over the inside of the C-site bus on the way back.  The next shift was pissed.

     At one late night party we decided that since there were no vollyballs to go with the court we should just adapt and play real jungle ball with a coconut.  I dont think any one got hurt but....

     The day donky burger II first served pizza using tomato soup instead of tomato paste.  Pass the formaldihide!

    I missed the earth quake but got plenty of tremmors.

     About half way through the tour my lpo made a deal with some one on a supply ship to bring us San Migel from

the P.I.  It went way to fast.

     Tonka trucks at the ships store?

     The green flash when the sun set!

     Beer races.  More beer races.  More reer bases...

     I remember when the brit marine killed the philipino guy.  That sucked.

     Everyone sitting in the barrack lounge watching the muppets.  That's as good as AFARTS got except for the super

bowl.  They were funny... or was that the beer?


1983, 1978, 1979, 1985


I was in the US Navy from 74 till 88. I made several trips to dodge.  First two were in 78 and 79. You basically lived in a tent if you were transient aircrew.

    I was with VP-46 in 83 for the first full deployment.  Lived in D circle in I think D6, south side of the circle straight shot

into the head. While there in 83 we had an enormous earthquake. A 7.2 or 7.3 that lasted 142 seconds (some crazy person timed it), I woke to standing up next to my bed. Caught my bottle of scotch and a small carving there were on top of my locker and only then realized we were having an earthquake. My drunken hut-mate, Kevin McGovern, woke up about that time and started yelling at the people that were beating on our hut (coconuts falling onto the tin roof) I yelled at him to get out and stepped out the back door just in time to see the water heater in the head trailer shoot across the floor showering water out the top. Reminded me of a headless chicken running around fountaining blood. (sorry, grew up on a farm) Earthquake ended, I went back to bed.  Suddenly people started running around yelling tsunami, run to the middle of the island (the lagoon? that seem fucking stupid). At the time the two high spots on the island were the pool and a big pile of sand out were they were building across from the control tower. So I got my bottle and went over to cannon point to watch the tide come in. We went from low tide to just higher than high tide in about 30 seconds. This

was about an hour after the earthquake ended. Total damage: some really scared merchants, whose ships changed directions at anchor abruptly, a wooded pier that washed away, a tilt to the water tower down town, some cracks in walls, and the 4 foot pile of cans I walked past in B circle the next morning.

     I was also Commodore of the yacht club in 83. We only had laser then and one San Juan 24 that was on the bottom when I got there. It was pulled out and in use when I returned in 85. But the Santanas were there then.  And helped build the AIMD in those stupid trailers. The most exciting thing was the day the seals took over the airstrip. I got up to yell at someone for not closing the trailer door to find myself staring at a guy in fatigues pointing an M-16 at me. He said, "Your dead, lie down." No argument from me. 8 of them took over the entire airfield in about 10 minutes. They are very scary people.

     When I returned in 85 we lived in the new barracks over by Cannon Point, hooked up with my now wife there, six months in paradise with a willing woman is not something to forget, (we'd go back in a heartbeat!) and the place was down right civilized. I look at the pictures on your web site and I'm amazed. One the 141 page bottom right of the 5 in the middle. I watched a plane director turn an H-3 into the blast fence one day. The tail rotor struck the fence flipping the helo onto its side. When the main rotors hit the ground it basically exploded. One of the blades flew over me and struck the closed door of the new hanger. Probably the only thing that kept a whole bunch of people from being killed was that closed door as the hanger was full of people.

     Knew Pineapple George really well, sold him my rockhopper before I left, and used to spend many hours at the, then, RBRM Ex-pat club with George and Stewart Lott. Have to say I meet some great people on Dodge. To this day all someone has to say is "I used to be stationed/live/work on dodge" and I know I've meet a friend.

You have a great site. Thanks for the memories.


Daniel Kell

Unix Administrator

Wireless Network Control Center

AT&T Wireless Services



1983 - Feb, 1984


MY QUEST = To someday return to DG

VT of a SWALLOW = English or African?

SERVICE = Navy; UNIT = Harbor Patrol - Electrician for the LCM boats

     The story of my time on DG like so many others, starts and ends with getting drunk.  I arrived on DG in Feb of 1983. Immediately upon my arrival I was kidnapped by pirates.  (I found out near the end of my tour of duty that my orders had been to be an electrician for the power plant, but Harbor Patrol got to me first.) I was taken to live with them on an isolated beach (The hooches) where they celebrated the arrival of a new brother for many days.  In the time honored traditions of pirates we decided to collect some booty and were promptly hunted down and arrested by the local law enforcement. (we got drunk and stole an air conditioning unit. I won't go into the logic behind such an act. )  Now, finding myself in prison with hungover pirates, I began to wonder what the rest of the year would hold for me.  After my two week stint in DG prison ( just a different hooch on a different beach) doing hard labor restoring the cannons on Cannon Point, my cohorts and I were released and sent back to work at Harbor...the cruelest punishment of all.  The rest of my year contained such wonderful events as working with Lisa and Ella, shark attacks, dancing the Sizzle, earthquakes parties (remember being told to go to high ground?), tons of lumpia, rooming with Spiderman (where are ya Henry!!??)), fishing boat disasters, sinking of the SAR boat while it was tied up at the pier, being stranded at sea with naked divers, co-ed prono movie reviews in the Harbor bunk house, fishing, camping, snorkeling, windsurfing, meeting

the Dallas Cowgirls, the parade float complete with pirates and live 'ammo', the Thanksgiving Toga Party, the Christmas Toga Party, and the New Years Eve Toga Party. Then came the day when I was liberated against my will and my days of being a pirate ended.  I feel like I lived a lifetime in that one year.  I was near tears when I boarded the plane to leave.  I sincerely hope that fate has a return trip to DG in store for me someday.  If you remember any of these events, write me and we can compare war stories.



1983-1984 & 1986-1987


      I pulled two tours on "Dodge"; the first in '83/84, and again in '86/86.  Was an ET, and stationed out at T site both times.

      I haven't seen anyone mention the earthquake that hit DG on November 30, 1983. I was asleep in my 3rd floor barracks room. and was literally thrown to the floor when the quake hit. The barracks were immediately evacuated and everyone was told to move to the "center" of the island, as they expected a tidal wave to follow. It was the only time in my life when I "knew" I was going to die.

      We later learned that the initial quake measured 7.6 on the richter scale. It wiped out the road to T site at one point, and produced several severe cracks in the T site building (you could see daylight through some of them!)

      I've still got the T shirt commemorating that night; it reads "I survived the Quake of 83 - Diego Garcia B.I.O.T. - 30 November 1983 - "7.6" on the front, and "Diego Garcia - Fun in the Sun or Shake 'n' Bake" on the back. I've got some pictures of fellow T-siters wearing them at our jungle party shack on the lagoon (I heard those were later outlawed and razed... is that true?) I'll try to scan them at work if you're interested.



       I spent 8 great years in the navy leaving as an e-6. I left for the private sector and now work at bnl.  Diego was the best time of my life.  I was told that if you go to Diego, you either come back educated or a drunk. I split it down the  middle and became an educated drunk.  I was at the r-site in the teletype repair shop.  My stay there was a continuous sea story.  I managed to go to captains mast three times and only get a suspended bust for 45 days. I also got sent to NAVFAC ADAK after that. Never figured that one out.



1983-1986 (deployments with VRC-50 - see them at

MARK FELHOFER  <> - see his web site at

      We (VRC-50) provided onboard COD dets as early as 80, with the Iranian Crisis.  The US-3A det for us began in 82 when our squadron took over all of the US-3As (only one back then)  but before then each carrier did have its own COD. Since the Navy now has a foot hold in the UAE,  our det ceased in Dodge.  And the US-3A's are now all but gone, but a few in North Island. The lovely C-2A is now the horse as far as COD is concerned.  I did my time in Dodge from 83-86 on and off. I remember it was a real pain to RON in Oman and MAC was limited in the number of flights to OMAN I think, so we were the fastest way to get mail and important PAX to the carriers.  I don't miss the way too many 18 hour crew days making the 6 hours out and back to ships in the gulf area.  The US-3A is a small place to spend that much time in. But I do remember some good times at Dodge, like knowing your leaving in the morning in a C-141, even though I hated troops seats, it was my way back to the PI.

     During my time we used to bring our own San Miguel Beer, in bottles.  Later in about 85, if I remember the year, the package store started stocking San Miguel on island.  They charged a deposit fee for bottles to prevent litter and breakage I guess, but we soon learned we could make a good profit by bring empty cases from the PI and returning them to Diego package store.  That didn't last long as they began to issue receipts for deposits and you had to have one in order to get money,  so much for easy money.



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