Navy Communications Station San Miguel, Philippines

October 1971 to January 1972

We left the Philippines aboard the SS President Cleveland, a cruise ship headed for Hong Kong, Sapporo (for the Winter Olympics) and Hawaii before delivering us to San Francisco. It was a 28 day cruise and a wonderful experience on my way to...

Prospective Electronics Material Officer (EMO) School for USS Long Beach CGN

The position as Officer in Charge of the Radio Transmitting Facility, Capas was upgraded to LCDR. Therefore, LCDR Metcalf was sent to replace me and I was posted to the main base, Navy Communication Station, San Miguel. My main job was to develop a PMS system. No, not the PMS that jumps to mind when that term is used. Preventive Maintence System.

The Navy had a PMS system but it was impractable in that if it were performed strictly as published there would be no time to accomplish it if everyone worked 24/7 365! So, my job was to try to make sense out of it and make sure the most important preventive maintence was accomplished.

I was very much surprised to receive the above Medal and Citation while on deployment to Vietnam.
Officer Housing at San Miguel
Helen came up with some very creative costumes for Eric and Greg for the Base Halloween event. The story behind the costumes is that Eric was the one who usually would not be getting into mischief and Greg was often likely to do so. The costumes are the opposite.
Eric aboard a pony
Eric being a very good big brother to little brother Greg. These days little brother Greg towers over big brother Eric.

One of the realities of the Philippines was the limited resources for repair of things like my VW Hatchback which had a computer card which was the problem. I eventually used the Intellegence Unit to "reverse engineer" the computer card to locate the faulty part. Then I sent a letter to my Dad in Tallahassee, FL who got the part for me. I replaced the part and the VW was again among the living.

Our return to the states was aboard the SS President Cleveland

I believe our use of a cruise ship for transportation was if not the last allowed, one of the last alled in the Navy. It was a wonderful trip that took us to Hong Kong, Yokosuka and Sapporo, Japan (for the Winter Olympics) and Hawaii. Unlike my first transport aboard ship, the USS Barrett from Guam when I was an ET2, the trip aboard the SS President Cleveland as a LT our accomodations were sumptious. There were two room attendants. A maid who attended to the main room and a male who attended to the bathroom and, especially, the diapers for Greg who he called 'stinky'.

The trip was 28 days which included a bit of heavy weather. The experiences in Hong Kong and Sapporo were wonderful. We didn't go to the slopes to watch the Winter Olympics but we did get the boys out in the snow, the shopping centers and went to Sapporo to experience the Japanese country and people. Dining in a little restaurant where no English was spoken was an experience to treasure. As can be seen by the photo they insisted we take photos of the staff with our two blond headed boys indicates the wonderful impression they made. They were exceptional Ambassadores for our country.

The President Cleveland arriving for us to board for the trip home.

The dining room aboard the President Cleveland. Our two boys were very quiet and well behaved. The other little boy was a real screamer. Fortunantly, they took their meals in their room most of the time.

Our table steward hated kids and looked like a pirate. However, before the trip was over there were two boys he loved, Eric and Greg!

As it often does aboard ship, romance happens. In this case, it was between young Eric and a little English girl, Rebecca Hardy. Her dad was a manager in one of Hong Kong's two power plants and they were on their way home to England on vacation (Holiday in UK vernacular). Eric would make sure to kiss Rebecca's mother, as any gentleman should do.

Years later while on deployment to Vietnam aboard the USS Long Beach CGN-9 we spent an extended R&R stay in Hong Kong. I took a week of leave and spent the week with the Hardies. What a wonderful experience that was!

Lifeboat drill. Life vests, even the small ones, swallowed up the kids. The Hardy family with little Rebecca are included in this photo set.
Some of the passengers who seemed to enjoy the experience at sea.
Our first stop was in Hong Kong. This is Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. While there I purchased a wonderful English wool turtle neck sweater. It fit the way I like sweaters... loose. Years later Helen washed it and it was about the right size for a Barby Doll! I hated to lose that wonderful sweater. The English know how to make sweaters!
The traditional festivities of departure from port as we leave Hong Kong.
The arrival of the President Cleveland created quite a stir on the little island of Hokkaido, where Sapporo is located. Where ever we went there was a lot of interest in our two blond haired boys. Of course, we were equally interested in the Japanese people, especially the children. At the restaurant in Sapporo the waitresses took the boys into the back of the restaurant so those in the kitchen could see them!
The trip was made in the winter and it was always cold on deck. The boys enjoyed being out in the bracing weather wrapped up in all kinds of warm clothing.,
On our train ride back to the port from Sapporo there were no seats. Some college age boys did not offer their seats to Helen and the boys but they did take the boys to sit with them. They took a lot of interest in th boys and even though there was a language barrier they got along very well. The Japanese boys kept giving gum to Eric and Greg. Since they had never had gum before they didn't know you are supposed to chew it, not eat it. They ate it and the older boys just kept giving them more and more. They have since learned how to chew gum.
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