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Cane Pole
07-13-2004, 09:00 AM
This looks like a scene from one of my West Pac Cruises.

USS Saratoga CVA-60 VF-32 1961-1963

USS Constellation CVA-64 VA-144 1964-1965

Shellback
07-14-2004, 10:40 AM
Forgive me for not knowing the spelling, but what was the town outside the gate at Subic, Olongapoo or something like that? Remember the kids that used to dive for money at the river there, and of course the San Migel beer! Those times there are etched in my memory forever. I was aboard Forrestal when we had the fire at Yankee Station. My squadron lost 43 men in the fire and we spent several weeks in Subic patching things up for the way home. It was a time to be thankful for our lives that were spared, and to pray for the souls and families who didn't make it. It's funny how you can remember faces you served with 37 years ago and not someone you worked with 2 years ago. July 29th marks 37 years since the day of the fire, 134 men were killed, one wonders how their lives might have turned out if given the chance.

Bob G
07-14-2004, 11:36 AM
Shellback, I was also in the Navy I served during the late 80's early 90's. I watched a training tape of the that fire you guys had. I'm glad you survived. I did not get to become a shellback, the captain was afraid to cross the equator(he wasn't a shellback either) we were as close as 50miles and he would not cross over. I'm not real sure about the answer to your question I am sure someone on here knows. Good fishing and tightlines. Bob G.

labill
07-14-2004, 05:37 PM
Forgive me for not knowing the spelling, but what was the town outside the gate at Subic, Olongapoo or something like that? Remember the kids that used to dive for money at the river there, and of course the San Migel beer! Those times there are etched in my memory forever. I was aboard Forrestal when we had the fire at Yankee Station. My squadron lost 43 men in the fire and we spent several weeks in Subic patching things up for the way home. It was a time to be thankful for our lives that were spared, and to pray for the souls and families who didn't make it. It's funny how you can remember faces you served with 37 years ago and not someone you worked with 2 years ago. July 29th marks 37 years since the day of the fire, 134 men were killed, one wonders how their lives might have turned out if given the chance.

Shellback.....I've looked thru my cruise books and maps for the spelling of that settlement, but no luck. I was surprised that neither mentioned Subic Bay or "Olongapo". I was inducted in September, 1968, the year after the Forrestal fire. We also watched the film as training to keep our eyes open for anything that might "cook off" from jet exhaust or starter turbines. Watching that film was an education in itself....the horror of watching the fire cooking off the missiles and expanding the fire and explosions was enough to keep the USS America crew on their toes, including myself. May God bless those that bravely lost their lives fighting fires, and their dependant families. They will all be long remembered. The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous places in the world, as you know better than I, and we are blessed to have returned, and especially those of you that survived the Forrestal fire.

Yeah, I do remember the kids that were diving for coins, also the San Miguel beer and the cute waitresses at the club. I spent most of my time at Subic snorkling and spearing fish, catching langosta lobster which we cooked on the beach. Afterward, we would go to the club for a beer or twelve, some of us needed help getting back to the America by 12:00, since "Cinderella liberty" was strictly enforced. I have a question for you Shellback, do you remember an installation called "North Island?" It was a place where swabbies could go and have a good time, and it seems like it was close to Subic Bay. An MP whacked me on the noggin, just for helping a buddy in a friendly little brawl, and most of my memories of that location went AWOL. It could have been close to San Diego also, but I simply don't remember. I just thought of something that will ring a bell, they took us to the island in landing craft, and brought us back the same way. My buddies said I was conscious, but I remember nothing after the whack. Woke up next morning with a big knot and a withering hangover. Let me know if you remember where it was.

Good luck fishing!

Cane Pole
07-14-2004, 09:36 PM
Thanks for sharing the memories....They are still strong in my heart and mind...Most people never have this type experience in life... I loved Hong Kong and Yukuska and Kobe too, but not like Olongapo....I met my true love there...Well, for a few nites anyway..ha...I remember the Forrestal fire. Very tragic...I was stationed at Point Mugu Naval Missle Center with Guided Missle Unit 55 when it happened....Hey!!!I was a ROCKETMAN....

Thanks again guys for sharing and God bless all GI's and God Bless America

Cane Pole

CajunChris1
07-14-2004, 10:58 PM
Brings back fond memories of Clark AB, the only thing missing is the jeepneys and a couple of LBFM's


USAF 1985 - 92

Bob G
07-14-2004, 11:16 PM
Forgot to mention I was on the east coast did not have the opportunity for a west pac. I did however get to go on the caribean cruise. That consisted of the islands and the Island of Cuba (I hated that place) anyway it does bring back fond memories thanks again shellback. USS Clark FFG 11, 87-91 Bob G.

Shellback
07-15-2004, 05:46 AM
Shellback.....I've looked thru my cruise books and maps for the spelling of that settlement, but no luck. I was surprised that neither mentioned Subic Bay or "Olongapo". I was inducted in September, 1968, the year after the Forrestal fire. We also watched the film as training to keep our eyes open for anything that might "cook off" from jet exhaust or starter turbines. Watching that film was an education in itself....the horror of watching the fire cooking off the missiles and expanding the fire and explosions was enough to keep the USS America crew on their toes, including myself. May God bless those that bravely lost their lives fighting fires, and their dependant families. They will all be long remembered. The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous places in the world, as you know better than I, and we are blessed to have returned, and especially those of you that survived the Forrestal fire.

Yeah, I do remember the kids that were diving for coins, also the San Miguel beer and the cute waitresses at the club. I spent most of my time at Subic snorkling and spearing fish, catching langosta lobster which we cooked on the beach. Afterward, we would go to the club for a beer or twelve, some of us needed help getting back to the America by 12:00, since "Cinderella liberty" was strictly enforced. I have a question for you Shellback, do you remember an installation called "North Island?" It was a place where swabbies could go and have a good time, and it seems like it was close to Subic Bay. An MP whacked me on the noggin, just for helping a buddy in a friendly little brawl, and most of my memories of that location went AWOL. It could have been close to San Diego also, but I simply don't remember. I just thought of something that will ring a bell, they took us to the island in landing craft, and brought us back the same way. My buddies said I was conscious, but I remember nothing after the whack. Woke up next morning with a big knot and a withering hangover. Let me know if you remember where it was.

Good luck fishing!
North Island doesn't ring a bell with me. Forrestal was an east coast ship so if it was somewhere stateside on the west coast I wouldn't know about it. As far as it being in the P.I. I'm not sure there either. We didn't get around much over there as we were trying to get the ship ready for the trip home.