Navy Communications Station San Miguel, Philippines
October 1971 to January 1972
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.
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 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!