An essay about what life was like in the USN.......
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Thread: An essay about what life was like in the USN.......

  1. #1

    An essay about what life was like in the USN.......

    I have seen variations of this write up before...but basically the wording is similar. I do not know who the actual author was.

    All the cruises I did were in the Med. I was always envious of West PAC experiences!

    Here is the essay, (it is fairly long, sorry!) with a few modifications:

    Subject: I SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY

    Talk about walking (or crawling) down memory lane? This is especially for my friends who served in the Armed Forces a few years back.........

    Our favorite liberty bars were unlike no other watering holes or dens of iniquity inhabited by seagoing men. They had to meet strict standards to be in compliance with the acceptable requirement for a sailor beer-swilling dump.

    The first and foremost requirement was a crusty old gal serving suds.

    She had to be able to wrestle King Kong to parade rest. Be able to balance a tray with one hand, knock sailors out of the way with the other hand and skillfully navigate through a roomful of milling around drunks. On slow nights, she had to be the kind of gal who would give you a back scratch or put her foot on the table so you could admire her new ankle bracelet some "mook" brought her back from a Hong Kong liberty.

    A good barmaid had to be able to whisper sweet nothings in your young sailor ear like, "I love you no sh.t, you buy me Honda??"

    "Buy a pack of Clorets and chew up the whole thing before you get within heaving range of any gal you ever want to see again."

    And, from the crusty old gal behind the bar "Hey animals, I know we have a crowd tonight, but if any of you guys find the head facilities fully occupied and start pissing down the floor drain, you're gonna find yourself scrubbing the deck with your white hats!"

    The barmaids had to be able to admire great tattoos, look at pictures of ugly bucktooth kids and smile. Be able to help haul drunks to cabs and comfort 19 year-olds who had lost someone he thought loved him in a dark corner booth. They could look at your ship's identification shoulder tab and tell you the names of the Skippers back to the time you were a Cub Scout.

    If you came in after a late night maintenance problem and fell asleep with a half eaten Slim-Jim in your hand, they tucked your peacoat around you, put out the cigarette you left burning in the ashtray and replaced the warm draft you left sitting on the table with a cold one when you woke up.

    Why?

    Simply because they were one of the few people on the face of the earth that knew what you did, and appreciated what you were doing. And if you treated them like a decent human being and didn't drive 'em nuts by playing songs they hated on the juke box, they would lean over the back of the booth and put two San Miguel beers in front of you.

    And the Imported table wipe down guy and glass washer, trash dumper, deck swabber and paper towel replacer. The guy had to have baggy tweed pants and a gold tooth and a grin like a 1950 Buick. And a name like "Ramon", "Juan", "Pedro" or "Tico". He had to smoke unfiltered Luckies, Camels or Raleighs. He wiped the tables down with a sour wash rag that smelled like a billy goats crotch and always said, "How are choo navee mans tonight? He was the indispensable man. The guy with credentials that allowed him to borrow Slim-Jims, Beer Nuts and pickled hard boiled eggs from other beer joints when they ran out where he worked.

    The establishment itself. The place had to have walls covered with ship and squadron plaques. The walls were adorned with enlarged unit patches and the dates of previous deployments. A dozen or more old, yellowed photographs of fellows named "Buster", "Chicago", "P-Boat Barney", "Flaming Hooker Harry", "Malone", "Honshu Harry", "Jackson", "Douche Bag Doug", and "Capt Slade Cutter" decorated any unused space. It had to have the obligatory Michelob, Pabst Blue Ribbon and "Beer Nuts sold here" neon signs. An eight-ball mystery beer tap handle and signs reading:

    "Your mother does not work here, so clean away your frickin trash."

    "Keep your hands off the barmaid."

    "Don't throw butts in urinal."

    "Barmaid's word is final in settling bets."

    "Take your fights out in the alley behind the bar!"

    "Owner reserves the right to waltz your worthless sorry ass outside."

    "Shipmates are responsible for riding herd on their ship/squadron drunks."

    This was typical signage found in any good liberty bar.

    You had to have a juke box built along the lines of a Sherman tank loaded with Hank Williams, Mother Maybelle Carter, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash and twenty other crooning goobers nobody ever heard of. The damn thing has to have "La Bamba", Herb Alpert's "Lonely Bull" and Johnny Cash's "Don't take your guns to town". The furniture in a real good liberty bar had to be made from coal mine shoring lumber and was not fully acceptable until it had 600 cigarette burns and your ship's numbers or "F**k the Navy" carved into it. The bar had to have a brass foot rail and at least six Slim-Jim containers, an oversized glass cookie jar full of Beer-Nuts, a jar of pickled hard boiled eggs that could produce rectal gas emissions that could shut down a sorority party, and big glass containers full of something called Pickled Pigs Feet and Polish Sausage.

    Only drunk Chiefs and starving Ethiopians ate pickled pig’s feet and unless the last three feet of your colon had been manufactured by Midas, you didn't want to get anywhere near the Polish Napalm Dogs.

    No liberty bar was complete without a couple of hundred faded ship or airplane pictures and a "Shut the hell up!" sign taped on the mirror behind the bar along with several rather tasteless naked lady pictures. The pool table felt had to have at least three strategic rips as a result of drunken competitors and balls that looked as if a gorilla baby had teethed on the sonuvabi...s.

    Liberty bars were home and it didn't matter what country, state, or city you were in. When you walked into a good liberty bar, you felt at home. These were also establishments where 19 year-old kids received an education available nowhere else on earth. You learned how to "tell" and "listen" to sea stories.

    You learned about sex at $10.00 a pop -- from professional ladies who taught you things your high school biology teacher didn't know were anatomically possible. You learned how to make a two cushion bank shot and how to toss down a beer and shot of Sun Torry known as a "depth charge."

    We were young, and a helluva long way from home. We were pulling down crappy wages for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a-week availability and loving the life we lived. We didn't know it at the time, but our association with the men we served with forged us into the men we became. And a lot of that association took place in bars where we shared the stories accumulated in our, up to then, short lives. We learned about women and that life could be tough on a gal.

    While many of our classmates were attending college, we were getting an education slicing through the green rolling seas in WestPac, experiencing the orgasmic rush of a night cat shot, the heart pounding drama of the return to the ship with the gut wrenching arrestment to a pitching deck. The hours of tedium, boring holes in the sky late at night, experiencing the periodic discomfort of turbulence, marveling at the creation of St. Elmo's Fire, and sometimes having our reverie interrupted with stark terror.

    But when we came ashore on liberty, we could rub shoulders with some of the finest men we would ever know, in bars our mothers would never have approved of, in saloons and cabarets that would live in our memories forever.

    Long live those liberties in WestPac and in the Med - They were the greatest!

    "Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, I SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY."

  2. #2
    Two words: Olongapo City. The standard by which other liberty ports are judged.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TARPSBird View Post
    Two words: Olongapo City. The standard by which other liberty ports are judged.
    Oh yeah.:salute:

    The pub at the end of Melbourne dock,

    the bar underneath the main buildings in Las Palmas and Madeira ports.

    The Blue Oyster in Hong Kong

    Stripeys in Montevideo.

    All great places to let off steam, then scarper when the local cops and MP's arrived.

    Good thread Chief, brought back some memories.


    regards Collin:ernae:

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    SOH-CM-2019 MrZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TARPSBird View Post
    Two words: Olongapo City. The standard by which other liberty ports are judged.
    And how many times did you walk across the bridge over poop river into Olongapo? Reminds me of the nasty, green San Miguel beer served at the Cherry Club! Ah, the good ole days of a WestPac cruise.
    Charlie the "Balldude" Running FSX With SP1 and SP2 2GHZ processor with 2Gbits Memory Computer running Windows EXPEE (This is not a bladder condition)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TARPSBird View Post
    Two words: Olongapo City. The standard by which other liberty ports are judged.
    Ahh..Po' town....Whenever I hear the Surfaris play Wipeout..... I think of Po' City. The local bands in town could sure copy that tune.

    After a few San Miguels, they all sounded good. I didn't like the green SM, thought it was for export.


    I was fortunate to of made both Med and Westpac cruises.

    I remember those signs "don't throw you ciggy butts into the urinal" followed by "that makes 'em soggy and hard to light!"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MrZippy View Post
    And how many times did you walk across the bridge over poop river into Olongapo? Reminds me of the nasty, green San Miguel beer served at the Cherry Club! Ah, the good ole days of a WestPac cruise.
    And if you ever fell in that river, you'll have to get a new shot card.

    I remember Mary Soo in Hong Kong.. Mary Soo would be in the galley and take your food tray and dump the remainder of what you didn't eat and scrape it into
    a large empty Navy issue coffee can. I think they would paint the Navy ships there for the food scraps. When red lead paint was legal, they would red lead your ship, looked like it had measles till
    they covered over it with haze gray paint.

    http://schoonermoon.com/tag/mary-soo...-in-hong-kong/

  8. #8
    SOH-CM-2019 MrZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gray eagle View Post
    Ahh..Po' town....Whenever I hear the Surfaris play Wipeout..... I think of Po' City. The local bands in town could sure copy that tune.

    After a few San Miguels, they all sounded good. I didn't like the green SM, thought it was for export.


    I was fortunate to of made both Med and Westpac cruises.

    I remember those signs "don't throw you ciggy butts into the urinal" followed by "that makes 'em soggy and hard to light!"
    I remember a group called "The Electros". They played Beatles tunes. There was an Australian or New Zealand young lady that was a singer that was part of their show. We followed her everywhere! Hey, round-eye in the Philippines!
    Charlie the "Balldude" Running FSX With SP1 and SP2 2GHZ processor with 2Gbits Memory Computer running Windows EXPEE (This is not a bladder condition)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MrZippy View Post
    I remember a group called "The Electros". They played Beatles tunes. There was an Australian or New Zealand young lady that was a singer that was part of their show. We followed her everywhere! Hey, round-eye in the Philippines!
    When I was on sea duty (WestPac) and filled out my "Dream Sheet" I put in for PI and by golly, I was issued orders to NAS Cubi (AIMD- Transient flight line maint.) '67-69. Such a deal.
    Could wear civies in town - Was a sure sign I was a "station sailor". If you went on liberty the day before payday, that was called "professional night" (You had money to spend in town
    while others stayed on ship or base and were broke)

  10. #10
    SOH-CM-2019 MrZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gray eagle View Post
    When I was on sea duty (WestPac) and filled out my "Dream Sheet" I put in for PI and by golly, I was issued orders to NAS Cubi (AIMD- Transient flight line maint.) '67-69. Such a deal.
    Could wear civies in town - Was a sure sign I was a "station sailor". If you went on liberty the day before payday, that was called "professional night" (You had money to spend in town
    while others stayed on ship or base and were broke)
    I was on a WestPac cruise 1970-71 on the Hancock. Pulling into Subic Bay after 30 days on the line seemed like a good idea to me. Other stops were Yokosuka, Japan, Hong Kong (Yay China Fleet Club!) and last port-of-call was Sydney, Australia.

    This was a nice pleasure cruise since we took only 2 tanking/ECM Whales and the Det O-in-C guillotined the hose while it was extended and the clamping mechanism failed to plug the flowing fuel. It sprayed the inside of the bomb bay. Needless to say, while landing at Da Nang, the sparks caused a major explosion and we were left with one aircraft for the rest of the cruise. Best suntan I ever had!
    Charlie the "Balldude" Running FSX With SP1 and SP2 2GHZ processor with 2Gbits Memory Computer running Windows EXPEE (This is not a bladder condition)

  11. #11
    Thank you very much for sharing the information.

  12. #12
    And the quote at the end of the story was from then President John F. Kennedy, addressing the new incoming (plebe) class and staff at the Naval Academy, Annapolis in August 1963.

  13. #13
    And remember, when it comes to Liberty Bars, the Navy and the Marine Corps are like oil and water. Never the twain shall meet. If a member of the "wrong" service walked into the "wrong" bar, they had 2 choices: 1) Turn around and leave, quickly, or 2) Be heartily "encouraged" to leave by the denizens of said bar.

    I went to Angeles city, where Clark Air Base was before Pintubo blew up and buried it. Beautiful base, and fantastic chow halls...

    Anywho, have fun wandering down Memory Lane, all!
    Pat☺
    Fly Free, always!
    Sgt of Marines
    USMC, 10 years proud service.
    Inactive now...

  14. #14
    Guys, I need a little help. I'll be speaking at a conference soon. It is dedicated to USN . I need to prepare a speech for the conference. Frankly I have no time and desire to do it. I found one service. They can write a speech for me. But I never used service like this. What do you think? Can they prepare good speech writing for me or it will be poor?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomTweak View Post
    And remember, when it comes to Liberty Bars, the Navy and the Marine Corps are like oil and water. Never the twain shall meet. If a member of the "wrong" service walked into the "wrong" bar, they had 2 choices: 1) Turn around and leave, quickly, or 2) Be heartily "encouraged" to leave by the denizens of said bar.

    I went to Angeles city, where Clark Air Base was before Pintubo blew up and buried it. Beautiful base, and fantastic chow halls...

    Anywho, have fun wandering down Memory Lane, all!
    Pat☺
    Speaking of the P.I., I remember when there were three carriers in port (Subic/Cubi) the gate to Po town was closed and I had Shore Patrol at a Marine EM club. The club was a Quonset hut;
    it was a warm humid summer night; no AC and those giant floor fans were blowing a warm breeze inside. The sailors and marines would mix it up in there and all I wanted was to go back to the ship.
    It was like a bar scene in Baa Baa Black sheep. Fun times.

    I remember Angeles City. Nice town. Cavite City was nice; liberty town for VP bubbas stationed at NAS Sangley Point.

  16. #16
    I had the pleasure of 3 TDY's from Osan to Clark for Cope Thunder Exercises, usually during the winter months. Will never forget the fun times in Angeles City and the warm weather in the P.I.! Seemed like Heaven on Earth to me back then (about 40 years ago)!
    The OMS

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