Digging WAY back in the vault…

Of memories, and the few operating brain cells that remember…

Setting the way back machine to 1974-5 thanks to a conversation last night with an old shipmate, he sent me a picture of the bar map from Olongopo, RP from 1973 (note- These were probably good for two or three days… Then somebody would change their bar’s name, and the Shore Patrol would have to go re-do it)…

Clicken to embiggen


There were over 100 bars and ‘restaurants’ in about 4-5 blocks of Magsaysay… interestingly, ‘our’ bars were on the first street to the right, Gordon Avenue, and NONE of them are listed…LOL

The picture below is from the cruise book from 1975, kinda says it all… The Mayaguez rescue, Jenny the donkey in Diego Garcia, and a monkey in the BOQ at Cubi eating popcorn it had stolen from a room…

VP4 pic

The donkey loved beer, and would actually drink it from the can (until she got too drunk, then she’d go lean against the Butler hut that was our ‘hangar’)…

A ‘normal’ road trip was 6 weeks, 7 countries and about 11-12,000 miles of just transits, not counting the operational flying…

Fun stuff, and good memories (the bad ones have been long forgotten)! An interesting side note, we never called ourselves ‘combat’ air crews, just alpha crews (You had to complete multiple qualifications to meet all the requirements to actually be certified to perform all the P-3’s missions).


TBT… — 20 Comments

  1. I love the pictures and stories.

    Never heard of Donkeys and beer I’ve heard of horses enjoying beer, even one case of a horse’s life being saved when a fellow sharing a last beer with a favorite one that had some kind of fatal gas got the horse to belch and relived the pressure.

  2. ’87 and again in ’91. My younger self. The one that didn’t know how dangerous the world truly is, or that I wasn’t really ten feet tall and bullet proof! Sometimes I miss the younger me, but other times I’m just glad I survived! 🙂

  3. Never made it down to Olongapo but I’m thinkin’ I didn’t miss much, what with having spent a bit o’ time in Angeles City, the Zoomie equivalent of Olongapo. Same-same, ne?

    • Angeles City was “Olongapo Lite”, which is not to impune the ability of Angeles City to provide equal debauchery. There was simply a difference in scope. Sort of like Bankok Patpong Street (the original) vs Soi Cowboy today.

  4. Never made it to WestPac, as my tin can was Sixth Fleet. Doesn’t look like I missed much, other than some local “color”. 🙂

  5. That map is going to have to become much larger before these tired old eyes are going to be able to read it.

  6. Odssyeus- Yep, drunk donkeys and good that the horse was saved. And donkey burps are SOMETHING ELSE!!! Whew…

    N91- BTDT 🙂 73 at Cavite, 74/75 at Cubi…

    Buck/LL Yeah, Angeles City was the ‘lite’ version… 🙂 They hated sailors showing up at Angeles!!!

    Rev- LOL, local color is right! Put Naples to shame, trust me!!!

    SoCal- Don’t feel bad, I couldn’t either…

  7. A 100 bars? Did you know them by name? That map kills me at a distance. Close up, it would give me a stroke.

  8. Was there as a 20 year old Ordnanceman with VMA223 in 1975-76.
    Was quite an eye-opener for some dumbass from Coon Rapids,Minnesota.
    Olongapo today is real tame,all the bars are gone and they have malls and junk like that.
    Angeles City’s still in business.
    I get to go back every now and then,married one of those little cuties,had our 35th anniversary last month.

  9. We were Cav Scouts, we didn’t need no maps, we made our own, well actually we logged little waypoints on our smart phones and used fourSquare so we could tell where everybody in the Troop was.

    And hell, in college, walk out the Fraternity house, take a right, walk two blocks and…bars.

  10. Fargo- Nope… I had about three or four I frequented… 🙂

    Hymie- Congrats! 🙂 You’re one of the few that made good!

    LL- Yep! 🙂

    WSF- Nah, that was SHORE PATROL that needed a map to mark the off limits places… Then go throw the sailors out…

    SPE- LOL, Youngster… 🙂

  11. I have said this before.
    Whenever someone tells a story about Olongapo, believe them.
    Even if they start with “this is no sh*t”.
    No one could make up what really went on.

    • It’s like Laos – White Rose, Green Latrine, Purple Porpoise, etc. Nobody believes the truth. You have to dumb it down.

  12. From 1980 to 1983 we lived in Subic Bay and as a kid i hated having to go into Olongapo because that meant we had to cross S*@t river! I do remeber being 12 and me and some friends snuck off base and had a blast parting at the green apple bar

  13. My first thought when I looked at that map is that the second right turn was Fendler St. There was a bar called Piso Jimmy’s up there, it was the semi-official meeeting place for the squadron. if you had liberty, you were supposed to come read the board at Jimmy’s once a day to get the word.


    You can see the street sign behind me. It’s a self portrait of a much younger man.