It was mid-November 1952 in the Philippines Islands.. There were four
naval mobile construction battalions involved in building the Cubi Point Naval Air Station project...Described often as bull-dozing an entire mountain off into the salty depths of
Subic Bay and constructing the largest and finest air base in the Far East.
My battalion was MCB#2...the others there on the mountain top, living under the most rigorous and basic conditions, was MCB's 3, 5, and 9.
Squalid conditions living in squad sized tents with no screens or mosquito netting on the wooden folding cots...all hands religiously took their anti-malaria pills and salt tablets administered because of the intense heat-sweating and limited, safe water supplies. In November 1952 a voyage described as a 'rest and recreation' was scheduled for Hong Kong. I recall a total of about 200 personnel was permitted to go on the one week trip. The naval ship was described as an APA.. designed and equipped for transporting troops. On the way to Hong Kong high expectations was dampened by typhoon....the ship rolled and plunged and thoughts of Hong Kong adventures seemed dimmed to the point turning around and heading back to Cubi! Arriving in the bay at Hong Kong and being greeting by the described 'bumb-boats'...welcomes were never observed like those before or actually since.
You gotta know that once sea-sick tummies settled down what those old 'bees was buzzing for and about and for sure, not discouraged by the lovely little Oriental maids of the night! I had a tailor made set of blues made there...exaggerated bell-bottom, 13 button trousers and the inside cuffs on the blouse with reclined mermaids...the back-side of the collar with decorative stuff...I wore it the first and only time in July 1953 in Iowa on leave...I was wearing it when the radio announcements were being made that the Korean War had ended. I gave the uniform to my older brother Bud who had been released from recalled active duty from MCB#6 only the month before.. He had been recalled in 1950 at the Korean War beginning... Returned back to the PI in September 1953 and returned back to the States in June 1954 to be processed for naval release as required before I turned 21 in October... JW

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