Kevin Scott, San Miguel, 80 - 85
I was a Navy Dependant from 1980-1985, ages 10-15,
and lived on the San Miguel Communication Station. I too, remember the
P.I as some sort of fantasy land.
• I remember that if you were not 17 years old,
you had to have an escort to leave the base. We easily got around
this at San Miguel by walking out onto the all hands beach, and walking
a half mile down the beach into the barrio and catching a trike to Olongapo.
Believe me, I did A LOT of travelling, unknown to my parents!! You
didn't even need money! Just pick up an interesting item from
your house that couldn't be bought in the P.I. and you had tricycle credit
to ride all day.
• I learned to Scuba Dive at the tender age of
14 at the Coral Climbers club in SM, and made many dives on the Capone
Islands just offshore of SM, as well as at Sharks Cove and a few at Grande
• I remember the devastation of a Super Typhoon
in 1982, I believe, that absolutely destroyed the base!
• I remember Operation Cobra Gold 82, (I believe)
where they turned our base into a Mock war zone for 3 days, with amphibious
assaults on our beach, and Marine's running through housing in mock conflicts.
No dependents were allowed to go outside for 3 days. We just watched
World War III from the windows of our houses. They even evacuated
helicopter loads of dependants.
• I remember Vietnamese Refugees washing up on
our shore frequently, dead and alive, and then they were temporarily housed
at our Elementary School Library, and we had a lot of interaction with
them, and learned of their struggles and plight.
• I remember the Barrio San Miguel fisherman
accidentally catching a Whale Shark (30+ feet long) in their nets, and
carving it up on the beach and distributing it throughout the village.
• I remember almost drowning when I and a buddy
swam to the Capone Island from the San Miguel Beach. (5 miles) We
made it barely! We saw a couple of visiting Special War Seals or
Recon do it one day, and thought we could do it too. We did, but
barely lucky to be here today.
• I remember the river that ran through the base
emptied out into the ocean across our beach, and when swollen, would create
one heck of a rollercoaster ride across standing waves in the river over
the sand dunes, and you had to jump out before it emptied into the surf,
or the surge would push you about a half mile out into the South China
sea before you could even think about swimming an exaggerated arc back
into the beach. I learned this the hard way too, almost drowned here
I dreamed of returning and maybe even of retiring
in the PI, and joined the Navy myself. The PI was closed before I
had a chance to return, and I served 9 years in the USN before separating
and taking a job in Federal Law Enforcement. I still have memories of the
PI that will never fade however, and I believe the experiences I had while
there, made me a better person. One day I will make it back for a visit.
I'm attaching a URL to a picture of my 7th and 8th grade class at OHP...
If you're in it, or know anyone in the pictures, I'd love to make contact