Bagobantay NRF

6 Messages Since 2-10-03

Posted 2-15-03
Dale Matsel, RM3, May 1961-Feb. 1962
NavRadSta T Bagobantay

Greatest duty station I ever had.  Worked transmitters with Beck, Ron Moore, Randy Waters, Jerry Stokes, Dell Guidry, Lew Frick and others.  Played softball with some of these guys and several Marines.  It was the only place I was ever stationed where the Marines and Sailors got along and even hit the beach together occasionally.  I figure when they moved it to Tarlac they wiped out the best duty station in the world.  Does anybody remember fighting the fire in the C.O.s house behind the club because some idiot left a cigarette burning.  Probably the C.O. himself.  What a guy. Would like to hear from any of the old gang.  Mabuhay from Mat, retired in Green Valley, AZ and still playing softball. AR

Posted 2-15-03
Bob Stockwell, SK2, (Retired), Sept 1956 to Sept 1957

Naval Communications Facility Philippines, Sangley Point from November 1955 to July 1956  as Storekeeper in Maintenance and Supply Division. September 1956 to September 1957, Storekeeper at Naval Radio Facility (T) Bagobantay, Quezon City, PI. Also Manager of the EM club for a short time at Bago. Anyone out there who served at Bagobantay at this time, I would like to hear from you.

Posted 12-13-03
Boyd Manes, 1951 - 1953

I was a Fireman, arrived, around May 1951 and left around August 1953; I think I was 3rd class or 2nd class Engineman when I left. The first year I lived in the Motor Pool and drove trucks to Sangley Point almost weekly. I recognized that GMC sitting in front of the Motor Pool as being brand new when I arrived.  It must be a 1950 model. Our fire truck was an older WWII 6X6, with a water cannon (brass) on top of the water tank.   The last year I was in charge of the generator shack. Not the new one, but the 13 D- 13000 Caterpillar Diesels hooked to 13 75 KW Generators in the three Quonset huts behind the new generator shack.  When I left, the Fairbanks Morse (I think it was an 8 cylinder Opposed Piston engine.) had been installed on the cement slab, but the building had not been built yet.  I had to move to a Quonset hut when I got promoted.   When I arrived, our Chief Warrant Officer (His name escapes me, now, but was it Osgood? Yes, I think so.) was a laid back officer, who met us in work clothes at the EM club (1st one newly built by sailors about 1950. I think.) for a beer or two before dinner. About 6 months later he was replaced by Chief Warrant Officer E.L. Rippard. He made a bunch of changes.   My biggest regret is not remembering full names and home addresses of my many friends over there. A few names I do recall, Combs, electrician; Yates, electrician, Mayer, Temp. duty to install some antenna poles, Jack Ellis, duty engineer, Port liberty, same as me, starboard liberty. J.P. Stevens, don't recall job; Sequoia Scott, cook, July Christmas Deer, Marine Master Sgt; McFarland; to name a few.    I had better quit. I don't know the capacity of your site.  I have pictures. I will try to dig them out and post some of them if you wish.  Thanks for listening. Boyd Manes from Wichita Falls, TX. 

Posted 2-22-04
Larry Shannon, June 1952 - June 1954

My goodness, it's been a long time. Went to Bagobantay right out of boot camp with a few others, Stout, Halverson. Shock.... what a place to spoil you for duty. Started out in the motorpool with guys named Buddy Redmand, Jake Miller and a driver who drove the guardmail truck to Sangley named Kita and EN2 Boyd Manes was there also, he was the PO in charge of the generator huts, in fact, I painted those huts for him with a spray gun, compressor and paint pot. E.L. Rippard was the OIC and he was releived by a CWO named Duff. I became a Radioman Striker there and left there for RM School. Anybody there at the same time, would like to hear from you. You too Manes, you "motor scooter".

Posted 2-23-05
Boyd Manes Engineman, 2nd Class,  1951 - 1953

News article printed in the (Sangley Point Naval Air Station) CANACAO CLIPPER, Fri., Feb. 1. 1952  

Bagobantay-A Big, Happy Family
In An Ever-Improving Situation

Bagobantay is quite a place, and it's going to be even better before long.  However, if you've ever talked to a man who has been stationed there, he is probably pretty sold on it as it is. No one at Bagobantay has refused duty in the States as yet, but quite a few have requested extensions. It' been extremely hard to get men to transfer back to the Point after being stationed at Bagobantay.   At present time there are approximately forty sailors and twenty five marines stationed at the Naval Radio Transmitting Station, which is just outside Quezon City, P.I. CHRELE E.L. Rippard is the Officer in Charge with C. Haynes, ETC, serving as executive officer in charge of all electronics material. R.M. Isbell, ENC, is in charge of all public works and the maintenance of Bagobantay's own power plant facility.   The station at Bagobantay is part of the world-wide communications service of the Navy, and it recently  has been designated as a regular Navy activity in the Naval Communications Facility Philippines.   At present the plant at Bagobantay generates more power than many small towns in the States use.  However, there is a project underway to build a new power house to house two 300 KW Diesel generating units. These units are being overhauled at Pearl Harbor.  The power at the station is now being supplied by a number of 75 KW portable units.    The living conditions at Bagobantay leave little to be desired, but several improvements are being made under the supervision of LCDR D. L. Crandall, assistant public works officer of Sangley Point.   Underpinning has been placed under the barracks, and also they have been repaired and repainted. Dehumidification equipment has been procured and is being installed in the Transmitter building.  Also the sewer system is being improved.   Chief Spirk, UTC, is the on-the-job project supervisor.  He reports directly to Mr. Crandall. Other projects are either finished or underway. They include the re-grading and paving of the roads at the station. Naturally mined Leyte rock asphalt is being used to pave the roads. Extensive additions and alterations are being made to the antennae farm and some power distribution panels are being instructed and installed.   There are approximately thirty-five civilians and from three to five military personnel from the Sangley Point Public Works Department on the job at Bagobantay. All projects are under the supervision of the Sangley PWD, and that office takes care of the procurement and hauling of all materials and equipment.   Recreation on the station is very extensive, and new plans indicate an even further increase in facilities. There is an excellent E M Club. There is also a basketball court.   Work has already begun on paving of an area for volleyball, tennis, and badminton. Weight lifting is one of the top athletic endeavors at the station.   There are three quarters on the base besides the enlisted men's barracks.  They are for the families of the Officer-in-Charge, the Senior Electronics Technician, and the chief in charge of public works.    It seems that the personnel at Bagobantay live as one big, happy family, although a little remorse slipped into the fold recently. That was when W.F. Leard, ETC, was transferred from his very responsible position at Bagobantay. 

Posted 5-26-10
Art Ritchie, RMCM, 1960 - 1961

I was at Bago as an RM2 from mid 1960 to Sept 1961.  The best duty station I had during my 20 year career.  I had previous transmitter site duty at San Francisco's on Mare Island in the late 1950's.

SKCs Enoch Greer and I rented an apartment in nearby Quezon City.  We had some parties there that are talked about today.  Doug 'Dawg' Ashley, Wayne Beck, Dale Matsel were there.  All great sailors.   I'd like to know where SKCS Greer is.  Funny thing about Greer.  He failed the propay exam but passed the senior chief exam right before getting transferred.  You figure? 

I recall one night when he and I were at a local place that had an open front.  We had our girlfriends and our personal jeepney driver.  Well, a half dozen toughs came by as we sit inside drinking scotch and water and San Miguel.  They said something derogatory in Tagalog about the girls being with us Americans.  The jeepney driver said something back and the next thing you knew it was bedlam.  They rushed us and the jeepney driver grabbed a whisky bottle that was full of water on our table and smashed one of the toughs in the head with it.  It busted into a zillion pieces.  Greer jumped behind the bar and I jumped to the side.  In seconds they had left.  I looked over and saw the jeepney driver sitting on the floor with this back against the bar with a small spot of blood on the front of his T-shirt.  I ran over and pulled up his shirt and he had a hole in his chest the size of a lemon.  I yelled to Greer and we put him in the back of his jeepney while someone I can't recall drove us to the local hospital.  They took the poor fellow in and put him on a table.  The doctor looked at him and walked away.  I recall looking around at others with similar wounds.  One had little black dots all over his chest.  I found out later they were ice pick wounds.  It appeared that was just another normal night in Manila.  After returning to the bar, the cops were there and they had rounded up some suspects that Greer and I recognized.  We identified them to the cops even though our girlfriends said we shouldn't because they would have their friends seek us out and possibly do us harm too.  That never happened and I never heard anymore about it.

And then there was CS3 Loften.  About six foot six and skinny as a rail.  He had about 18 years in the navy and had been up and down the ranks a few times.  Busted down many times and, to hear him say it, he had been on most every ship in the fleet and had all of the ships names tattooed on his left forearm.  He was shacking up with a local lady and she had a pair of his twins.  He named them after two cruisers he had been on, the Princeton and Rochester.  After a few drinks at the club, he always wanted to whup up on any Marine's ass that might venture in.

There was an RM2 and another sailor that I can't recall the names of that were transferred shortly after I arrived.  The RM2 had a lot of money and was banging a good looker at the bar on the corner near the Round Table.  Can't remember the name of the bar.  Well, it turns out, they were buying cars from airmen at Clark and reselling them to local Filipino's without having the car in the country for the required year.  The law said, any US serviceman could sell his car to a local Filipino but only after the car had been in the country for a year.  However, he could also sell it to another US serviceman as soon as it arrived in the country, no year wait.  A local wheeler dealer Filipino figured this one out.  He would get a prospective local buyer, put up the money, have the Bago boys buy the car from an airmen, then they would 'sell it' to the local buyer.  Of course there was some 'fees' for the action.  About the time I was being transferred, I heard the gang was busted and being hauled back for a court martial.  Bougow of autos.  Never did hear what happened but I will say this, his good looker that sang in the bar was  also a good lay!  Real good!  She stayed at my place and I at hers.  She had a great place.

RMC Johnny Curan, RM1 Saporsantos and others were Insular Force sailors.  Zappo had been a great speed key operator over at Sangley before San Miguel was built.  They used to work the Pine Island and the Salley Sound when they rotated to westpac.  Both of those boats had some good speed key ops too.  After the ship to shore comms at Sangley was shut down, Zappo was transferred to Bago.  There were a couple of others in that boat too but can't recall their names.  Zappo was really superstitious and had more than one practical joker scare the crap out of him on the mid watch while everybody watched in hiding nearby.

San Miguel sent me down there for two reasons.  Set up the first Python circuit back to San Miguel and help out with the transmitters.  We had the guard for JUSMAG and possibly a few other smaller commands.  The Army dudes from JUSMAG used to come by and drop off and pick up their traffic.  We had an OIC that I can't recall the name of.  Sometimes I thought he was a little batty.  One day he come into the small message center we had set up in the microwave building on the hill and said, "Ritchie, you need to get the carpenters to build you some more shelves for file storage."  We had wall to wall shelves that were empty at the time.  About a week later, while he was inspecting again, he came in and said, "Ritchie, this is the first comm center I have seen that has adequate shelves for file storage."  Needless to say, I didn't bother calling the carpenters.

I was the Hut Captain of the quonset hut I lived in and we had a hutboy, an old man that had sprained his ankle falling out of a local mango tree.  When one of the ETC's tried to fire him, so the ETC could hire his girlfriend's kinfolks, I raised hell with the OIC and won out eventually.  That was the only income our hutboy had and he had a family to take care of.  I just couldn't let that one happen.  All the guys in the hut were behind me and the old man was very happy and thankful afterward.

Greer's girlfriend, Remy, started shacking up with me when he was transferred.  Great lady.  So was her younger cousin and for a while they both shared my pad in a threesome.  The only time I've ever seen Filipino ladies not go bezerk because I was jumping the bones of somebody else.  They said they understood and were cousins and dear friends.  Greer was relieved by SKC Johnson who later married Remy and retired there in Manila.  I went back in 1975 aboard the old carrier USS Hancock CVA-19 and we pulled into Manila.  I went over to the Round Table bar near Isacc Parell street and lo and behold, there was SKC Johnson, retired.  We had a few cool ones and he had some bad news.  Remy had died of hepatitis a few years back.  After contracting it, she required immediate transport, preferably by helo, to Clark AFB for treatment but he could not get that arranged in time.  If I recall, he was pretty bitter at the lack of treatment and help he got from the Air Force.

I could ramble on about SKCS Greer's going away party and how I woke up behind a booth in the Round Table bar at 0800 on a Saturday morning when I was supposed to be standing Saturday morning inspection in dress whites at Bago.  When I went through the gate around 0900, the Marine sentry said, "Report to the OIC's office immediately!"

Another was a party Greer and I had and we invited everybody, including a lot of brown baggers and their wives.  What they didn't know was a surprise that came after everyone was well lubed.  We had hired two ladies and a gentleman to 'perform' in our living room.  Of course they were in the nude.  We kept the 'actors' upstairs for about an hour or so until the party really got to swinging and then signaled them to come downstairs and put on their show.  Oh me, Oh my!  Some of the brown baggers wives put their hands over their faces and told their husbands, "We are leaving!"   But, they had their fingers parted a bit and were peeking and took their good easy time leaving.  One of the Filipino bartenders from the EM club that we had invited wanted a close up look and took out his Zippo lighter and got down real close and lit it to get a better view.  Greer and I were howling!

How about the big motor generator set that disappeared out the back gate mysteriously?  Some say the Marine sergeant had something to do with it because he had the keys to the gate. That's it for now.  Time for a Jack Daniel's.

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