We were operating out of Subic Bay in the Philippines and would tie up to the air station pier quite often. One night I got talking to another Chief Warrant Boatswain at the Officer’s Club who told me he was stationed there and had his family with him. He also mentioned that he was soon to be relieved as Officer-in-Charge of the USS Brule (AKL-28), a small inter-island freighter and maybe I’d like that duty. Sounded great to me, so I had our Ship’s Clerk send off a message to the Navy Department for me, asking if I could be considered as CWO Magley’s relief! For a change, things didn’t drag on and we soon got a message back saying, “Sorry, but a relief for the Brule is already ordered so we can’t give her to you – HOWEVER, the USS MARK, another AKL home ported in Subic, is also due for a replacement skipper and we’ve decided you can have HER.”
This was sure a big break for me. I enjoyed the Bennington’s steaming for San Diego and had told Ellen to get ready to sail for the islands! Our neighbors were thrilled for us, too, and we decided we’d keep our house and just rent it out while we were gone. We soon had everything packed and had orders to board a Navy transport and sail to Subic. Our good friends, our next door neighbors, drove us down to the Navy Pier and we boarded the USNS Barrett, for our trip across the Pacific.
Note the rain cover from the front door! VERY important in the rainy season, when we might get 17 inches of rain in a DAY!