The USS MARK and her sister ship, the USS BRULE, operated on a schedule of every other month, running between Subic Bay and Sangley Point in Manila Bay. Sangley Point was another, smaller Naval Base, but was important because it was near the capital city Philippines. We would haul all kind of supplies, including food, personnel, cars, etc., on the 5 1/2 hour run between the two ports. We’d arrive at Sangley in late afternoon and the stevedores would start unloading. We’d spend the night, all of the next day, unloading and reloading our return cargo and passengers, and sail the next morning. We’d average 4 trips on our duty month.
On our off-duty month we would be assigned to a lot of recreational trips, trips to assist in various naval exercises and in good-will voyages. The island of Corregidor, famous from WWII, is situated at the entrance to Manila Bay. (The city and Sangley are still a two hour sail into the bay!) We would often take visitors, Marines, the Bases’ High School classes, etc., on a day trip to the island, so they can see where history was made.
Also, at least once a year we would make a 10 day trip to Hong Kong. It would take 2 days to get there, we would stay 6 days and then sail back. On that trip we would have a full load of passengers, including “Sailors of the Year” winners and dependant wives who had been in Subic at least a year. The administration staff would decide who was eligible to go. Ellen went along in the second year and we had a good time over there.