A visit to the Island of Mindoro

by The Boatswain | May 30th, 2007

We had a few more trips we made, both as recreation trips and as good will voyages. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip we took down to other islands, as a part of the Navy’s Operation Handclasp, where we got to take thousands of used school books to parts of the Philippines that really could use them. I wanted to go to the town I had visited in WWII, but it wasn’t an authorized port, so, instead, we went to the city of Romblom, on the island of Mindoro, where we could put our jeep on shore, load it up, and drive to Puerto Galera, my WWII town. The word had gotten to the island before us and, to my delight, not only did the governor of the island greet us, but the senior member of the constabulary there turned out to be the friend I had made, ‘way back when!!!! His name was Johnny Garcia and we had a long convoy of vehicles headed to Puerto Galera the next day! Sorry to say, a lot of my pictures of that time have been lost or mislaid:

Operation Handclasp in the Base Newspaper

Operation Handclasp in the Base Newspaper

USS Mark at the Port of Romblom

USS Mark at the Port of Romblom

We would show movies on deck at night and the local children would crowd the pier to see them, even if they didn’t know English! We’d show MANY cartoons!

I am greeted by the Governor.

I am greeted by the Governor.

Here I am, shaking hands with the governor.  The individual on the left, who is only half in the picture, is my World War II friend, Johnny Garcia!

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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.

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