A Cat Story: Retired Cmdr. John L. Sullivan, presents the Cubi Point Catapult story to National Museum of Naval Aviation Director retired Capt. R.L. Rasmussen.

A Cat Story: Retired Cmdr. John L. Sullivan, presents the Cubi Point Catapult story to National Museum of Naval Aviation Director retired Capt. R.L. Rasmussen.

Submitted by From a former “Mud Marine” who tried to ride the Cat and failed. Doug Talley

If you’re old enough to have served in the Navy or Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and particularly if you were an aviator, chances are you’ve heard of the infamous Cubi Point Catapult. Cubi Point Naval Air Station and the adjoining Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines was a place where war-weary Navy and Marine Corps aviators, Marines and Sailors, could let off a little steam after flying combat missions over Vietnam or spending weeks on the gunline aboard ships on Yankee Station. The managers of the Cubi Point Officers’ Club, as well as their counterparts at the other officer and enlisted clubs, were forever tasked with devising new and challenging ways of keeping the warriors entertained. Enter Cmdr. John L. Sullivan and the now famous Cubi Point Officers’ Club catapult.

The catapult at the Cubi Point Officers’ Club came into existence in 1969 and immediately created a division within naval air among those who had ridden the cat and caught the wire, and those who had ridden the cat and missed the wire and gotten soaked. The escapades of Navy and Marine pilots at the Cubi Point Officers’ Club, according to Sullivan, is the stuff of legend. “These tale will be handed down and embellished as long as we have aircraft carriers in that part of the world,” Sullivan said in an article he wrote for Wings of Gold magazine.

One of these escapades, according to the retired commander who now lives in St. Mary’s County, involved catapulting a squadron mate down a half dozen stairs in a chair from the bar upstairs onto the dance floor below. “The fact the chair had castors helped little on the stairs. Rarely did a pilot make it down the stairs and onto the dance floor in an upright posture. Most arrived on the dance floor in a crumpled mess. The practice often ended with disastrous results,” Sullivan said. “There were broken bones, severe strains, small concussions and numerous other injuries that grounded crack combat pilots,” former Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, Adm. Maurice ‘Mickey’ Weisner, said in a recent phone interview. Weisner said that he and Vice Adm. Ralph Cousins, commander, Task Force-77, suggested to Capt. ‘Red Horse’ Meyers, NAS Cubi Point, that the chair catapulting be eliminated because of the injuries.

At the time, Sullivan was the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) officer. “I was called to the skipper’s office and asked to come up with a solution,” Sullivan recalls. “After a great deal of consultation with my maintenance officers we realized we had an excellent window of opportunity. A new lower club extension to replace an old bamboo bar was in progress. From that point on we let our imaginations run wild.”

Heading off to the surplus yard, Sullivan and his band of AIMD scavengers liberated a banged up refueling tank which was quickly converted by the metal smiths into something resembling an A-7 Corsair II. The ‘aircraft,’ Sullivan recalls, was 6-feet long had shoulder straps and a safety belt and was equipped with a stick that, when pulled back sharply, released a hook in the rear of the vehicle to allow arrestment. Propulsion was provided by pressurized nitrogen tanks hooked up to a manifold. “This arrangement provided enough power to propel the vehicle to 15 mph in the first two feet,” said Sullivan. “Acceleration of zero to 15 mph in two feet is the equivalent of the G force of World War II hydraulic catapults.

“Beyond the exit from the club was a pool of water 3-1/2 feet deep. Each pilot had 6 inches to play with if he was to make a successful arrestment. “We named the vehicle ‘Red Horse One’ in honor of our skipper, Capt. Meyers. Successful pilots, according to the commander, were held in high esteem by their peers and their names were inscribed in gold letters on the club’s Wall of Fame.

“Reaction time was short because the wire was some 14 feet from the nose of the vehicle. The downward curvature of the track had to be precise. The rollers would bind if the curvature were too sharp. “Since the pool water was the force that stopped the vehicle, we had to get the vehicle as deeply and as quickly into the pool as possible. Engineers from the Strategic Aircraft Repair Team used their ‘slip sticks’ to solve the problem. The vehicle was retrieved from the water by a mechanical wench and cable connected to an eye welded to the back of the A-7.

Sullivan said that Rear Adm. Roy Isaman, (Naval Air Test Center commander, 1971-74), had a bronze plaque made in Hong Kong which was bolted to the wall next to the catapult with the inscription, ‘Red Horse Cat-House.’ “The first night the catapult was in operation it attracted a huge crowd. Rear Adm. Isaman was the first to ride the vehicle after it was declared safe by the BIS (Board of Inspection and Survey). No problem since I had recently arrived from the test center at Patuxent River and was declared the BIS representative,” Sullivan recalls.

“Rear Adm. Isaman manned the cockpit, saluted and was launched. He dropped the hook early and we awaited the hook skip but it didn’t happen. Instead the hook caught the rubber we had attached to the steel bumper short of the wire. The hook tore the rubber from the bumper and caught the wire. To the howl of the disappointed junior officers, there was no wet admiral this time. Isaman became the first pilot to trap in the vehicle. “After being presented with a bottle of champagne, Isaman’s name was enshrined on the ‘Wall of Fame.’ Some 40 pilots rode the Cat that night before another successfully trapped,” Sullivan laughed.

Word of the Cat quickly spread throughout Southeast Asia and even attracted Air Force F-4 pilots from Clarke AFB. “They would come swaggering in loudly claiming they were equal to the task. Each and every one of them failed to catch the wire, much to the delight of the Navy onlookers.

“Enlisted men from AIMD operated and maintained the catapult during their off time. They were compensated for their work from funds we took in for the operation of the Cat. It cost nothing to ride the Cat,” Sullivan emphasized, “providing they caught the wire. However, it cost $5 if the rider required rescue from the pool.”

Sullivan said that of the many dignitaries, who attempted to ride the cat, his favorite was Under Secretary of the Navy John Warner (now a U.S. Senator from Virginia). “After flying in from Japan the secretary was taken to the club for lunch by Rear Adm. Isaman and Capt. Meyers. The secretary had heard of the Cubi CAT and unhesitatingly requested to ride it. Capt. Meyers looked at me; I nodded and immediately took steps to get a crew ready. Word spread rapidly that Under Secretary of the Navy John Warner would try his luck. The club was soon packed with onlookers.

“Before launch we outfitted the secretary in a set of white linen coveralls with ‘Red Horse Cat House’ embossed in bright red letters on the back. Amid the cheers of the onlookers, the secretary bravely launched and promptly landed in the pool. We catapulted him five times after that and each time he got wet. The skipper kicked the bumper plate back about an inch each time hoping he would catch the wire. While the official never noticed this, we all did. He told the skipper after his fifth trip into the pool,’it can’t be done.’

“By this time the bumper was back some 12 inches from the wire and was an easy arrest for a pilot who had a launch or two on the CAT under his belt. So ‘Red Horse,’ in his tropical whites, strapped in. Before launch one of the junior officers kicked the bumper forward to its original 6-inch position. Meyers launched and to the delight of the visiting official, settled ignominiously into the pool.

Secretary Warner wouldn’t take off the coveralls. He and the skipper, both wringing wet, set down to lunch with dry colleagues. “Several hours later, still wearing the coveralls, the secretary boarded his aircraft. “The tale of his Cat adventures would be told at the Pentagon, he informed us and the coveralls would be testimony to the validity of his tale.”

Sullivan completed his tour at Cubi Point in 1971 and returned to Patuxent River. “I am happy to say there were no injuries from riding the Cat during that period, only wounded pride,” Sullivan says. Sullivan returned to Cubi Point in 1979, then employed by Grumman Aerospace Corporation as the Project Manager for the C-2 COD. Much to his dismay the Cat was gone. “The tracks were covered and the pool was filled with cement.” Introduced to the new club manager, he asked if I could assist him in putting in a new Cat. I felt like a dinosaur whose time had passed. I believed that as long as there was a Cubi Point there would be a fun place for naval aviators to unwind. In the midst of it all would be the “Cat” and the ‘Wall of Fame.’ Now both are gone. What remains is my fond memories of the officers and men of AIMD whose ingenuity and hard work made the “Cat” a reality in 1969. “Today it remains a 7th Fleet legend.”

The Black Sands

The Winter issue color version of The Black Sands is attached for your information. New members (Iwo Jima veterans, relatives, Marines from any era and anyone interested in the legacy of Iwo Jima) are encouraged and welcome to join the association (http://iwojimaassociation.org) and attend the IJAA (symposium in Arlington for the 67th Iwo Jima Reunion and Symposium in February. See membership application, symposium program, hotel information and registration material on pages 1-19. Great symposium and an opportunity to visit with Iwo Jima Marines from the 3rd, 4th and 5th Division, attend a day-long symposium, visit the Marine Corps Heritage Center in Quantico and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington Cemetery. Then the Military Historical Tours (http://www.miltours.com) goes to Iwo Jima in March. I’ll be in Arlington, on the Iwo Jima Tour in March and leave for a trip to Vietnam in preparation for 50th Anniversary tours there. Hope to see some of you along the way and in Washington for the Subic Bay Reunion next year.
Semper Fidelis and Happy Thanksgiving,
Ray
Sangley Point 1959-60
At-large Director Subic Bay Marines
Ray Elliott
Communications Director
Iwo Jima Association of America
2609 N. High Cross Road, Urbana, IL 61802
rayelliott23@att.net
talespress@talespress.com
http://www.talespress.com

The Philippines and the United States: An Historical Time Line


 

  • 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Mactan.
  • 1565 Spain ‘colonizes’ the Philippines.
  • 1580 Spanish military and political control are consolidated in lowland areas except for Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and Palawan.
  • 1605 Most Filipinos became Catholics before this date.
  • 1762-74 The British occupy Manila. Until this time, the Spanish had been able to impose relative isolation on the Philippines.
  • 1814 Manila is opened to foreign trade.
  • 1869 The Suez Canal is opened, making rade between Europe and the Philippines easier.
  • 1872 The Cavite Rebellion. Hoping to quickly put down an organized revolt, the Spaniards conducted secret trials and excution, but his further angered the people.
  • 1896 Under the leadership of Filipino General Emilio Aguinaldo, major fighting begins against the Spanish.
  • 1897 The Pact of Biak-na-bato temporarily suspends fighting between the Filipinos and Spaniards.
  • 1898 American ships arrive in Manila Bay and with minimal exchange of fire, the Spanish are defeated.
    June 12: Aguinaldo, along with other Filipino leaders sign the Declaration of Independence
    December 12: U.S. and Spanish negotiators sign the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the Spanish-American War and ceding the Philippines to the U.S. for $20 million.
  • 1899 January 23: Aguinaldo and his associates formally proclaim the establishment of the First Philippine Republic at Malolos.
    February 4: Fighting breaks out between U.S. and Filipino forces. The Philippine-American War took about three and a half years, the overall conflict nearly 10 years. Estimate of Filipino lives lost range from 400,000 to 600,000, and American lives lost were approximately 10,000.
    February 6: U.S. Senate votes to annex the Philippines
    March: Protestant missionaries beging arriving on the scene.
  • 1901 March 23: General Aguinaldo captured.
    Subic Bay designated the principal U.S. Naval Station in the Philippines. The Sedition Law passed by the Americans imposing the death penalty or a long prison sentence on anyone advocating Philippine independence.
    The transport ship Thomas sails from San Francisco with 600 American public school teachers bound for the Philippines.
  • 1902 Ft. Stotsenberg, later Clark Air Base, is established as a cavalry outpost.
    La Iglesia Filipino Independiente, (The Philippine Independent Church) is formally organized in many towns taking possession of the Roman Catholic church buildings.
  • 1906 U.S. Supreme Court declares that property taken from Roman Catholic churches be returned.
  • 1907 Local government assemblies formed composed largely of those owning property.
  • 1916 The Jones Law enacted expressing U.S. intention to grant complete independence ‘as soon as conditions are appropriate’.
  • 1934 After considerable Filipino lobbying in Washington, the Tydings-McDuffie Act is passed to provide for a ten-year period of “Commonwealth” status (beginning 1935) to lead to complete independence.
  • 1941 December 7: The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base
  • 1944 October 20: U.S. forces return to the Philippine island of Leyte
    October 23: The Philippine Commonwealth is reestablished.
  • 1946 July 4: the Philippines is given its political independence by the U.S.
  • 1947 The Military Bases agreement is signed with the U.S.
  • 1962 June 12 is declared the new Philippine Independence Day.
  • 1970 January through March: Massive student demonstrations in Manila against Marcos and the U.S. Government.
  • 1972 September 21: Marcos declares martial law.
  • 1981 January 17: Marcos ‘lifts’ martial law but retains most ofhis martial law powers.
  • 1983 August 22: Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at Manila airport while returning from exile in the U.S.
  • 1986 February 7: ‘Snap’ elections are held between Marcos and Corazon Aquino, with gross fraud and both sides claiming victory.
    February 22: Marcos defense minister and deputy chief of staff defect and barricade themselves. Massive numbers of Filipinos gather aroundt hem to make possible a near-bloodless transfer of power.
    February 25: Marcos flies to Clark Air Base and then to Hawaii and Corazon Aquino takes over the presidency.
  • 1987 A new Constitution is passed by plebiscite.
  • 1991 Mt. Pinatubo erupts. Clark Air Base is abandoned because of extensive damage.
  • 1991 Philippine senate boots the Subic Naval base out of the Philippines.
  • 1992 Subic Naval base is closed.

LIBERTY

This was a standard hand-out to all ships coming into Subic Bay Naval Station describing the facilities and services available on base during the Viet Nam War

SUBIC BAY – PHILIPPINE ISLANDS

The object of this article is to aid those of you who have never been to Subic Bay, in finding suitable places to go. Subic Bay is located on the West Coast of the island of Luzon, approximately 35 miles north of entrance to Manila Bay.

LIBERTY

Regular Liberty is limited to the Naval Base and an area within a radius of ten (10) miles from the Main Gate, and expires at the Main-Gate no later than 00:00 every day for U.S. Military Personnel, Officers and Enlisted. There is a 01:00-05:00 curfew in effect in the Subic Bay
Liberty beyond 8 radius of ten(l0) miles from the Naval Station Main Gate will require a special request, showing liberty address, together with the signature of a cognizant Commanding Officer or Executive Officer.

Special overnight liberty ma be granted to personnel to visit immediate families in North and Central Luzon. Special authorization similar to that mentioned in the paragraph above is required.

The Main Gate of the Naval Base is the ONLY Gate authorized for Liberty Parties.

Loitering within the limits of the Naval Base after the expiration of liberty or after closing of various clubs, movies, and other authorized entertainment is prohibited.

OUT OF BOUNDS

The area of Santa Rita on the North end of Olongapo, North and West of Santa Rita River is out of bounds.
Personnel are not authorized to leave the highway between Maquinaya Beach and the Naval Station Main Gate, or to wander off the highways and populated areas in any part of the Naval Base.

During hours of darkness, servicemen on liberty in Olongapo are authorized to be in Jeepneys only on Magsaysay Drive and Manila Avenue from the Naval Station Main Gate (Gate No. 2) to the Grandilla Night Club and on those streets bordering the Public Market.

Venereal Diseases are a major problem in the Subic Bay area. The odds of contacting venereal disease are high. Don’t jeopardize your future liberty and the health of your shipmates by exhibiting too much zeal while on liberty.

CURRENCY

The Republic of the Philippines unit of currency is the Peso. The current rate is about 3.90 Pesos to 1 US dollar. This exchange rate may change. Personnel may exchange MPC for Pesos at the Navy Exchange booth (adjacent to the Main Gate leading to Olongopo) or Cashier’s Window Main Navy Exchange.
Hours of Operation are:
Exchange Booth Daily 10:00 to 22:00
Main Exchange Monday, Friday 08:00 to 17:00
Saturday 08:00 to 13:00
TRANSPORTATION

Jeepney service ($.05) is available in the Naval Station and Naval Supply Depot Areas.
In Olongapo, Jeepney service is used exclusively and costs 10 centavos to any part of town. Personnel are advised to travel in Jeepneys with other Americans when traveling late at night in Olongapo and to stay on the main street.

Commercial bus service to Manila is available at the Main Gate for personnel holding written, permission to leave the military reservation.

RESTAURANTS, FOODS AND BEVERAGES

Numerous restaurants and clubs are operated on the Navel Base and personnel are strongly advised to patronize these activities rather than those in Olangapo. A station restaurant is open daily from 06:00 to 20:00 Various Navy Exchange Snack Bars are also available from 06:00 to 20:00 daily. The New Officers, CPO, and Enlisted Men’s’ Clubs are highly recommended. All are air conditioned and are in close vicinity to boat landings.

Personnel are not advised to eat in Olongalpo due to a general lack of sanitary facilities. However, four restaurants sometimes patronized are: The Admiral Restaurant for American and Philippine Food, El Papagayos for Mexican Food, Kings Restaurant and the Pagoda for Chinese food. Numerous bars are available and all employ hostesses except the American Legion Hall and a few smaller bars.

CLUBS AND HOTELS

ENLISTED MEN’S’ CLUB It is completely air-conditioned, offers complete food and drink service from 11:00 to 24:00 daily, and features live music nightly plus Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Entertainment is provided nightly, consisting of local and Manila acts, from 19:00 – 23:00.
BINGO is conducted each Wednesday with substantial cash prizes.
FREQUENT HAPPY HOURS.
Uniform of the Day or appropriate civilian attire is required.
CPO CLUB Uniform of the Day or appropriate civilian clothing
Monday-Friday 11:00 – 23:30
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays 10:00 – 01:00
OFFICERS CLUB (SUBIC OFFICERS CLUB)
Monday- Friday 09:00 – 23:30
Saturday 09:00 – 01:00
Sunday 09:00 – 24:00
KALAYAAN CLUB
Saturday 09:00 – 01:00
Monday-Friday 15:00 – 23:00
Sunday 15:00 – 24:00
SNCO CLUB
Sunday-Thursday 11:00 – 23:00
Friday-Saturday 11:00 – 01:00
SERVICE CLUBS, CUBI POINT

ENLISTED MEN’S’ CLUB The Sky Club, the Enlisted Men’s’ Club at Cubi, is located in SEABEE Area about one mile from the Administrative area of the Naval Air Station.
It has a snack bar, a stage, ample floor space that is well furnished with a large amount of dining tables and a souvenir counter.
Beer and mixed drinks are served.
Movies are shown every night except BINGO night.
Monday-Thursday 16:00 – 23:30
Friday 16:00 – 23:30
Saturday 13:00 – 00:30
Sunday-Holidays 13:00 – 22:30
CPO CLUB The CPO Mess (Open), better known as The Top O The Mark serves beer and mixed drinks.
Food is served at the snack bar and in the dining room.
BINGO is played on Thursday beginning at 19:00, and is followed by a dance until 01:00.
Authorized uniform in the club is short sleeves unless otherwise specified. Appropriate civilian clothing is accepted as proper.
Monday-Friday 11:00 – 23:30
Saturday 10:00 – 01:00
Sunday 09:00 – 24:00
OFFICERS’ CLUB Located across from the Cubi Recreation Center.
Drinks are served at reasonable prices. Steaks, sandwiches, and other short orders from the snack be are available in the bar.
Dinner is served in the dining room.
Short sleeve shirts are appropriate civilian attire.
Happy hour is scheduled each Friday night from 16:00 to 18:00.
Monday-Thursday,
Sunday 16:00 – 18:00
Friday,
Saturday,
Holidays
and the days
preceding Holidays 09:00 – 01:00

“Subic” was derived from the native word “hubek”, which means “head of a plow”.

“Subic” was derived from the native word “hubek”, which means “head of a plow”. The origin of the name was a by-product of altruistic colonial enterprise.

On a bright day in 1542, Juan de Salcedo, the able Spanish conquistador and dashing grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, founded Subic while collecting tributes in the area. The town’s name at that time is Hubek. How this name was chaged to Subic is the stuff of persistent leged. It tells of Salcedo’s mispronouncing “Hubek” as “Subiq”. By the time of the American occupation of Subic, the Yankees mispronounced “Subiq” into “Subig”.

Later on “Subig” became “Subiq” again, but the letter q – apparently of Spanish origin – was replaced with letter c, hence the name “Subic”.

Spanish Period

Nearly 86 years after Spain had established in September 1776 its main naval base in the Philippines in Manila Bay, the British took over the place, which prompted the Spanish military to scout for the next promising naval station. The expedition returned with the good news for the naval command – a natural bounty and deep waters at Subic Bay. King Alfonso II issued a decree in 1884 that declared Subic as “a naval port and the property appertaining thereto set aside for naval purposes.” Construction of an arsenal and ship repair yard ensued March 8 the following year, as ordered by the new settlers’ Naval Commission. Subic Bay’s potential as naval station reached the land of Commodore George Dewey, that in 1898, he and his men engaged in a battle that destroyed the Spanish Army. The star spangled banner found its glory in Subic Bay in December 10, 1899.

American Period

In 1902, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, Commander of the Asiatic Stations, directed 200 Marines for an expeditionary force for the first U.S. fleet exercise in Asian waters. Guns were erected on Grande Island and Admiral Evans laid plans for emergency repairs of the station at Subic Bay but was denied assistance by the U.S. Five years later, the U.S. Congress finally appropriated funds for a full-scale Subic Bay Naval Reservation. Words from then President Theodore Roosevelt goes: “If we are to exert the slightest influence in Western Asia, it is of the highest importance that we have a naval station in Subic Bay.” Subic Bay is now on the rise of being one of the best training areas in the Corps. But with the U.S. – Japan tension heating up, appropriations for operation and maintenance of the base fell short. Hawaii came in the scene; funding of the development of Pearl Harbor as US main station in the Pacific earned the thumbs up of the Congress. Subic took its ill fate – a promising harbor was left as a small repair station.

Young US sailors in brief respite while waiting for new assignments
Word War I

US was drawn into the war in Europe; Filipinos and Americans worked hand in hand to prepare the battleships for World War I. As if that was not enough, workers at Subic Bay also overhauled 26 German ships, that had been used to transport thousands of American troops to Europe. Likewise, this period gave way for different developments: Olongapo had a taste of some of its best years; the base was lined with trees and plants, and several recreational facilities were constructed. But the skies over the Bay were suddenly raining with stick bombs – the Japanese claimed Subic and Olongapo on January 10, 1942, days after the Pearl Harbor attack, bringing with them the devastation of World War II. Many Filipinos and Americans were killed, several buildings were destroyed, seven seaplanes were sunk, and lines of telephones and telegraphs were sabotaged. The Marines were ordered to withdraw into Bataan then soon to Corregidor, burning all buildings left standing after the Japanese attack. Filipinos torched all the war’s ruins in Olongapo. Filipinos have been subjected to the cruelty of the Japanese for three years, after which the American made a forceful rebound and reoccupied the base on January 29, 1945.

World War II

The Marine station underwent massive reconstruction and was again ready for naval endeavors on September 26, 1945. Shortly after the marines resumed their duties, the Tydings-McDuffie Law set provision for Philippine independence and was granted on July 4, 1946. Nonetheless, the US maintained that it would still retain the country’s military bases. The Philippines, acknowledging its frailty in the Cold War, entered into the RP-US Military Bases Agreement on March 14, 1947. The US was granted the right to retain sixteen military bases and to administrate the town of Olongapo. Several significant urbanization projects were orchestrated, but the most challenging was as gigantic as displacing half the part of a 1,200-foot mountain, that needed around 20 million man-hours, and required five years of labor – the exceptional air station and pier construction of the Seabees was the highlight of 1956 in Subic Bay. Another accomplishment at the height of the cold war was ammunition bunkers and buildings that occupied over 12, 400 acres of the Southwestern part of Subic Bay. Set in the tropical rainforest, ammunition and ordinance from these facilities played a big role in the Vietnam War and in the Gulf War of 1991.

The original 1947 military pact between the Philippines and the US has been amended. The year 1979 witnessed a turning point for both countries – Philippines claimed a sovereign rule over the base and the US area of responsibility was reduced from 24,000 hectares to 6, 300 hectares. What followed was a series of events that would change the course of Subic Bay forever. On June 15, 1991, volcanic ashes and debris rained over the base, devastating Subic Bay and neighboring provinces. Mt. Pinatubo’s fury has left the navy and air force no option but to evacuate all their dependents. When Pinatubo’s rage came to a halt, and American and Filipino personnel restored the base, bringing it back to business in no time. Uncertainty continued hovering the Philippine Senate with regard to the termination of the 1947 treaty. Months-long discussions were held; parliamentary proceedings were organized; and a pro-bases rally was staged, but to no avail. September 16, 1991 surfaced a conclusion – The US had to withdraw its forces and equipment from Clark and Subic, having received the rejection of 12 senators on the earlier proposed new treaty. The lowering of the Stars and Stripes followed suit. The Navy bid farewell to America’s nine decades of military presence on Philippine soil.


The lowering of stars and stripes marks the farewell to America’s nine decades of military presence on Philippine soil.

Post-Cold War

Surprisingly the departure of the Americans did not spell doom. Subic Bay was converted into a commercial zone largely through the efforts of some 8,000 residents of nearby Olongapo City, under the leadership of their mayor, Richard Gordon, who volunteered to protect and preserve 8 billion dollars worth of facilities and property from looting and destruction. Subic has since been transformed and became a model for bases conversion into commercial use after the Cold War with blue chip companies like Coastal Petroleum, Enron and Fed Ex pumping in over $3 billion of investments creating 70,000 jobs in the free port’s first four years. It was host to the 4th APEC Leaders’ Summit on November 24, 1996 and . FedEx’s Asia-Pacific hub, Asia-One, was also located in Subic Bay for almost ten years..

In addition to commercial use, Subic Bay is also a popular destination for weekend visitors from Metro Manila. Attractions include several beaches, an underwater aquarium, jungle survival tours, racing and duty-free shopping centers.

Mount Santa Rita

The U.S. Naval Link Station, Mount Santa Rita was a located in the Zambales
Mountains, on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. There were approximately 15 U.S. Navy personnel permanently attached to the station, and 3 Marine guards.
The tower had 5 microwave links, which transmitted to Subic Bay, Clark Air Base, Cubi Point, San Miguel, Sangley Point and the Embassy in Manila. Prior to SATCOM,the only communications link between the operating forces stationed in Vietnam and the U.S. went through Santa Rita. The communications link started in Nha Trang, South Vietnam, traveling by underwater cable to NAVCOMMSTA Phil at San Miguel, to Mount Santa Rita, then on to Clark AB, to the HF transmitter site at the Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) Capas Tarlac, Luzon in the Philippines; which in turn transmitted signals to the U.S.

Mabuhay! Welcome Aboard!

Mabuhay! Welcome Aboard!

San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales Province, Luzon, Republic of the Philippines

San Miguel was located on the South China Sea, about 26 miles (1 hour drive) north of the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay. The station took its name from the small fishing barrio (village) of San Miguel, a suburb of San Antonio, in the province of Zambales, on the Philippine island of Luzon. The station covered 2,158 acres.

San Antonio, Zambales is about 10 minutes from the beach. It is also near Subic City, which is about a 30 minute drive. San Antonio is a fishing village overlooking two islands, named the Capones Islands. Just a few minutes drive to the former U.S. Naval Communication Station at San Miguel. San Miguel was about 3 km from San Antonio. The entire stretch of the Zambales province in the West is rimmed by the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. There are 13 sprawling towns dotting the province from the North to South, most of them along the shoreline. They are Sta. Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Botolan, Cabangan, San Felipe,San Narciso, San Antonio, San Marcelino, Castillejos and Subic. Olongapo, until it became a chartered city, was the 14th town.

Company C Marine Support Battalion was co-located with the NSG Dept in San Miguel.

Naval Security Group San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales Province, Luzon, Republic of the Philippines

Naval Security Group Station History Dates		Updated: 	13 Jul 08
========================================================================================
Station							Opened     Closed/Disestablished
San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales Province, Luzon, Republic of the Philippines

NSG Dept, NCS Philippines, Sangley Point, Philippines	   Jun 1954 	   Jan 1958
   COMSEC Unit #703
   Moved to San Miguel, Philippines                        Jan 1958
NSG Dept, NCS Philippines, San Miguel, Philippines	   Jan 1958	   Dec 1975
   COMSEC moved to Subic Bay, Philippines		   Mar 1970
   To Clark AB, Philippines				   Dec 1975
===================================================================================
Santa Rita, Mount Santa Rita, Zambales Mountains, Luzon, Philippines
Subic Bay, Zambales, Luzon, Republic of the Philippines

COMSEC 703, Subic Bay, Philippines					   Mar 1970
   Detachment of NSG Dept, NCS San Miguel, Philippines 
NSG Det Subic Bay, Philippines				   Mar 1970	28 Oct 1991
   NSGA Clark AB moved to Subic Bay, and formed:
NSGA Subic Bay, Philippines				28 Oct 1991	18 May 1992

Naval Security Group Sangley Point, Cavite City, Luzon, Philippines

Naval Security Group Station History Dates		Updated: 	13 Jul 08
========================================================================================
Station							Opened     Closed/Disestablished
Sangley Point, Cavite City, Luzon, Philippines

Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Olongapo, 	   Jul 1930        Feb 1935
   Luzon, Philippines
   Moved to Mariveles, Los Banitos, Luzon, Philippines     Feb 1935
Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Mariveles,	01 Mar 1935  	05 Jan 1936
   Los Banitos, Bataan Province, Luzon, Philippines
   Moved to Cavite City, Luzon, Philippines		05 Jan 1936
Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Cavite,	 	05 Jan 1936        Oct 1940
   Luzon, Philippines
   DF station established Sep 1936
   Moved to Corregidor 					   Oct 1940
Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Corregidor, 	   Oct 1940        Apr 1942
   Luzon, Philippines
   Evacuated to Melbourne, Australia			   Apr 1942
Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Melbourne	   May 1942  	01 Nov 1945
   Australia, at Moorabbin

Comunications Radio Intelligence Unit, Sangley Point 	       1933        Dec 1941
   Luzon, Philippines; near the Naval Hospital at
      Canacao. (Station C)
   DF equipment installed in late 1935.
   DF station established in May 1937.
   Moved to Corregidor after 08 Dec 1941.
Occupied by the Japanese				   Jan 1942 	20 Mar 1945
Naval Air Base, Sangley Point, Philippines 		       1945      Early 1955
Naval Station Sangley Point, Philippines		 Early 1955     01 Jul 1971
   Deactivated 						01 Jul 1971	01 Sep 1971
   Turned over to the government of the Philippines	01 Sep 1971

NSG Dept, NCS Philippines, Sangley Point, Philippines	   Jun 1954 	   Jan 1958
   COMSEC Unit #703
   Moved to San Miguel, Philippines                        Jan 1958