Mugged in Olongapo

Yes, even then Subic Bay had some fine beaches, and one day a friend and I were enjoying one on base. He happened across a sweet honey, a local, and they were gonna go out. So I HAD to ask, “You got a sister?” Seems she DID have a sister, but she was not old enough to date. We talked her into bringing a friend along, for me, and we would all go out together and have a nice meal. Not your typical “shore liberty” night. She gave us directions to her house and we agreed on a time. Woohoo!

We were nervous about not finding the place so we left way early. Good thing we did because it turned out the address was LEFT at the end of main street. We had been specifically watned NOT to go Left, that it was a No Man’s Land. We briefly debated whether we should bail but we decided to go, at a heightened alert. This part of town looked pretty much like main street but on a smaller, tighter scale. The road ended at a canal. The directions urged us to turn right, alongside the canal, and further from the base. Further from the lights on the street as well. We smelled an ambush.

We carefully headed down the canal. The directions led us to an open doorway in a brick wall. Here we go! I’ll take the right! We break through the opening ready for a fight, but no one was there. We did not drop our guard as we went to the door at the end of the courtyard and knocked. We were VERY early.

My buddies date answered the door and looked shocked to see us, but invited us in. A Navy sailor was lounging on the couch watching TV. He too looked surprised, quickly excused himself, and left. My date is not there yet. A frantic phone call is made. More waiting, phone rings, her friend is on her way, why don’t we wait for them on the corner. They’ll be right there.

My buddy and I give each other a knowing glance. It WAS an ambush, but we threw it off by being early. Now the plan has been changed and they will hit us on the way out. Damn, I really wanted a plain old date. Now we gotta fight our way out of here. Well, they TOLD us not to come down here.

We hit the front door ready for an immediate ambush but found none. Okay, they are going to hit us as the wall. We rushed the entrance, nobody there. We covered each others backs and made it back down the canal to the lit intersection. We are free! We can escape!

There is still the possibility that we are imagining all this, being paranoid. We are on a lit street. If we wait maybe, just MAYBE, those girls will come out and we can still have our date. I took up a position watching the lit street and the canal going the other way. My buddy covered the canal itself and the road we had just come down from the girl’s apartment. We faced each other and watched over the other’s shoulder. Nobody was going to sneak up on US!

Something hit me in the face, very hard. It drove me back and I nearly lost my feet. Struggling to remain standing I could only see in black and white. Everything was motionless, frozen in time, except for my buddy’s silhouette. It’s arms were swinging repeatedly at a much larger silhouette which was swinging back at him. I remember thinking “Oh my God – they are ALL in on it!”

I stagger around shaking my head to clear my vision, but I’m still seeing black and white. No one else is moving. I have a matter of moments before someone takes me down and I am helpless to stop them. A quick series of thoughts run through my mind. If I RUN down the street back towards main street I might get away. If I run behind the big guy my buddy will see me and run WITH me. We MIGHT get away. it’s a chance. I run.

I don’t get far before I hear my buddies voice behind me, “Don’t leave me here!” I figure they got him down. He can’t run so I can’t run either, we’re going down together! I slam on the brakes and start to turn back to the fight. My buddy slams into me. Apparently he MEANT “don’t run so much faster than ME”! lol

I want to return to the “let’s keep running til we get back on the main street” plan, but my buddy drags me into a hotel lobby. I’m still not sure they aren’t ALL in on it and I just want out of there. I do have to admit there IS a lot of blood on the floor and it all seems to be coming from my head. The hotel people want us gone. I want to be gone. My buddy wants to stop the bleeding.

The Military Police finally show up. I’m gonna LIVE! They are as interested in getting out as quickly as I was, but they would only take ME. Although bloody, my buddy was unharmed. The blood was all mine. They advise him to start running and not to stop until he got to the main gate. Then they drove off and left him there. He followed their advice.

I get a trip to the Subic Bay Military Hospital. By then we know I was hit in the face with a brick. A brick in someone’s hand! My face popped like a pimple. My buddy had blood spray all over HIS clothes from my face. My nose is smashed. Four of my front teeth are loose. They take their x-rays, do their tests, clean me up and send me back to my barracks.

I take a shower, get some clean clothes, and head back out to Olongapo. What??? We were only going to be in port for 7 days! That meant there were only so many nights available, and I STILL had NOT had my freaking DATE YET!!!

I went back to this bar and chose this girl I had met the night before, after she assured me she knew where there was a REAL restaurant where we could go have dinner. Of course, I had to pay her “Fee” to the bar so she could leave. No fee – No leave! And if you even think about debating paying the fee, that armed bouncer is gonna have 5 or 6 friends with him in a heart beat. Each one adequately armed.

She takes me to a set of very heavy wooden doors right on the main street. Those things had to be 8 inches thick! And they led to a very upscale restaurant. FINALLY! The snappily dressed waiter delicately ladelled the gravy onto my potatoes from a fancy gravy boat. “Say when, Sir” It was wonderful! And yes, I DID order a beef and potato dinner. I wanted some comfort food for my dinner date.

It wasn’t until the next day that I was able to talk with my buddy to find out what had gone wrong with our plan. What had gone wrong was HIM! He SAW a group of men come out of the same wall exit we had come through. He SAW them walking down the road towards us. He SAW them walking up right behind me. He SAW them hit me in the face with a brick! He just neglected to MENTION any of that to ME! I wasn’t pleased with the knowledge. A Marine needs to trust his partner, and he had left me swinging in the wind. It was a bitter pill.

There was talk of making a raid on that apartment, as a unit, and showing them what happens when they mess with the Marines. But I felt that some people would get seriously hurt, because they intended to do some serious hurting. We only had a couple days left of liberty and then we had to go back to Nam. It wasn’t worth it. I talked them out of it.

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