San Miquel Beer – Subic Bay

San Miguel is/was a local beer. Sold on base, it was delivered by a beer truck.

One peaceful day, we were taking on provisions. Tied to the dock the hatches were open and the cranes were all in operation loading and moving stuff around. A San Miguel Beer Truck rolled up on the dock, close to the ship. One of the Navy guys suddenly had a problem that required the attention of the Officer of the Deck.

“Somehow” around 130 cases of San Miguel beer disappeared from the truck while it was parked there. Seems that someone had stolen the beer truck and apparently made off with around 130 cases of beer! Amazing! And they parked the beer truck on our dock, probably to make us look responsible!

A thorough search of the ship is made and no stolen beer is found.

A few days after leaving port, a couple empty San Miguel beer cans are found rolling around on the deck. A complete search is conducted again. Warnings are issued. A couple days later, couple more cans. They went through that ship with a fine tooth comb. No beer. More threats, angry threats. It’s almost a week before another empty can is found.

They are really applying the pressure now! There is obviously beer on board and they can’t find it! They HAVE to find it! Someone HAS to tell! And someone finally did.

Stored above our decks were “Mike Boats”, beach assault boats. The beer had been loaded into one of the boats by one of the cranes. The armor plate was unscrewed from the inner walls of the boat and the beer stored between the armor plate and the outer hull. At night they could meet in the boat and party. The cans found on deck were badly thrown cans that blew back onto the deck below when they tossed their empties overboard.

The beer was confiscated and stacked in one of the cells in the brig. Good thing I wasn’t a beer drinker or that might have bothered me. Staring at all that beer in the cell across from mine for 3 days. But that’s another story.

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