More Tales Of Palau

By Allen J. Neal

 

The X-Rated B Movie  

After working most of the day overhauling one of our generators I thought I would just watch the movie at 1900 hrs and hit the sack early to get a good night’s sleep for a change.

The movie wasn’t very good and was half over when I was about to doze off. The room was crowded with several of the crew sitting in the soft seats and the native guests on the floor.

All of a sudden the door opened and into the dark room stepped a native girl I didn’t recognize. She plopped down in the empty soft seat next to me by the door. This was a no-no as the natives always sat on the floor and the soft seats were reserved for the crew. I didn’t say anything to her—no one was sitting in the seat anyway. The girl reeked of alcohol.

The first reel was just about to end when suddenly she put her left arm around my shoulder and hugged me, then laid her head on my right shoulder. She jammed her hand inside my shorts. WHOA, I never had anything like that happen before! She had a good hold.

The first reel ended then and the movie operator said, “Lights.” They came on immediately. Suddenly she realized the lights were on and everyone was laughing at us. She jumped up and ran out the door.

The CO leaned over in his chair and said, “New girl friend?” I just shook my head and wondered who she was. I never saw her at the movies again. That was the most excitement I ever had at a movie on a Coast Guard base.

 

Outdoor Showers and Crazy Rhodes

The Coast Guard contracted with the Japanese Phosphate Mining Co. to paint our metal buildings inside and out. They brought to the base a big mobile paint spraying outfit and several painters. We had to vacate each room as they were scheduled to be painted.

When the showers were due, the engineers and DC1 Kulig rigged up a temporary outside showers under the 10,000 gallon water tanks for a couple days while the base showers were being painted. The water was warm and plentiful as the tanks were always full.

After working most of the day overhauling one of our IH UD-9 diesel generators my room mate EN2 Joe “Dusty” Rhodes and I badly needed a shower before chow time. We took off our greasy shorts and T-shirts in the room and grabbed our towels and soap and went out to the temporary showers that were about 30 feet from our door and behind the building out of sight of the road. When we finished our showers we started walking naked around the building going back to our room to get dressed.

As we rounded the corner to our room we noticed the native bus sitting in front of the base right in front of our room loading up a bicycle. The bus was an old WW II Army 6X6 with a canvas covered roof and bench seats along each side. It was full of native girls that worked their crops at various places on the island. The bus made the rounds and picked them up each afternoon to take them back to the village. I immediately ran to the room and got inside to get dressed as the girls were hooting and hollering at us. Rhodes just stood outside waving and smiling. The only thing he wore was a big grin from ear to ear. The girls were shouting “You are crazy, Rhodes, crazy.”

After the bus pulled I asked if he was embarrassed standing in front of all those girls naked. “Naw” be said, “they would be disappointed if I didn’t do something crazy”

 

Kite Flying Fools

Trying to think up some new entertainment for the afternoon doldrums, K. Kulig, DC1, and I decided we would make a kite. We cut thin strips of wood 6 feet long for the longitudinal spars and made our kite 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. We covered it with newspaper, stretched and glued over the framework. We got some rags from the machine shop and made a tail 12 feet long. We found a huge ball of string on a spool, the kind they used in a department store to wrap packages.

The north end of the base usually had a stiff south wind blowing so we took the kite out to the cliff overlooking the ocean and started letting the kite out slowly.

J. Rhodes, EN2, came out to watch and asked if he could do some target practice with his .22 Colt Woodsman pistol as the kite ascended. Sure, we didn’t care. What could a little .22 calibre hole do to our big kite? The second shot hit the kite at a distance of about 150 feet and our beautiful flying kite doubled up and came crashing down, almost hitting us.

We examined the kite and found the .22 bullet had cut the main spar in two. A lucky shot no doubt! Of course Rhodes said he was aiming for it to shoot our kite down.

Back to the DC shop we went to make another kite. This time we were not going to let anyone shoot at it. We had to cut some more wood and recover our prize kite.

We took it back down to the cliff and let it play out. It climbed upward so fast we had a hard time holding it. Soon it was just a speck in the sky and looked like it was over Peleliu, about seven miles away. We decided it wouldn’t be much fun trying to reel in so much string so we let the kite and string go free.

The last time we saw the kite it was heading north toward Peleliu and climbing higher. I have always wondered where the kite ended up in the chain of Palau islands, and if whoever found it wondered where the hell it came from.

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