We would come here every weekend back in 1965 to do our laundry. It was a new shopping center back then and was clean and a great place to come, since we could walk from Montford Point where we were in Field Medical School at the time. Time has taken a toll on this place. Where Big Lots is now, there was once a Rose's Store.
USS Chilton (APA-38) The last ship I was on, Jan-Feb 1967 for Firex 1-67 on Vieques PR. Now this ship was a real piece of work. We had 2-3 fires on our way down to the Caribbean. The Chilton Hilton. What a scuzz bucket.
USS Fort Mandan (LSD-21) I was aboard this ship Jan-Feb 1966 for Firex 1-66 back in Vieques PR. We were staying on Blue Beach, up about 25' from the waters edge. We were able to work a day on and then a day off. We had about 6 corpsman, 2 doctors, and 1 chaplain staying in our tent. Click HERE to see Blue Beach Vieques.
USS Wood County (LST-1178) I was aboard this ship Apr-Jun 1965 for operation Quick-Kick VII down at Vieques PR. We were actually scheduled to go to a jungle survival school down in Panama, but never made it there. While on the island of Vieques we were called back to the ship and departed for the Dominican Republic. Our first mission was to evacuate American civilians and bring them to San Juan PR and then after that we went back and made our landing. Stayed up on the polo grounds for about 4-5 days in the pouring rain. Oh wow, talk about miserable. Had to sleep just sitting on your helmet with your poncho covering you. No tents, no other cover. After that we moved to a local neighborhood in Santo Domingo, just up from some hotel on the ocean. We then spent the rest of our time in this one man's backyard. This other Corpsman and I, along with our Lt. made friends with him and his family. He actually was a teacher at the local college there. Very nice family and interesting man. The…
Ahhh yes, the old living quarters. Our sick bay was there in the middle on the ground floor. Not very big, but it worked. I actually lived in the left hand side of the barracks here. I remember the "Gedunk" truck coming up behind the barracks at night selling different sandwiches. I thought the best one was one called the "Gunny". Ah, for the good times.
My home back in Oct 1966, which was built back in the 1940's. Really wasn't all that bad of a house, 2 bedroom and oil heat. My rent was here was $64.20 and that included utilities so I really couldn't complain too much, but I did since I was only making $340 a month back then. These home were all finally replaced in 2010 with new town homes. I guess part of my heart is still there in that home on 228 Butler Drive...
Of course one needed to furnish the house and at the time Rose Bros. was the place to go. $500 got me 3 rooms of furniture, bedroom, living room, and kitchen. It lasted.... for awhile anyway. But $500 was a small fortune back then and then again the $500 really didn't buy you all that much in quality either. Ah yes, now I can look back and laugh but back then I was just sweating making those payments.