Hey Vic....Thanks for posting. A hitch out in the PI back in those days would have been an experience. Beer was five cents in the PX and a pack of "tailor made" smokes the same (or less). Somebody has said that it was "an Enlisted Man's Paradise". I gotta think that this was so.
Hey Vic....Yeah, I have always felt that those guys should have been payed "sea pay" since, for all practical purposes, they were "aboard ship", although not for extended times. I have never learned what the "tour" was on Fort Drum. Somewhere in the back of my min lurks the notion that the skeleton crew that was constantly at the Concrete Battleship, rotated back to Fort Mills every 30 days. Still, 30 days out on that post would wear on a guy's nerves. I would think that a Naval vessel could sail to Frisco in a bit shorter time. Even so, I feel I could have stood a hitch in the PI in those days. As I have said, previously, on this and the Corregidor Forum, it was a softer ride than viewing an old grey mule's backside, plowing an Alabama cotton patch, or digging coal in Harlan County, Kentucky. My Uncle escaped the rocky hillsides of the Missouri Ozarks, to serve in the "China Navy" and never returned to his humble, rural existence. The Orient served as an escape for many an under privileged lad in those days. Of course, the price for many of them was being KIA, MIA, or POW. I would suppose that many yearned for the drudgery of their previous existence while wasting away in a Jap prison pen. Cheers.
I am currently working on my step-fathers photo album from years approx 1935-1941. The only story he ever told us of his life in the P.I. was that he was on the last boat out before the Japs landed. As they were loaded ready to leave port a Zero dropped a bomb between his ship and another. He received his discharge on the float back but was kept active duty at the convenience of the government at the gang plank till 1946. As near as I can figure he was in "Btry G, 59th Coastal Artillery (CA). There are nearly 100 photo's and a few are the same that you posted.