Richard Johnson: My first port of call was Oran, Algeria. It was just wonderful. And that’s what I say – join the Navy and see the world. Well, I did see the world. And all in all, I went to 22 different countries.
Anthony Francica: They were all beautiful. Each and every place is different and beautiful.
Agustin Ramos: We were more mischievous out in different ports than we were here. In foreign ports, we felt like we didn’t know what was going on, so it was like a kid in a candy store.
Jim Pelham: Olongapo had more bars than you can imagine. They had, they had bar beside a bar beside a bar, with a bar behind, between, and one above both of those.
Errol Kellum: After thirty to forty-five days on the line, that’s what everybody looked forward to is to have that first cold San Miguel.
Arthur Woods: We would get into a port and we would tell the cab driver to take us to the zoo, and you know he’d say, “The zoo? You don’t want to go to the bar? You don’t want to go . . .” No, we want to go to the zoo.
Francica: It was great to bring the people together and you know, don’t forget back then, too, because of the war, a lot of people, there was a lot of people that didn’t like us, so we really wanted to go out of the way and make people comfortable.
Kellum: Everyone in Japan was respectful and helpful. But there was a – like a 50/50 of people who did not care, still hadn’t forgotten World War II.
Howard Hitsman: It was like people looked at the United States as being a war type people. You still had the same, people that would jump up and say, “Oh have you killed anybody lately?” And did that kind of stuff, you know. We was there to protect that country where we was visiting. At one time or another, if we’re called on we’ll be there for them.
Ramos: I remember, when I went to Spain, I was on the bus. And one of the ladies grabbed her daughter and pulled her in and she says, “Be careful with those American sailors.” You know, in Spanish. And so I told her, I said, “Oh, no, no. We’re not bad people. We’re just admiring the Spanish.” And she just turned red and didn’t realize that I spoke Spanish. So, up till about 10 years ago, I still kept friendships with her family and the people there.