"I wuz robbed"

I was an airman apprentice and we stopped off in Japan and probably getting paid $50 a month.  I bought a new Seiko watch for $20 and loved to wear it.   Our next liberty was in Subic Bay, Olongapo City.  Everyone warned me to not take my camera when I went "on the beach" in the Philippines because it would be snatched.  So my camera stayed on board the Yorktown but I did wear my watch.

Only one street was "on limits" in Olongapo.  Everything else was "off limits."  On the main street was one bar, another bar, two hotels, a brothel, another bar, etc. down two sides of the street.  So here I am at night, walking down the main street and chatting with a shipmate when suddenly I feel my watch being ripped right off of my wrist! My shipmate says that he was talking to me and then he turned to say something to me and I had "vanished!"  Actually, having my watch ripped off my wrist, along with some flesh, really pissed me off and my adrenalin was really pumping.  I started chasing the thief at high speed.   The Thief quickly left the main street and ran into "off limits" apparently thinking I'd stop following him.  But I was still so angry that I continued to chase him, feet away from as we ran through the very dark Olonogapo streets.  Only the main street had street lights.It was a moonless night and I could now barely see him but I could HEAR him just ahead but still he was running just a bit faster than me.  We must have covered half a mile.  Then we come to a little footbridge and he jumps right in! I hear the splash as his body hits the water and the panting as he tries to swim out of this dirty germ infested sewer.I'm still pissed off and there I am, in my dress whites, with one leg over the bridge's handrail, ready to jump into the water after him. Suddenly I hear this little voice in my head, it says  "Sailor, are you nuts?  That guy probably has a knife and you only paid $20 for the watch!"I bring my leg back down and then look in the sky for the light and sneak back to Main Street hoping the Shore Patrol doesn't see me. 

Written By: Daniel A.Bernath  PH2  USN 1966 to 1970, USS Yorktown 1968 to 1970