Collecting Shells at Grande Island
But these were not your ordinary shells!

I was the Assistant Manager of Grande Island for about 14 mo. and did a lot of diving around Grande. One day, Ramon, one of the life guards and myself went to the back side of the Island and came across an 8 inch shell that was still intact. We threw it in the back of the jeep and took it to the shop where we chipped and painted it. I used it for a door stop for several months at the office where Tom Watkins EN3 and myself also lived while station on Grande.

We had many parties on Grande and many times we would bump that shell and it would roll down the hall and crash in to the bulk head. No big deal, we would just roll it back into place and have another beer. One day we where diving again and found yet another shell, and once again we threw it in the jeep and took it to the shop.

However this time I wondered if maybe we should have it checked out by the Bomb disposal team. Just for GP of course. So I called Main Side (Subic) and told them the story. The very next day they showed up at Grande and inspected the last round we found, and upon their inspection they discovered it, as still being a live round. Sooooo, I showed them the one we chipped and painted at the office. They said some choice words and confiscated both rounds and departed.

Next day, I was told to read the Subic Bay Newsletter when it came out.  Wow! What a huge hole those two rounds made when they blew them off, and of course, I was the laughing stock of Grande for a while. Oh well! I was just being true to the reputation of swabbies. Its a wonder why Im still alive!

Does any one have a copy of the Subic Bay Newsletters of that time or remember the incident? Love that place and so many great memories!

Jim Nichols, AB3, 1962-1964, USN Special Services Subic