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Thursday, May 19, 2011

USS Hampton In Hong Kong

USS Hampton (SSN 767) made the first port visit of a U.S. submarine to Hong Kong in three years this week. Here's a photo:

Unfortunately, one of the boat's Sailors got some unwanted press attention after having a little too much "fun" at the end of the first night ashore. I visited Hong Kong back in 2000 when I was the Submarine Liaison Officer on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and liked it a lot; it was probably my 2nd favorite liberty port, after Hobart, Tasmania. In general, did you like the big cities or smaller towns better for a mid-deployment liberty call? And did you like heading out on the town the first night, or taking duty that day so you could get the "gouge" from the guys coming back in from the first night?

Update 1421 23 May: Here are more pictures of the Hampton in Hong Kong.


Blogger Bubblehead said...

I suppose an alternate question could be: "Have you ever been arrested while out on liberty in a foreign port?"

5/19/2011 1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four stops in Hong Kong on two smoke boats. 1962, 1971, 1972, and 1974. Always tied up to RN Dockyard HMS Tamar. Different Navy in those days. "Viking Liberty" was then the order of the day. Hong Kong was ok. Preferred Yokosuka and Sasebo when yen was valued at 360 to the dollar and the Starlight and Whitehat-Dolphin club existed in submarine alley and bumble-Bee Stand Bar in Sasebo Sake Town. Keelung Taiwan was at the top of my list. Made that stop twice. Subic was also on the top of the list. Today there so many restrictions on Liberty in foreign ports I don't see how it can be much fun anymore. When I sailed Civilian Mariner on MSC ammo ships 2004-2008, big Navy tried to impose Navy liberty rules on CivMars for seven day stop in Subic summer 2007. Ships Master filed greviance as did most of unlicensed crew, and ignored most of Navy rules. About a quarter of the civilian crew including the CHENG lived in the PI when paid off and went home on leave. No "liberty incidents" for CivMars as we were all adults. BTW, Average age of MSC CivMar is 51.

Keep a zero bubble.......


5/19/2011 2:59 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

3 stops in HK--2 on the boat, one on the tender. All were about the same. All in all, I preferred the larger liberty ports (Sydney, Singapore, HK, Pattaya) over the smaller port calls like Chinhae, etc. More to do, and believe it or not, less likelihood of being ripped off in the larger cities--at least that was my experience. Anyone who has gotten in a taxi in Chinhae and tried to get to Texas Street in Pusan knows of what I speak.

5/19/2011 3:39 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

And as far as followup question:

Define, "arrested"...

5/19/2011 3:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never was arrested, but probably should have been.

I recall an A-ganger on my boat about to go on terminal leave while in the Med. Got way too drunk and passed out on a bench in LaMadd. Carabinieri woke him up and he took a swing at them. Big, big mistake. No terminal leave for him, he finished the deployment on restriction.

5/19/2011 6:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Have you ever been arrested while out on liberty in a foreign port?"

Do you have the name of the guy you are looking for, or is this just a dragnet?


5/19/2011 6:20 PM

Anonymous Hamptonplankowner said...

Good to see the old ship out and about, and staying out of trouble


5/19/2011 7:05 PM

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Hong Kong in '87. I preferred the bigger cities, though my all-time favourite port call was Koper, Slovenia. And I preferred first-night duty.

5/19/2011 8:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope he has fun spending most, if not the rest of the deployment restricted to the boat. Maybe he will finish restriction before the boats RTHP, so he doesn't get boned during stand down.

5/19/2011 8:54 PM

Blogger SJBill said...

Never, and I still have the scar on my head to prove it. ;-)

5/19/2011 10:59 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Liberty? First day?
Maybe if the plant was down early enough (or at all), but I preferred not getting the first day.

And yes, Hobart was great.

5/20/2011 2:06 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

Hong Kong in 98 and it was a blast. I was a big fan of Guam, but I'm a trashy kinda guy. I liked Brisbane and Victoria, Canada the best of any port I ever hit.

5/20/2011 6:49 AM

Anonymous Stsc said...

Big city ports now are my preference over small...less chance getting 'caught' doing something against draconian liberty rules. My first boat I preferred the smaller ones because everyone broke the rules together...

Different Navy now, & I bet Hampton Sailors are on Cinderella libs now already if not worse. Used to be I preferred second night liberty to get the gouge but now I prefer first night out because odds are - someone is going to mess up that first night and all the rest will have even more restrictions.

5/20/2011 7:05 AM

Anonymous laughter_in_manslaughter said...

Sucks for that guy. It's never a good thing when you get press coverage of a liberty incident, can't wait to see the ripple from this stupidity.

5/20/2011 8:48 AM

Blogger hughmon said...

Best liberty ever was Dunoon, Scotland. I'd elaborate, but I have no idea what the statute of limitations are.

5/20/2011 9:02 AM

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5/20/2011 10:25 AM

Anonymous said...

Was on a diesel boat that wound up being SOPA (Senior Officer Present Afloat) Hong Kong. We were in with a Carrier and some escorts in the early 1970's and liberty was somewhat competitive with all of the US sailors in port. A typhoon was heading towards Hong Kong and all ships were alerted to possibility of having to sortie. When they pulled the trigger and ordered everyone out, our corpsman couldn't be found, so we pleaded inability to get underway (since he was our sole medical support) until we found him. Of course the CO had all non-duty section hands go ashore to "search" for him. Title of SOPA, Hong Kong devolved to our CO and we took control of the local radio net as everyone else cleared out.
Amazingly enough, the typhoon veered off (and our corpsman reappeared) and after a couple of days all the big boys returned. In that 2-3 days Hong Kong was best liberty ever with dramatic demonstration of laws of supply and demand. Widespread suspicion of a conspiracy amongst the CO/XO/HM, but unproven as far as I know.


5/20/2011 10:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Hong Kong on a carrier about a year ago. We had spent the majority of what ended up being an eight month deployment in the Gulf of Oman sweating our asses off. HK was cold and rainy. It was a great time otherwise. The bad weather made for some rough liberty boat rides. Very few people got in trouble since we were only a few weeks from going home and didn't want to spend the first month home on restriction.

Good lesson on one of the previous posts, don't take a swing at the Carabieneri.

5/20/2011 11:21 AM

Anonymous ew-3 said...

In 1971 we visited Guam on our way back from VN to Bremerton. The ship, ARL-24, had been going up and down rivers in Vietnam for quite a few years. A lot of the crew had been on board for 2 or 3 years and were pretty rough around the edges. The crew proceeded to pretty much destroy Guam. Guys rented cars that hadn't driven in several years and managed to wreck most of them. In the spirit of the Green Navy on of our warrant officers to a crew on a zodiac at night and proceeded to paint a green racing stripe down the sides of a few PGs. The theme of Green is beautiful continued as they eventually painted the jap 2 man sub in front of the USMC barracks green, as well as putting a stripe on the Polaris missile outside the gate. Of course there were quite a few bar fights in Agana and a major fight with the Agana police.
Ultimately the ship was thrown out of port. Fortunately the CO was a mustang LTC that was going to retire upon arrival in the states.
When we arrived in Pearl we were sent all the way to the back of the base, think it was near some diesel subs, very far away from gray USN ships to reduce the temptation to start painting things green again.

5/20/2011 1:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the good times have ended. I recall when the gators would come in somewhere, and the SPs would have stretchers on the pier with straps and a hole for the face, and they would have two or three HMs to keep guys breathing.

5/21/2011 7:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hope he has fun spending most, if not the rest of the deployment restricted to the boat." Repeat offender, he's finished.

5/22/2011 9:46 AM

Anonymous XEM2 said...

As a nuke, I always preferred taking the first duty day. Nukes usually weren't cut loose until night, and most were so tired after the maneuvering watch and shutdown that they ended up passing out by midnight that first night.

5/23/2011 4:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Currently stuck in Guam because we are broke dick. This whole west PAC has sucked because of the liberty restrictions. Skipper is too worried about covering his ass and praying the blue shirts don't embarass us. Today's navy is no fun anymore... I feel bad for the Hampton's crew.

5/28/2011 1:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subic Bay in 80s was always a blast. Phuket has replaced Subic Bay these days.

Pulled into Hong Kong a couple of times in 90's, thought I was a vampire, partied all night and slept all day.

My moto has always been "Where there's poverty, there's liberty!!"

6/13/2011 12:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it was a setup. The sailor in question had stayed in his hotel room that night drinking with shipmates. He left the room to get fresh air, never leaving the hotel. When returning to his room, he tripped and knocked over a crystal vase and broke a glass table. Hotel staff tackled him and told police he was vandalizing their hotel and assaulting staff.

12/11/2011 10:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't know you were an expert?

7/13/2013 5:14 PM


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