Sunday, July 16, 2017


Here is a new one from a shipmate who calls himself Seajay the Sailor Man… I hope you enjoy!!!

If you were stationed in Norfolk, Va. during the early '60s you know about EAST MAIN STREET...

For those of you who don't know, East Main was a street that was about four blocks long! It consisted of bars on both sides of the street from one end to the other!! There was one place that was not a bar. It was one of those Salvation Army places!!!

I know really good drinkers that tried to go to East Main and drink a beer in each bar on both sides of the street from one end to the other and just could not make it! I use to go down there just to watch what was going on!! There was one bar that advertised itself as the WORLD'S LARGEST ASH TRAY!! All kinds of names to get you to come in if possible!! Really nice looking bar girls with several pretty teeth, sometimes!!!

I think the bar was the ‘Krazy Kat’ that I settled into a booth with a beer to just watch what went on! A very large Marine corporal came in with his cuffs rolled up, his tie slack and his hat on the back of his head!! He flopped on a stool and ordered a beer in a very loud voice!!!

He appeared to be very drunk as he sat there soaking his beer when the Shore Patrol walked in! For you landlubbers out there, the Shore Patrol is the military police of the Navy!! They cruise the bars to prevent trouble and keep service personnel straight!!!

The two shore patrol guys walked over to the Marine and requested he straighten his uniform, fix his hat or remove it and shape up! The Marine turned around on the stool and faced one average-size sailor and one Philippine sailor a little over 5 feet tall!! This guy probably just barely made the height and weight requirements for the service!!!

The Marine was a little over six feet and would weigh something over two forty and mostly muscle as I could tell! He looked at the Shore Patrol and told them where to go and what they could do when they got there!! With this the larger Shore Patrol guy stepped back and the short one again requested that the Marine shape up or feel the consequences!!!

At this point the Marine made a very big error! He swung at the little guy with his ham sized hand that would have smashed the little guy if he had connected!! The little guy simply stepped aside, rolled under the punch and tossed the Marine on the floor like a sack of beans!!!

The Marine leaped to his feet and bull-charged at the little guy! As the Marine came at him the little guy simply stepped aside and tripped the Marine, again dropping him like a sack of beans!! The first Shore Patrol guy was simply standing to one side watching the whole commotion!!!

I asked him if he was going to help his buddy and he smiled and said no but he probably should help the Marine to make it a fair fight! This went on for several more swings and charges until the Marine ran out of steam!! At this point the Marine was covered in dirt from the bar floor, bruised probably mentally as well as physically from the falls and completely embarrassed for letting himself be whipped by someone smaller than his sister!! They cuffed the marine and carried him to the paddy wagon!!!

Sometime later I was over at the gym in the Naval Air Station! We went over to shoot some hoops and goof off for half a day!! I walked into the gym and in one section they had a large mat on the floor!! Guys were throwing themselves at this mat and flopping around like crazy!! They would run and deliberately hurl themselves hitting so that their leg and arm and side hit at the same time!!!

I figured they were nuts until I noticed the instructor! He was the same Philippine guy that was on Shore Patrol that night in the ‘Krazy Kat’ on East Main!! I think the sport was called Jiu-Jitsu!! The art of using one's opponent's weight against himself, or something like that!! I called it beating the living hell out of someone without losing your white hat!!!

So it went on the Norton on shore in Norfolk Va…

Seajay the sailor man!!!


  1. The shore patrol story reminds me of when I got orders TAD to 7th Fleet Shore patrol in Subic Bay R.P. one cruise. It was for 4 months in 1972 when Vietnam was on and Olongapo City was the hottest liberty port for US Sailors in the world.
    When a couple of carrier was in port the bars would all fill up (and there were hundreds of them) and the sailors would fill the streets.. They would be mostly drunk, but also mostly looking for female companions and not fights.
    But there would be still be plenty of fights every night that we had to break up. I must have been involved in hundreds of fights, but never lost even one. Not because of my fighting skill (and we trained every other day and ran in formation the other days), but because of 2 things. We were sober, and we weren't usually the object of the people throwing the punches. You might say we had a big advantage, to go along with the long bamboo clubs we could use if we had to.

    1. Interesting that you wrote about Subic, that was my very first thought as I read the story! lol I was AF stationed at Clark for several years in the 70s and 80s and spent many weekends down at Subic fishing, camping on base and on occasion sampling the entertainment across the bridge there! Fun times and we were smart enough to stay away from Subic when the ships were in! Easier to stay out of trouble that way and hang onto our rank! hahaha

    2. I was stationed in San Miguel (30 miles North of Subic Bay) and had Shore Patrol every 4th day. We had 13 clubs and 97 girls working at the bars. I handled the fights this way. I would let them fight until they were tired and then handcuff the winner right away. Then my partner would handcuff the looser and we would call for a paddy wagon to take them back to the base. Our job was to know each girl, where she worked and to make sure she had a clean health card so she could work. I could tell some stories that are some real NO SHIT stories. This was back in the mid 60 ties.

  2. I liked your story, it had that nice gritty feel of a good sea story. This is why I have started my podcast, that you can see in my link. Im still working on my next few episodes, and launching them within a week or so. You would be fun to have you as a guest, to discuss the art of the sea story and share a few. My original thought on my podcast was to feature only my shipmates, but having talked to other sailors who have podcasts and blogs..I think it would be great to share all these good sea stories, and have a guest from a different ship or era in the Navy on once in a while. Once again great article, feel free to message me on facebook at the page below if your interested.

    1. Always looking for a good podcast, never thought there might be some navy or even better some submarine podcast.

    2. Sorry about that guys, got busy doing podcasts with some shipmates Im back. The link is if you click my name on there but here this might be better.
      We are on Itunes too
      You can message me on the facebook page and I will always respond in less than 24 hours

  3. if i wrote one of these from my past would you rewrite it so folks could understand it??

  4. this brings back a lot of memories I was in Norfolk pre commission to go on the uss ranger aug 10th 1957 and spent a lot of time on noth main st we called it shit city dogs and sailors stay off the grass

  5. How about the red rooster that was on the 2nd floor? at the end of street.

  6. We were in Hong Kong and I was assigned as U.S. Navy SP liaison with the British SP's. Every night we would get in their van and cruise the "finer" areas of Hong Kong, including making rounds through some of the rooftops. That in itself was an interesting experience.

    The British SP's were the nicest, most polite people I'd run into . . . until someone said "no" to them. One night we got a call to a bar and arrived to find a fight between to RN sailors that was just over. The loser of the fight was still there and the other party had already departed for greener pastures. The Brit SP's were polite and asked everyone what had happened. Ends up the loser, now sitting on a bar stool nursing a bloody nose and swelling eye, had started the fight. The Brits politely asked him to come outside and as they approached the SP van the sailor made the mistake of trying to pull away. Before I realized he was making a move the Brits had him in a headlock, his arms twisted behind his back, and had handcuffs on him. I'd never seen anyone change from polite to badass that fast in my life but that's the way the British SP's were.

    This was a major learning experience for me and one I never forgot.

  7. My shipmate and I got SP in lovely Naples, one night we were sitting on a wall near the Castle, about 20 drunk Marines were having a lovely fight heading to the landing to get into a Mike boat to head back to their ship. My shipmate actually stood up and put on his little white helmet holding his little white stick as if to become the flaming sword of Sea Justice. One of the Marines saw him and raised his arms shouting, "We'll take care of our own!" I shouted, "FINE WITH US!" and pushed/pulled my shipmate the other way. I told him that fighting one drunk Marine was bad enough, but giving 20 drunk Marines a common cause was suicide and also where they would find his little white stick during the Autopsy. He got better after a he/she told him how handsome he was and he declared he was in love...