These are images Dad took while in the military during the mid-1950s. He was stationed in the Philippines and visited Hong Kong. He opted to enlist voluntarily for other countries, rather than be selected to go to Korea. We have about six carousels of his time there. Also included are slides of Dad taken by others during this time. Omitted from this gallery are many of the interesting scenes of jungle and the airstrip and equipment used to make it.

These pictures show interest in culture and natural beauty, his pride in playing a part of large construction, and his curiosity about new places. His subjects fall into three themes: the heavy duty equipment the Navy crew was using, the scenery and local citizens, and leisure times with men in his mob. As we were growing up, Dad seldom spoke of these experiences, but conveyed a great deal of enthusiasm.

Mom adds: "The Navy was building Supac Bay in the Philippines. Toward the end of his time there he began training to go to Antarctica, but ended up being discharged. He was able to take the unbelievable coat home."

While in the service Dad bought himself a bango, a camera, taught himself typing, studied a book on photography, looked for a part-time job, and studied and passed a trade examination. He wrote articulate letters to his mother and father, Ethel and Otto Christian. He told what his work days were like, his impressions of the local people, concerns about what he would choose to do for a living after he was discharged, vignettes of water-skiing, fishing, skin diving, hunting, chapel, and dancing; about shore leaves and trips home. He was surprisingly estute and fascinated for a guy in his mid-twenties, when describing his visit to a [Hong Kong?] tailor.

In these letters, he asked his mother about people, new babies, and activities in their lives. And he frequently asked his father about the farming tasks, depending on time of year, and expressed regret at the high expense his parents had keeping his car insured while he was in the service. In many letters he was sensing out his dad's opinion on careers, throwing out ideas of electrician, heavy duty mechanic, and what sounded like his favorite, getting a job with the forestry service. Throughout the scores of letters is a tone of apology for not helping his father with the farming because he had enlisted, and an undertone of the possibility that he might not do that either when he was discharged.

I did not Photoshop these images, they are displayed as is. The bluish cast in all the images is from the slide film itself is, again, left as is. The titles show if you hover your mouse over the image. These are the titles written by my dad on the carousel, but I added the country locations.

In one image, you will see a lighted cross over dad's torso. Dad once explained that this was a photographic accident caused by a double exposure. To me it looks as if a light had shown on him through a cross-shaped window. However it happened, the picture sums it all to me.

Daniel, this is for you-