THE STORY OF MIGUEL
By: Bill “Lanny” Lanahan
“I knew that by taking on an administrator on an online website for the ‘Sailfish’, that I would eventually be subject to many requests, but I had no idea as to their extent or intent!” Lanny
With all the stories of West Pac cruises, overseas liberty, hell raising, and drunken stupors most of us partook in during our days on the Sailfish, the one story that hits me the hardest has also made me realize that our actions some 50 years ago may have resulted in responsibilities that some of us may have managed to avoid for that same length of time. I suppose that since the Sailfish website has gotten quite a bit of traffic and attention following its inception, it doesn’t surprise me too awful much that I would receive a ‘Request’ from someone looking for a lost family member.
The request that was sent to me is as follows:
Sir Mr Lanny,
I will be much grateful to join Sailfish site but group closed unless crew or family. I now 48 and before mother dye, she say father was very brave diesel sub boat sailor who once visit my home in Subic City Philippines. She give me silver dolphin pin that father gave her when he was sailor on sub boat Sailfish.
Thank You Kindly for all help. May I join Group?
At first, I thought that maybe someone was pulling some sorta gag on me by sending me a “gag” request. Figuring this to be the case, I politely replied to Miguel asking for a little more concrete evidence such as a photo or something.
Here was his reply:
Sir Mr Lanny,
To help me join group, I will send photo of me when I be very young to very much see resemblance for helping find father. Look forward to join group and meat father. Photo come soon.
I suppose all of us have at one time or another sat back and thought, “Man, I might have a kid or two floatin’ around overseas that I don’t know about.” I know I’ve thought about that very thing once or twice, especially after my second or third single malt scotch, or when my kids (and now my grandkids) ask me ‘What I did’ when I was overseas.
I figure it’s in our undersea sailor blood and nature to always think of those good old days sucking down a few San Miguel’s before releasing a little penned up frustration that seemed to build in every Tonkin Gulf/Cold War submarine sailor following a 30 day op off the coast of Gahdknowswhere. We’ve all ‘Been there, done that’.
It wasn’t long afterwards before I got a photo of the little guy looking for a father he believes may have been aboard the 572. I decided it would be best if I were to share his request (above), and his photo (below) with the rest of you Western Pacific Sub Sailor crew members to see if maybe one of you will step up to the plate and claim responsibility for this poor, unfortunate soul who for the past 45+ years has gone through life wondering what his last name was, wondering if he would ever have a real daddy, or wondering who he resembled most, his mom, or his dad.
I know it’s been over forty-five years, and I know this poor soul belongs to one of you out there. As for me, after looking at the photo real close, it’s certainly apparent that the little one is not from my blood line, but I do have my opinions given the strong resemblance to at least one crew member that I know of. Hey, maybe down the road the poor soul might need a kidney or something.
Here’s the photo he sent……………….. Scroll Down….