Complements of the 32nd Steet Marine Red Line Brig in San Diego CA. ~ Sir! Prisoner #153 requests permission to talk to the cell block turn key Sir! Speak maggot! Sir! Prisoner # 153 requests permission to cross the red line Sir! Cross maggot! ......
~ We wanted to be transferred out of the Attack Squadron we were in (VA-112). My shipmate and I went AWOL. Two days later after the ship sailed off back to the Far East again we turned our selves in to the Grand Junction, Colorado Police. Three days later we were transferred to an Airforce Stockade in Denver Colorado. Seven days later we were flown to San Diego and put on restriction for 31 days prior to our Summary Court Martial. The result of the Court Martial Trial, was my shipmate was given a discharge under less than honorable conditions, and I was given a reduction in rate, a fine, and 15 days of hard labor at the 32nd Street Brig, a US Marine "red line" brig in San Diego CA.
The Brig was a very unusual ordeal to say the least. The discipline was like nothing I've experienced before or since. There were six rows of cells, two prisoners in each cell; except for row one and row six where there was only one. Row Six was when "stronger discipline" was needed. I was informed that when you were put there, in a dark cell, you went on bread and water for three days, and then because it was illegal to not go more than three days without food, you had a one day "restricted diet" (boiled cabbage and potatoes) and then back on bread and water for another three days until they 'broke you' down. We were also told they could do that to us indefinitely, and that since that was considered disciplinary time, it extended our enlistment if we stayed in the service. Row One was for declared homosexuals who were serving time prior to their mandatory discharge. When we marched by their cells we had to turn our backs to them and side step past. We were ordered to not look at them. I was prisoner number 153, my cell mate was prisoner number 136. Also "a Red Line Brig" meant that we would have to ask permission before crossing the red lines that were painted on the floor every where in the facility.
After being imprisoned, in orientation, we was informed of Brig protocol. I was told to start and end every communication with staff with Sir! example - Sir! 'Prisoner number 153 requests permission to speak, Sir!' I was also told that I would not leave that facility; that my sentence would be extended, unless and until I did as ordered. That they could legally keep me there for a year by adding to my sentence at a disciplinary hearing. And, that I was under their command. For the first three days, while confined to our cells, they rang loud bells all day and night. One bell meant we were to snap to attention! Two bells was parade rest! Three bells was at ease! They rang these bells all day long one after the other. Guards walked up and down past the rows of cells, and walked on top looking down thru the open cage as well, to see if we were not standing at attention facing our cell doors or doing as ordered. One of the punishments if they even caught you moving a finger while at attention, was to order you to take two steps back from the bars we were facing and lean forward with just your forehead touching the bars and not to move! This painful maneuver often would end in the physical collapse of the prisoner. There is much more but I will end this here by saying I was bloodied once while there in another circumstance, and my cell mate, prisoner number 136 ( I never even learned his name), lost it as they say and was straight jacketed, then beaten and taken away. I never saw him again.