Black Marketeers Take a Hit


On payday, anyone serving in Yokosuka can reall the mad trek to the EM club to exchange scrip for Japanese yen. We had to wend our way through the crowd of black marketeers (almost exclusively Koreans) on the way to the exchange window, of whom the majority were Korean. On the way out, we were plied with their incessant pleas to buy PX items. On one occasion, a Korean asked me to buy him a set of Spaulding custom golf clubs. Knowing that the Yokosuka PX sold no golf clubs, I was puzzled. He explained that he wanted me to go with him to the PX at Tachikawa by taxi where they sold them. The offer was to purchase a $450 set of clubs and he would give me $50 in return. My mind was working overtime and I began to hatch a scheme. I agreed and we were on our way for the 45 minute ride to Tachikawa. After receiving the $400, I entered the PX. I immediately bought a travel bag and clothing. I headed to a changing booth and donned a golf shirt, Bermuda shorts, sneakers, a golf cap and sun glasses. My clothes were stowed in the travel bag and I left. I walked within 20 feet of the black marketeer who failed to recognize me. I took a taxi to the train station and went back to Yokusuka. I bet the Korean was still looking for me months afterward.

Derick S. Hartshorn


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Derick S. Hartshorn - 2009-present
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