Patterson Family
Bahrain
Bahrain consists of archipelago of 36 island, the biggest being Bahrain island, is thirty miles long and twenty miles wide, situated off the east coast of the Arabian mainland. Manama the capital of Bahrain is on the main island. Bahrain has a very hot and humid summers and moderate winters. Islam is the country religion and though Arabic is the official language English is widely spoken and understood.

The island of Bahrain is originally thought to have been torn off the Arabian peninsula around 6000 BC. The main island of Bahrain is known to have been inhabited since pre-historic times. Cassandra did volunteer work trying to save the ancient burial mounds before they were razed to build Hammad Town. She worked for a Dr. Bruno with the Smithsonian Institute. Bahrain is known to have been a center for trade in the ancient world as far back as 3000 BC. The Dilmun civilization founded in the Bronze Age lasted for over 2000 years. Dilmun developed as a center of trade and commerce because of its location along the trade routes linking Mesopotamia (Iraq) with Indus Valley (India/Pakistan).

Bob Smith, Chief Engineer for Chevron, insisted that I go to Bahrain and take over the Reservoir Engineer in Bahrain. This took a little thinking about before all agreed that it would not be to bad living in Persian Gulf. As we boarded Gulf Air at Gatwick Air Port in London, the pilot announced that the Persian Gulf had been declared a war zone. Yvonne immediately thought that this was not good and wanted off the plane. It was too late the plane was rolling down the runway on another adventure. Arriving in Bahrain we learned that many of the Americans were leaving as the Iranian Revolution shifted into high gear. The US Navy dependents were being evacuated to Stuttgard, Germany and the American Banks were sending their families back to the USA. Caltex and Halliburton had chosen to not evacuate their families from the island. Yvonne was sure that a wrong decision had been made. The pilot in London had stirred he up and what she found in Bahrain was like a plague for her. Her first reaction was to pack up Cassandra and flee this upsetting situation; for what ever reason she stayed. We arrived during the hottest time of the year. The humidity was so bad that condensation was mixing with the sand. I initially thought that it would be no worse than sand storms in West Texas. I had never been in a shamal in the summer in the Middle East. Shamal is the Arabic word for wind. They are a strong northwest wind that blows from Turkey into the Persian Gulf. This weather is caused when the polar and subtropical jet streams come close to each other. They tell me that shamals are a lot worse in Iraq and Iran. I did not envy them. Steve Sherlock, an engineer that I knew in Louisiana, met us at the Bahrain International Airport and transported us to our house in Awali. He had the foresight to stock up on Scotch Whiskey for us, which I put to good use that night. I had met Tom Sinclair, Manager of Production, in Singapore and he had told me a lot about Bahrain, but as is always the case it didn't really prepare us for the dry, dusty, and hot climate of the desert.

Things did not improve the next day, but the sand had stopped blowing. This island was a shock to all of us after living in the jungles of Indonesia. Dick Mary, my boss, was going on home leave the next day and left us his car to use until we found one of our own. That at least made it possible go to Manama and shop needed supplies. You could have existed in the camp as we had commissary, bank, post office, green grocer, barbershop, restaurant, club, bowling alley, swimming pool and a golf course. I learned two things that didn't help me adapt. The Bahrain government did not recognize my Indonesian Drivers License and the job was not what I thought it would be. After a heated discussion with the manager it was agreed that if I would stay a year, I would be given a better job. The next hurdle was the drivers license.

Driving around the streets of Manama was not all that bad as I quickly learned all the back streets of Manama. This was during Ramadan and most of the town was not as crowded as normal. My instructor was not observing Ramadan and he invited me over to his house in Ias Town for tea. He did not want to be seen drinking during the day by his peers. After two weeks of this I was scheduled to go to the Police Fort in the picture above to take my test. The Arab tester asked me to leave the fort. As soon as I got out on the street, he looked at me and said that is enough and that I should go back to the fort. I
thought I had failed, but he said that I did not need a test because it was obvious that I could drive.

Our shipments arrived from Indonesia and the States and we started to settle in to a normal life in the State of Bahrain. With her furniture and things around her, Yvonne decided to try to make the house into a home.

As mentioned things in the Middle East started to heat up once the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led Islamic Revolution had successfully ousted the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from power in Iran. Most of the people in Bahrain were Shia and had sympathy with the Islamic Revolution. Several demonstrations developed across the island, but were quickly stopped. In October 1979 one of the Texaco Managers in Iran was machine gunned along with his assistant and driver. Caltex took a lot of the evacuated American into the camp after the US Navy dropped them at Mina Sulman. Most of them worked for Texaco, Chevron or Caltex. The American Embassy was occupied and 52 people were taken hostage for 444 days. On 24 April 1960,

Eagle Claw
 
the United States attempted a rescue mission called Operation Eagle Claw from the USS Nimitz CVN-68 aircraft carrier. President Carter had stripped the US military down to a point that they just did not have the manpower or equipment to successful launch a rescue mission of this magnitude. The mission failed miserably primarily because of mechanical failures, poor coordination and planning and lack of qualified people long before reaching Teheran. Five USAF and three USMC died in this ill fated affair. Things were so bad in the US Navy, that Marines from the 3rd Marines in Japan had to be used as ships crew. Navy pilots chosen to fly the Navy RH-53 helicopters would not take on the job and at the last minute 12 Marines, 3 Navy, and 1 Air Force pilots were assigned to fly the Navy helicopters. All of the various group trained for the mission at separate locations with no joint training. At this time there was a lot of inter service rivalry. A second rescue mission was planned, but failed before it got started when equipment failure took out one of the only two modified C 130 Hercules aircraft necessary for the operation. The hostages were held for the remainder of Carters term as president. Just minutes after Ronald Regan was sworn in as president, Iran released the hostages. During this time Walter Cronkide reported on the news in the United States that Iranian troops had invaded Bahrain taking hostages along the way. We knew nothing about the broadcast, but it was very unsettling for American families in the United States. It was just another bit of media coverage that no one went to the effort to check out before going on the air. Caltex New York spent a lot of time calling families to tell them not to believe anything the the media was saying. During all this Iraq invaded Iran causing more unrest in the area. Then Iran started sinking oil tankers and threatened to blockade the Straits of Hormuz.

Chevron came to Bahrain in 1928 after gaining exploration rights on the island. On 1 June 1932 Bapco Number 1 discovered oil starting the oil industry in the southern Persian Gulf. Chevron did not have a market for the oil but Texaco did. An agreement was finalized on 30 June 1936 with the creation of California Texas Oil Co., Ltd. or Caltex. A refinery was built near the field to process the oil for shipment to the Texaco markets.

I was appointed Manager of Production not long after arriving in Bahrain. After the Bahrain National Oil Company assumed 100% control of the producing well things started to change. The head of Banoco was a former Bapco Petroleum Engineer named Hassan Fakhro. I had met him when he was on a training assignment with Chevron in Louisiana. Since It was becoming obvious that Bapco could not or would not supply us the same level of support that they had in the past, Hassan agreed to creating a better field support group. Several changes had to be made so that we could maintain production of oil and gas. Purchase of new equipment, increase in manpower, and changes to methods of operation had to occur before we could take on this job. I had to build additional buildings, hire new employes and structure the organization. I was fortunate that I had three Arabs that had a lot of potential and were able to step up and handle the additional work. For the first time they had been given authority to run their operations. I was rather amaze at their abilities, because my predecessor who had been there since 1939, told me that they could not do it. They made the whole thing go very smoothly. I sent one of them to India to recruit the necessary people to supply the electrical, mechanical, instrumental technicians support. After about 8 months I had a new building for the electrician, welders, technicians and all the equipment necessary to support the production operation. I initiated a training program to develop new Arab to fill a lot of the positions and to develop supervisors. By the time I had to turn over the field to a Bahraini, we had an independent group that supplied service to our gasoline service stations and the field.

Pictures of Awali Field
Pictures Around Bahrain
Pictures of Awali and the Field
Don and Marie Mahura's Going Away Party
Pictures of Awali People
Bapco Recruiting Pictures

Cassandra had to ride the school bus into Juffir to attend the US Department of Defense School. The school was sponsored by the US government for dependents of US Navy and Embassy personnel, but was open to anyone with the money for tuition. There were 30 nationalities in the school including a lot of the Royal Family and more prominent Arabs in the area. One of Cassandra's classmates was His Royal Highness Salam bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalif the current Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defense Force. During this time it was not very popular being an American in the Mid East. Many of the student had experienced the bombings of the Israeli Army in Lebanon and had a definite idea about who was right and who was wrong. Needless to say several interesting discussions ensued between the students.

While in Bahrain I held the jobs of Reservoir Engineer, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Manager of Production and Advisor to the General Manager of the Bahrain National Oil Company. In 1985.

Cassandra graduated from the Bahrain High School in 1985 at a ceremony in the Manama Regency Intercontinental Hotel. We had everything packed up so we got two rooms in the same hotel. Made things rather convenient. The family was ready to move back to the USA and put Cassandra into college. This did not coincide with the views of Chevron as they wanted me to take over engineering in Aberdeen, Scotland. This went over much like a lead balloon as I was not ready to let go of my daughter. I really wanted to go to the USA where she was starting college.
Like everything in life you have to play the cards dealt. We boarded Gulf Air on the first day of Ramadan and headed for London.

Chapter 1 My Way of Thinking
Chapter 2 My Father and Mother Became Sharecroppers
Chapter 3 Conception to Awareness
Chapter 4 Now I Know That I Remember -- I Think
Chapter 5 Things That We Did on The Farm
Chapter 6 Life on Jackson's Place
Chapter 7 My Education Begins
Chapter 8 Life on the Farm

Chapter 9 Move to the Metropolis of Lubbock, Texas
Chapter 10 Marines

Chapter 11 College and New Orleans

Chapter 12 Indonesia
Chapter 13 Bahrain
Chapter 14 Scotland