Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Memories

I heard from Tom Graves today, who arrived at USTDC in 1964. Here's a portion of his comments:

Yesterday I was going through some old boxes and found a special folder marked USTDC. My first assignment in the Navy was at the USTDC headquarters in Taipei. I arrived in Taipei in April 1964 and departed in June 1966. The Commanding Officer was Rear Admiral Gentner. I was assigned to the J-3 Section (Operations). When necessary I was the admiral's writer and was in charge of all documents within the department. Navy Captain Shaw was in charge of the department along with representatives of the other military branches (Commander Morgan (Navy), Lt.Col. VanHusen (Army) , Lt.Col._______(Air Force) Lt.Col._____(Marines). There were two other enlisted men in the department--Staff Sargeant Bird (USAF) and Sp4 Maier (USA). When Captain Shaw was reassigned he was replaced by Captain Beale (USN). I remember to this day, the original shock I experienced leaving the Taipei airport and going over dirt roads to the USTDC compound to a hostel where I would live for over two years. Being right out of yeoman school, first assignment, new customs, foreign language (name tag in Chinese), strange food, half way around the world...was a bit much. Over time it all became just another day at the office and an experience I will never forget. I was fortunate as I had great officers and enlisted people who respected each other regardless of rank. Working with our counterparts (the Taiwanese) and doing mock military exercises were exciting, even though I never got to see the water. Overall, if I could do it all again I would be on my way tomorrow.
As always, I welcome any comments that anyone has to offer here. Just send me whatever you have (text, pictures, whatever) and I'll get them posted. I established this blog so that the history of TDC and the activities of the people who worked there would not fade away and I need your help to make that happen.

Don

3 comments:

George said...

Tom,

I had exactly the same experience being right out of YN school in San Diego and arriving in Taipei in early Feb 1965 and departing in Jan 1967. I was a YN3 at HSA Admin in the West Compound under a Captain Hollinshead who was the CO. I did mail runs each day in 65 to USTDC and lived in the Barracks next to the FASD Mess Hall. What an experience that I carry with me to this day. Learned Mandarin, today deep into Chinese History, Culture and never have forgotten those good memories.

George

sarj said...

I was a photographer 2nd class stationed at USTDC from 1960 thru 1963 and have photos I would like to share...Please tell me how and where to upload them.
Sarj Bloom
Jacksonville, FL

Don said...

Hi Sarj,

I'd be pleased to post most anything you have on the blog!

Depending on how many photos there are, you could of course email them to me: ustdc@yahoo.com. If there are too many for that, then I suggest you open a free photo storage account at someplace like Photobucket or Flickr, upload your photos to that, send me the link to that site and I'll copy them from there. Of course you could just mail me the images on a disk or send copies and I'll scan and immediately return them -- whatever you're comfortable with. Email me and I'll give you the address.

I'd really appreciate it if you could also provide me with a description of each picture, unless it's something obvious, like the TDC building or HSA compound.

I didn't take any pictures during my tour in 73-74, something that I've always regretted. Several guys have been kind enough to send me their pictures and I get really excited whenever someone offers to send more. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

Best regards,

Don