Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Assorted Musings

I don't have any new material today, but I would like to touch on a couple of subjects that have been on my mind recently.

First of all, I'm a little concerned that I may have left the impression here, and in the newsgroup as well, that I didn't care much for Taiwan while I was there. If anyone got that impression, please understand that I have nothing but admiration for Taiwan and its people. Whatever negative feelings I ever had were solely because of my separation from my wife and kids for the fifteen months that I was there. For several good reasons at the time, my family remained in the States while I was at USTDC.

I'm sure that I don't have to explain to former military folks how long absences from one's family can affect attitude. I have always said that Taipei should have been the best assignment of my career. Under different circumstances, I'm sure it would have been. I don't think I've ever met anyone who felt that Taiwan was a bad place to be assigned, and I include myself in that group.

Also, please understand that the views expressed here are those of young American military men, most of whom were in their twenties or so when they served in Taiwan. I'm not the same person I was in 1973-1974, nor is anyone else. The exuberance of youth is a wonderful thing, but I suspect that most of us wouldn't really want to relive it. If you're looking for the "big picture" of Taiwan or you want to discuss current political issues of the place, there are plenty of blogs and newsgroups available for that. This is more like a personal diary than a history book.

I started this blog to record a brief history of USTDC and its surroundings as seen through my eyes and the eyes of many other young men many years ago. I like to think that I've accomplished that objective, even if I don't write another word.




Anonymous said...

Don: Many thanks for your hard work and time spent in creating this blog. As one who spent four
exciting years in Taipei, every time I check this blog and find a new picture or pictures from "back in the day" it's a little like opening presents on Christmas day.

Keep the blog just as it is and don't change a thing.

Jim Sartor

sarj said...

Don I understand your motive and I am so happy that I found this site. I am living my days in Taiwan all over again and enjoying it very much the site is Ding How man.
Sarj Bloom

George said...


You've accomplished many good things with this blog and more! I am very appreciative of all you've done. We all were young when stationed in Taiwan and now we can enjoy the experience we had while we are older.

Thanks again Don (Tong-En) for the best memories.


Jonathan Benda said...

I don't follow the newsgroup, but just judging from all the hard work that goes into this blog, I had the impression you valued your time in Taiwan. I really appreciate the pictures and stories you have posted here.

Wei-Bin said...

Don: I am a Taiwan citizen who is interested in military history. I want to thank you for making this blog. From your blog, I learned a lot about how my country was like in the past. Most Taiwanese people at that time could not afford cameras; so your blog is a wonderful source of historical images. Thank you and keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous said...


Ditto to all the comments! I was lucky to bring my family to Taiwan for 2 years. Laterr in my AF career, I completed 2 short tours (Turkey & Korea), so I certainly understand your point!

Whenever I chat with relatives or acquintances, I tell them that Taiwan & England were my best assignments.

Keep up the good work; I especially like all the photos!

Best Regards

John Hurst said...

Hi Don, this is Marc. I think we've talked before via email. I am the American guy who lives in Taipei and put together the vintage Formosa website awhile back. It use to be at, now its at a more permanent location: (soon to be updated with about 500+ more photos when I get the motivation..)

Btw, I am an army vet (78-81 Germany) and have always been interest in what the US Military did here in Taiwan. Up until a few years ago (when a few of you vets started to putting your blogs online) this info was impossible to find over here, so big thanks for your effort!

I've been collecting old Taiwan images for several years and have a few smaller MAAG things I can send your way. I'll zip and post on my site and drop you an email in the near future so that you can download. I also have a mishmash of old Taiwan things at my personal site here: You are welcome to post anything from my site on your site.

Cheers from Taipei!

Dennis said...

Don, I agree with what everyone else has stated in their comments. Thanks and keep up the good work. Apparently you have the support of many people including myself who enjoy this stie and often submitt to it.

Dennis McNelis