Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Bucks

A friend recently sent me this link to historical military pay charts at military.com. I was a little surprised to find that when I enlisted in the Air Force back in 1962, they paid me the princely sum of $78.00 per month. By the time I arrived in Taipei in 1973 as a technical sergeant (E6), I was all the way up to an astounding $577.80 per month plus allowances!

Check out the charts if you'd like to see what you were earning during your time in Taipei.

15 comments:

Stev said...

I see that as an E-4 with under 2 years in 1960, I was making $122.30 a month. Of course that was before deductions for income tax, social security, and savings bonds. I'm not sure precisely how much was added to that in allowances, but I vaguely rembember my pay as being in the $220 to $230 a month range while I was in Taiwan. I do remember taking a substantial pay cut when I went from there to the USS Norton Sound in Port Hueneme, CA.

George said...

As an E4 in 1965-66 I was getting just over $200 a month. It was plenty considering the cost of food was so low. I seem to remember .15 cent to .25 cent beers?

Don said...

My family was in the States while I was at USTDC, so I supported two separate households while I was there. I've mentioned spending time in the stag bar at the Club 63, but I never spent a lot of money there. For me it was pretty much living payday to payday for 15 months.

George said...

I remember full meals at the FASD Mess Hall in the Signal Compound ran between $1 - $2 US. Those were the days.

sarj said...

I found my W-2 for 1963 that last year I was in Taiwan. I made a grand total of $2288.00 as an E5. It doesn't sound like much now but I live like a King as many others did. I had a maid that worked 6 days a week for $25 a month. She cooked and cleaned, ironed, went to the market and even shied my shoes. I had a car in a time and place where if you owned a car you could afford a driver too. Well I never had a driver but as you all know we lived like Kings while we were there.

George said...

I also located my W2's from 1965 and 1966. For 1965 as an E3 I earned $1,833. For 1966 as an E4 I earned $2,613. Money went a long way back in those days!

Anonymous said...

Those monetary amounts probably did not include your housing allowance, your rations and any COLA that was paid to you each month. Your income would have been considerably higher than those W2's stated. No matter, we lived quite well on paychecks..

George said...

I think those were the total gross earnings for both 1965 and 1966. I had no housing allowance as I lived in the Signal Compound Barracks. I remember there was Overseas Duty pay and food allowance. But wouldn't those have been taxable gross income? But from my memory, I was seeing just about $200 per month for both years, not considerably higher than those figures.

Don said...

> George said...
>
> I remember there was Overseas >Duty pay and food allowance. But >wouldn't those have been taxable >gross income?

Only your base pay would have been taxed. Allowances (rations, quarters, OS pay, etc.) were not taxed.

Don

sarj said...

I just found my 1040 for 1962. This was for a full year as an E5 where as the other was for less than a full year in 1963 because I was discharged the start of Nov.
1962 filing as married jointly
my total income was 2,602.83
and I got a 182.40 refund.
Can you imagine that we lived like kings on that amount? Well we did especially compared to the locals. I enjoyed how this amount of money gave me such a good life in Taiwan, but I was also aware that it made us Americans targets of jealousy and envy, making me uncomfortable sometimes. It's a hard thing to explain the feelings but I'm sure that all of you know what I'm talking about and the Chinese who lived there at this same time period also know about these feelings.

sarj said...

I just found another paper that I had to submit along with many others for permission to marry in Taiwan.
The list of finances is as follows
This is from Jan 1963
Base pay......... $205.00
Clothing allowance ........6.00
BAQ......................105.00
Housing Allowance..........15.00
Sea and foreign duty pay....16.00
Basic Allowance Subsistence..77.10
Total pay......#424.10

Don said...

Thanks, Sarj. I've been trying to remember what pay category I didn't draw while I was there because I lived in the hostel.

I think it must have been that $15 housing allowance, which I think was designed to help with utilities or something or something like that.

Don said...

Or something.

sarj said...

As my breakdown show we got paid a lot more money then showed up on our W2's . I was surprised at amount. W2 show 2,602.83 but if you totaled up my monthly figures and multiples by 12 I made actually #5,089.20
that's a big difference. My pay was was doubled by being overseas. Maybe that's one of the reasons I wanted to stay in Taiwan for at least another tour of duty.

sarj said...

I guess this subject rang a bell with everyone.
I haven't found any records,yet, to show my first year of civilian life pay rate. I know I made 1.70 per hour in a printing plant in Fostoria OH and that amounts to $272.00 a month, far less than I made in the Navy in Taiwan.
Maybe this is one of the reasons I drove three hours to Cleveland to ship over. The other reason was I had a brand new baby girl to think of. I had no insurance to cover the baby born in Feb '64 so I was needing money.
Anyway I signed all the papers and I was going to be going to a carrier, but the doctor would not stay to give me the physical and I refused to stay over night and drove home. On the way home I decided not to ship over as I needed to give civilian life a shot.
In '65 I moved to Lafayette Indiana and got a job that paid me $492.00 a month as a journeyman photographer in a union company(which is another story), just about what I made the last year in Taiwan.