Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, May 4, 2009

General Sutterlin

Air Force Brigadier General Frederick J. Sutterlin was the fifth USTDC Chief of Staff, arriving in 1962.

I received a note from his son Fred a few days ago and he shared these photos. The first one is his father's desk name plate. He asked if anyone might know the significance of the figure on the gong.
The second photo is of the brass fishing boat that Fred received from members of an English class he taught at the Chinese Officers' Language School during the six months he lived in Taiwan. After those six months, he returned to the States to continue his own studies.

He remembered that when they arrived in Taipei during June of 1962, they stayed for a while at a place called "Seven Seas Villa" until they found quarters on Grass Mountain. He even recalled the members of his father's house staff: Ho, Yo and Tsu.


George said...

Link to Wikipedia, the figure on the gong is a Qilin or Kirin, but as to what significance it has, it is probably just a decoration.

Don said...

Thanks very much, George.

I need to point out that the use of the word "significance" was mine, not Fred's. I should have just asked if anyone knew what the figure was, which of course you did.

I did notice that in the Wikipedia description of the nature of the beast was this: "Although it looks fearsome, the Qilin only punishes the wicked. It can walk on grass yet not trample the blades and it can also walk on water."

I think that pretty well describes most flag officers that I met during my career.

Misty said...

You know why there was so much brass work in Taiwan in those days?

Taiwan used to be a key destination for ship breaking and a lot of the scrap brass from those ships ended up on the streets of Taipei reworked into ornaments.

Once a week our yard boy would polish all the brass because that's about how long it used to tarnish in the Taiwan climate.

Don said...

You're right about the tarnishing, Misty. I remember the maintenance staff at TDC polishing the brass plates on doors and other surfaces. When I think of the lobby area where I used to pull watch occasionally, I can almost smell that polish today.

sarj said...

Don.....I thought about Gen Sutterlin and wondered what he looked like. I think he may be in the group photo I took that is on this page..
Check and see if that is him on the far right at the front of everyone.

Flyboy said...

Qilin is the hinese fabled animal which brings luck, fortunate and everything propitious.

Flyboy said...

Oops, it should be the Chinese fabled animal.......