Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TDC Floorplan


I often look at this photo and try to remember what the inside of the building looked like. The photo was probably taken sometime around 1960, and there were a few external changes over the years. For example, I don't remember that quonset hut to the right of the main building, nor the small building next to it when I was at TDC in 1973-74. I know the quonset was once the photo lab but I don't know what the other building was. The long canopy over the entrance was replaced with a permanent overhang, which you can see at the top of this blog.

I know that when I went in the main entrance, the J1's office was immediately to my left. Straight ahead was the Chief's office (BMC Gagne when I was there). It was almost like a ticket window kind of thing. Inside was a counter with a phone and a squawk box that was connected to the flag office. There was a small room behind the Chief's office that had a standard GI bunk for those pulling the watch at night.

If you turned left at the chief's office, there was a long hallway. I rarely went down that hallway, except when I had the watch and had to lower and lock the metal door at the end. I think the downstairs head was down that way but I'm not sure about that.

If you turned right at the chief's office, I believe the comm center was down there on the right. To get to my office (J12), you turned left toward the end of that hallway.

Just to the right of the chief's office was the stairway up to the second floor. My memory says that there were two or three steps up to the first landing, then several steps up to the right to the second landing and then two or three steps to the right again to the second floor.

I've always thought that to get to the flag office you turned left at the top of the stairs, where you had to go through the XO's office to get to either the general's or admiral's offices. But after looking at the photo, I'm wondering if those offices were over the main entrance.

I don't remember much else about the second floor of the building, except that the J-2 acquisition (?) shop was up there somewhere.

Okay, I've probably got most of this all wrong, so here's your chance to straighten me out. If you remember where the offices were located and who was in them, maybe you could draw a floorplan, scan it, and send it in. I know that some of the offices moved around over the years. I think my office was once a classified area. There was a steel door to the outside in the back that could only be opened from the inside.

1 comment:

rgh540@gmail.com said...

I arrived USTDC about Sept. 60, though memory is foggy, and I often came in the back way, through a back gate along the canal road or embankment by the softball field.

If one came through the front door, I don't recall anyone being there to greet you, turn left and there was a steel door vault, that contained J2.2 spaces, where I worked. Inside the spaces was three rooms, and we covered much of the center of the building.

If one turned to the right from the main entrance there was a stair way that lead to VADM Roland Smoots upstairs, I didn't in the nearly two years that I spent there explore the rest of the building.

Along the front of the building on the first floor was a series of windows, that once you came out of the J2.2 spaces you could see the canopy that the drivers slept under, we had a number we called and a carryall assigned to our group. If we needed to go anywhere they would carry us there.

To the right of the building was a furnace that we burned material that was classified. This always triggered a convoy of guys carrying burnbags and us being armed to the teeth, to protect the material.

RGH