Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Memories of USTDC

I've been corresponding with Ray Richardson, a retired Army SFC who served at USTDC from March 1978 until the day it closed.  Here's some of what he had to say:

First of all, Thank you for what you have done for the past members of the Taiwan Defense Command. I was so thrilled to find the site and have thought about the neat things I have found there since I discovered it. I was there as a member of the U.S. Army Element from March 1978 until the end. I was on the last plane taking the military members out of the country.  The flag was lowered by SSG D. J. Gemmecke (USMC). At that time I was a single E5 and was assigned to the Command Center at USTDC. If the assignment was still open, I'd still be there!

As I remember when you came in the front door, the Master of Arms office was straight ahead and the J1 was off to the right.  [Ray and I discussed this and I think the J-1 was to the left as you came in the front entrance.  Anybody else remember?]  If you went to the left you walked down a hallway and had to take a set of stairs to get up to where the J2, J3 and the Command Center where I worked. The USACC Comm Center was in the Basement of the building. The photoshop was still in a quonset hut out back of the main building.

There is a large hotel across the street from the entrance to the West compound on Min Zsu East Road. They built that hotel while I was there and it opened shortly after then President Carter made the announcement.  In the final days, they moved a large amount of the military that was left into that hotel so we were all in one place.  Nothing like putting all your eggs in one basket!  Across the street was a store, not sure what kind of place it was; could have been a restaurant or a bar but the name was "Carter" something.  Well, they changed the name shortly after the announcement...I found that hilarious at the time.

Seems to me that somewhere on the blog I read about a guy who got stabbed...His last name as I remember was Collins and he worked in the USACC comm center in the TDC Building.  I think you and I may have lived in the same hostel room...LOL  Imagine that!!  My houseboy loved Hennessey Cognac!

I think I've mentioned this before, but if any of you out there think you have a pretty good idea how the TDC building was laid out -- upstairs, downstairs and basement -- I'd sure like to hear about it.  If you could sketch out a floor plan as you remember it, then scan it and send me a copy, that would be great!  To be honest, I'd forgotten what even the exterior of the building looked like until people started sending me old photographs of it.


Anonymous said...

The hotel was the National Grandee. I was in 6th grade when we shipped out in February '79.

"Grandee." Heh. What the heck is that?

Anonymous said...

Certainly not trying to hijack your post, but I'm trying to get verification on the hotel -- just e-mailed a few folks. Looks like I had mentioned it a little over a year ago, but Les (from that post) didn't recall that name. Heck, maybe there were two new hotels.