Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Where Was This Sign?

Old friend Marc told me about this photo that may have been taken sometime during the 1950s.

I don't remember this sign at all when I was there in 1973-74 and I'm wondering where it was located and what direction it was facing.  I assume it was in or near the east or west compound.  The arrows on the sign provide some clues, showing that the Club 63 and the hospital are to the left, with Finance and the commissary to the right.  But the sign on the building to the left of the sign appears to read "Hospital," suggesting this was before the Naval Hospital was built in Tien Mou.  Someone once commented here that the hospital was originally in one of the compounds until the new one was built.  Was the Club 63 ever located somewhere near the compound area instead of just across the river and to the right of the Grand Hotel?

13 comments:

Dawn said...

I'm at a loss... I don't remember that sign. I was there from Aug 77-Jan/Feb 79. I've got a pretty good memory (except don't ask me where I parked my minivan when I'm forced to go to the mall) and I'm not remembering that entire scene. My bro has a mind like a steel trap. He may remember it..., but if it was before the hospital, then we weren't there then.

Anonymous said...

This MAAG sign is from the 1950s. The small signs on the left read top to bottom: Hospital, Club #3 (not 63), Motor Pool, Prvst Marshall (?).

Don said...

The image shown here is a cropped copy of a screen shot of a slide, so the resolution isn't the greatest. I'm not sure about the "Club #3" or the "Prvst Marshall," but your guess is as good as mine. The top sign on the right might read "HQTRS TAC" or something similar, but then again....

If the sign was located to the right (facing south) as you entered the west compound, then the building behind it could be what's shown as Building 100 in the west compound diagram shown in the right-hand column of this blog. I think that was a snack bar and slot machine room when I was there, but I'm not positive about that.

Bill-USACC said...

Don;t know, but it must have been there prior to 1971. Since it is a MAAG sign perhaps the motor pool, finance were somewhere else way back when?
The compound I knew was called the HSA Compound.......Did MAAG have a HQ on Chun Shan originally?
I will check with some old timers I know to see they can help.

George said...

It is very possible that the sign was at the end of the short road leading into the HSA West Compound. The main Navy motor pool was definitely located to the left of the sign and there was a snack bar that may have been the "club #3" to the left as well. There was also a medical office in that general vicinity that may have sufficed for a hospital in the early days prior to 1965 when I was stationed closeby. So if this photo was taken in the late 50's or very early 60's it could very well have been replaced when the compound was beefed up by the time I got there in February 1965.

Don said...

I cleaned up the image a bit and the signs are a LITTLE bit easier to read. I'm fairly certain that the one reads "Club 63."

George said...

This may be the same sign as seen in this link as the sign's shape and trees are there but trees are younger. So it could be the same sign in the HSA West Compound but only prior to HSA, the Hospital, Club 63, the Commissary, etc being built or finalized.

The only other possibility I see is that it was located near the entrance in the East Compound, with the arrows for Club 63, the Motor Pool, and Hospital pointing to ChungShan N. Road and the Hospital in TienMu not yet being built. Either theory is possible and it does look as if the sign is late 50's.

http://picasaweb.google.com/NTWS.editor/USTaiwanDefenseCommand#slideshow/5295486765888602434

George said...

If that is the same West Compound sign, my working days (1965-66) were spent in an office less than 80-100 feet away.

Don said...

Good catch, George! I think that almost has to be the same sign that's shown in the other photo as being straight ahead from the main entrance to the west compound. I didn't spend a lot of time over that way and the logo on that sign is for the Navy's Headquarters Support Activity (HSA), but the sign structure looks to me to be exactly the same. Also, I'm thinking that the buildings shown as 6A, B, C and D, where TMO, Finance and others were located, may well have once been the hospital. I say that mostly because it's laid out in that sort of meandering design that was common for military hospitals in the 1950s. Take a look at the diagram at:
http://bp2.blogger.com/_LzsVxw2OVeM/RspPCfONXfI/AAAAAAAAADs/EJHx0Es54SQ/s1600-h/HSA_West_Compound1977.jpg and let me know what you think.

George said...

Don,

Yes, building 6 must have been a hospital at one time! I was in the Admin office directly across from 6D in building 8. Also, inside 6A/B is where I learned my Mandarin many years ago.

Great detective work (again) Don!

titojohn said...

A pay-for-view Chicago Tribune article indicates that the U.S. Navy was going to build a hospital in 1960 timeframe. http://bit.ly/97PLku

So the picture was taken 1960 or before.

When I first arrived in Taipei in 1963 there was a Navy medical dispensary in the west compound that was formally the Navy Hospital.

John

Victor said...

The Groundbreaking Ceremony of the U.S. Naval Hospital in suburban Taipei took place on July 25, 1960. FYI. Archive of the Central News Agency, Taiwan. 美軍醫院破土典禮 http://www.cnavista.com.tw/shop/Stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Store_Id=103&Shopper_Id=2099911228209&page_id=23&Cat_id=%A8%E5%C2%A7%20%C2%E5%B0%7C%20%A4%A4%AC%FC%ADx%A8%C6%C3%F6%ABY%20%ADx%C2%E5%20%AD%D3%A4H%B7%D3&IndexNo=19600725007400
http://tinyurl.com/22m8btn

John Arason said...

Just happened to come across this posting. Fascinating. Want to maybe clarify a couple of things. I spent one year there with my father and family. 1953-1954. Yea, I got old. My dad was a Lt.Col. Army. The MAAG compound in Taipei was all Army, to my recollection. Someone mentioned maybe a club 6 or 63, being up by the Grand Hotel. When I was there we used to go up to the Grand Hotel all the time. I believe that Madam Chang still owned it at the time. There was no Military facility of any kind, to my knowledge, in that area at that time. Also understand that when I was there our APO # was 63. So this would kind of think that there was no club 6, there was an Officers Club in the MAAG compound which could have been called Club 63, but I'm not sure. Lastly, someone mentioned a Navel Hospital at Tien Mou. Well when I was there we lived in a Military housing location (believe Officers only) in Tien Mou. No Hospital at that time guys. I did get sick once and they took me to the Medical Section at the Compound in Taipei. Hope this helps clarification from someone who lived there in 53-54.