Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dick Hartman Memories

I received a note from Dick Hartman a few days ago. He also worked in the photo lab and I think he was probably at USTDC earlier than anyone else who has contacted me.

Here are his comments:

I was one of the first photo lab navy personnel stationed at TDC in 1955. At that time we were among the 800 troops in Taiwan. We lived in town anywhere we could rent. Seven of us rented a house that was walled in and came with a housekeeper . It had a big iron gate entrance. The housekeeper had a Chimp monkey. We spent many off-duty duty hours at bar alley and the girls wanted to learn English, so we had lots of companions. When the Admirals wife learned of our great deal, she had him move us seven miles out of town to the Grass Mountain Hostel. We liked the hostel as we had houseboys to maintain our rooms and cook our food, but we still kept an apartment downtown.

Three of us bought a 1947, 4 door Studebaker for $400.00 for the 18 months we were there and sold it for $ 400.00 when we left.

Some of my comrades were Al Meyer, Larry Kerth and Bill Bright. Some first and last names escape me now. We had a very tall red-haired chief in charge. There were about 12 of us working two rotating shifts . Night shift was great because we got to play a lot of golf.

I enjoyed the people and the culture and got a first hand view when I dated a girl that worked in the soda bar of the EM club. I visited her parents' hut way out in the mountains by the Keelung Harbor area.

Are you familiar with any of the guys that were there in 1956 or still there in 1957? I have lost touch with all of them.We knew some of the communications guys but as you probably know we were not close to them.

What is that ugly building to the right of the lab? There was a big pile of black dirt there when I left and it got tracked into the building and was the subject of my captain's mast when I told an Air Force officer to stick it. The Navy Commander dismissed the case.

One more thing, Al Meyer and I took the first class test there six weeks before we were discharged and we did not open the questions but took the answer sheet and blindly checked the answers off by saying "tic, tac, toe."

Wish I could talk with some of the guys that were there.

Dick Hartman

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