Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TDC Award

When I was at USTDC, we received this medal after we completed the first twelve months of our tour. As I recall, the Navy personnel could wear this on their uniforms and the award counted for promotion. To the Army and Air Force people, it was just a nice souvenir to store in the closet, where mine has been for the past 35 years.

I think it was officially called The Chinese-American Friendship Medal or something like that, but we all called it The Gemo Medal, short for Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. I've often wondered what the metal plaque in the lid said. If anyone can translate it for me, I'd appreciate it. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

I got rid of my TDC wall plaque years ago, but if anyone still has theirs and would be willing to take a photo of it and email it to me, I'd like to post it here on the blog as another piece of TDC history. The same goes for any other souvenirs of the place you might have.


Anonymous said...

Don: I also have my Gimo package
after all these years.

No, as far as I ever knew, the Navy also couldn't wear theirs since the military as a whole generally disallows wearing of any foreign medals/awards.

My TDC plaque has disappeared somewhere in our many moves over the years, along with many other items I wish I still had.

However, I did get one of those Club 63 lighters that someone had on Ebay.

Jim Sartor

Don said...

Jim, I think you're right on this, now that I think about it. Maybe I was thinking about the letters of appreciation from the Admiral. I know they didn't mean anything (officially) to the Air Force guys, but it seems to me that the Navy folks could have them considered as part of their promotion boards. Any truth to that?

Anonymous said...

Unless things have changed since I retired eons ago, Letters of Commendation (especially those signed by a Flag Officer) were one part of everything that was considered for promotion to E7 and above.

According to one individual I talked to while still in the Navy, while he was on a board selecting those to be promoted to E7 that cycle, candidates were so evenly qualifed that his board had resorted to counting Letters of Commendation signed by Flag Officers to determine who made E7 that year in the specialty he was concerned with (YNC).

Jim Sartor

Don said...

Thanks, Jim, for clearing away my memory fog. I remember that my Navy friends were surprised when I told them that letters of commendation weren't ever considered for USAF promotions.

For us, the goal was to have at least a full colonel (06) or a general (flag officer) endorse our performance reports. The higher the endorsement, the better our odds for E7 or above.

Sarj Bloom said...

My box and medals didn't fare as well as yours. I was told not to wear it.
I don't know what the Chinese inscription says, but a card that came with it was for "PH2 and Mrs. Sarj W. Bloom.
The box seems to be a little diferent from the one you show.
I assume my 4 kids played with the box etc.
I'll send pics to use if you want.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time, thanks for keeping the younger generations informed about the history the US has had in the shaping Taiwan. Having lived there before Commissioning in the AF and getting married to a fine Taiwanese lady, I'm happy to get your medals translated, and she is glad for all the Americans that served in Taiwan. She only wishes that Carter was never President.

For: Wei Ji TSGT (Your chinese name)
ROC Ministry of National Defense
From: Brigadier General Lai Ming-Tang
Chief of the General Staff
ROC Taiwan calander: July of the 63rd year, (July 1974)