Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Last Days of Club 63

Over at the Taipei Air Station blog, Kent just posted a copy of the last issue of MAAG-Net, the monthly newsletter of the Club 63.  During 1973, the management of the Club 63 was changed from the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to the Navy's Headquarters Support Activity (HSA).  At that time the name was changed to the China Seas Club.

I was there when the change occurred and it seems to me that things actually improved.  Slot machines were brought back into the club, which I think increased club attendance.  The Navy also prohibited playing craps, blackjack and other games of chance in the stag bar, which was quite a change.  That didn't seem to affect the quarter bets at the shuffleboard table, but that was nothing compared to some of the other games that occurred regularly at the stag bar.

If you would like to have a PDF file of the final issue of MAAG-Net, you can download a copy here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vice Admiral Beshany Plaques

Taipei Scott recently came into possession of a couple of mementos that belonged to Vice Admiral Philip A. Beshany.  VADM Beshany was Commander of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command from September 1972 to August 1974.   The first is a plaque from GEN Ching Wei-yuan, Commander of Combined Service Forces, to VADM Beshany and the other is from the Philippines Navy Commodore Ruiz to VADM Beshany.

VADM Beshany passed away in December 2011, as I wrote in this article this past February.  He was the eighth Commander of USTDC and I served under him there for all but the last few days of my tour.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rear Admiral Frank W. Fenno Jr.

I recently received a nice note from Bill Masters, along with a couple of photographs.  He wrote:

I've been looking through your website and came across a list of Chiefs of Staff for USTDC.  I was there as a photographer from 1955 to 1956 and remember that Rear Admiral Frank. W. Fenno Jr. was the Chief of Staff under Vice Admiral Stewart H. Ingersoll, the first Commander of USTDC.  Since Rear Admiral Fenno is not listed, his picture is attached along with a photo of him shipping over (re-enlisting) four of the photo lab staff in August 1956.  Admiral Fenno also played on the TDC softball team.

Until now, I'd shown Air Force Brigadier General Harold Winfield Grant as the first USTDC Chief of Staff, but Bill tells me that he never saw him or heard of him at TDC.  I know that RADM Fenno was named as Commander of the Formosa Liaison Center, which became the Formosa Defense Command until the establishment of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command.  Vice Admiral Ingersoll was the first Commander of USTDC and apparently RADM Fenno remained as Chief of Staff.  Every TDC Chief of Staff after that was an Air Force officer, most of them Brigadier Generals.  I have changed my listing of USTDC Chiefs of Staff to include RADM Fenno.

Many thanks to Bill Masters for helping me sort all this out. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

1961 MAAG Telephone Directory

Beni recently sent me a copy of the October 1961 edition of the US Forces Republic of China telephone directory.  It contains listings for U.S. military and civilian organizations in Taiwan, including the Military Assistance Advisory Group, US Taiwan Defense Command, Naval Support Activity, embassies and units at locations outside the Taipei area.

If you would like to download the complete directory as a PDF file, click on the image to your left.

Friday, May 4, 2012

No Ifs, Ands or Butts

Some time ago I wrote about the ashtray that was one of the going away mementos that Vic Gerlach received in 1975.  Ashtrays were common departure gifts years ago when a much higher percentage of military people (and civilians) still smoked, though I don't think that I personally ever received one.

Scott in Taipei recently came into possession of another version of the TDC ashtray.  It looks like it was very well used but there's nothing to indicate when it was presented.