Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Looking for assistance

I received a note today from Orren Hoopman and he agreed to let me post it here.  If anyone can answer any of his questions, please either comment below or drop me an email and I'll put him in touch with you.
I live in Hualien Taiwan, and have worked for ROCAF at the 401st air base here. I'm the guy who helped Michael Hurst locate his final POW Camp at Karenko, which is currently on the site of a ROC Military Police training base.
Am wondering if anyone you know can recognize someone stationed in Taiwan in the EARLY 50s, upon the formation of the USTDC. I know an aging gentleman who served in USAF named Lloyd Ramsey (lives in WA State) who claims to have been here in Taiwan circa 1954.He was the best man at my father's wedding in 1956, and is the husband of my mother's oldest and dearest friend. I cannot get any info from him, as he is sworn to secrecy concerning what he was doing in Taiwan in the 50s, and says he will carry what he knows to his grave.
My father, Delbert Hoopman, was USAF stationed in Guam during the same period.I know he was a communications Tech Sergeant on SAC B-36s using the old "Q-code" to transmit, but perhaps he was on B-29s or B-50s before that. He also spent time in Alaska.  Sadly, he died in an airshow plane crash of a home-built Pietenpol (Google the name) back in 1983, prior to my having any interest in Taiwan.
Might anyone recognize these names?
Also, does anyone have more info on US Military activities on Taiwan PRIOR to the signing of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty in 1955? As a research exercise, I am curious as to whether or not a "prinicipal-agent occupying force" relationship between the USA and ROC, as initiated under General Order #1, was ever FORMALLY declared.
Best regards,
Orrin "Colonel FOG" Hoopman

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gypsy Rose Lee Visits US Naval Hospital Taipei - 1969

I received this Stars and Stripes article today from Dr. George Monroe, who worked at the US Naval Hospital in Taipei.  For the youngsters here who have no idea who the great Gypsy Rose Lee was, you can find her biography HERE.

Here are Dr. Monroe's comments, followed by the text of the article:

Don:  I really enjoy & appreciate your USTDC Blog Spot! I was a Pediatrician assigned to the U.S. Navy Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan from 1968-1970.  As you have said, & I thoroughly agree, "The Best Kept Secret in the Air Force".....AND THE NAVY!!!

This may be a "repeat" for your files, but I have attached, below, a copy of the article, in the Stars and Stripes regarding a visit, to the U.S. Navy Hospital, Taipei, by Gypsy Rose Lee, on February 14, 1969.  I was on duty on the Pediatric Ward when Gypsy visited. 

Gypsy Rose Lee: Taipei US Navy Hospital: February 14, 1969

US Naval Hospital, Taipei: From the Stars & Stripes Military Newspaper Archives: Gypsy Rose Lee a balm for patients at U.S. Naval Hospital on Taiwan  By Andrew Headland Jr., S&S Taiwan bureau chief Pacific edition, Friday, February 14, 1969

 TAIPEI (S&S)--A certain healing process is going on among convalescents at the U. S. Naval Hospital in Taipei which is largely due to a salutary visit made by Gypsy Rose Lee!

Wearing a chic afternoon frock the dazzling 55-year old grandmother, author, dancer, actress and singer swept into the hospital wards Sunday with a bagful of Chinese fortune cookies, handshakes and witticisms.

"Glad to see you are still here. I saw you in Japan, recently," Navy Capt. Charles F. Climie, M.D., Naval Hospital Commanding Officer, greeted his distinguished visitor.

"Oh, yes," replied Gypsy quickly. "I went back home to have my hair bleached and just returned."

Gypsy's stop in Taiwan is being made as part of a USO-sponsored tour of Pacific areas. She previously toured Vietnam, flew in from Thailand late Saturday and was to remain in Taiwan to visit Ching Chuan Kang Air Base (CCK) and other areas before leaving for the United States Tuesday. The star arrived at the Navy Hospital with a suitcase she termed a "dog-carrier" which was plastered with hotel labels from around the world and unmistakably marked "Gypsy Rose Lee Co."Inside was what appeared to be an assortment of odds and ends including Chinese fortune cookies and knitted foot warmers for patients suffering from broken legs."One of the first things you learn in show business — before you start learning the piano — is how to pack," said Gypsy as she searched the depths of the case to eventually come up with a packet of photos which she later autographed and passed out to patients and hospital staff members." Incidentally, this is supposed to be Confucius, but as long as I made the cookies, why should he get the credit?" she quipped as she glided from bed to bed passing out the fortune cookies and occasionally posing on a bed for a picture with a beaming patient.

Her informal, patient-to-patient visits ran something like this: "Now, let's see, what does your fortune read? Oh, I just love this one. It says, "Show me a man with both feet on the ground and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off." There, that's special for you. I hope you'll have it tattooed on your chest!

After seeing a Polaroid picture of herself and Radioman 2.C. Donnel Shanbeck, a crew member of the Destroyer Escort Davidson, the actress exclaimed, "Oh, this is marvelous, look how handsome we are!"

At another point she remarked, "My, I show an awful lot of leg in that picture, don't I? If they make dresses much shorter we'll be wearing belts next season."

Flipping over a page of Playboy Magazine, she noticed on a table, she told the patients of one ward, "Well, darlings, I would say you were not terribly sick."

Producing a knitted foot warmer, she said, "It may look as though I was expecting an awful lot of broken legs, but I brought 500 of these toe warmers with me on this trip. They are for patients in leg casts. Do you have any patients in casts?"

Only one patient answered the description — little James Heinlein, 6, son of Lt. Col. W. H. Heinlein of Hq. Military Assistance Advisory Group.The actress was a bit upstaged by Jimmy, who explained that he broke his leg falling off a cart.When informed by a nurse that a famous movie star was coming to see him, Jimmy asked, "Who?". "Gypsy Rose Lee."  "I'd rather see the Gimo," Jimmy replied.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

View from Quarters "A"

I've written at least a couple of articles about Quarters "A" where the Navy admirals resided during their assignments as Commander of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command.  Pat Linder, the widow of Rear Admiral James Linder, the last USTDC Commander, wrote extensively about her experiences in the home in her excellent book "The Lady and the Tiger."

Taipei Scott, along with Larry Fields, who manages the USACC-Taiwan group on Facebook, recently visited the former Quarters "A" and Scott took this panoramic photo from the balcony of the building.  As I recall, the home overlooked the Shih Lin area.  You can click on the image to see a larger version.