Dragon Hotel was recommended to me by a good friend in Taichung.
It was published in 1969 by Walker/Weatherhill with a cover price of $4.50.
I checked our Hawaii State Library web site and found the book, put in a request and shortly a post card arrived in my mail box announcing it was available for pick-up at my branch library. Quite a smooth service huh?
It's a short read, only 149 pages, but it immediately places you right back on Chungshan North Road and brings back memories long forgotten.
It was a great read and I believe you'll enjoy your visit to the Dragon Hotel if you can find a copy.
I've included a couple of pages to wet your appetite.
I have recently discovered that there was a real hotel in Taipei called the Dragon Hotel. The hotel was supposedly located at 40 Chang Chun Road in Taipei. I have looked around Chang Chun Road on Google Earth Street View and it appears that the building at # 40 is not the old hotel. I will have to visit the area in person and ask around to see what the story is. To be Continued!
Click or double click on each page for an easy to read view.
Vincent Acquaviva Jr. sent the CCK Orientation Booklet from his time at CCK in the early 1970's.
I arrived at CCK AB in July 1971. I worked as Crew Chief on C-130 aircraft 62-1804 which did Vietnam and Thailand work. In June 1972 I was assigned to "E-Flight" Special Projects Section which did Special Ops work with Air America in Thailand, Laos, Taiwan and many other countries. I was a maintenance Crew Chief on C-130E aircraft 64-0515 and 63-7868. I stayed with Special Ops as we moved to Clark AB in April 1974 and until my separation in September 1974.
I returned to Taiwan in 1976 to attend National Taiwan University and married my wife while attending NTU. I later returned to Pennsylvania and worked with the Air Reserve on C-130 aircraft until my retirement in 2007.
My wife and I have been active in helping Taiwan students and families in Pennsylvania throughout the years.
I have not been back to Taiwan since I departed in 1978. My wife and I plan to join with the "American GI's Returning to Taiwan in 2009" group visiting Taiwan next summer.
I have many friends in Taiwan and my feelings are, "Once you have a friend in Taiwan, you have a friend FOREVER." To see the maps and photo's in the full screen view, just click or double click on the image. Here's the map of CCK during the 1970's. Courtesy of Les D.
Today's view of CCK. If you look around at the buildings, you'll find most of the base has not changed from the 1970s.
We begin the CCK Orientation Booklet pages.....
To review the complete Orientation Booklet click HERE..
Hello CCK veterans.. There is more of CCK in this blog.
After you look over the complete booklet, go back to the top of the blog and scroll down to the search block and type in CCK. All of the Blog Posts I have put-up about CCK will show up and you can read them all.
If you can't find the other posts, just send me an e-mail and I will help you.
AND - Please consider sending in your photos and stories of CCK and Taichung. Please email me.
I appreciate all mail and will answer you and help in anyway possible. Please write.
You'll want to see the complete booklet, so first go back up to the HERE
and click it. That link takes you to the Taipei Air Station WEB PAGE. When you finish looking around there, come back and check out the rest of the CCK stuff posted on the Taipei Air Station BLOG.
Five of us left Camp Gordon, GA for Taiwan in December 1955. With a delay-in-route for a Christmas at home, we met up after Christmas at the Oakland Army Terminal and from there to Travis Air Force Base, to process for the trip. . This sounds easy today, but this was the propeller airplane era and it took us from January into February 1956. We were on the 13th flight to leave Travis and the first not to have to turn back for some repair. We finally arrived at Hickam Field in Hawaii just in time to see our connecting flight to Clark Field leaving the end of the runway we had just landed on. Oh well, seven days in Hawaii wasn’t bad even back then.
Leaving Hickam we stopped in Kwajalein, Guam and then on to Clark Field.
We finally got to Clark Field and the only thing I remember there was the vast number of flies. We overnighted there and instead of turning off the lights they told us to make sure the netting was around us when we lay in our cots. The flies were so thick they covered the top of the netting and darkened it enough to sleep.
Our CAT flight from Clark to Taipei was the first time most of us were introduced to the Chinese.
The stewardess was nice enough to teach us to say ‘I Love You’ in Chinese. Also ‘Thank You’ both of which I still remember and use the ‘Thank You’ when we are in a Chinese restaurant, surprises the staff most of the time. Of course I learned some other words when we were in Taipei, but most of those I have forgotten. Back then most of the pilots for CAT had been with General Chennault and the Flying Tigers. On our first attempt to land in Taipei, in very overcast conditions, he darn near put us in a rice paddy, so we flew south to Tainan and returned when the weather had cleared.
The road to my Grass Mountain Hostel
Entrance to my Hostel at Grass Mountain, Hostel #12 and the great sulphur baths.
Accommodations for us then were on Grass Mountain, just below the home of Chaing Kai-shek. For this we were given $45.00 per day per-diem for the first 90 days. A bunch of money for a Pfc back then. Base pay for a PFC in 1956 was $99.37 per month. My first few months were spent in the Comm Center in Taipei. Not the most exciting job I have ever had. Commander Brazil was the Comm Center chief. A frustrated Navy Line Officer, who really wanted to be on a ship, a real OK guy though.
My buddy Al Leonard and I.
My buddy, and the only one I really remember, 50 odd years later, Al Leonard came to work one day and found we were being been sent to the off shore islands. Al to Matsu and me to Quemoy (Kinmen) .
In one of our Jeeps off to some where.
Duty on the Islands (Kinmen) was considerably different than in Taipei. The Nationalist Chinese and the Mainland Chinese were fighting a war. Kinmen was shelled regularly and a couple of cows or other livestock would get killed. The only other deaths were from fools who thought it would be fun to drive thru the area that got shelled and dodge the shells. Cost us two officers just before I arrived. The story was they tried the drive got half way and decided it would be better to take cover in a shell crater shell never hits the same place twice, but parked their jeep next to it. The next shell hit the jeep and dumped it in on top of them. This coward never tried it. I did however attempt to fire the 45 I had to carry at all times. The target I tried to hit is probably still there in the same condition as it was before I tried.
Never thought the weapon I carried would do me much good as I couldn’t it the broad side of a barn door with the darn thing. Looked good in pictures though.
Uniform of the Day in Kinmen, 1956 - less my .45 caliber pistol.
I was on the island during Chaing’s 1956 May Day visit They took away all our weapons and even took our cameras. We later got the cameras back with new film in them so we could take his picture. They also returned the film that was in the cameras when they took them. We had dinner with Chaing, and I never thought I would see what I saw, except in a movie. We sat down to steak and fixin’s as they say here in Texas. Chaing sat at the head table and they brought him out a plate of scrambled eggs. The soldier standing behind him reached over and tasted them. Chaing waited a few minutes, saw the soldier was still alive, and then ate them. When you have the power he had you can’t be too careful.
For the rest of my stay on the Island I was usurped from the Signal Corp to help the Commander type his quarterly report. I always got good duty because I could type 70 to 80 words per minute and you could read it. Col Kaiser wrote a great Letter of Appreciation which I still have.
On my return to Taipei it was back to the Comm Center in this building..
Guard at our Taipei MAAG Compound in 1956.
When I look at Taipei today I don't recognize it. We had a MAAG Compound where all our activities were. There was the usual Bar street in the downtown, off Chungshan Beilu, the main road. . I remember when Chaing came down off Grass Mountain and drove down the street the population was required to turn their backs to his entourage or face serious consequences.
If one met the civilian population, which I was fortunate to do because some worked in the Comm Center, you could get invited to some of the better eating places in the City, otherwise it was not recommended that you eat the local food. I found all the folks I met to be very nice, but there was some rivalry between the Native Taiwanese and those who came over from the Mainland.
Our best transportation in Taipei.
I’m sure there were a lot of other things that went on. We did go thru a Typhoon, but it didn’t do much damage just brought a bunch of rain. Right before I left they had built barracks for us, but it was a short stay for me as I was on my way home in December of 56.
I want to thank George for taking time to send in his photos and also for writing down some thoughts and remembrances of his time in Taiwan. Had George not contributed, we may never have read about things that occurred during 1956 on Kinmen and in Taipei.
Have you got pictures of your time in Taiwan? Send them in, I will scan them and return them to you in just a few days. Thank you for helping keep our history chronicles. We can also scan your slides. Kent.
Please click on any photograph to see a larger view
George Marcy, now residing in Texas found these 52 year old photographs taken on Kinmen Island and sent them for us to enjoy.
"Here are some of my photographs. One is of the Kinmen Crew I was on the Island with. I regret I can’t remember any of their names and regrettably I did not write them down. These were the only times any of us wore anything other than a bathing suit and a 45 strapped on. I am third from the left in the back row in the crew picture. The other is a picture taken when the Generalissimo visited I am the second to the right of him squatting. The building in the rear was the officers billet and on the other side of the hill behind it was Little Kinmen and then the coast of China. A lot closer than it seemed. We used to watch the shelling from the top of the hill as the Chinese would fire back and forth at each other. After I left they got to where they could lob shells over the hill. Glad I was gone. The was a Major named Ford who was out there when I was there that had trained the gunners so well that they would knock off the Mainlands Loudspeakers that constantly blared propaganda at the island. Then the Red Chinese would run around and put them back up and he would have the gunners pick them off again."