Dawgs on the Town

Dawgs on the Town - Part I

Updated 15 August 2016


Great shots of the Dawgs and their sajays enjoying themselves while "On the Town" in Taipei.
Also, a walking tour along Chungshan North Road from the Linkou Club to the Pillbox and clubs.

(Click Here) to go to photos (located below) of the East/West Compounds, Mr. Loo's Tailors,
"The Legend of Benjo Benny", and "The Typhoon of 1970".

Please send us an E-Mail (click here) for any corrections, additions, or comments...or to send us your photos.


(Click to Enlarge) 1970 photo by Carpenter
"Dawgs on the Town" 1970
Making the rounds in Taipei wearing their trademark Dawg Flight jackets are (from left):
Tim "Timmy Two-Shoes" Kerekes, Bill "Young'un" Meyer, and George "Sergio" Rasetta


Taipei Street and Bars Maps
Taipei Club/Bar District Street Map         Taipei Bars Map (two orientations)
1970 Taipei Map, Nan Hua Publishing, Taipei   Bars Map provided by B. Martin
(Click on Maps to Enlarge-to "Zoom In" click again after opening)


The Linkou Club and Sea Dragon Club
Photo credits: (1.) S. Swallom   (2. & below right) M. Wagner   (3. & 4.) J. Crum courtesy of "TaipeAirStation.blogspot.com"   (Below Left) M. Hine   (Map-Below Right) provided by B. Martin
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.-above) Open 24/7 with dancing nightly, Dawg Flight would gather at the Linkou Club downtown to eat, drink (pejyo, tequila shooters, and Mateus Rosť), and celebrate Lee "Rhee" Higgins' monthly birthdays as he danced the "Funky Chicken", and "kicked out the jambs" to the 70s sounds of the "Ritmos" or "Nick's Orchestra". The main floor had a large dining room, dance floor, large bandstand, and slot machines. The "exclusive" Top Five Lounge (E-5 and above) with a bar and tables was located upstairs. Monthly membership dues were only $1.00 and included both clubs (main and downtown clubs) and a monthly membership night. The Hotel Linkou and BB Club were located next door.
(2.) May 1971 shot taken in front of the Linkou Club (the main entrance is just off to the far left of the photo). Hotel Roma (photo on right) was just off to the right of the photo, right across the street (Min Tsu Rd.) from the club's main entrance. Shown in the background is a new multi-story building under construction on the corner of Chungshan North Road and Min Tsu Road. The "Linkou Books & Records Co." (photo below) occupied the first floor of that new building and opened early 1972.
(Left Photo-Click to Enlarge) "Sajays" playing the slots at the Linkou Club.   (Right Photo) Hotel Roma viewed as exiting the Linkou Club May 1971. It opened late 1970.

(4.) 1969 shot of the Navy's notorious Sea Dragon Club that had live music and dancing nightly on a small dance floor upstairs on the second floor. The Dawgs were known to "kick-out-the-jambs" there to the rockin' sounds of Conrad Yeung and his hot rock band from the Philippines. Conrad Yeung's eight piece house band included a horn section and played current hits by Chicago, Santana and many others. The Sea Dragon's parking lot is shown in the foreground of the photo.
  The Sea Dragon Club (shown as "R&R" on the bars map-top of page) was located down a side street not far from the Linkou Club and Wu-Chou's Massage Parlor (see next photo). This raucous club was strictly "Off Limits" to Linkou personnel until about mid-1970...then quickly became a regular Dawg Flight hotspot. It was also frequented by GIs on R&R and their escorts...fights were not uncommon.
  The sign over the entrance reads: "Welcome to the Navy Exchange Sea Dragon Club, Taipei, Taiwan". The Sea Dragon Club also served as the Taipei R&R Center on the first floor with its entrance located on the opposite side of the building. There was also a small BX, bar, and slot machines on the first floor. Upstairs on the second floor was the restaurant and renowned nightclub with a dining room, bandstand, and small dance floor.

(5.) 1969 shot of two GIs on R&R walking with their escorts down the side street from the Sea Dragon Club toward Wu-Chou's Massage Parlor located in the tall building in the background. The sign shown on the left side of Wu-Chou's building reads "International Art Gallery". The Sea Dragon's parking lot, and club were located off to the lower left corner of the photo.



Walking Tour Along Chungshan North Road - Linkou Club to the Pillbox

Photo credits: (1.) N. Carpenter   (2.) M. Hine   (3., 4., & 5.) L. Duffin &nsp (2011 Photos- below left and right) J.. Valkwitch (NSG: 1971-72)
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.) Steve Swallom (left), Mike "Mouse" Emerson, and Dick Ferretti outside the Linkou Club entrance in 1970 prior to a photo shoot around town.
(2.) (From left) John "JB" Davis (shades), Steve "Murph" Murphy, and Bill "Marty" Martin at the wall next to the Linkou Club. (1970 photo)
(3.) The Linkou Club and Hotel Linkou on Min Tsu Road. Down the street on the left was a popular Mongolian BBQ restaurant, Mr. Loo's Tailor and the East Compound's back gate.
(4.-above) 1972 shot of the Hotel Roma, opened late 1970, on the corner of Chungshan North Road and Min Tsu Road (street on the right), and was directly across the street from the Linkou Club. The MAAG East Compound, Navy Exchange, Commissary, and East/West Movie Theater were located right behind the hotel. The new "Linkou Books and Records Co." (next photo) was off to the far left of the photo right across the street.
(5.-above) 1972 shot of the "Linkou Books and Records Co." on the opposite corner (catty-corner) from the Hotel Roma. The multi-story building that housed the book store was completed around Jan 1972...there was a vacant lot in that location in 1970. "Caves Books" later moved to that location. (2011 photo on right).
(Left & Right Photos-Click to Enlarge) 2011 photos of the Hotel Roma building (left) and Caves Books store.




Photo credits: (Top Row) (1.) Donald Patrick   (2. & 3.) Lentz   (Bottom Row: 4.,5., 6., & 7.) M. Hine   (Below Left & Right) J. Crum (courtesy of "TaipeiSignalArmy.blogspot.com")
(Click on Photos to Enlarge-to Zoom-In click again when opened)

(TOP ROW) (1.) 1967 shot of the row of shops on Chungshan North Road right around the corner from the Linkou Club, which is off to the far left of the photo. Also shown is the entrance to the "Mandarin Club" between "Lee's Art Gallery (far left) and "George Tailor and Shoe Maker Handicraft Company".
(2. & 3.) The "Happy Buddha" that stood on the sidewalk in front of "George Handicraft" (see previous photo and next photos). Across from the Buddha, on the opposite side of the sidewalk, was this friendly little monkey that greeted passersby while looking for a handout. Sadly, his handler kept him chained by his neck to a tree next to the curb as pictured. (1970 photos)
(BOTTOM ROW) (4., 5., 6., & 7.) 1969 shots of the "George Handicraft" store (later renamed "Brasscrafts") shown in "Photo 1." above. The store sold brass accessories, carved teak furniture, jewelry, jade, and carved marble chess sets with inlaid chessboards. The "Book Store" next door (later renamed "Taipei Books & Records") sold pirated versions of U.S. books and latest record albums...a common practice in Taiwan. Pirated copies of newly released U.S. books including hard cover best sellers went for only NT$40 ($1.00 US). Pirated versions (typically red vinyl) of hit record albums from the states sold for NT$12 (30 cents US).
(Left Images-Click to Enlarge) Newspaper ads in "The China Post", Sept. 1, 1969, listing "New Books" (pirated copies) for sale.     (Right Image) 1969 pirated jazz album.



Photo credits: (1.) Carpenter   (2.) G. Frederic ('65-'66)   (3., 4., & Below right) J. Crum (courtesy of "TaipeiSignalArmy.blogspot.com")
(5.) Ben Hilmes courtesy of "TaipeiAirStation.blogspot.com",   (Below left) 1967 card provided by Tom Hendricks
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.-above) 1970 shot of Bill "Marty" Martin (MD) on the left and Dick Ferretti (NJ) walking south a couple of blocks from the Linkou Club as they approach "K Shoe & Tailor located at 51-5, Sec. 3, Chungshan North Road.  
(2.) 1966 shot of the same area shown in the previous photo looking south along Chungshan N. Road in the direction of the Art Gallery and Saint Christopher's Church shown in the next photos. "K" Shoe & Tailor is on the far left. The side street leading to the Sea Dragon Club was on the opposite side of the street on the block beyond the bus (right).
(3.) 1969 view from the south corner of the West Compound looking south across Chungshan N. Road at the block with the shops shown in the previous two photos ("K" Shoe & Tailor sign is visible behind the bus on the right) and in the photos above (the Happy Buddha, monkey, and furniture store were located along the left of the photo). The Art Gallery and Saint Christopher's Church shown in the next two photos are off to the right of the photo. The Mandarin Club's white sign painted on the side of a building is partially visible on the far left behind the trees.
  Min Tzu Road is on the far right. It crossed Chungshan N. Road on the left and continued beyond the Linkou Club.
(4.) Just beyond "K" Shoe & Tailor was George Tailor Shop, located at 53-6 Chungshan N. Rd. (1967 card on left-click to enlarge), and Taipei Art Gallery & Framing Co. specializing in painting portraits from photos.
(5.) 1963 view looking south along Chungshan North Road just beyond the George Tailor Shop. St. Christopher's Church is ahead on the left.
  (Right Images-Click to Enlarge) September 1, 1969 China Post newspaper ads.



(Click on Photos to Enlarge)  Photo credits: (1.) provided by S. Ellinger   (2.) Tom Jorgensen (Dawg Flight '68-'70)  (3.) S. Callas, courtesy of "LinkouNavy.com"
(4.) John Hornbeck (TAS '66-'69), courtesy of "TaipeiAirStation.blogspot.com"   (5.) Mike Homcha (Able Flight '67-'68)

(1.) Circa 1970 shot of St. Christopher's Catholic Church and School (51 Chungshan N. Road, Sect. 3) looking back (north) toward "K" Shoe & Tailor and the Linkou Club.
(2.) Heading south just beyond Saint Christopher's church was the Argentine Embassy's walled compound (topped with shards of glass) at 45 Chungshan N. Road, Sect. 3 shown on the far right (1969 photo). On the far left is "Dawg" Dennis "Oly" Olson (Dawg Flight '69-'70). Facing the camera are "Dawgs" Danny Lewis ('68-'69) on the left and Bob Panzarella ('68-'69). View is looking back (north) toward St. Christopher's Church (previous photo).
(3.) 1971 shot of the opposite side of Chungshan N. Road approaching the Linkou Bus Stop just ahead on the left (see photo 1. below). Partially visible across the street are Wu-Chou's Massage Parlor's vertical blue sign (above red/white bus) and the Mobil gas station's (sign far right-above bus) two gas pumps (right of orange/white bus).
(4.) 1968/69 shot of Chungshan North Road taken across the street from the previous photo. View is looking south with the King's Hotel visible in the distance (tall blue bldg). The Navy Sea Dragon Club was located down an alley just off to the right. Wu-Chou's is off to the right ahead. The Mobil gas station's (see previous photo) round sign (red Pegasus "winged horse") is visible on the side of the building. Ahead on the next corner across the street (upper far left) are the Linkou Bus Stop and Florida Bakery (photo 1. below).
(5.) 1968 shot of the Taipei city bus stop on Chungshan North Road (shown in the right background of the previous photo) and the Mobil gas station's Pegasus "winged horse" sign (upper right corner). The King's Hotel is visible in the distance.



Photo credits: (1.) M. Hine   (2.) unknown   (3., 4. & 5.) S. Callas, courtesy of "LinkouNavy.com"
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.) Fall 1970 shot taken from the Japanese Embassy located on the corner at 25 Chungshan N. Road, Sect. 3, and Nung An St. (foreground). The Florida Bakery is on the corner with the "Flamingo Club and Restaurant" on the second floor (club entrance off to left). The OK and Suzie Wong Bars' neon signs are visible just beyond the bakery. The King's and Central Hotels are illuminated in the background. Wu-Chou's was across the street to the right.
  Note: The Linkou Bus stopped in front of the OK and Suzie Wong bars at this corner to discharge its passengers from Shulinkou Air Station. It also made a stop at the downtown Linkou Club.
(2.) Another shot (1971/72) of the corner of Chungshan North Road on the right and Nung An Street in the foreground. The vertical "OK Bar" sign is visible above the sidewalk. The Florida Bakery had relocated prior to this photo, and a bookstore is shown at that corner location (bookstore name on sign is not legible)
(3.) 1971 view looking south on Chungshan North Road just beyond the Linkou Bus Stop. The Oasis Hotel is ahead on the left (not shown). The Central and King's hotels are in the background (upper left) at the intersection of Chungshan N. Road and Min Chuan East/West Road.
(4. & 5.) 1971 shots of two of the several souvenir, jewelry, wood carving, marble, and trinket shops located along Chungshan N. Road (see additional photos below).



Photo credits: (1. & Below Left) Lentz   (2. & 3.) J. Crum (courtesy of "TaipeiAirStation.blogspot.com")   (4.) Carpenter   (Tunnel-Below Right) by G. Nelson (courtesy of "LinkouNavy.com")
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.-above) 1970 shot above taken from the King's Hotel of the shops along Chungshan North Road (see next photos) looking in direction of the Linkou Club and East-West Compounds. The "Pillbox" is off to far left of the photo on the corner next to the taxi. The Oasis Hotel with its large sign on top is in the center background. The Oasis Hotel had a popular Italian restaurant, a rarity in Taipei, on its lobby level. "HoJo's" noodle stand was located right behind the hotel on a narrow street.
(Left Photo-Click to Enlarge) Photo 1. (above) enlarged showing the Oasis Hotel located at 185 Chungshan N. Road, Section 2.
(2.) 1969 shot of the shops just beyond the Oasis Hotel along Chungshan N. Road. A blue 1965 Mustang is shown below the sign.
(3.) Shops on the corner of Chungshan North Road directly across from the Pillbox where the shot was taken in 1969. The shops from the left: jewelry store and Bonnie Beauty Salon (upstairs). First Commercial Bank and Golden Gate Restaurant (upstairs), Hun Tai Souvenir Co, and Northwest Orient Airlines office (far right) on the corner. The intersection of Min Chuan W. Road is just off to the right.
(4.) Bill "Marty" Martin and Dick Ferretti cross the busy intersection at Chungshan N. Road to the "Pillbox" on opposite corner (1970 photo). Shown are the King's Hotel (right) on the corner at 150 Chungshan N. Road, and the 14-story Central Hotel, 120 Chungshan N. Rd, with its revolving rooftop restaurant and lounge. The Duke, Lily, and Karin Clubs (Click Here) were around the corner to the far left on Min Chuan East Road heading toward the airport.
(5.) Marty and Dick at the Pillbox where the Linkou Bus picked up passengers heading to the "Hill". The San Francisco Club (Click Here) is just off to the left of the photo. The Prince Club was a few blocks beyond the "San Fran".


(Photo on Right-Click to Enlarge) 1971 shot of the two intersecting underground pedestrian crosswalk tunnels beneath the congested intersection of Min Chuan East/West Road and Chungshan N. Road (see photos above). The two intersecting tunnels were dug and completed in 1970.



Dawgs On the Town
July 1970 photos by (1.) Carpenter   (2.) Swallom &nsp (3.) Luczyk   (4., 5. & 6.) Boex
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.) 1970 shot of (L-R) "THE PHANTOM" (ZI), Mike "Mouse" Emerson (TX), and Dick Ferretti (NJ) across the street from the 63 Club. (2.) Dave "Doink" Vandierdonck (MI) on the left and Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald (CA) in Taipei 1970.   (3.) 1970 shot of Steve "Pig-Body" Swallom (KY) in Shimending with Lisa, Linkou's base librarian.   (4., 5. & 6.) 1970 shots of Tom Chandler (PA), Jack Boex (WI), and Larry "Jeep" Reuben (NJ) on the town..."peace".


Photos (1. & 2.) M. Hine   (3. & 4.) S. Daniel   (5. & 6.) J. Parker   (7.) P. Schultz
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

( 1. & 2.) 1970 shots of Mike Hine (CT) and Cindy, at her Taipei office.
(3.) May 1973 shot of Sam and Lucy Daniel's engagement party at a Taipei restaurant. Dawg Bill "OJ" Simpson (MD), wearing a jacket, and Nancy, to his right, are at the front table facing the camera. "OJ" was on his second Taiwan tour at the time (Dawg Flight: 1969-71 & 1973-74). Sam and Lucy are in the corner at the back table. All others unidentified.
(4.) Dawg 203 Sam Daniel (NC) with a "dawgie" at McCauley Beach 1972/73.
(5.) March/April 1971 shot of Jack Brown (IA), Mary, and Ray "Chocolato" Badolato (LA) at the local Taipei snake emporium.
(6.) March/April 1971 shot of Ray Badolato (left) and Johnny "Johnny P" Parker (TX) enjoying some cobra meat for lunch at the snake emporium.
(7.) 1971 shot of Dawg Mike Perhach (PA) at the Presidential Office Building in downtown Taipei.


Sajays On the Town

1970 photos provided by "Anonymous" Dawgs
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)
Taiwan University coeds...all friends of "Unidentified" Dawgs.


MAAG East and West Compounds
Photo credits: (1.) Swallom   (2.) unknown   (3.) Lentz   (4. & 5.) T. Baxter courtesy of "TaipeiAirStation.blogspot.com"   (below left) "The Taiwan Report" (1973 edit.) provided by L. Duffin   (below right) D. Vandierdonck
(Click on Photos to Enlarge-Click on Map on right when open to "Zoom-In")

(1.) 1970 shot of Dawg Steve "Murf" Murphy in front of the West Compound's Chapel waiting for the Linkou Bus. The Gas & Service Station's gas pump and "Premium Gas" price sign are visible across the street (far left). Shown on the far right are the Gift Shop (at red car), main gate, and Chungshan North Road.
(Left Image-Click to Enlarge) East & West Compounds diagram.     (Right Image) East Compound's Tennis/Basketball courts.
(2.) Circa 1975 shot of the West Compound and Chungshan North Road (foreground) taken from a building in the East Compound. The Chapel/Linkou Bus Stop is located in the center of the photo at the flags and white picket fence.
(3.) Oct 1970 shot of the "Welcome East Compound" sign and facilities directory located inside the Rear Gate, which was on Min Tzu ("Min Tse") Road a couple of blocks beyond the Linkou Club. Shown in the background is building 724 that housed the Barber Shop (far right) and Mr. Loo's Tailor Shop, which is around the corner to the right (see next photo). Pacer Field is visible in the far left background.
    NOTE: The director on the "Welcome East Compound" sign lists the facilities in the East Compound to the left and right of the sign as follows:
      - Left Directory: Auto Body Shop, Athletic Check Out Room, Athletic Bldg., Brks. A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2, Day Room...
      - Right Directory: Massage Parlor, NEX Maint. Shop, Out Door, PW Fire Dept. Brks. C-1, C-2, Pacer Field, Stratcom Offices, Sauna, TDC Rear Enter, Veterinarian
(4.) 1970 view further to the right of the building (bldg, 724 on diagram) that housed the Barber Shop in the previous photo. Shown are the Barber Shop (far left), Mr Loo's Tailor Shop at white sign (photos below), Sauna and Laundry (green bldg), Pacer Field's lights (center), and Athletic Building (large grey bldg.-upper right). The street in the foreground leads to the Rear Gate and Min Tzu Road. (ca. 1970 photo)
(5.) 1970 shot of the opposite side of the street shown in the previous photo. Tailor Lou's (bldg. 724) is across the street just off to the left of the photo. Shown are several barracks on the right and the large Athletic Building in the far left background.

(Left Photo-Click to Enlarge) 1970 panoramic shot of the back section of the East Compound and surrounding Taipei area taken from the Imperial Hotel. Shown are the East Compound's facilities (foreground) inside the rear gate, the entrance road (center foreground) from the rear gate on Min Tzu ("Tse") Road (not visible-just off the bottom of the photo), "Welcome East Compound" Sign (center of photo), Mr. Lou's Tailors (center-white bldg. behind "welcome sign"-see photos above), and Pacer Field (center of photo). The rear of the East-West Theater (large light grey bldg.) is visible in the lower left corner. On the hillside in the distance are the MAAG 63 Club (left background) and the Martyrs' Shrine (gold roof-center background). Photo credit: unknown


Mr. Loo's Tailors, East Compound
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)
Photos by J. Boex, S. Swallom, and M. Wagner   (Below Right) J. Crum courtesy of "TaipeAirStation.blogspot.com"
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(1.) "Hip" Dawg, Jack Boex, on the town wearing a new double breasted leather jacket from Mr. Loo's.
(2.) Dapper Steve Swallom all decked out in new threads from Mr. Loo's at the 1969 Dawg Flight Christmas party held at the 63 Club.
(3.) Bill "Joe Witt" Wittenberg (at microphone), sporting the latest "Edwardian" look, is joined on stage by (L-R) Dave Probst, Scott Heister, Harold Cooksey, John Hanretty and Ted "Teddy Bear" Johnson at the 1971 Dawg Flight Christmas party held at the 63 Club. All are wearing new duds from Mr. Loo's.
  (Right-Click to Enlarge) Lily Tailor Co. newspaper ad with prices that appeared in The China Post newspaper on September 01, 1969.

(Left Photo-Click to Enlarge) Mr. Loo's Tailors was a Dawg Flight favorite in 1970/71. His small tailor shop was located in the back section of the East Compound near the rear gate (see photos above).
  The Dawgs were known to sport very "mod" tailor-made suits from Tailor Loo's at the annual Dawg Flight Christmas Party (Click Here), and while "on the town" with that special "saujay" at the downtown Linkou Club or 63 Club for ""full course" dinners and special events.
  Dawg Lee "Rhee" Higgins proudly wore his signature bell-bottom pants with red "Spanish pleats" and 70s wide collared paisley shirt, both custom-made by Mr. Loo's, while "kicking out the jambs" to the hot sounds of the Ritmos and Conrad Yeung's rock band at the Linkou and Sea Dragon clubs downtown,

photo credit: "The Taiwan Report" (1973 edit.) provided by L. Duffin

  Mr. Loo only needed to see a magazine ad or catalog photo of the item you wanted tailor-made. After measurements, choosing a fabric from a wide selection in his shop, and returning for a fitting, your custom-made suit ("Edwardian"), sport coat (wild patterns), "hip" Nero jacket, slacks (bell-bottoms or flared), shirt (wide collars & 2-button cuffs), leather jacket, or trench coat would be completed in a just a few days. Suits cost around $30 and shirts were about $5 each (USD).
  (Right Photo-Click to Enlarge) 1966 Mr. Loo's Tailors Suit Label   image by K. Mathieu courtesy of "TaipeiAirStation.blogspot.com"



The Legend of "Benjo Benny"
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(Left Photo) 1970 shot of the Big Benjo taken from its pedestrian bridge...site of "Benjo Benny's" legendary "diving act".
(Right Photos-Click to Enlarge) (Top photo: L-R) Mel Bennett, George Schneider, and Tom Chase at the Sea Dragon Club, Thanksgiving night 1968. (Bottom photo: L-R) Mel Bennett (CA), George Schneider (NY), and Cliff Hammer, April 1969.
The Navy (NSG) trio in both shots all witnessed "Benjo Benny's" famous jump.   photo credits: (left) Lentz   (right) G. Schneider)

  George Schneider (1968-69) knew the legendary Linkou Navy "Squid", "Benjo Benny", and recounts his famous "diving act": "I was in the Navy (NSG) stationed at Linkou in 1968-69. I was best friends with Benny ("anonymous")...aka "Benjo Benny". Coincidentally, I happened to be present the night he jumped into the "Big Benjo". The deal was, if he jumped in we (there were four or five of us present) would take him to the major. "Benjo Benny" took off all his clothes except for his skivvies, got on top of one of the railing pilings near one end of the bridge, gave us all a smile, and jumped in feet first...he wasn't crazy enough to dive. I became concerned when after about ten seconds there was no sight of "Benny"....then he suddenly popped out of the sludgy black water like a rocket, gasping for air. (Benny said his feet got stuck in about a foot of sludge at the bottom and had trouble getting free.) He couldn't even speak but managed to swim to the side wall where we extended our hands down into the benjo to haul him out.
  As we were lifting him from the muck Benny's face passed right in front of a sewage discharge pipe about four inches in diameter located in the wall. Someone in Taipei had just flushed a toilet and Benny caught all of it right in the face...making him smell even more like "crap"! There was no second jump for Benny and the major threw us out, so that ended the night.
  I can remember it like it happened yesterday. I can tell you this, a book could be written about the times we had those two years. "Benjo Benny" was restricted to the base for, I believe, eight or nine of the fifteen months we were there, but when we went downtown...well, that's chapter eight in the book. We saw Benny off at the airport two weeks before I left and we were almost arrested for mooning him in the terminal full of people as he was boarding. Wow, the memories keep coming back..best time of my life." [06 Dec 2010}



The Typhoon of 1970...Dawgs on the Town
Story by "THE PHANTOM" (Dawg Flight: 1969-71)
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)   Photos taken in Taipei during Typhoon Nadine by Carl Gnath, July 1971.

  "...The typhoon I am referring to was in 1970 and Dawg Flight was on its last day watch just before going on big break. The typhoon was building during that last day watch and getting closer to the island. Of course most of us were determined to catch the first bus, taxi, or ride down the hill to Taipei immediately after work regardless. Throughout the day, the flight commander and mission sup were communicating with the base commander to make a decision whether or not Dawg Flight would be able to leave the hill to go to town, or be restricted to base. Everyone on flight was fidgety and there was an uneasy feeling in the air. Especially that last hour waiting for the answer. But of course it was right up to 3:00 PM before they made the decision, and it was restriction to base. That went over real well...

  Boy, to say we were upset is an understatement. Following the shift and changing into civvies in the barracks, many of us went to the Linkou NCO club on the hill and began to indulge while stewing over our dilemma... We were making each other more upset. It didn't take long into the evening when several of us made the decision (...had the courage?) we were going to break out of Linkou and go to town despite the order. By this time the typhoon was really building with blinding rain blowing near horizontal. It was definitely a big storm.
  But we didn't care about the typhoon, there was only one thing on our mind and that was "town." Further, we were "smart" enough to know that this typhoon would be gone before our big break was over and we'd be back for the first swing shift. No sweat. Right...!
  Several (I am now learning many...) of us actually jumped the perimeter chain link fence on the back side of base with some getting snagged by the barbed wire on top or chased by ROC guards and their dogs. Myself and two others (...were you one?) decided (boy were we brave after a few hours at the club) that we'd naively walk right out the front gate pass the guards, and grab one of the cabs still waiting along the roadside. The wind was really driving the rain in the dark night and the gate shack's lights were on inside where the guards were taking shelter. We were certain that there was no way they would see what was going on outside of their small gate shack.

  Our breakout started with a slow walk from the Linkou Club down the road towards the front gate. Our pace gained momentum as we got closer to the gate. Soon we were in a full run right out the front gate. It didn't phase the guards huddled inside one bit. There were no alarms going off or shinning flood lights. They simply didn't see us. Too easy. We jumped in the first cab (...obviously the cab drivers were naive too...) we found parked across the road, and off to Taipei we went for our big break.
  Long story short, we made the rounds to several of our favorite bars/clubs before making it to each of our apartments. Of course we really didn't have apartments because it was against regulations.... By the last day of our break, we were all to meet up at the corner and share prearranged rides back up the hill for the first swing shift.

  Well, the typhoon had decided to stay a while with us on big break, and caused havoc to Taipei. Many of the streets were flooded as well as a good portion of the entire city. Those of us who lived out by the airport were cut off because of those floodwaters around our apartments. Cabs were out of the question. Not wanting to miss the first swing and be in serious trouble, we individually made our way back to the corner. Myself and others had to wade in very deep water until we reached dry ground to catch a cab that would take us to the corner to meet the other Dawgs for the ride back up the hill.

  All of us made it back to Linkou and on time for the first swing. Were we lucky? You bet we were,,,in more ways than one. Did anyone get in trouble? Not that I know about..." [July 30, 2008]

THE PHANTOM


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