This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sea Dragon Club, Taipei, Taiwan

The Navy's Sea Dragon Club was shown to us on our short tour of Taipei after we were picked up at the airport. The front facade of the place was visible as we drove by.

This was just before Major Betty's was pointed out in the general direction of the President Hotel. Welcome to Taipei, G.I.

For the next 2 1/2 months, this place was my starting point each evening we were in Taipei. It was a good atmosphere for everyone since it was the center for R and  R.

Altercations were few, the band was good, the spaghetti was excellent and the stag bar in the front was my destination. It was there I renewed my love for pinball.

Favorite songs played there were Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood  and Sam and Dave's Hold On I'm Comin'  and  Soul Man.

There had been postings about the Sea Dragon Club but its exact location and purpose seemed to be in doubt.

Kent Mathieu posted this photo on his on May 31, 2010. This led to Kent taking his video camera and discovering the old location.

Where the young man is standing are the two pillars which were the club entrance from the back.

Once in, you would immediately go up the steps to the club. The band was plastered against what would be the south wall of the place. The dance floor was adequate.

As stated before, this was the R and R center. It was here that the men on leave registered. Then, the orchestrated exit of each man began.

I was there one night when this weekly ritual took place. On the following film, you will get a quick glimpse of a soldier emerging from the back of the club.

A young kid would grab his gear and lead him to an awaiting taxi. Once in, the soldier is rushed off to a hotel. After that, his 5 days of R and R would begin.

It was fascinating to watch. Just remember that the guys on the bus are now over 60!
So, here is Holiday From Hell-Part 2. Just CLICK HERE. 

After taking the previous shot, I just pivoted 90 degrees to the right to get a shot of a couple of guys and their escorts walking south from the club.

It was nothing more than that to me. However, it had greater meaning to others. Looking down the alley, you might be able to make out a large building on the right. It has a visible sign.

By the way, the concrete wall on the right is still there.

Well, the sign was that of an art gallery which still seems innocent enough.

What was discovered later was that the top floor of this building was a locally famous massage parlor.

As mentioned before, Kent Mathieu filmed the old location of the Sea Dragon Club and its surroundings now.

For video 1 click HERE. 

The coordinates for the club are on the picture above.

The map above by Kent shows much more than the location of the old Sea Dragon Club. For his second video click HERE.

The picture and crude drawing attempts to show the entrance and alley shown in the first two pictures in this posting.

The alley in the second picture of this posting empties out onto FuShun Street.

From here, it's just a short walk to the intersection of Chung Shan North Road and Min Chuan West Road.

To see the end of Kent's journey and the old 77 Club building, click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I was stationed in Taiwan, Taipei in 1970-1971. The Sea Dragon club was really nice. I was on R and R for 12 months. I felt sorry for the Vietnam Vets who were only on R and R. There stories were sad, they needed so much to be loved in a special way. Most of them found a girlfriend and I always had two or more to share. There were a bunch of great guys, don't know if they will die in the next 6 months. I always said I was not stationed in Taiwan it would start a war if I said I was. I am Gregory l Morrison, SFC Retired 1988