For men on R and R during the Vietnam War, this row of buildings led south to the northeast corner of the above named intersection.
This was the most heavily followed route since the east side was the more commercial and interesting side.
The other route was right across Chung Shan on the west side. It was a very different side when the sun went down.
The Sea Dragon Club was also on the west side, but most of the walkway was rather dark as Tatung Company of Taiwan owned much of the real estate.
|Photo by Jack Hornbeck; courtesy of taipeiairstation.blogspot.com|
The Florida Bakery still exists and has expanded southward. Looking to the south of the bakeries, we can easily see the OK and Suzie Wong Bars which were landmarks themselves.
Photo courtesy of Scott Ellinger
A later picture of this corner shows The Florida Bakery and the OK and Suzie Wong Bars south of the bakery.
It seems innocent enough, but the photo was taken during the day. The Diamond Hotel was located on Nong An Street.
Photo by Mike Hime; courtesy of Webmaster@dawgflight.com
Here is the same intersection at night when the atmosphere of downtown Taipei changed.
Places you may not have noticed during daytime were brought into focus because of the neon lights.
The bus from Shu Linkou Air Station pulled onto Nong Ann Street and unloaded Airmen by the bakery.
These young men scattered and served as unofficial ambassadors of America. I am told they did a terrific job.
Map from Bill Martin; courtesy of dawgflight.com
Most men on R and R in Taipei were given maps similar to this one to acquaint them with the legitimate bars and their locations.
Other landmarks were indicated in case someone became disoriented.
This map was used in this posting as it shows the Sea Dragon Club---the R and R center from 1967-1972.
List from Doug Price; courtesy of taipeiairstation blog and dawgflight.com
Here is why we need you men to keep sending pictures and memorabilia from your days in Taiwan
This list was sent to Kent Mathieu in 2014. I believe it was never published before.
Don''t worry--either TAS blog, dawgflight.com or TSA blog will post your contribution and we are here to borrow each others' stuff for publishing.
|From Pacific Stars and Stripes, 1969|
Most of the bars and clubs had business cards. One of the most amusing is HERE Thanks to T. Yearnshaw for the card, courtesy of dawgflight.com
Hotel list from 1973 Taiwan Report; courtesy of Don Wiggins, ustdc.blogspot.com
Every now and then, the government would publish a brochure explaining the lifestyle military members and their families might expect in Taiwan.
Don Wiggins kept a copy of each one of these in his blog. My understanding is that the 1973 report was the last one published.
Since the Vietnam War was winding down, the number of servicemen assigned to Taiwan decreased significantly by this date.
The main hotels recommended for tourists and military families who were waiting for permanent housing are shown above.
This photo is not current, but nonetheless, the American Bakery is now a 7-Eleven and the Florida Bakery has expanded, which would mean that the OK and Suzie Wong Bars are now just south of the Florida Bakery.
News dispatch courtesy of John Quinn
So now, we have an exact date as to when flights from Vietnam stopped coming to Taipei. Very seldom do we get exact dates for things of this nature which makes this important.
Follow Kent Mathieu's walking tour from Starbucks (Northwest Orient building) north to the Florida Bakery. Notice the old Kings Hotel in the background. View YouTube HERE