TAIPEI AIR STATION
Bill Meiners Remembers…...
I arrived TAS around September of 1969.
I remember the humidity not so much the heat. I remember my clothes being wet almost all the time for the first couple of weeks. I can't describe the smell, but I seemed to get used to it. I remember the smell of the open "Bin-Jo' Ditch.
I remember the 10 cent beer nights at the NCO club. You know the nights that you bought a beer and got a scratch ticket. When you scratched it off you had won more beer. I do remember the slots. I remember ordering Ice Tea at the NCO club and using tokens to get them exchanged for cash. Tokens were no good down town.
I remember doing a lot of drinking at the Queens Club. I remember I used "Chop Sticks" at the bar to pick up Peanuts. That is how I learned to use them. First Place I got Hammered on Plum Liqueur.
I moved off base about a block from the Queens Club, to a building on the fourth floor over a Sanyo shop. The owner was a Taipei Policeman. They had a big party for me when I left Taipei.
I remember haggling with every taxi driver to get to "Koon Kwan" for 25 cents.
I remember going to a night club and ordering Roast Duck. When I got it the Duck was cut right down the middle, leaving the head, bill, and one foot on the bird. Just wasn't what I had in mind. I remember ordering a Pizza downtown and that was not what I had in mind either. I remember the all night noodle stands and a coke. Great place to eat until I saw the owner chase down a rat. That was the last time I ate there.
I remember seeing "Paint Your Wagon" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in a Downtown Theater, eating Dried Squid and drinking Goats milk.
I remember the difference between "Bar" girls and "Club" girls. Oh the things those Girls taught this young Airman. I remember the R and R clubs.
I remember getting custom made clothes and shoes from "Sunny's Tailor" on the compound. I still have one suit with Heart, Diamond, Spade, and Clubs on the suit. I remember a pair of boots I had made there. Most comfortable boots I've ever owned. I remember most all of us guys having light jackets made from one of the tailors just outside the gate. They usually all had a dragon on the back, your girl back homes name on the shoulder, and your nickname on the back when you turned it inside-out. Mine said "Cowboy".
I worked outside the base, up the road in the communications cave. Although I was in the Air Force we worked right next door to Comm Seventh Fleet. Sending and Receiving messages. I remember how relaxed things were, and how many Officers had come out of the Non Com Field.
I remember "Midnight Chow". Where I could get just about anything I wanted.
I remember a good friend of mine stealing a small "Buddha" out of a church. They held a big ceremony and made him return it, right after they busted him.
I remember that TAS was like a small family. I had a great time there. I made my third stripe there. I was fortunate and traveled a great deal while I was there. I remember taking the train around the island. I am from Idaho and most of the time the guys would say "Where is Idaho"? "Is that in the States"?
I wished I would have finished my time there. I loved the people. I loved the guys. And I dearly loved TAS. I have hunted for some of closest friends I met there, and have found only one.
Thanks for posting the pictures and the all the information. I will look around in my attic and see what I can come up with to add to your site. Thanks again.
SGT U.S. Air Force
2165th Comm Group
McCammon, Idaho 83250