Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Taiwan Personnel Listing - Connect With Lost Friends - 24 February 2015

Below, our current, updated, Taiwan Personnel Listing.

If you find someone you would like to contact, please Email us.
We will forward your mail to that person for response directly to you.

If you would like to be added to the listing, please Email us with your information, using the roster below as a guide.

We try to publish an updated list each Monday.

This listing updated on 24 February 2015.

There were no additions to the listing this week

To review the Taiwan List, click on Read More below

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Daughter of a Tainan AB Pilot Checks-In

Sherry Banks the daughter of Lonnie Teague wrote to us:

My father, Capt Lonnie Teague was stationed at Tainan. 1959-1961.

We lived in Nine-house compound.  

I know my dad went to Quemoy sometimes but I don't know what he did there.  He was a fighter pilot.  

His best friend was a Capt in the Chinese Air Force, Orlando Hue.  

My dad had a heart attack while he was flying but he was able to get the plane back to Tainan and land.  

There's so much I don't know but would like to find out.  

I have some pictures of the compound but we didn't go to the base much that I can remember.  

I would appreciate any information of that time period and especially anyone that knew my father.

Perhaps someone knew Lonnie Teague.. 

Please write and we will arrange contact with Sherry Teague.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Old Pillbox on Tainan Air Base 1957

Here's an old black and white photo sent over by Guild Fetridge who was stationed at Tainan AS assigned to the 868th Tactical Missile Squadron from 1957 to 1960.

Those of you were at Tainan AS in the 1950s may recognize this old Pillbox.

I know there were a number of these old boxes around the base.

Do you recognize this particular one and it's location on the base.  

I believe the metal building seen in this photo might help identify it's location for those of you who were at Tainan in the 1960s.

Please leave a comment below.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tony Coolidge Returns to His Taiwan Roots

Back in August 2012, we ran a story about Tony Coolidge.

 Tony was born in Taiwan in the mid 1960s, fathered by a US Airman assigned to Shulinkou Air Station.

Tony, like most of us under similar circumstances, wants to make contact with his birth father.  

What ever the reasons were and are, he was never able to locate his father, even though we know his name and where he worked.

Tony also has a number of photographs of his father, taken in the 1960s. 

 Based on our inability to locate any trace of his father, we assume that Mr. Smith, after his stint in the US Air Force, took employment with one of the companies whose offices are in the Washington DC area.

Perhaps this is another "Mr. Smith goes to Washington," story?

Tony, his wife and children have recently moved from the United States to Taiwan.

Tony and his wife have dedicated themselves in helping bring international attention to the indigenous tribes of Taiwan. 

Tony’s mother was from the Atayal tribe of Taiwan, one of the 14 recognized Austronesian tribes. 

These tribes are the ancestors of the millions of Polynesian descendents, which now populate the Pacific islands like Hawaii, Fiji, and Samoa, also countries like Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia and Madagascar. 

They are all related by DNA and language, and Tony wants to help Taiwanese people rediscover their connected heritage, hopefully bringing about more international cooperation and opportunities for Taiwanese people.

Perhaps you can help Tony in his quest to locate his birth father.  

If you have any ideas to help us locate Mr. Smith, they would be greatly appreciated. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Earthrise" First Photo, 45th Anniversary

Where were you when you first saw this photo?

On December 24, 1968, the first photograph of "Earthrise" was taken by William (Bill) Anders, an astronaut on Apollo 8 Mission, as they  circled above the moon.

As you watch this video, the actual conversation between the astronauts can be heard as they see earthrise for the first time.

And, here's a more recent 20 minute HD full screen film of our beautiful Earth...

Beautiful film, relaxing music, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chop Chop

More 1956 thoughts from Joe Brooks

Let’s get a chop made today.  I think that everyone should have one to take back to the “old country,” – don’t you?

The history of the chop itself is something of interest -- being in the nature of the ancient royal seals of Western countries -- the kings just couldn't sign their names.

In fact this failing was so widespread in ancient days in China that most of the generals, high court officials and administrators were chosen for their brains and brawn rather than for their education, it following that an educated man is not necessarily and intelligent one.

The system of chops now has become such a part of the official, legal and commercial part of Chinese business that personal signatures, while in some cases being considered legal, nearly always require the additional "notarization" of the individual's chop.

There are literally hundreds of places you can get a chop made in Taipei.  Almost every residential district has one or two stationary or office shops where the seals may be fashioned from an interesting variety of materials, ranging from common wood chops which cost only four or five Taiwan dollars to artistic masterpieces carved from ivory, crystal or precious jade, and ranging up to several hundreds of Taiwan dollars in price.

First you will have one of your Chinese friends devise a Chinese name for you; many people will already have had this done.  Then, having this Chinese name in the usual two to three character form written on a piece of paper, approach one of the shops, preferably with an interpreter to have your chop made. 

Select your material well, for people will judge you by the type of chop you have, almost as closely as they do by whether your collar is clean or not.

Unless you can see many years of life in the Orient ahead, you can use ivory in one the economical grades, or perhaps a piece of good stone. One of the favorite tricks is to buy an old chop from a pawnshop and have the original name cut off and have your name- characters carved into the bare end.  This is sometimes more economical than buying new stock, new ivory in Taipei being quite expensive and good stock being difficult to find.  Beware of so-called "ivory" chops which are artificial ivory.  Real ivory bears the tooth-grain in a well defined diamond-check pattern on the squared ends of the chop-stock.

Now you must choose your type or family of characters.  Many people prefer the square-shaped classical figures, others prefer the more legible modern characters while the more literary individuals select the ancient grass-writing characters which are perhaps the best if the chop is to become a serious memento of your tour in China.

After the chop has been completed, you can obtain a plastic or wooden box which is designed to provide a place for the chop and the red-paste ink used to affix the signature.  Most of these have a jointed slide cover which adds to the attractiveness of the work.

Having received your chop in hand you will immediately begin to experiment with it. Now here are some ideas that you will find the Chinese people have never thought of, and some which they have.

The ink paste is water fast, but must be left to dry well before washing.  Use the chop as your personal laundry-mark.  Clothes will never get lost in a Chinese laundry if you use it for this.

Use the chop to personalize your stationary and envelopes -- you can use it on any and all odds and ends of letter-paper.  Mark your favorite books with the chop on the lead pages where you usually write your name.  It serves as a perfect mark of identification that no-one can dispute.  It works wonders on keeping magazines, pamphlets and newspapers from wandering away also.

Get a plain silk tie and dye your own hand-blocking design with the chop -- you can guarantee that on-one else in the world will have a tie exactly like it.  Ladies, you can do the same thing for bandannas, scarves and gloves.  You'd be surprised what can be done in just a few minutes in preparing your own blocking design.

If you really get the fever, have the chop design enlarged and used to personalize your whiskey, highball, cocktail and beer glasses.  Stateside shops will etch or sandblast the design in minutes for a very small fee.

Of all the souvenirs that you will bring back to your home, a chop will be one of the most authentic, personal and highly treasured that you will have.  For the few dollars it will cost, you will extract many times the value in pleasure of ownership.

Let me know how you like your chop.


Reprinted with permission. 
Joe Brooks wrote a column for the China Post newspaper in the mid 1950s.

  This story and other articles found in this Blog came from his book, 
"From A Yankee Notebook in Taiwan"

Find more information about Joe Brooks and this series of articles HERE

Please leave your Comments below, or e-mail us ~~

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

The "Reason" for the season, The birth of Jesus Christ.

Today, December 25th ~ Christmas 

This Christmas card arrived in yesterday's mail.

The water color rendering above is by Rick Slater .

Rick is the Administrator of the Tainan AB Face book page.

Great work Rick!

This year I don't have a large bundle of new photographs to present.

I want to add a few interesting photos, received from different  sources, which fit into previous holiday posts.

 I'll link to some of the previous Christmas posts at the end of today's post.

Forward page courtesy USTDC Blog

Here's the forward page taken from a book of sketches by Paul Kuo.

Joe Brooks, held various positions inside the Armed Forces Network Taiwan (AFNT) over the years.

We'll assume Paul Kuo sketched the rendering of Joe, above.

To ease the reading of Joe's commentary, we retyped it below:

     "For the casual observer,  this book may at first prove quite a surprise.  However, as the pictures and captions reveal their individual messages of humor and occasional bewilderment, there is brought to the surface a vast appreciation of the perceptive awareness of the artist to the impact of the Christmas Season on what is is basically a non Christian country, and to some of its residents as well."
     "Those who have shared these experiences will enjoy the memories brought to mind, while those who might be facing their first holiday season in Taiwan will do well to accept the messages and take them to heart.  Readers who have never visited in this country may be unable to fully appreciate the depth of meaning in portrayed evens from Club 63 in Taipei to SAMOC (South Area MAAG Officer's Club) in Kaohsiung.  But in every case, the pen of Paul Kuo has captured enough emotional substance to carry a part of the story in a medium of their own best understanding."

     "Thus, the resident Chinese can share with the housemaid who see her employer preparing big "Pai Pai" and calling it Christmas.  Others will feel the bewilderment of the lady of the house who receives a live turkey as a Christmas present from HER household help.  Everywhere will be felt great need of the foreigner to create an emotional and spiritual atmosphere consistent to that enjoyed in his own homeland, and the willingness of the friendly Chinese people to enter into the spirit of the game.  If they fail to fully appreciate the finer aspects of why a Christmas tree is so necessary for their foreign friends to enjoy their Yuletide Holiday, they are delighted to see the great pleasure the evergreen branches being to the household at large." 

     "As a souvenir, a reminder of a vast and stirring experience, or as a gift for friends who wonder about life in these climes - - the book will prove a treasured and welcome book of any library. - -  Joe Brooks, Taipei, Taiwan.  1961"

We've featured a number of Joe Brook's articles during the past few years.  You can find them by searching for "Joe Brooks" in our search box on the right side of this blog.

Photo courtesy James W. Brown Jr. circa mid-1960s  from the Internet

One of the most important items at Christmas, your Christmas tree.

Here, the HSA East Compound, close to the NEX, where trees were UN-crated and displayed, allowing customer's to select just the right one for their home, hostel, outpost room, barracks or office.  These trees were carefully moved to bases and outposts throughout the island(s). Imagine walking into your hostel on the top of a mountain, or deep downtown Taichung or any place else, and immediately smelling the pine scent aroma from the newly decorated tree.

The sweet aroma alone would jolt you into a smile and a flood of memories from your past...

And don't forget, these trees made their way into the local economy via NEX Card holders not necessarily associated with the US military.

Joe Brooks mentioned in his commentary above, "SAMOC (South Area MAAG Officer's Club) in Kaohsiung."  

I have been looking for an old photo of the MAAG O'Club in Kaohsiung.  We've not had one come in.  Recently, I was talking with a Kaohsiung STRATCOM Army man.  We spoke of many things including the clubs. A short time later, I received this photo of a sign in the Kaohsiung/Tsoying area.  At the bottom of the sign, "Officer's Club"

Photo courtesy of Marvin, circa late 1960s.

Look at the top of this sign, just under the roof, "HSA-5 SPECIAL SERVICES"  Guess that indicates,  Det 5, HSA Special Services.

I would guess, the area off to the right was the recreation center, bowling alley, swimming pool, Youth Center, Library, Tennis courts all  run by HSA Special Services, and the O'Club was run by MAAG Taiwan was straight ahead on the far end of the power pole with transformer.

Google Earth in Tsoying with ID pins locating some US facilities of the 1960s.

We've finally found the MAAG Officer's Club in Tsoying.  It can be seen on the map above.  Also found, the HSA Special Services area with a pool, bowling alley, tennis courts, Teen Center and other offices.

If you look toward the bottom of the Google Earth photo, you can see the outline of where the old FASD Hostel once sat.

Photo courtesy Marvin circa late 1960s

Photo of the old FASD Tsoying Hostel 
Outline of old hostel can be seen in preceding photo.

Photo courtesy of John Hornbeck circa 1968-68

We're heading north from Tsoying, a short ride away, Tainan.
Above, the Magambo (MAAG NCO Open Mess) taken from street view.

I'm not sure where I got this photo.  It's the Magambo Club when it first opened in 1960

Notice that motor scooter on the right side of the photo.

The Tainan Air Base Airmen's Open Mess, late 1950s

Proof positive, check out the motor scooter along the sidewalk.
One of the last photos of this club before they moved to the new facility.

Courtesy Tom Roberts, 1956-1958

The new Tainan Officer's Open Mess a couple miles outside the gate, in the same area with the MAAG NCO Open Mess (Magambo Club)

Tainan CAT Club courtesy Tom Roberts, 1956-1958

The CAT Club was a short distance down the road from the Tainan O'Club and NCO Club.

Why was the CAT Club constructed?  

I found a interesting document that might help explain why things went as they did for CAT in Tainan.

We're back in the car, driving up to Taichung.

MAAG NCO Club - Club 36 - circa 1965, courtesy Taiwan Signal Army Blog

A very small club, constructed for MAAG personnel and support personnel assigned in the area.

When the buildup of Kung Kuan AB, (later CCK) started, the place quickly filled up, many were turned away because of seating limits; there just wasn't any room inside.

I remember going down in January 1965, first trip to Kung Kuan AB.  We ended up at Club 36 and it was very comfortable.

A few weeks later, it was overrun.  The kitchen could not keep up. 
Food from the club was what everyone wanted.  Many people didn't drink, or maybe had a beer and wanted some food to go with it, it was a long wait for food service.

I don't recall how the problem was overcome.  The building was expanded, and when the Kung Kuan/CCK clubs opened, Club 36 slowly went back to a more controllable atmosphere.

We're back on Highway 1, moving toward Hsinchu.

Hsinchu had a military housing area, Bank of Taiwan Housing.

Where MAAG personnel resided, the Navy followed with services such as exchange, move house, clubs. I am not sure how the Commissary worked.

I believe some one sent this to us more than 5 years ago. Circa 1960.

This photo was named, the Hsinchu Shopping Complex, or the Exchange and Community Center. I believe there was a small Exchange, a snack bar, movie theater and probably a gasoline facility.  Note the gray color Navy vehicle, in front of the NEX. 
Map courtesy of Bruce Rayle, circa 1957 or earlier.

This shopping area was located a short distance from Hsinchu Main Station, and a block or so from the Catholic Cathedral of Hsinchu, which has the formal name, Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral. 

This small shopping area was situated inside the green circle on the upper left side of this photo.

Photo courtesy Bruce Rayle 1968

The altar at the Hsinchu Cathedral, prepared for its very first Christmas Midnight Mass, on December 24, 1958.

The MAAG folks in Hsinchu also had other facilities.

Map courtesy Bruce Rayle circa 1967 or earlier

A short distance (1.2 miles) directly west  from the MAAG Housing Compound (yellow square on right side of map) was the Officer’s Club, Hostel and Infirmary, all located in the Magenta circle above.  The MAAG Motor Pool was in the Green circled area just to the left of the Officer’s club. 

Hsinchu Map courtesy of Bruce Rayle

Last summer two retired USAF men and myself traveled to Hsinchu to attend an Open House and the large Army Tank Base in central Taiwan.

After a long day of walking around the enormous display areas, we headed back to Hsinchu on a mission to find the old Hsinchi NCO Club, which was really the Hsinchu Branch of Club 63 out of Taipei.

During the early years of Hsinchu, the NCO may have been operating on their own.

We have the map seen just above.  I believe the NCO Club was always located at the same location, don't believe it ever moved.

Looking at the map above, the NCO Club was inside the black circle in about the center of the map.  Just above the circle is an arrow and the letter Q.  

Just about everyone on a journey up or down the island would stop by the NCO Club when they arrived in Hsinchu.  Restroom facilities, cold air conditioning, and good food....

Photo courtesy John Hornbeck, circa 1967-1969
This is the only photo that has ever surfaced of "Club 63 Hsinchu Branch.

We found the street, and made two runs around the area to be sure we had the correct location indicated on the map above.

The building, just past the club, with the exposed red brick, was recently torn down.

I have a photo of the building which sits on this corner of the alley.  It appears to be the correct location, but the man working inside knew nothing of an American club.

Bottom line, any hint of the old club is gone.

 We're moving north toward Taipei and we end our journey at the Officer's Club Annex this Christmas.

Christmas season circa 1968


The entrance to the MAAG Officer's Club Annex, a doorman standing by to assist the ladies and children out of their car.

Inside the Christmas decorations are shining brightly.

Photos courtesy Rory O'Neil Christmas 1967
The band - Florence Moog

Rory O'Neil wrote, " The day was called or billed as the Holly Frolic.
The band members are playing in more formal attire."

Band members are (l-r) Terry O'Neil on vocals, Rick Ashabran on keyboards, Perry Smith on bass, Mike Gibson on guitar, Keith Wake on drums, and Jim Hollingsworth on guitar.

Rory continued, "I believe the band broke up in '68 likely because members were seniors in high school." 

Terry O'Neil who was the vocalist is Rory O'Neil's brother. 

We've covered a large portion of the island today.  

I hope you found something new in the photos we displayed today.

If you are interested in looking back at a couple of previous Christmas posts, here they are.

Our 2012 Christmas Post, click  HERE

Our 2011 Christmas Post, click  HERE 

More old photographs are being prepared, see you soon.

Merry Christmas, to you..