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

Monday, October 7, 2019

Taiwan Personnel Listing - 7 October 2019

Below, our current, updated, Taiwan Personnel Listing.

If you served in Taiwan, we encourage you to add your name and "Nickname."


Anyone who served in Taiwan is welcome, we cover all services and 
all Taiwan Duty Stations.
 

If you find someone on the list that you would like to contact, please Email us with name.

We will forward your Email to that person.
 Want to add your name to the Taiwan Personnel Listing? 

Use the listing below as a guide to what information to include in your Email. 
 
  Our Email address:  taipeiairstation@yahoo.com

There were NO additions to the Taiwan Listing this week. 

To view the Taiwan Personnel Listing, click,  "Read more" on the left margin below.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Makung Island Veterans - Reunion - 13-15 May 2020

Calling all Veterans who were stationed or served on Temporary Duty on the Island of Makung, Taiwan.

 Courtesy Makung Facebook Page.

I received a note from George Hammett, a Veteran of Makung, passing information about a upcoming Reunion for those who served on Makung at any time.

George is heading-up the planning for the Reunion.

The Reunion will is being held in Dayton, Ohio - 13-15 May 2020.

George indicated this will be the 2nd Reunion of Makung Veterans.

You can check-in with George via email for additional information.

George's Email:  geoham3@gmail.com

Here's the Makung Facebook page:  Sad Poker ADOT Makung Island Taiwan.


Curious to what the Chinese says:

George translated the characters -

 "Why is God doing this to me?"


 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Never Ending Story - Don't Drink and Drive

Don Meyer, assigned to MAAG Taiwan, 1955-1957, sent a nice group of documents and photos he took during his tour.  

Don worked out at Shihmen, along the north coast, on the highway to Camp McCauley. 

If you remember seeing the large Radar Domes off to the left of the highway, very close to the ocean, that was Shihmen.

Interestingly, if you happened to know one of the military men who worked at the site, they had exclusive use of the beach areas inside the military site, and would often invite folks up for a weekend, and arranged over-night accommodations in the Shihmen Hostel, if empty rooms were available.  Couldn't ask for more!  

Don and many others had a nice work assignment at Shihmen. Much later during our time in Taiwan, Shihmen was closed-down and moved to Gold Mountain.

The document below, interesting and a Call to US Forces in Taiwan to "Wake-Up.....

The Document is signed by the MAAG Chief of Staff, obviously the result of a "Staff Meeting " in relation to the incidents happening during the past 2 Months....  

If you place your cursor on the document and then left click on the cursor, the document will enlarger and be much easier to read.  

Be sure to read this document, and notice what could happen if charged under these codes.    

Bad news for a night on the town...







Note paragraph 5 above - everyone will see this document....

"Don't Drink and Drive.



Monday, August 12, 2019

Frank Smith - Busy at Taiwan Motors & Taipei Air Station Auto Hobby Shop



Today, quite a long story....

Let's look back at Taipei Air Station as it stood in the 1962-1963 time frame.

Frank Smith, a single Airman, was assigned to Taipei Air Station - April 1962 - July 1963.

Frank did not work at Taipei Air Station, his actual work assignment was at the Taiwan Motor Company Service Department, a Commercial Business, which performed maintenance and repair of all Military Vehicles assigned at Taipei Air Station. 

Frank's Business Card

 Taiwan Motor Company Service Department Garage - circa 1962- 1963

Here's the Same Ford Garage in early 1950s.


Today's photo, across the street, the same corner on which the Taiwan Motor Company Garage sat during Frank's assignment, 1962-1963.  I took this photo, early March 2019, some 57 years after Frank worked at the old garage.

The street above was named Chung Cheng Road during Frank's time, today the street is named Zhongxiao East Road.  
 
The right side of the old Taiwan Motor Company Garage building would probably have sat about where the red color signage begins, to the left of the 7-11 store.   A good portion of the 7-11 would have been parking and storage area on the side of the old building, this side street today looks much narrower across than it was in the early 1960s.  The garage was a large long building. 


Tap the Ctrl key and the  + key to enlarge the Metro map.

Looking at the Taipei Metro map, the Black Arrow points to a Red Diamond, that's where the Taiwan Motor Company Garage was located during Frank's tenure. 

Two blocks to the right side of the Red Diamond, is the Brown Metro line, Brown Color on Metro Map.  The trains pass North and South, on an above ground, overhead route.

Under this street, the Blue Metro line, blue color on Metro map, runs right and left.

Today, this area is a preferred location for shopping, fed by 2 Metro Lines and many bus lines.

The "must see" Taipei 101 Building, is a number of blocks to the right on the Metro Map, and a few blocks off to the south.

On the Metro Map above, Taipei 101 building is located approximately under the Purple Circle, next to the Red number 2, which signifies the last station east bound of the Red Metro line, one station beyond the Taipei 101 station.

Taipei Air Station is located where stretched RED CIRCLE, with the map name - "Gongguan", which is a Station on the Blue Line Metro.  We used to call the area Kung Kwan.  The old Taipei AS was about 200 yards or so south of the actual metro station, and off to the left of Roosevelt Road.

Taipei Air Station did not have a Military Repair Facility for their vehicles, therefore, all repairs and normal maintenance of vehicles was performed by the Taiwan Motor Company Service Department Garage under Military Contract. 

Frank and the other Army and Air Force members, working at Taiwan Motors Garage were each, Contracting Officers Representatives: (COR). Notice C.O.R. typed on Frank's Taiwan Motor Company ID Card, seen above.

Four U.S. Air Force members were assigned duty at Taiwan Motor Company  Service Garage to oversee and monitor the Military Contract, and ensure that the work was accomplished in accordance with established US Air Force Technical Orders.

Basically, there was a senior NCO in charge of the Air Force members at the garage, who assigned specific duties to each of his assigned Airmen.

When Frank wasn't working at the garage, he had the additional responsibility of opening the Auto Hobby Shop across the street from Taipei Air Station, and, only after after he was notified that someone had made a reservation to work on a POV or motorcycle.

The Auto Hobby Shop was open on weekends, IF, arrangements were made ahead of time.  If you wanted to use the shop, you had to call the motor pool to reserve a work area in the shop.  

Frank would open the Hobby Shop, based on reservations, that had been scheduled, but the shop was not often used.  Frank doesn't remember how he got lassoed into taking care of the Auto Hobby Shop.  It was basically an additional duty

During the early 1960s the shop was not utilized very often.  Things changed through the years, perhaps someone who utilized the shop during their years at Taipei AS might leave a Comment.  Thank you.

I was assigned at Taipei Air Station for 3 years 1965-1968, and never knew the Hobby Shop existed. 

Let's take a look at just where this Auto Hobby Shop was located at Taipei Air Station.

Frank took this photograph from the aircraft he was learning to fly, while passing over Taipei Air Station circa 1962-1963. .

Excellent photo of Taipei Air Station and surrounding area, including much of National Taiwan University Campus.

Hold down Ctrl on your keyboard and hit the + key on your keyboard to enlarge this and all photos... 

In Photo ABOVE, Purple colored circle is the Auto Hobby Shop Garage.

The Black colored circle includes the Auto Hobby Shop building Parking lot.

Photo below, much larger view

Photo courtesy Frank Smith taken while learning to fly, taken from different angle.

This the largest view of this photo I have.

Clearly see the Auto Hobby Shop inside Black Circle above.

Taipei AS, Back Gate just up to the right on backside of NCO Club.

Ctrl and + to enlarge this photo for better view



Black = Old Movie Theater
Green = Hostel (No exactly sure how much of building Hostel occupied.
Red = Auto Hobby Shop and parking lot

Back during my time at Taipei Air Station, we would have "Commander's Call" about once a month.  Everyone that could leave their duty work area would walk outside the compound and cross the street and go into the Movie Theater.  

The First Sergeant would talk about what was on his mind, I don't remember the Commander ever being there.  

At the end of the First Sergeants remarks, he would say something like, "I have here in my hand, a film that everyone is required to watch."

  The First Sergeant held the film up in the air, turned his hand from left to right, asked if everyone had watched the film?  A moan of yes filled the auditorium, the First Sergeant then gave the film to the man running the projector and walked out of the theater.  

Anyone not wanting to kill time, could walk out behind the First Sergeant, no reason to stay, because you had already "seen the film"  

 That was standard Operating Procedure for our unit while I was there. 

I want to also thank Rick Ferch for his help in identifying the Theater and Hostel Buildings.





Ariel photo courtesy Frank Smith, a bit out of focus, but a good photo while flying in an open cockpit aircraft .

Blue Circle - Taipei Air Station Motor Pool area and other offices,  Air Force vehicles parked everywhere.

Red Circle - Motor Pool Dispatch Office.

Both circles, pass over Taipei Air Station NCO Club, base exit road goes to the rear of the NCO Club and out the Back Gate.



Here's the Aircraft that Frank was aloft in when
 he took all of these Ariel photographs. 

 The Green box was the Hostel, how much of that building was actually housing the Hostel is unknown.

Here's Hostel #4, both photos courtesy of Rick Ferch.  

Here's another Photo of the Hostel & Theater, based on this sign, you have to believe they were somehow intermingled.

However, this sign says, Hostel 6, and the other sign says Hostel 4.  Umm, what's this all about?  

Maybe a Typo, doubt that, or did the FASD = Foreign Affairs Service Department change the numbers of their various Taipei Hostels?

 Finally, here they are, photographs of the Auto Hobby Shop.....

Night view at the Auto Hobby Shop sign.

Some folks working on their cars - no one in sight though..

Nice color slide, it was taken going on 60 years ago!  Thank you Frank...

Notice, what looks like a Master Sergeant's short sleeve fatigue shirt that's hanging on the gate, and his Brogans siting in the shade, just of left of MG.

OK, here are Frank's guesses on the parked vehicles in the area...  L to R

MG - 55 Lincoln - 1940's Plymouth and off to the right an old blue 1.5 Ton Weapons Carrier with typical yellow markings and a large forklift.

 Your guess, leave a Comment at end of this story.



 Looks like it's about noon, and the lights are still on?
This Ford was not in the previous photo, nor was the Tractor Trailer siting just on the side of the building above.

This may have been the trailer that tractor seen in photo above was pulling, that's probably the Back Gate just to rear of the trailer.

Someplace in the area around the Auto Hobby Shop was a Conex Container where the tools for the Auto Hobby Shop were stored.  No photos available. 
You know, the lights were probably never turned-off at the Auto Hobby Shop area to allow the guards to see inside the building and area at night. 

Lots of thievery happening in the Taipei area during the early years.

I shared an apartment with another Taipei AS NCO who worked inside the mountain.

Our apartment was located a short distance outside the back gate of the HSA East Compound Gate.  It was a new apartment building in 1966, our apartment was on the 2d floor.

One day after work I came home to discover that someone had broken into our apartment via a small door that led from the living room onto a very small outside porch, just wide enough to stand on and get a breath fresh air area, a couple of feet wide, too small for even a chair.

Anyway the thief got inside via cutting the glass on that door. 

We each had our own bedroom, and both bedroom doors were locked.

The thief was able to dig his way through the hardwood door far enough to unlock the door and enter my friends bedroom.   

The thief cleaned-out every thing that was in his room, except the bed frame and mattress.  EVERY THING ELSE.... was gone.

Nothing left in his room!

Can you imagine the feeling in your stomach if this had happened to you?

The thief had started to dig around the door handle on my hardwood bedroom door, but I  believe he was frightened away when I came home,  he must have had a lookout that told him someone was coming up the stairs, etc. etc.

So, my bedroom door remained locked!

You can imagine how my friend felt, he was wiped out, I was unblemished. 

It seems like he took items from the bathroom and as I recall, nothing was taken from the kitchen. 

My guess, had I not returned home when I did, the thief would have cleared out everything in our apartment.

My friend moved out, couldn't blame him, I think he went back to the Hostel, don't remember for sure.  We very seldom met up, he worked shift work at the tunnel, I worked straight days at Taipei Air Station Communications Squadron.

A week or so later, on a Saturday morning, the police knocked on the Apartment door, I looked out the peep hole and saw the Police standing there.

I opened the door, and the Policeman explained that the man standing beside him had "fessed-up" to robing the apartment.  He had sold the stolen goods to a Hock-Shop and I was given the address of where it was located.  

I got in touch of my friend and probably the next day we visited the Hock-Shop.
 As I recall, the shop was located in the south end of Ximin. (Shiminding) <- font="" s="" spelling.="" today="">

The thief, standing beside the Policeman in hallway outside my apartment door had blood on his clothing, was barefoot, looked like he needed rest.

Rope was tied around his legs, holding them just about tight, he had to kind of skip and jump along, his hands and arms were tied together behind his back.

These Taiwan Police were very serious, especially when they caught thieves.  

My friend was able to purchase back some items and filed a claim with the Legal Office to recoup his losses in monetary remuneration, which gave him money for new uniforms, civilian clothing, and all the other things that was stolen.  

I didn't file, the missing items from the bathroom, it was not worth the time and effort to fill out all the paperwork for the bathroom items or the broken door glass.

BTW, on the day of the incident, the thief had to leave the apartment via his entry point because the front door had a key lock on both sides of the door, you could not get out our front door without the key....

Maybe that was SOP in Taiwan back in the day?

Am I overwhelming you with too much information?   
Maybe you're ready for a rest, lots of information and maps..... 

Rest, get something to drink, close your eyes, recall your Taiwan days.

We're still at the Taipei Air Station Auto Hobby Shop...

Frank's photograph.
This looks like the street outside the Front gate at Taipei Air Station. .

Notice the Taiwan Air Force man on his bicycle, I bet he worked down in the tunnel area, which today,  is still just down the street. 
Notice - All of the men across the street are wearing the Light Brown trousers, which would indicate they are also Taiwan Military men.

Notice the Chevrolet is parked off to the right in this photo, the white license plate ID's it as a US Military POV.  

You can't see it in this photo, but along the wall of Taipei Air Station, coming from Roosevelt Road, was a ditch, it's just to the side of the driver's door on this Chevrolet. When I was there in 1965, there were some shops build above the ditch, most of them were Tailor Shops, selling shirts and men's suits. I purchased my first Taiwan made suit in a shop just outside the Taipei Air Station Main gate entrance.

They closed down those shops sometime during my assignment at Taipei AS.

Mr. Loo's Tailor Shop in the East Compound later became my Tailor Shop.


On 11 September 1963, Typhoon Gloria roared into Taiwan.

Frank was scheduled to fly out of Taiwan on or just after Typhoon Wendy's arrival.  Flights were cancelled for a short period of time, Frank had to be re-booked for return flight to CONUS.

While Frank was waiting for a new flight date, he and a friend drove around town and took photos of the damage from Typhoon Gloria.

We will present those photos soon.
Lots of damage to the Taipei Air  Station Auto Hobby Shop!

This is the only photo we have of the damaged shop area.

Frank left Taiwan later in September 1963.

Does anyone have any idea of what happened to the Auto Hobby Shop after Frank returned to the CONUS?


Perhaps the Hobby Shop never recovered from damages inflicted by the two typhoons which rocked the Taipei area in 1963.



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Environmental and Morale Leave - A Round Trip to Hong Kong!



  Environmental and Morale Leave (EML) ..

Within U.S. MAAG, Republic of China, Regulations, was a "perk" that many of us looked forward to using..

A round-trip flight on a MAAG Aircraft to Hong Kong! 

I don't have hard copies of the regulation, so we can't post it to read, but, it authorized assigned personnel who had resided in Taiwan for a certain period of time, to apply for inclusion in the program.

Once approved, you and your spouse, or,  yourself, would be issued "Written Orders" from MAAG Headquarters authorizing your flight on or about a certain date, specified in the MAAG orders.

Frank does not have copies of his orders, so I am substituting orders issued to me in 1968, when my wife and I flew aboard a MAAG Taiwan C-47, on our Hong Kong journey. 

 Frank also mentioned, Tokyo, a destination included in the EML Program, during 1962-1963 while he was assigned to Taipei.



There was probably more to the preparation of your paperwork, but suffice to say, once your application was received at MAAG and approved, your hard copy orders were sent over, a week or two ahead of time, and you were booked onto a flight departing from Sung Shan AFB in Taipei.  As I recall everything went smooth.

Tainan Air Base also participated in the program, flying to Hong Kong aboard military aircraft out of Tainan Air Base.


Photo courtesy Ed Wexler

Above, Mrs. Ed Wexler, wife of Captain Ed Wexler, 1969-1972, Tainan AB, boarding a US Navy C-47 Aircraft at Tainan Air Base. 

Captain Wexler and his wife were flying to Hong Kong under the
Environmental and Morale Leave (EML) program.

Today, we're accompanying Frank Smith, on his adventure in Hong Kong, under the EML program during March of 1963.  Frank mentioned that he was in Hong Kong on his 23d birthday.

Frank was assigned to Taipei Air Station, April 1962 - July 1963.




All photos are courtesy of Frank Smith unless noted otherwise.

Frank arriving at Sung Shan on flight day to Hong Kong.



On the tarmac at Sung Shan....
Stand around, wait, talk story...  
Passengers have belted-up their safety equipment.
Frank must have cracked a joke, a couple of smiles in the crowd...


Looks like one of the Crew of the C-47 is walking toward the door.
Is it time to board the aircraft?
 

Frank on left and his roommate Nick Colangelo, both resided at Hostel 7, 
and are aboard the flight to Hong Kong.


Hostel 7, pictured below, all "Prettied-Up" for a holiday of some sort. 

Hostel 7 was located at 27 Chang Chung Road.

Hostel 7 - circa 1962-1963
 A crisp and clear view of Hostel 7 entrance.
  Wonderful colors for a 57 year old slide. 

 (We'll have a story about Hostel 7, typhoon damage, and more (some time later this summer)

Today, Chung Hwa Telephone Company, the largest telecom company in Taiwan, has a large office on this alley way (blue bus) and Chang Chung Road, street corner, where this old Hostel once sat.


Time to board, lifting off from Taipei soon. Circa 1963.

Boarding their aircraft, a Douglas Skytrain C-47, which had a top speed of about 250 mph.  

I seem to remember it took about 3 or more hours to get to Hong Kong and land.  The air distance from Taipei to Hong Kong is 504 miles.

You would not have been flying 250 mph all the day, so 3 hours sounds about right.

Landing at the old Kai Tak Airport was a ride you will never forget.  On final approach to the airport your aircraft flew just above and virtually right over apartment buildings in downtown Kowloon, so low, you could see inside the apartment buildings as they pasted your window, before taking a sharp decent angle toward the runway and landing safely.

I flew to Hong Kong the first time, on a C-47 out of Taipei.  As we approached Kai Tak airport on Kowloon, the clouds were too low for us to land. 

Our old C-47 had no instruments to guide us through the clouds and above the structures, our pilot and the Control Tower had no choice but to call-off our landing.  

The weather forecast was not favorable for clearer weather.  We did fly around in circles for maybe an hour, hoping the low clouds would lift, before heading back to Taipei.

Of course everyone on the plane, including the crew were disappointed, but, it was impossible to land, so we smiled  and enjoyed our 6 or 7 hour flight.
 up, up and away for the day......  Landing back in Taipei before dark.  

We, my wife and I were re-scheduled, and flew to Hong Kong,a few weeks later. 

Frank landed safely in Hong Kong, and the Hotel Bus took everyone to the 
International Hotel on Cameron Road.

I believe the Hotel kept a number of rooms available for the Taipei folks who arrived from Taiwan, just about every week. That would have been guaranteed business for the hotel.

I tried to find the International Hotel, on Cameron Road, nothing, but I did find the 
HP International Hotel, on Austin Road.  Same general area of Kowloon.

While we are talking about Hotels in Kowloon, I want to show you the hotel where my EML flight was booked, when we arrived in Hong Kong during the Spring of 1968.

The Empress Hotel, Kowloon, circa 1968.
#17, Chatham Road, Kowloon.

The Empress Hotel Bus took us from the Airport to their hotel.
Our room was on the left side, we had large windows.

Notice in the writing below, the hotel had a "Royal Hawaiian Room and Outrigger Bar"





This post card was a souvenir I kept from our visit in 1968.

If you walked outside the Empress Hotel's front door, seen in photo above, and looked across the street, there were railroad tracks that ran slopping down the hill,off to the right, toward the railroad station seen in photo below.

 Photo courtesy of - Closed-HONGWRONG.com website.

Also in the area of the railroad station and it's clock tower, in photo above, was the Star Ferry Landing, just off to the right, under the awning, where buses are lined up.  

But, before we proceed in our visit to Hong Kong, let's look back at the film
that "brought Hong Kong to life" and you could say, it could very well have been
any day in your visit to Hong Kong in the 1960's

In the opening to this film, you see a group of tourists walking from their ship to the Star Ferry, in the Star Ferry building seen in the top right of the photo above.  You will notice 2 entrances, to the ferry, and a wee bit more, in Aberdeen boating to the famous fish floating restaurant, great scenery. 

Here's the 7 minute YouTube clip, beautiful color of Hong Kong and Kowloon. 

Click below to watch.

Makes me want to watch the complete World of Suzi Wong film again...


 
 The Star Ferry, making it's way between Honk Kong and Kowloon or visa versa... Circa 1963.

There were 2 classes of seats, the Top Floor, more expensive than the lower floor.

There were 2 entrances and exits at the ferry landings, one for each class. 

Lots of fun. My first ride was kind of confusing, all the walkways...

This vessel, the Northern Star (Name on left, photo above)  was built in 1959.
 It was relatively new when Frank took this photo.

An older, "Northern Star" was constructed in 1900 and served until 1959.


Looks like the seating is taken-up on this run.  Circa 1963.


The ferry's windows above, identify this as the upper floor of this ferry boat. If you look at the photo of the ferry passing in the photo, you'll notice the first floor has NO WINDOWS..

Take a peek at the sign in upper right of this photo..
"NO SMOKING PLEASE DO NOT SPIT"

Take a look at Kowloon and Hong Kong on today's Google Earth, what changes! 

Many of the original shoreline areas have been filled-in to make "new ground", for new construction. These "new" areas are already congested.

Perhaps you visited the Peninsula Hotel, the legendary 'Grande Dame of the Far East', 
 to enjoy their "Afternoon Tea."

Hot tea, with milk, British Style and pastries, relaxing music from a small orchestra playing from the 2d floor balcony.  

Here is a look at the Lobby area where we had Afternoon Tea.

Go to Google Earth and have a look on Street View.  

Search for Peninsula Hotel, then click "Street View" in upper right of the page. 

You won't believe how far the Peninsula Hotel now sits, from the harbor's waters edge..

 Frank took this photo from the Star Ferry, departing Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, camera is looking back at Hong Kong Island, circa 1963.

Have a look at the signage on the tall beige colored building in center of picture.

Enlarge this photo (hold down Ctrl key, then tap the + key) to see the signage on Catholic Centre Building, sign just below Rolex signage.


Anyone have an idea what this, just bones, wooden structure just to the front could be?
Maybe it just happened to be floating past...


On Hong Kong island circa 1963.

Frank said, he and Nick had just visited Tiger Balm Garden, when he took this photo.

Here is a video about Hong Kong.  
The narration is quite interesting, and the video opens in the Peninsula Hotel, while having tea.  

Worth you time to watch, double click on the underlined link below....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StW7oGSR_Mg

On Hong Kong Island circa 1963.
This is an interesting "street scene" photo, blow it up and look around at the goings-on, much easier to see the details way up the street.


Returning from Tiger Balm Gardens. Circa 1963.

Below, just above the Ship Photo, is a short video presentation around the -> Tiger Balm Gardens in Hong Kong.

In the film, I noticed two scenes that were interesting!

1.  The KMT (Kuomintang, Circular Blue Star with points) symbol
is displayed on a building. 

2.  The Double 10 symbols ( ++ )  are built into a building.

The large Pagoda in the film is apparently one of the main attractions of the Gardens.

After noticing the KMT Symbol and the Pagoda, it reminded me of the Pagoda on the far side of Sun Moon Lake, in central Taiwan.

President Chiang ki Shek constructed the Pagoda at Sun Moon Lake in remembrance of his Mother, as I recall, the signage at the Sun Moon Lake Pagoda talks about it's construction.

Look for the KMT and Double Ten symbols, perhaps I missed some others, the film is very short.  Double click the link just below to watch film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOfc_m0BncM


All sorts of vessels anchored in Victoria Harbor.

One of the favorite, 
"Must Visit" stops, for many  US Military folks visiting Hong Kong was,
China Fleet Club.

 Here's a 1963 photo of the building, right next to the water.

The club goes way back in British History -

Here's an extensive link to the history of China Fleet Club

After reading the first page, the link continues with more history of the facility.

  In the above photo, the 3rd and/or 4th Floor(s), were operated by the US Navy.


Frank said he and Nick visited the club and purchased a few items.

Frank was looking at the men's watches and saw a large heavy Rolex with a number of dials on both sides of the watch.  It had a price tag of around $100.00 US.  Not being familiar with Rolex watches, he continued to look at the extensive inventory on display and found the newest Bulova for less than $50.00 US.  He got the Bulova.  Talking with Frank recently, we laughed, had be purchased the Rolex.......


My wife and I had lunch there, and purchased a number of things that we carried back to Taipei.

Some of the most wanted items to purchase for stateside families were -- 

Noritake China.
 Japanese Mikimoto Pearls, necklaces, rings and bracelets.

Of course, all of the must have, favorite brands were available inside the many shops at China Fleet Club, or it's successor, Fleet Arcade.  

 Circa 1995.

Here's Fenwick Pier, where our US Navy folks arrived at and departed from Hong Kong Island while on "Port Call".

The USS Nimitz was visiting Hong Kong.  Here, a group of sailors were lined-up on the barge, in front of Fenwick Pier, heading back to their ship.

There were "Hired Vessels" tied-up to the barge that would take USS Nimitz Sailors back and forth, to this pier on Liberty.

This was 1995, the China Fleet Club is now called the Fleet Arcade, which is visible just to the right in this photo. The chairs and tables were an outdoor seating area of the McDonald's restaurant.    

  In 1995, the Fleet Arcade sat right on the water


Map above was put together by a good friend, as well as most of the information about the China Fleet Club and it's successors. Thank you Les.   

Look at how much land has been added to Hong Kong Island since the 1950s. 

Notice where the China Fleet Club was originally located.  Once at water's edge, today blocks from the water.

Look where the China Fleet Club was located back-in-the-day, right on the water.

The government continues filling-in the harbor.

If you're interested, here is a link to old photos that show how the harbor has moved.

Old Hong Kong Photos 

 The China Fleet Club Royal Navy, circa 1970's

Notice the "White colored Guard Shack" on the corner of the wall, next door to the Club.  Who's inside the walls? Are they keeping people inside or protecting the inside from outside influence?

  And, in this photo, it is no longer on the water's edge.


Here's the same area, a few years later, the bushes are large and deep green.
No much has changed.  The wall with the Guard Posts, the wall looks a bit higher, it looks like it may have been completely reconstructed.  

But, we can't see, off to the left side, where new land has formed.

Hong Kong was returned to China 1 July 1997.

Changes were afoot long before that date.

The US Navy's in the China Fleet Club building closed in 1982, and was moved to a new facility called Fleet Arcade, a much smaller building with fewer facilities.

The Fleet Arcade, circa 1982.

  Here's a 2011 photo of the "Fleet Arcade" 
 The US still had offices and shops in the building.
Looks like the US and Hong Kong Flags are on the flag pole.

Here's an 2017 photo of the Fleet Arcade.
Notice how far it sits from the water.  It was once next to the bay.





A very good friend, detailed this map, to show how much land has been claimed from Victoria Harbor .

Remember, both the China Fleet Club and the Fleet Arcade, 
once were just off the shoreline of Victoria Harbor.


Here's a more recent photo of the Servicemen's Fleet Arcade.
Notice only the Hong Kong flag displayed on the pole.
But, now, a number of flags are hung on the fence, including the US Flag.

  Some time in 2017, the US closed up whatever was left in their Fleet Arcade shop and moved to the US Consulate.

Now that the US Navy is gone from Hong Kong and US ship visits have been declining (and some are refused by Beijing), the Servicemen's Fleet Arcade is emphasizing it's support for ALL visiting navies, which helps explain all those flags on the fence above.

But, how much longer the Servicemen's Fleet Arcade remain open?

Like history, the old places we visited and remember, fade from our memories and disappear to support the new. 

For many, it's Only Now that we begin to more fully understand what being OLD is.

So many relatives and friends, places and buildings, pass on.

I can now see more light on that road I'm traveling on, the end is in the distance.....

That 5th day of Frank's Hong Kong visit, comes around quickly.

You're just becoming used to how things work and run in Hong Kong.

You know how to get on and off the Ferry.
  
You have a favorite restaurant for Breakfast Buffet, probably in your Hotel,  another for Lunch and Dinner.

You visited the Horse Race Track.

You rode the Double Deck street cars on Hong Kong Island.

You road the old Tram up to the Mountain Top on HK Island.

You're happy with your made-to-order Suit and the shirts and tie the Tailor Shop gave you.

Your day's were filled with laughter and joy.

You probably remember more that me..

But, I'd venture to say, just about everyone visiting Hong Kong on the EML program,
 came away with a warm heart and a BIG SMILE on their face.... 

Ahh, if we could live those days again, what joy it would bring.

We're in the Hotel Bus, on our way, a short trip back to the airport.


This was taken at Kai Tak Airport on Kowloon, some time back in the day.
One of the best photos of our MAAG Taiwan C-47 aircraft I have.

Just off to the right side center of the photo, is a building with a sign above the door, which I believe is the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company.

 The MAAG Taiwan Shield.  just under U.S. AIR FORCE, identifies our aircraft.

Looks like our C-47 is about ready to board.

 The flight back to Sungshan will be long, but it gives us time to talk with other travelers, we all have tall tales about our 5 days in Hong Kong.

I hope your EML trip to Hong Kong was as fun as ours.,

What sweet days they were.....