A wonderful e-mail was sent by Dave Schleife.
Dave served here during 1966-1967.
Here is his letter.
Ah yes... The updated photos from mid 1970's showing P-31 on the annotated photo was where I worked in the Single Sideband (SSB) station, and the microwave tower was built while I was there. About where the new main gate is on the photo, was a very large antenna (looked like an oversized tv antenna (110-ft long, 100-feet high) that we could 'work' virtually anywhere in the world with 15,000 watts of transmitter power. More than a few MARS contacts to Riverside CA were made 'unofficially' on this system for emergency traffic? The 'new' chow hall was built and opened while I was there. Before that, we took all our meals at Club-13. This was 1966-1967. I lived in the barracks, 3rd floor, right next to the latrine, overlooking the main compound. Your opening photo could have been taken from my room, for the view is the same. Eddie was the house boy? (Biggest black market operative on the compound?)
The only people I remember was our unit NCO, Msgt Bacon, Ssgt Knippel, and one of my trainee's, I.J. Blevens. And of course, 'The Joz' (Joslin) from AFNT, who lived down the hall. I taped his evening show for him, and when he got back, he'd drop in to listen to the tape to 'critique' the show. His show was the ONLY rock music heard on AFNT. His show went out on AM/FM for the Taipei area, and on 2 shortwave frequencies for the SEA theatre.
The microwave tower left a lot of short pieces of conduit, which we used on Chinese New Year, as bazooka's for our bottle rockets. Our Chinese guard, who had a rifle with no ammo, talked one of our guys into holding his rifle while he went to get bottle rockets, and then proceeded to shoot bottle rockets from his rifle barrel? And with about 10 of us (2 shifts off duty) we out-numbered him. And yes, there was just a wee little bit of beer involved?
Sideband operators where known as 'ditty-boppers', since we had to know Morse Code? "SNOOPY" did a ditty-bop, when his feet were flapping and his ears were flying? I left a magic-marker 'short-timers calender' on my room wall 4-feet tall, on a light green paint? Snoopy was doing the 'ditty-bop'... Wonder how many coats of paint it took to cover it up?
I did a 90-day TDY to Tainan while there, but Taipei was my first choice. I've taken the McArthur C47 out to the Matsu islands, then back to CCK and Tainan several times. I often walked the 7-miles from TAS to the Navy compound, to shop the many little shops along the way. A rest stop at the Ambassador Hotel was a must... On a clear day, with a 400-mm telephoto lens, the mainland was visible. Didn't happen very often, due to smog? Or fog?
Yes, TAS has a very special place in my heart, and in my life. I loved the place. Go out on the street, and school kids would practice their English on me, and I'd practice my Chinese on them. My name was translated several times to the same, or SHU' Da-WE', or David Shu. I could sign it in Chinese. If I could remember how? I'm getting old, and forget a lot of things. I have Parkinson's, and even typing is difficult. Today, I am having a GOOD day, and am trying to share some of my thoughts on a very fond memory.
I tried, after getting orders to a SAC base in Michigan, to extend in Taipei? Nope, SAC has priority? They needed me... SAC didn't know what to do with me? Six months later, I did a 180-day TDY back again. LOVED it even more the second time, because I missed it so much.
I really appreciate your site, since it brings back so many very good memories? The people of Taiwan were so innocent and open? They were honestly friendly, not just after our money?
I used to go up to the University just North of TAS, sit on a bench, and take pictures of beautiful girls walking by? MOST of them would stop and talk to me, and most asked for pictures? I got a lot of dates that way? When they want pictures, they give you a phone number? And yes, Taiwanese women also are vain... And usually hungry, since they are students? When the film is developed, you call them, and take them to dinner. Very nice evening, even if it doesn't go further? VERY beautiful women!
Really love your site. If you can use my aged ramblings, feel free...
SSgt Dave Schleife, Sideband shift supervisor
Our Taipei Air Station Web Page is here....