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

Friday, April 23, 2010

MAAG Flight Section Taipei

Flight Section MAAG, circa 1955

This photograph confirms that MAAG at one time did have a central Flight Operations in Taipei.

The photo was most likely taken between August 1955 and July 1958 based on the type of Kodachrome slide casing it was found in. I picked up this slide from eBay, unfortunately no other Taiwan slides showed up when the set arrived from the seller.

There are a number of mysteries that remain to be discussed; MAAG assigned aircraft and their roll in Taiwan assistance is one of them.

The sign seen through the Jeep window announces that the space is reserved for the ATF 13 (Air Task Force 13) vehicle.

The sign on the opposite side of the building door says the space was reserved for MAJ Tillery, who must have been the OIC at the time.

Can anyone shed more light on MAAG Flight Operations in Taipei during the 1950's?

I know there were few folks assigned to ATF 13 when it began, and things were in constant change.

UPDATE

The following was gleaned from the "Air Force in Taiwan History "document, which will be posted to this blog at a later date:

July 1955: Two C-47 aircraft Nos. 5930 and 5867 were assigned to Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) for proficient training of assigned flying personnel. Aircraft operated from Taipei International Airport.

The "shack" in the photo above may have had something to do with the C-47 aircraft assigned to AFT 13. The building reminds me of the structures we often see in WW II. films.

In addition to Air Force pilots, there were probably Navy and Marine Corps personnel who were on flight status, holding positions in MAAG, who needed to acquire flying hours in order to maintain their flying status and the compensation that goes with it.







4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm 98.32% certain that the "MAAG Flight Section" building in the photograph is the one we called the "Flight Shack" or "MAAG Shack," located in the restricted military area of Taipei Sung Shan (or Songshan) Airport (IATA: TSA, ICAO: RCSS; Chinese: 臺北松山機場; pinyin: Táiběi Sōngshān Jīchǎng), the civilian portion of which was officially called Taipei International Airport (Chinese: 臺北國際航空站; pinyin: Táiběi Gúojì Hángkōngzhàn), to and from which I flew 5 or 6 times on a Civil Air Transport (CAT) Consolidated PBY-5A amphibious aircraft, nicknamed "Blue Goose 2," owned by the CIA and crewed by 2 CIA pilots when I served a combat tour with the Matsu Defense Command Advisory Team (MDCAT)on Matsu (Nangan Island) in 1959-60. Both passengers and pilots were required to check in (with, I think, US Army personnel) at this building prior to each flight to Matsu, and I think we had to check out with the staff each time we returned to Taipei. I never saw any other aircraft parked anywhere near the shack, and assume that all aircraft that boarded or discharged passengers there simply taxied there from some other location at Songshan. I suspect that the shack was used only for internal flights carrying US military personnel to or from locations within Nationalist China. Unlike any other aircraft on which I've flown, US military passengers were required to be armed with .45-caliber pistols, and the CIA pilots carried a virtual arsenal in an extremely heavy-looking golf-club bag, including fully automatic weapons (or so I was told by fellow passenger and friend Father John J Dahlheimer, SJ, "Chaplain to the Matsu Complex"). Aside from those Matsu trips, all other flights to or from Taipei on which I embarked or debarked used the international (civilian) airport building. The original Blue Goose was a PBY-5A owned and operated by Foshing Air Transport (aka Foshing Airlines) under a Ministry of National Defense contract, which mysteriously disappeared while enroute from Matsu to Taipei in October 1958, and I suspect that it too probably loaded and unloaded at the MAAG flight shack. --beni (you can contact me directly at

Anonymous said...

The message from "Anonymous" signed "beni" should include my email address: unlisted@umich.edu

Anonymous said...

This Beni, who leaves a comment and then disappears (Shadow Man), is most likely associated with the University of Michigan's International Institute.

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