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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The US Navy at Tainan - UPDATED

Many who were stationed in Taiwan were never aware of a small detachment of US Navy folks who worked out of the north end of Tainan Air Base. 

Larry Michel checked-in a few days ago and sent over a number of photos he had taken during his Tainan tour, 1968 to 1970. 

"I was stationed at NAF Naha Detachment Tango, at Tainan. We were a small detachment out of the Naval Air Facility at Naha Okinawa.

"We provided fuel and lodging to visiting Navy and Marine squadrons. A few Air Asia employees also resided in our quarters. 

“Our compound was located right next to the Chinese Air Force area on the north end of the base. We had several buildings on our compound, including our own restaurant and club. 

“I spent a lot of time on the US Air Force side, bowling a couple of nights a week at the bowling alley, visiting the Air Force theater and exchange." “We were also frequent visitors to the Magambo club and downtown Tainan. 

Main Entrance to Detachment Tango on Tainan

Det. Tango's cement water tower

Det. Tango kept a real nice looking area
One story quarters housed assigned personnel as well as various transient personnel.  The two story building in the background was used to house transient flight crew members.  Looks like these men are cutting a barrel in half for a new BBQ..

Always a dog around.
Water plant, the fish pond and the Doc's office.

Every unit has one of these type boards, but Det. Tango has a photograph of every assigned individual displayed.  Larry believes his photo is on the bottom row, last photo on the right.

Det. Tango's restaurant

A work area close to the flight line.

A couple of our fuel vehicles
Air Force C-124 lifting off above the fuel tanker

The Detachment's C-47.  Larry took a Environmental Leave to Hong Kong on this bird.
Air Force RC-121 aircraft resting at Tainan.
Navy AT-16 Sea Plane visiting Tainan.
Smoke, haze or fog partially covering a Air Force C-124 and the Air Force RC-121 aircraft toward the south.  There is the stairway with an Air Force emblem just across the fence.

A Taiwan military friend.  In the background, CAF F5A aircraft
A visiting Marine Corps F4H aircraft
Another view of the Marine Corps F4H
Local school children and teachers on the flight line to see the Navy P3 aircraft
Lots of smiling faces, they must have enjoyed the tour.  Wonder if they were able to walk inside the aircraft?
ROC F5 aircraft inside this hanger.
Tainan Military Beach - looks like the Life Guard wasn't on duty today.
Tainan Military Beach - Club House - Oh Oh! who is that on the wall soaking up the sun?
Larry departed Tainan in June of 1970.  His friend, John, sent him this 1970 Christmas Card which has all of the men that were stationed at Detachment Tango.  


 Detachment Tango can be seen on this map in coordinates G 7 and 8

Taiwan was a special place, and Tainan a wonderful assignment for most.

If you have a story and/or photos of your time in Taiwan, please write to us.


Les D. said...

Great photos. When I arrived for my Tainan tour in 1971 the C-47 and EC-121s were gone, except that a single EC-121 of the College Eye Task Force would often remain overnight at TAB. During most of my tour the commander of Det Tango, LCdr Lew Mitchell, was something of a gourmet cook and took great pride in the food served in his restaurant. I enjoyed many a lunch at the Fly-A-Way. Among other things, it had the best burgers in town.

Les Duffin

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the photos. Am particularly glad to see the USAF EC-121D,s. I flew on College Eye 1 Sept 67 to 26 Jan 1968 on those Connies. Tainan was our Main Operating Base and Udorn, then Korat was our Forward Operating Base -- generally it was one week at Tainan, then 15 days Udorn/Korat, then repeat the cycle.
I have many fond memories of Taiwan and its people.

Thank you,

Les "Robbie" Robbins (former 964th AEW&C and College Eye)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photo.

Do you know any one there who left his son behind that was born in 1968?
I know someone who's birth father is an American soldier or maybe in higher position, who was based in Taiwan during the time of your stayed.
His birth mother has gave him up for adoption to a Taiwanese family in Tainan, and later married to an American soldier and moved back to U.S.

If you know anything, or could be anyone...please share the info.

I approciate.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, who posted this 18 March 2015. Could you add a bit more detail to this missive ? I posted your missive on the Face Book sites of CCK Taichung, Taiwan and Tainan AB Taiwan. Wish you could leave me a Private Message on the FaceBook site of Tainan AB Taiwan, or write to Kent Mathieu here on his station. Your anonymity will remain so...There were many Amer-Asian birth stories. On Tainan AB Taiwan, there are 7 adults, males and females, ages 34 to 52 who have stories such as yours. Tony Coolidge'(Am. birth father Jeffrey Smith, whereabouts unknown), Leandra Jordan (Am. father unknown), Jennifer Hibran (Am. father unknown).

Mike and Lydia Mondary said...

I was fortunate enough to make a couple of 2 week dets to Tainan in 74-75. I really enjoyed it there.I was in VMCJ-1 out of Iwakuni,Japan. They had a macaque monkey there that was confiscated from a p3 crew. He was named hector and was a favorite of the guys in my squadron.

Tim G said...

I was on a det in Tainan, with VP-17, ( The P3's in the above pics ). Probably 1972. I remember a bar on base called the Latitude 23, I think. Got my first tour of a C-5. Only there a short time, but had a good time. Anyone remember the barbeque carts on the street, cooking cat. We were stationed at Barbers Point, HI.

Good memories,

Tim Garity VP-17

Gary Millette - USAF said...

I remember going into the Navy Detachment to eat at the restaurant there several times when I drove down island from CCK or maybe it was when I was at Shu Linkou. They had pretty good food. You had to get the Chinese gate guard to get a Navy person to escort you to the Naval facility. This was a bit of a hassle. I think they let me in one time without an escort, but I'm pretty sure they contacted someone.

George Bristol TSgt, USAF (Ret) said...

My first USAF assignemnt was to the 2165-2 CommDet (AFCS)from 1962-64. We provided a secure TTY line to the NavDet for classified message traffic. During the time I was there the 405TFW (USAF) had a detachment of F100 Supersabres on constant alert and they were armed with NUKES. Air Asia - associated with the CIA - not only did phase maintenance on US military aircraft but there was also an aircraft parking area directly opposite Air Asia. In this area were a number of C-46 cargo aircraft and eith A-26 or B-26 WW2 era bombers. There were NO markings of any kind on the aircraft and they were all painter flat black. One day I was headed into Tainan to go to the commissary and all ranks club and noticedmaintenance workers making repairs to the rudder of a B-26. I was in a motorized pedicab and had the driver go slow as we passed and I could clearly see that they were repairing bullet holes! I did some digging and learned that the black C-46 cargo planes were being used in clandestine missions over mainland China - airdropping teams of Taiwanese agents and resupplying them. The A/B-26's sometimes went along to protec them and they were also used for night harrassment attacks against mainland targets. Another think that was very interesting related to the Taiwanese AF who, at that time, were opperating F-86D fighte3rs. Every morning a flight would take off, followed by another plane towing a target sleeve. One morning I had to courier some Top Secret messages to the 405th and was there when the "morning training flight returned. After the flight landed the target sleeve plane flew down due runway and released his target so he could land. The sleeve landed in the 405TFW area, behind the "don't cross this line or you WOULD be SHOT. The SP's trotted over, grabbed it and pulled it over to where I was standing with a bunch of airmen. SURPRISE! -= THERE WASN'T A SINGLE HOLE IN THE DARN THING!!
On the way back from the 405th my ROCAF driver had to take the road along the main taxiway and we could clearly see the F-86's that had just landed. 2 of the fighters were being swarmed by mechanics so I asked my driver what was up - he said "Communists got luck and made a few hits. Seems like the morning flight would go p, head out over the straits and try and bait the Chinese to "come out and play". Lotsa sneaky stuff going on back then. ;<)

Tainan AS was also home base for the Taiwanese AF version of our "Thunderbirds" - the 'THUNDER TIGERS" flying the F-86 they flew with somewhere between 8-11 planes, I cannot remember the exact number but they had far more planes in formation than our T'birds ore Blue angels.

Tainan AS was one helluva assignment for this then 18yr old, straight out of bssic and tech school - lol!!!

p.s. excuse any typos, I'm 73 now and the eyes ain't so good, any more.