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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tainan Air Station Begins Again 1958-1959

There was not much to see on Tainan Air Station before the late 1950s.

I've never corresponded with anyone who was stationed at Tainan in the early years. except Jim Nelson.

MAAG Taiwan was in the area, but it was headquartered at Tsoying Naval Base.  Not a lot of information from that base or era.

Let's see.  How many years ago was 1958?   59 years, going on 60.

What was the average age of a soldier, sailor or airman who might have been stationed in the south of Taiwan in 1958?  Probably in their early to mid 20s.

So, practically speaking, the age of just about anyone stationed in the south of Taiwan in 1958 would be probably be at least 80 years old. (Of course accompanying family would be younger)  

 Today a look-back for those of you who once called the Tainan area home, a look at the US side of the base as it came up in 1958-1959.

I've posted the building numbers of the buildings, using the 1972 map of Tainan Air Base.

I should note, from 1959 until the base closed down, there were additions and remodels of the buildings in this old photo.

Hope you enjoy going back 60 years, and many warm memories abound.

In the end, all we have are memories, I hope your memories of Tainan are beautiful.

Base Construction on-going when this photo taken by Jim Nelson.

1972 Tainan AB map. 
You will have to click or double click on the map to get a larger and clearer map.

I you have time, we have more old photographs from Jim Nelson.

Here is a link to many of Jim's photos that appeared in our Taipei Air Station Web Page many years ago.

Thank you Jim Nelson. 

Your photographs have been seen and enjoyed by thousands of folks over the years.


Bill Gray said...

I was stationed at Osan AB (K55) in Korea from Apr 1956-Apr 1957. The 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Osan had three squadrons: 311th, 310th, and 69th. Each squadron rotated two-month TDY tours to Tainan AB (which was still a Chinese air base then). My 311th FBS was at Tainan AB Jun-Jul 1956 and again Dec 1956-Jan 1957.

In our first TDY, we lived in squad tents - and in the second TDY the Chinese built squad tent sized bamboo huts for us. The only buildings like shown in this 1958-59 photo when we were there were barracks for the Chinese soldiers. And looking inside those barracks, we saw two tiers of platforms on each side of the aisle. The soldiers would lay their pallets on the platforms for sleeping - a very crude barracks.

The only entertainment was a small 10x10 bamboo hut where we could buy beer - and the entertainment was the bartender's monkey who, when fed beer, would fall when he tried to climb the walls.

Because there were no American facilities, we were allowed to use the MAAG NCO Club in downtown Tainan - which we loved because we could buy cheap drinks and we could see American dependents which gave us a feeling of home.

Other than that, the entertainment was the bars in downtown Tainan. But, my question is: How did all those buildings shown in the photo come into existence between my last TDY there in 1957 - and the date of 1958?

This is a memorial web site I did for a pilot killed in 1957. It tells of our TDYs to Tainan as well as our time in Korea.

God bless, Bill Gray

Peter said...

Great post, I was a dependent in Tainan 1973-1974 and used to spend a lot of time on the base. I remember the various facilities but can't recall the layout, even after seeing the map. We always rode our bikes (partially along a scary highway called Ta Tung Lu) into the base and the guards just smiled and waved us in. We pretty much had free rein once inside, also including the Navy Det Tango facility on the base (you have a nice post of Det Tango too, from a few years ago).