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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kaohsiung Port Call in the Summer of 1954 - Part 1

My friend Scott Ellinger came across a group of photographs taken by David Putnam, a US Naval Officer, who served on the USS Tolovana AO-64, a Fleet Oilier, which pulled into Kaohsiung Harbor in the summer of 1954.

We were able to make contact with Mr. Putman and he granted us permission to display his beautiful photographs on this blog.

Thank you Mr. Putnam, we are privileged to bring these scenes from the south of Taiwan  to our readers.

David Putnam recalls, " I was on an all-expense-paid trip to Kaohsiung in 1954"
USS Tolovana, anchored in Kaohsiung Harbor in 1954. Our mission was to refuel the destroyers that were on patrol in the Formosa Strait guarding Taiwan from Communist Chinese aggression. The enemy was regularly shelling the islands of Quimoi and Matsu and overflying Taiwan with military aircraft.
A tug boat cruising the Kaohsiung harbor.
Commercial Tanker tied up at Kaohsiung Harbor.
USS Henderson DD-785 anchored in Kaohsiung
A new Fishing Boat is launched. (Editor: Not sure of location)

Bum boats alongside our ship (USS Tolovana AO-64) in Kaohsiung in 1954.

We carried these two liberty launches plus the Captain's Gig and a motor whaleboat.      (Editor:  Not sure of location)

We used this truck in Taiwan. It was driven from Kaohsiung to Taipei and back, a trip I would have loved to have taken.     (Editor:  Not sure of location)
Here we are back at the dock in Kaohsiung waiting to board our liberty launch for the ride back to our ship after a day of sightseeing in Tainan.  That's our bus in the background and our Shore Patrol Jeep in the foreground.

One of many fishing boats transiting the harbor at Kaohsiung in 1954. This is the best shot I have of the cityscape.

This is the tour bus we rode on our sight seeing trip from Kaohsiung to Tainan.

We had a sightseeing trip as the guest of the Mayor of Kaohsiung and visited an Aborigine village. This is the swing bridge to Aborigine country. They lived in the mountains. 
The Taiwan government maintained a school in this village to educate Aborigine children.

This is a view along the street of the Aborigine village where a dance was performed in honor of our skipper and arranged by the mayor of Kaohsiung, who hosted this sight seeing excursion.


Captain Crowley, our skipper, is being honored by these Aborigine school girls.

Many more photographs from David Putnam in our next post.

Please leave your Comments below..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Taiwan's 35th Squadron - The Blackcat U2 Squadron - UPDATED -

We have all read about and seen references to the U2, Gary Powers and not a whole lot more. 

These days, the U2 is seldom mentioned and, as time passes our memories fade.

I was aware of U2 aircraft in Taiwan and I have touched on them in previous posts to this blog.

Yesterday, by way of a post and link on the CCK Facebook page, I watched an interesting video about an incident which took place in New Mexico in August 1959 when a U2 landed without power at the Cortez New Mexico municipal airport after the aircraft's engine had shut down. 

You can watch this remarkable story, personally told by the pilot, now retired General H. Mike Hua, ROCAF   HERE

The video begins in Mandarin but quickly switches to English. The video will touch your heart. 

Relax, be patient and watch it all the way through.  General Mike Hua is truly a remarkable and blessed man.

The whole U2 Project was declassified by the CIA in September 1998.

A video story of the U2 aircraft in Taiwan's 35th Squadron
(The Blackcat Squadron) as well as information on  the CIA's
Detachment "H" at Taoyuan Air Base is explained in another very interesting video narrated by General Mike Hua, ROCAF (Retired)  which you can watch HERE.

There is a wealth of information in this video.

Below:  Peking - 1966 - U2 distorted photograph.
(The CIA will not let us see how clear those photos really were)
  Photographed by a Taiwan U2 aircraft on mission over northern China.

If you've visited Beijing, you will recognize the attraction on every one's list,
 shown in this old photograph, the Forbidden City and directly across the street, 
Tieneman Square (white rectangle.)

Any of our friends who were associated with this program in Taiwan care to chime in on this story?  

I know that Taipei AS ran some communications out at Taoyuan Air Base back-in-the-day, which probably were tied to this operation in some way.

More information on the Blackcat Squadron can be found at the Taiwan Air Power Blog HERE.


A friend passed this link to me:

Friday, November 18, 2011

History of the US Air Force in Taiwan 1959


7 January.       The Chinese Communists fired 33,000 rounds at Kinmen.

11 – 21 January.  A task force of the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron was deployed to Chiayi AB.  They again deployed from 12-21 February.

28 February.   Buildings originally approved for construction at Tainan AB under project DARK EYES and eight additional buildings approved in December 1957 were completed by the 802 Engineers and officially transferred to the Air Force.

17 – 31 March.  Aircraft of the 26th Fighter Interceptor Squadron were deployed to Tainan AS to provide training for Chinese controllers.

11 – 22 April.  Task Force of the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron deployed to Taoyuan AB.

25 April.         6214th Air Base Group and 6214th Support Squadron at Tainan AS were redesignated as the 6214th Tactical Missile Group and 6214th Air Base Squadron per PACAF GO 25, 21 April 1959.  This same order redesignated Detachments 1, 2, and 3 of the 6214th Air Base Group as Detachments of the 6214th Tactical Missile Group.  Also 6214th Communications Squadron was attached to Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) for all purposes.  The 6214th Materiel Squadron was redesignated, organized and assigned to 6214th Tactical Missile Group.  The 868th Tactical Missile Squadron, 6209th Air Base Squadron, 6211th USAF Dispensary, 6214th Communications Squadron, 6214th Air Base Squadron and the 6214th Materiel Squadron were assigned to the 6214th Tactical Missile Group. The 25 April 1959 organizational change date was changed to 15 May 1959 by PACAF GO 27, 30 April 1959.

10 – 25 May.   Aircraft of the 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron were deployed to Chiayi AB to provide all weather interceptor training for the Chinese Air Force.

15 May.           6214th Communications Squadron and 6209th Air Base Squadron were relieved from assignment to 6214th Air Base Group and assigned to Thirteenth Air Force and were attached for all purposes to Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) per PACAF GO 27, 30 April 1959.

22 May.           Colonel Thomas B. Summers assumed command of 6214th Tactical Missile Group per 6214th Tactical Missile Group GO 1, 22 May 1959.

29 May.           A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between GRC and USG on Shu Linkou AS facilities project.

19 – 21 June.   The following units deployed aircraft to Taiwan.

                            13-23 July         67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing to Taoyuan AB.
                            10-20 August     8th Tactical Fighter Squadron to Chiayi AB.      
23-30 August        509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
9-19 September    44th Tactical Interceptor Squadron to Chiayi AB.  
19-29 September  44th Tactical Fighter Squadron to Chiayi AB.
12-22 October      67th Tactical reconnaissance Wing to Taoyuan AB.
9-19 November    313th Air Division to Chiayi AB.
7-17 December    12th Fighter Interceptor Squadron to Chiayi AB.

1 July.             6209th Air Base Group at Shu Linkou Air Station was discontinued by PACAF GO 43, 29 June 1959.  This squadron’s responsibilities were assumed by the 6987th Radio Squadron, Mobile  (USAFFS)  This same order reassigned the 6212th USAF Dispensary  (Class B) from 6209th Air Base Squadron to Thirteenth Air Force and attached it to Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) for all purposes.

1 July.             US Air Attaché, Taipei and MAAG (Taiwan) were attached to 6214th Tactical Group for support per Thirteenth Air Force GO 13, 15 May 1959.

1 July.             Mission the 327th Air Division (Marianas Air Defense Division, MAAD) this period was to exercise operational control of the air defense capability for the Mariana Islands per Thirteenth AFR 23-4, 4 September 1959.  Subordinate units were the 41st Fighter Interceptor Squadron (F-86D) and the 852nd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. (Equipment: FPS-3, later an FPS-20) search radar FPS-6 height finder.

5 July.             The CAF downed five Communist MIG-17 aircraft south of Matsu.

31 July.           All references pertaining to 6214th Tactical Missile Group were amended to read:  6214th Tactical Group per GO 50, 31 July 1959.        

1 August.        Taiwan Base Command (TBC) was reassigned from MAAG to USTDC.

6 August.        This date the combined relationship between USTDC and MAAG Taiwan, reverted to the status which existed before the partial merger of both organizations which took place in March 1958.

15 August.      The ROC Army received Nike-Hercules ground-to-air guided missiles from the USG under MAP.

2 September.   2165th Communications Squadron attached to 1961st AACS Group, Clark

24 – 29 September.     327th Air Division participated in exercise ROCHESTER V.

1 October.       6214th Communications Squadron was discontinued at Taipei Air Station and its personnel and equipment were absorbed by 2165th AACS Squadron, Taipei Air Station, per PACAF GO 59, 23 September 1959.

20 October.    Detachment 2, 6200th Air Base Wing was designated and organized at Tainan, and was further designated as Tainan Air Base Group for all communication purposes.

1 – 15 November.  327th Air Division participated in Exercise BIG JACK in the Marianas Islands.

2 – 11 November.  A PACAF Mobile Strike Force was conducted on Taiwan at Kung Kuan Air Base and Chiayi Air Base per Thirteenth Air Force OPORD 248-59, 13 August 1959.  Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) acted as the liaison and coordinating agency with ROC Air Force.  Units deployed were:

                                    8th Bomber Squadron (TAC)      Kung Kuan AB
                                    15th Tactical Recon Squadron    Kung Kuan AB
                                    67th Tactical Fighter Squadron   Chiayi AB 
                                    510th Tactical Fighter Squadron Chiayi AB

19 November. The USAF Thunderbirds performed before high ranking officials of the Republic of China at Taipei, Taiwan.  The Nationalist Government recessed its Legislature early so members and their staff could watch the performance.  General Chen Chia-shang, Commander in Chief ROC Air Force presented each pilot with the wings of a ROC Air Force Pilot.

3 December.   PACAF approved an organizational plan of Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov) to reduce its headquarters to a small liaison and coordinating group with no command function during peace time.  The 6214th Tactical Group at Tainan AS assumed the responsibility for all administration and logistics functions for all PACAF units on Taiwan including Air Task Force Thirteen (Prov).  This plan was placed in effect on 15 February 1960.

18 December. Work was begun by the ROC Air Force on the runway at Chiayi Air Base.

End 1959 

To be Continued:

Editor's Note:  If you were assigned to Taiwan, read the history carefully to discover interesting actions that took place.  If you were not present in Taiwan, or assigned to an out-post where information was scarce, this history is eye opening.

Please take a minute to write to me if you have information I have not included during this time period or you find a mistake. 
I am most happy to receive your e-mail.  Quick link to me  HERE

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 - Looks More and More Like Home

Today's Taipei Times Newspaper contained a wealth of information for those of us celebrating Thanksgiving in Taiwan this year.

 You can read the complete article HERE.

I'm heading for the Cafe in the Grand Hyatt Taipei for dinner on Thanksgiving.  I ate there last year and the food was superb, the dressing was some of the best I have ever eaten.

No excuses for missing a Thanksgiving dinner this year, there is a Thanksgiving meal for you in every major city in Taiwan.

What goes with a Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, American FOOTBALL......

In Taiwan, we can watch the NFL Turkey Day games beginning early Friday morning on cable or on-line if you have a subscription to the NFL Network.

Here are the games being carried by the Asian Sports Network (ASN) a cable HD channel in my building.  HERE is the ASN web page.

Friday Morning Taiwan: Thanksgiving Day in CONUS.

0130 - Green Bay @ Detroit
0515 - Miami @ Dallas
0920 - San Francisco @ Baltimore

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1956 - Brass Worried About High Standard of Living

Historical documents from 50 plus years ago bring questions today.

While researching for information, I came across an interesting January 28, 1956  telegram sent from Admiral Felix Budwell Stump, who was then Commander-in-Chief Pacific in Honolulu to Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations in Washington.

It seems Admiral Stump was concerned about a number of things, one being the living conditions of US Military families in Taiwan.  In his telegram I found these sentences:

" However in addition to the points made in my 272225Z is the ever growing US military population in Taiwan. There are too many Americans there now as emphasized by Ambassador Rankin and Adm Radford and as observed by myself and VAdm Pride.  

The high standard of living of low level American military families is in marked contrast to the low living standards of many high level Chinese. There is growing evidence of Chinese resentment of both the number and living standards of Americans. This reaction is natural and normal and not alarming but it is still unfortunate. I am studying means of limiting the further growth and if possible reducing and centralizing control of the US military population in Taiwan."

Emphasis (bold type) by me.

Thinking about the above, you wonder what drove these concerns, who was complaining?

Anyone have an idea of how many families resided in Taiwan in the mid 1950s.  One would guess not very many, and they were scattered all around the island with family housing in  Hsinchu, Taichung, Tsoying, Kaohsiung, Taipei and other smaller locations.

Please post your thoughts in a Comment below.

Monday, November 14, 2011

History of the US Air Force in Taiwan 1958


6 - 18 January.     A detachment of the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing was deployed to Chiayi AB.

31 January.        Fifth Air Force discontinued the rotation of Fighter Bomber Squadrons to Taiwan.  The 311th Fighter Bomber Sq at Chiayi AB was the last bomber squadron rotated to Taiwan by Fifth Air Force.  They had been deployed to Taiwan on two month rotation periods since 1955.

1 February.        17th Tactical Missile Squadron was relieved from PACAF and assigned to Thirteenth Air Force per PACAF General Order 5 dated 29 January 1958.

11 – 20 February. Thirteenth Air Force deployed a task force of the 12th Fighter Bomber Squadron to Chiayi AB.

12 February.     12th Fighter Bomber Sq Task Force participated in a BLUE SKY exercise with the Chinese Air Force.

19 February – 1 March.  Reconnaissance Task Force KENTUCKY deployed to Taoyuan and Chiayi Air Bases.

21 February – 1 March. Thirteenth Air Force deployed a task force of the 26th Fighter Interceptor Squadron aircraft to Chiayi AB.

March.           Communications circuits between E Laui Pi Taiwan and Port Point Philippines became operational.

14 March.      Headquarters, US Taiwan Defense Command and the Military Assistance Advisory Group consolidated into a single headquarters designated as the US TAIWAN Defense Command and Military Assistance Advisory Group (USTDC-MAAG).  The Commander, USTDC, was designated as commander of the combined commands.  Commander, Air Task Force Thirteen (Provisional) was assigned the additional duty of Chief, Air Force Section, MAAG, on 1 April 1958.

27  March.     A task force of 17th Missile Squadron deployed to Bangkok, Thailand; participated in “Royal Thai Air Force Day” and provided a missile display and demonstration per ATF 13 (P) OPORD 300-58-7.

April.            QUICK STRIKE began operations at Tainan Air Base.

1 April.    Brigadier General Fred M. Dean, Commander, Air Task Force Thirteen (Provisional) was assigned additional duty as Chief, Air Force Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) per USAF Special Order A-621, paragraph 2, dated 1 April 1958.

2 May.        A TN-61C missile was launched by 17th Tactical Missile Sq in a dress rehearsal for project TOPMAN before the US Ambassador to China and President and Madame Chiang Kai-shek and other representatives.

20 May.      Concurrent use and support agreements were signed by Brigadier General Fred M. Dean, Commander, ATF 13 (P), with the 176th Army Security Agency (CO) and Navy Security Group for USAF to be host at Shu Lin Kou Air Station.  Agreements had been approved at PACAF headquarters on 28 March 1958.

23 – 24 May.    A task force of the 17th Tactical Missile Squadron deployed to Kadena AB, Okinawa for a display and launching of a TM-61C missile in support of project COURTESY VISIT (Weapons Demonstration) per ATF 13 (P) OPORD 300-58-9 dated 9 April 1958.  Missile was successfully launched.

4 – 14 June.    Reconnaissance Task Force (KENTUCKY) was deployed to Taoyuan AB.

4 – 14 June.    A 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron task force was at Chiayi AB for low altitude bombing practice.

6 June.          A detailed reorganization plan of ATF 13 (P) was forwarded to Thirteenth Air Force for approval.  This revised plan was approved by Thirteenth Air Force and sent to PACAF ON 13 June 1958 with the recommendation that the new organization be designated as a numbered division.

14 – 24 June. The 25th FIS was deployed to Chiayi AB.

1 July.        17th Tactical Missile Squadron attached to ATF 13 (P) for operational control and further attached to Tainan AB Group for administrative and logistical support per Thirteenth Air Force General Order 25 dated 25 June 1958.

1 July.        Lieutenant Colonel Stanley W. Tobiason assumed command of Tainan Air Base Group this date.  As no colonel had been assigned when the Kinmen emergency began, the position was filled be a series of temporary appointments of colonels on temporary duty in Taiwan. Colonel Oattis E. Parks assumed command on 1 September 1958 per 6214 ABG GO 1, 1 Sep 1958; Colonel Dean A. Fling on 22 October 1958 per 6214th ABG GO 4, 22 Oct 1958;  Colonel Frederick W. Searles on 9 Nov 1958 per 6214th GO 6, 9 Nov 1958 and Colonel Joseph C. Ware Jr. on 29 Dec 1958 per 6214th GO 11, 29 December 1958.

1 July.        The 6209th Air Base Squadron assumed USAF Host Services at Shu Lin Kou Air Station.

8 July.        The 17th Tactical Missile Squadron was redesignated as the 868th Tactical Missile Squadron and assigned to Thirteenth Air Force per PACAF GO 46 dated 10 July 1958.  868th TMS was attached to ATF 13 (P) for operational control and further attached to Tainan ABG for administrative and logistical support per Thirteenth GO 32 dated 15 July 1958.

6 August.    Premier Khrushchev of Russia called on Mao Tes Tung (Communist China Chairman) for the renewed shelling of the island of Kinmen.

6 August.    Diplomatic agreement between GRC and US gave the same type of extension of the “MAAG Agreement” (See 1 November 1952) to the scatter-wave radio facility at Chiu Tsu-lu.

18 August.    6214th Communications Squadron was organized at Taipei and placed under administration of 6214th Air Base Group at Tainan AS.  On 2 September 1958 it was placed under operational control of 1961st AACS Sq at Clark AB.  Its mission was to provide communications in support of ATF 13 (P) and US section of the Joint Operations Center (JOC).

18 August.    Det 1, 6200th Air Base Wing, Taipei; (its function was assumed by the 6214th ABG at Tainan AS) Det 2, 6200th Air Base Wing, Tainan; and Det 2, 14th Communications Sq Taipei, were discontinued this date per Thirteenth Air Force GO 39, dated 8 August 1958. The same General Order activated 6214th Air Base Group, Tainan, 6214th Support Squadron, Tainan and 6214th Communications Squadron, Taipei.  Also 6214th Air Base Group was attached to Det 1, Thirteenth Air Force at Taipei for operational, administration and logistical control.

23 August.    The battle of the Taiwan Straits began with the Chinese Communists firing 41,000 artillery rounds on Kinmen Islands in two hours.

28 August.    The US Air Force assigned F-100F aircraft to the Chinese Air Force.  They arrived at Chiayi AB on 1 September 1958.

29 August.    First aircraft arrived on Taiwan under Combined Air Strike Force X-RAY TANGO (CSAF) (F-86 aircraft of the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) were assigned to Tainan AS.

2 September.    6214th Air Base Group at Tainan AS moved into their new headquarters building.  The 868th Tactical Missile Squadron moved into a new building at the same time.

4 September.    388th Tactical Fighter Squadron, a (CSAF TANGO) unit, equipped with F-100D aircraft, arrived at Chiayi Air Base.

6 September.    US Air Force on Taiwan assumed night air defense in a working agreement with Chinese Air Force.

7 September.    Brigadier General Avelin P. Tacon Jr. was assigned as Deputy for Operations, ATF 13 (P) and served as the Director of Combat Operations with Captain Glenn B. Butler, US Navy, as the Assistant Director per ATF Thirteen (P) GO 5, 11 Nov 1958.

8 September.    The CAF shot down seven Communist MIG-17 aircraft and damaged two others off the mainland coast.

8 September.    All personnel functions for Taiwan were consolidated in the 6214th Air Base Group at Tainan AS, Taiwan.

11 September.   Brigadier General Fred M. Dean as Air Component Commander of the subordinate unified command was designated as Air Defense Commander for Taiwan and assumed that responsibility at 1200 hours, 16 September 1958.

11 September.    The Joint Chiefs of Staff concurred in the establishment of a subordinate unified command, and on that date the Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC) established the United States Taiwan Defense Command (USTDC) as a subordinate unified command under CINCPAC.  Commander USTDC was designated as the Commander of this subordinate unified command.  He exercised control of Air Force forces through his Air Force component commander (ATF 13 (P) per JCS message 947808.

11-15 September.   Detachments of 5th Communications Group were deployed to Taoyuan and Hsinchu Air Bases to support deployed tactical units by providing base communications.

17 September.    US Air Force on Taiwan began participation in day air defense.

18 September.    The 507th Communications and Control Group arrived in Taiwan and was stationed 26 miles from Taichung (Wu Chi Air Station.)

18 September.    The CAF shot down five Communist MIG-17 aircraft.

19-29 September.    The 25th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was deployed to Tainan AS.
                                   The VMF-451 was deployed to Ping Tung.
                                   The VMF-115 was deployed to Ping Tung.
                                   The VMF-MAG-11 was deployed to Hsinchu AB.

19 September.        The 25th *Fighter Interceptor Squadron was deployed to Taoyuan AB.
                                         Ed. note: Was the 25th FIS split between Tainan and Taoyuan?

19 September.        The 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron was deployed to Taoyuan.

United Press International (UPI).  9/19/1958. A U.S. AFB, FORMOSA:  Crew members of the 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron stand in chow line with newly erected tents in background.  Maj. Gen. Thomas Moorman, Commander of 13th U.S. Air Force visited this fast-growing airbase this week to check on construction of new barracks and facilities for American military men moving in new weapons.  This squadron is from Hamilton AFB, Calif.  This base is now capable of hurling atomic retaliation at Red China in event of any aggression against the Nationalist's stronghold.  UPI TELEPHOTO.-tf-
22 - 23 September.    All high ranking commanders in the Pacific convened in Taipei, Taiwan for consideration of urgent defense issues.  
                                       They were:
                                       Admiral Harry D. Felt, Commander in Chief, Pacific Forces.
                                       General Lawrence S. Kuter, Commander, Pacific Air Forces.
                                       Admiral Wallace Beakley, Commander, Seventh Fleet.
                                       Admiral Roland N. Smoot, Commander, Taiwan Defense Command. 

                                      Yu, Ta-wei, National Defense Minister, ROC.                               
                                      General (Tiger) Wang Shu-ming.  

24 September.    The CAF shot down 10 Communist MIG-17 aircraft and probably damaged six others off the mainland coast.  

25 September.    The 2165th Communications Squadron, Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 were designated and organized per MATS GO-140, 25 September 1958.

27th September.  F-86D aircraft of 26th Fighter Interceptor Squadron moved into Hsinchu AB and assumed alert status.

29 September.    The VMF-451 (Marine Corps) aircraft moved into Hsinchu AB and assumed alert status.

30 September.    Detachment 1, 13th Air Force had 61 officers and 99 airmen assigned plus 77 officers and 110 airmen on temporary duty at their headquarters.

30 September.    Cho En-lai denounced the United States for supplying the Chinese Nationalist Air Force with Sidewinder missiles and he threatened “powerful blows” in retaliation.

1 October.      Major James B. Carter assumed command of 6214th Support Squadron.

10 October    The CAF shot down five Communist MIG-17 aircraft and damaged two others off the mainland coast but lost one F-86 in the battle.

20 October.    Base Supply Account (AFB 5240) was established at Tainan AS to supply all US Air Force units on Taiwan.

21 October.    Personnel functions for Taiwan were transferred from Tainan AS to Taipei AS.

23 October.    US Secretary of State Dulles and President Chiang issued a joint communiqué reaffirming solidarity between the two countries and stating that the Kinmen and Matsu Islands were “closely related” to the defense of Taiwan and Penghu under present conditions.

24 October.    Air Task Force Thirteen (Provisional) was reorganized with a full staff organized under a “Double Deputy” system with a Deputy for Operations and a Deputy for Administration and Logistics.

November.    Cooperation between Chinese Air Force and US Air Force was of the highest motivations according to ATF 13 (P) Commander, General Dean.  The Chinese were generous, if not over-generous in accommodating US forces.  They had to be stopped from literally giving “the shirts off their back.”

3 November.   The Chinese Communists fired 36,000 rounds at Kinmen.

15 November.    The Provisional Signal Detachment 8678, AAV, was organized under MAAG to provide on and off island communication support for MAAG.

17 November.    An agreement was signed between the USG and GRC on defending Taiwan.

6 December 1958 – February 1959.  337th Fighter Interceptor Squadron arrived at Taoyuan AB to replace the 83rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

24 December.    Armed Forces Radio Taiwan, Tainan Air Station, began broadcasting (100 watts) from a mobile van located on land borrowed from the Chinese Air Force Second Air Depot.

To be Continued.

Please take a minute to write to me if you have information I have not included during this time period or you find a mistake. 
I am most happy to receive your e-mail.  Quick link to me  HERE

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hike Leads to Discovery of Taipei's Wellington Heights Homes

On 29 October, I caught the Taipei Metro to Beitou to meet up with an old friend who was visiting Taiwan.  He was also stationed and worked at HSA in the 1960s. 
Ready to head-out, water bottles, hats and comfortable shoes.
We immediately got on our way for a hike around the hills that overlook Beitou.  I'd not hiked any distance for years, but felt good. The sun was shinning, temperature was in the mid 70s, a gentle breeze kept the mosquitoes from bothering us, the foliage was lush green with flowers everywhere. 

We walked onward, upward, the roads seemed to circle the hills until we arrived at a trail head.  The steps where nearly vertical upward, and for the next hour we snaked up the hills, running across old broken down pieces of stone with Chinese characters.  We passed by burial tombs on the side of the trail as we continued our climb upward; passed two families out for a hike, got directions from them as the trail was not marked along the way.  There were numerous smaller trails to the left and right as we hiked, but not knowing where they headed, we remained on the worn main trail.  We reached the top and finally found a sign marker.  We headed downward now, on a trail which apparently was constructed for vehicles to service a large antenna high on a peak overlooking the surrounding valleys. 

We continued walking and soon, ended up at a large Temple and just around the corner a guard shack and office for Wellington Heights Homes.  We were more than halfway up the mountain.
I had heard of Wellington Heights a few times during the past few years, but that's all I knew, just the name.  You knew immediately,  this housing area was different from any other you would find in Taiwan.  It reminded me of Hawaii Loa Ridge in Honolulu.

I know there are folks around the world that spent time in Taipei, many were youngsters and some attended school in the Taipei area.

I thought about you folks when I discovered where we were on our hike.  It was a surprise to be here, never dreamed of ending up in a housing area.

I took many photos, I've tried to pick through to find the best ones that show as much as possible of the area and homes.  I hope someone will find one that brings back happy memories of days gone by... 

UPDATE: 16 October 2012

1.  The photos begin at the top of Wellington Heights next to the Temple.  You might more easily recognize the area if you go to the bottom of the photographs and work your way upward. 

2.  If you would like to find others who resided in Wellington Hts, we will include you on our Taiwan Roster.  Just send us your information. We'll need your name, status (most were dependents of a military or civilian employee of some sort) years you were in Taiwan and your Email address.   We'll ID you as Wellington Heights which will make it easier for you to spot others that check-in from the Heights

Beginning with the photo just below, you can expand each to full screen view!
The words and crispness can be seen is sharp view.

Put your mouse pointer on each photo, then double click your mouse..

Bingo - Large View. 


Hiking trail map - at beginning of trail.
First hint that we were at Wellington Heights - the highest point on the hill, next door to the Temple.
Empty pool, not for lack of water, home abandoned.
Next door, another abandoned home.
I looked over this home and the one next door, looks like the soil shifted downward and damaged both structures.
A very nice home, well kept up.

Between two homes, your view toward Taipei.
Roof top water tank, city water is drawn up and filtered before entering house water pipes.  Used for showers, washing machines and chores around the house.  Drinking water is either boiled or purchased. I have a small machine that boils my kitchen hot water, I only use it for hot tea and things that call for hot water, such as oatmeal or use it if I run out of drinking water bottles I purchase by the case from Costco.
Sign says to please be quiet, family housing area.
As we were walking down this street, the owners were putting up their Halloween decorations.  Probably very few places in Taipei where the kids trick or treat.
Home for rent.
Same house as above.
Another home for rent.
A last look up this street, two homes for rent that I saw.
Corner with three roads.
These look like a couple of buildings someone who lived in the area would recognize.
One of the same buildings, close enough to read the door sign.
Same corner, one of same buildings, we were tired and didn't head up this hill.  Looks like many more homes farther up this street.
Same three street intersection, looking down the hill.  We headed out  down the hill.
Someone will remember this corner sign.
The dog didn't seem to care that we were outside his home on the street. 
Best we could determine, this was the Main Gate of Wellington Heights.  There was one guard on duty.
One last look, up the hill is the gate area we just walked past.

Found this on a Facebook Page,  3 April 1015 photo courtesy of Oakayama Larry‎