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

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - 2013 - UPDATED

I am on a cross-country trip, currently in Georgia.

Memorial Day's are always special to me.  A few of us who reside in Taiwan have conducted a Memorial Day salute to our fallen, each Memorial Day for the past two years.

This year, those of us who previously conducted the Memorial Day Ceremony in Taipei are on vacation, outside of Taiwan.  As far as I know, no ceremony will take place in Taipei this year.

This morning I purchased a copy of the Savannah Morning News.

Inside, printed on the Letters to the Editor page, was a letter from John Osterweil of Tampa, Florida.

I thought Mr. Osterweil's letter sums up my feelings for this special day.

Tomorrow, remember those who didn’t return 

It seems like only yesterday, but I can vividly remember standing on Abercorn Street and watching the troops march down the street heading to ships that would eventually lead them to Korea. 

That was 1950. I was 8 years old, and I also remember but a few years later hearing my mother and father talk about all the boys that didn’t come back. 

Fast forward to the 1960s and ’70s.

I remember so many of my good friends, like my cousin Dean Smith who had only recently graduated from Williams College but wanted to fly, going off to fight in Vietnam.

He and many others didn’t come back.

So it is on this Memorial Day, and all such days to come, that forever memorialized in my brain shall be the countless men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms.


John must be 71 years old this Memorial Day 2013, a man who has seen many go and many never return.

Let's share John's thoughts on this Memorial Day 2013, as we remember those did not return, having given their lives, for our country..

God Bless.


 If you missed the gathering on Memorial Day 2012, you can see it here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dragon Dance Team Performs at Taipei Air Station - 1968

Taipei Air Station alumni Mark Phipps, assigned to the 2165th Communications Squadron, sent over some beautiful color photographs of the Sino-American Dragon Dance Team's visit to Taipei Air Station in October 1968

Making their way onto the performance area.

 The streets have been cleared of vehicles as the unit arrives to begin their performance.

The camera is located just outside the Post Office building, looking south toward Club 13, the NCO Open Mess (green building at the far end of this photo)

The team of performers is about ready to begin.

You can see the Taiwan and US flags displayed on the banner above.
Lots of folks turned-out of their offices to see the show.

 Standing for photographs from the crowd.

The Dragon Dance underway.

Fierce looking Dragon.

The crew performing the dragon dance must be strong and agile, it is demanding on the body.

Here, you can see some of the US Military folks in the team.

The Dragon needs lots of room, moving in wide circles and waves back and forth.

Someone filming the show (yellow shirt)

Firecrackers are always necessary when the Dragon dances.
The firecracker crew are standing on the roof of the Post Office, the string is lit and ....

Lots of spectators down in this area, are you in one of these photos?

Firecracker debris everywhere.

A great ending to a beautiful show.

I found an article in the Taiwan Review, which talks about this dance team.

You can read it  HERE. 
Many thanks to Mark Phipps for sharing his beautiful photos.

Were you one of the spectators at this performance?

Leave you thoughts in the Comments, below.

Tsi Gen my friends...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The US Marine Corps Celebrates a Birthday in Taipei - 48 Years Ago

Ed Boyce recently mailed me a number of old photographs taken during his assignment in Taipei.

 Ed worked at APO 96263.  The APO building was just inside the HSA East Compound.

 APO 96263 is painted in white letters below the roof line above in the photo above.

Ed was friends with John Gamble, a Marine, assigned to the Marine Security Guard Detachment at the US Embassy in Taipei.

Of all the US military services, the Marine Corps is probably most known for their birthday celebrations.  Those times of merriment usually turned-out to be a big parties with lots of goings-on, and, for most of the attendees, a huge hang-over the next day. 

One wonders, with alcohol no longer featured in official functions, how popular are the birthday celebrations today?

Each of the Marine Guards at the embassy was given a number of invitations to the celebration and John Gamble, gave Ed an invitation.

The invitation to the Taipei celebration on Wednesday, 10 November 1965, just below.

The invitation to the "official" reception at the Chinese Armed Forces Club.

I'm not sure where that club was located.  

I have photos of two clubs, currently in operation in the vicinity of the the Presidential Palace, or the "MND Building" as we once referred to it as.

There are a lot more Taiwan Military Clubs scattered around the city.

Unfortunately, those photos are in my Taipei computer.

I located one of the buildings, on Google Earth.  This club is located on Yanping South Road.

Click on the photo to get a larger view of the location of the club pictured above.

It is located in back of the Presidential Palace.  

The Armed Forces Museum is just around the corner from the club, just a half block from the old shopping area in Shimen.

OK.  We've celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday at the Chinese Armed Forces club,

 and now....

the Other invitation...

Tucked away inside the invitation envelope, a ticket to the "Real" celebration.

You know what I mean.

This one is being held at the Fleet Reserve Association Club.

2100 hours to 0200 hours....

Dining, dancing and one heck of a party!

Ed wrote, "The Marine Corps Birthday celebration was one of the most memorable events of my days in Taipei.  
It was the only time while I was in the USAF that I wore the formal uniform."

I suspect sun rise on Veteran's Day, 11 November sent many of the folks home to bed, happy to have a holiday to savor, and to recover from the great party at the Fleet Reserve Association.

I'm sure there were many memorable times you experienced in Taiwan.

Those were the days my friend.

Have you got a story, some photos maybe?

In case you missed a previous blog post on the US Marine Corps Security Guard Detachment at our embassy in Taipei, 

you'll want to read  this story.

You may want to reacquaint yourself with the Fleet Reserve Association club.

Here is a link to my investigation of the location of the old Fleet Reserve Association club, later the Sea Dragon Club / R&R Center.

Tsi Gen