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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Looking for Taiwan Aircraft Photos

I received a note from Phil Hawks who currently resides in Australia.

Here is his letter.  

"I am an aviation enthusiast/researcher with a particular interest in Taiwanese aviation, having lived there for a number of years in the 1990s/2000s. 

I am hoping to eventually write the definitive book on the history of aviation in Taiwan, something which has never been attempted before. 

As part of this, I am intending to include, as far as is possible, a listing of all aircraft and units, of both the ROC military and the US forces that were based in or operated from Taiwan for any period of time. 

Not surprisingly, this is proving extremely difficult to compile as there are no comprehensive official records, so much of the information I have so far has been gleaned from contemporary photos or personal records.

I was therefore wondering if you or your blog readers might possibly be able to help with this endeavour. 

You've already published some excellent, and very useful, photos on your blog, and I'm sure there must be at least a few more out there. 

What I am looking for are historical photos (of any quality) of aircraft taken in Taiwan, or personal notes/documents that might be useful to identify aircraft tail numbers or units (such as flight logbooks/base records etc). Or, of course, anything else that might be potentially useful.

If there is anyone who was stationed in Taiwan from the 1950s to the 1970s who thinks they might have something that could help with this project, I would be really interested to hear. 

My email address is

Many thanks

Phil Hawks"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Flash Musical Group Inside Taipei 101

My friend Les, sent over this wonderful video.

I believe this type of musical group is sometimes referred to as a "Flash Mob."

It wasn't the case in this performance, they were no way a "mob" but more like a group of Taiwan folks who came together to add music to the dining experience around the food court in the basement of Taipei 101.

The video was apparently uploaded earlier this week.

Have a look at the folks in the food court as you enjoy the music and watch the performers radiate love and happiness to all gathered.

And, the music, magnificent....

Wonderful TAIWAN......

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Suppings - UPDATED

More thoughts from Joe Brooks

Seems like the hot weather is here to stay for awhile, so we might as well figure on getting some good out of it, if such a thing is possible.  How about good things to eat that the hot weather brings out in Taiwan.

Everyone knows about ice cream, so there's not much use of going into that, is there?  But there are lots of other really yummy edibles. One gadget they make out of soybean and it comes out looking like a white milk custard.  They call it "to fu niao" and serve it in heaping bowls-full,  like well soured cream, over which they drip fruit preserved in sugar syrup, or sometimes honey reduced with water and vanilla beans to a thin syrup consistence.  Never found anyone who didn't like it, and most people call for one or two extra bowls.  Costs too much though -- about fifty cents Taiwan per dish.

Ever see these heaping bowls-full of scraped ice-snow ?  Try one sometime without fear or prejudice because the ice in Taiwan is edible.  The juice they put over it is pure pineapple syrup and altogether, the thing is out of this world.  One or two, tucked away on a scorching hot day makes the whole world seem a better place to live. 

Of course, some people think about regular food.  This is the perfect day to order "ping pan" -- a widely assorted selection of cold meats and a few pickled vegetables tastefully arranged on a plate.  Another dish of cucumbers, tomatoes, bits of "to fa ju" -- the pickled bean curd cheese, all marinated in fruit vinegar, soy sauce and ginger should fill things out beautifully.  Eaten with "hsiao ping" - an unleavened dough baked with a scant filling of either sweet-fruit or salty meat and vegetables - all washed down by a bottle of Taiwan beer, chilled till it smokes; boy -- that's eating.

If you are looking for hot food which tastes good when the thermometer is showing a 100 degree fever, this may be a little difficult.  However, let us try.

First we'll have a fish dish -- guaranteed to be non-atomic.  They call it "chia chiang man" -- sliced cutlets of a halibut-like fish or an entire small one baked whole in a sauce which is a chef's secret.  I gather there is anise seed, oil, sugar, soy sauce, yellow wine, salt, white pepper and one or two other Oriental spices, blended into a black tonic which would make anything taste good I think, but which is obviously designed just for fish on hot days.

Another dish of scrambled eggs with diced "hsiang chang" -- the hard little smoked sausage of China which faintly resembles some of the dried "pepperoni" of Italian fame.  Through this is a sprinkling of finely chopped chives and green pepper -- and even your worst ulcer won't murmur in protest when it's fed this superb diet-blaster.

Eat these dishes with a bowl of cold noodles -- "la mien"  or hand drawn noodles if you can get them.  This is a plain, cold weather filler covered with finely sliced threads of cucumber and flavored with "sze-ma chiang" -- or sesame seed paste.  This you mix well yourself and season to taste with fruit vinegar and soy sauce.

(Just a tip for those who eat in Chinese restaurants, cannot read the words on the sauce bottles and wonder which is the vinegar and which is the soy sauce, when they are both the same color.  Chinese have a saying, "Kao tzu, ai chiang yu," -- the tall bottle is vinegar and the short bottle is soy sauce -- seldom ever miss unless they have a careless waiter.)

So, on the cook's night out, pack up the family and one Chinese friend or so to do your interpreting unless you have memorized these words, and off you go to a wonderful adventure in hot weather eating.  Or you might even have the cook fix the "gourmet's express" at home.

Sure helps to take your mind off the weather.  Phew !

Reprinted with permission. 
Joe Brooks wrote a column for the ChinaPost newspaper in the mid 1950s.

  This story and other articles found in this Blog came from his book, 
"From A Yankee Notebook in Taiwan"

Find more information about Joe Brooks and this series of articles HERE

Please leave your Comments below, or e-mail us ~~

In a "Comment" below, a reader updated Mr. Brooks writings with dishes found in Taipei today, along with their names in Chinese characters.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Help Identify Taipei Air Station Buildings You Remember UPDATED: 10 July 2013

If you were assigned to or visited Taipei Air Station during your Taiwan assignment, please help us identify what offices were located in which buildings on the station.

Take a look below, find the building number and write to us with information you remember.

Please Email us with the following information:

Building Number:

The year(s) you have knowledge of:

Office or Unit that occupied the building:

When we receive your Email, it will be added to our list for all to see.

We know that offices and units moved around to different locations through the years.

We've numbered the building according to building numbers established on the document below.

Open the photo above or the site plan below by left clicking on your mouse once or twice.

I moved the map around trying to match the map with the aerial photo above.

To get a larger view of this plan, left click on your mouse.

Above is the Official Site Plan of Taipei Air Station updated to include new buildings through probably 1969.

Building # Year What Office or Function Inside Remarks Identified by
1 57 SSO 13th ATF (P) Bldg 1 left of Flagpole, 3d door Bill Allen
1 57-58 Hq ATF13, Operations, Special Operations, Telephone Switchboard and the  Comm Center.
Richard Eisen
2 65-75 Medical and Dental Clinics
Orrin Langley
4 57-58 Intelligence
Richard Eisen
5 74 APO
Orrin Langley
5 74 Officer's Club
Orrin Langley
6 66-70 Cotton Bldg 2165 Comm Sq later Group
David McComb
7 66-70 NCO Club / NCO Open Mess AKA: Club 13 Falcon Club David McComb
9 74 Facing Pk Lot was Bank on end close to Post Office
Orrin Langley
9 74 On the opposite end of bldg was the Personnel Office
Orrin Langley
9 74 On side facing Swimming Pool was Accounting and Finance
Orrin Langley
9 64 Rooms facing swimming pool were Airman Quarters Imagine - a pool outside your front door! Charles Adkins
10 70-72 327th DCM - Supply, Trans, EOD, Acft Maint, Weapons
John Koztecki
12 65-68 Barber Shop Operated by NCO Open Mess Kent Mathieu
13 66-70 MARS Station Other offices in this bldg also David McComb
13 74 Special Services Supply Across- Weight & Massage Rms, Showers Orrin Langley
13 74 The Tucker Inn Service Club
Orrin Langley
13 74 Safety
Orrin Langley
15 74 Two small Class Rooms
Orrin Langley
16 57-58 Unaccompanied married men's quarters
Richard Eisen
16 74 Stars & Stripes Book Store
Orrin Langley
16 74 Project Transition Class Room
Orrin Langley
16 74 Special Services Office
Orrin Langley
19 66-68 Legal Office in Right Wing of Bldg 1st & 2nd Windows from the left side Ted Ryan
19 66-68 OSI Office Right Wing Central portion of building Ted Ryan
19 66-68 Civilian Clothing Folks in last two windows of Right Wing Also in left end of left wing of Bldg 19 Ted Ryan
102 66 Barracks - Dorm - Billets - New Barracks opened early 1966 Kent Mathieu
105 74 Dining Hall
Orrin Langley
108 74 Supply
Orrin Langley
112 74 Laundry operated by Special Svcs - Wash Dry Fold Available
Orrin Langley
124 74 Civil Engineer
Orrin Langley
125 74 Civil Engineer
Orrin Langley
126 74 Motor Pool
Orrin Langley
125 / 126 70s One of these buildings became the Airmen's Club After the "new base" was constructed David McComb

If you have information on buildings that is different from what we have above, please Email us and we will include your information in the listing.

Thank you for your help.

We would like to show where things were during the period these buildings were in use until the gate was closed. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hawaiian Begins Honolulu ~ Taipei ~ Honolulu Non-Stop Flights

Hawaii and Taiwan folks will be able to by-pass Tokyo, flying direct to Taipei and Honolulu beginning tomorrow, on Hawaiian Airlines.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser has a nice article on the opening of direct flights to Taipei, read the article HERE.

Not to be outdone, China Airlines has already re-instated its non-stop flight between Taipei  and Honolulu. Their flight departs Honolulu, just after midnight, on Mondays and Thursdays.

I expect the fares will allow more folks to visit Hawaii as well as Taiwan.  What a good deal for travel to Taiwan for those who have put-off flying back.

No matter where you live, you can find a convenient flight to Taipei.

I believe Hawaiian offers a stop-over in Hawaii on trips to and from the US mainland, Hawaii and their Asian destinations. This might be the time to see Hawaii and Taiwan on one trip!

Hope to see you in beautiful TAIWAN.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Double 10 Celebration in Taipei - 1965 - UPDATED 5 July 2013

More photographs from Ed Boyce.  Ed was assigned at APO 96263 located in the HSA East Compound.

Today, we feature, the Double 10 celebration parade and festivities around the city which took place on 10 October 1965.

Ed took the color photographs from atop the Union Building, also called the MSA Building. 
The building was a guard post of the Marine Guard Detachment from the US Embassy, Taipei.

There were various entities of the US Government with offices in the building.

 Next door to the Union Building was the  US MAAG Taiwan Headquarters building.

The Union Building (in English, just above the door.) 

Taiwan and US flags on the roof.
What do the Chinese characters say, just below the flags?

The roof was crowded with folks looking down on the street as the parade passed by on Double 10 Day, 10 October 1965.

The HQ MAAG Taiwan building is just next to the Union Building, off to the right side. 

Look at the street light pole in this photo and the black and white photo just above.

This will set your bearings as to where this photo was taken from.

Ed would have been stood close to the Taiwan flag pole or more toward the corner of the roof.


This is the same corner.  There are some Chinese characters painted on the street.

Lots of brass standing around the corner, also, it appears one of the military men is looking into a book of paperwork, possibly verifying the units passing his position.

Impressive looking unit.  
Don't recall seeing anything like these vehicles loaded with officer's any time in the past.

This photo would have been taken looking down the side of the Union Building.

These folks were one of the Taiwan military bands.  .

As they move to the right, notice the trucks backed up on the top left side of the photo.

If you look at the first color photo above, you can just see one of these same trucks.

I would guess, the band was to be positioned in another area of the Presidential Palace (MND Building).        

Here's a good question:  Who are all those folks sitting down around the dark tables in the center top of this photo?


I apologize for having this "out of focus" photo in the story.  
It captured a few interesting things, so we included it.

First, the photo shows a "fly-by" of jet aircraft. 
Just about everyone watching the parade's closing,  would have been anxious to see the aircraft fly-bys.

Secondly, the green grandstand seating was a permanent part of the roof fixtures on the Union Building.

We noticed the Taiwan and US flag poles earlier.  Look closely, there are at least six other US flag poles just to the front of the grandstand.  I can't see any chairs in the grandstand in this photo, but other photos I have, show folks seated atop the grandstand.

It is my understanding, just off to the left of this building, past the MAAG Headquarters Taiwan building, and around the corner to the left, sat this building, seen below.

 The Friends of China Club - photo courtesy of Bruce Rayle.

Being close to both the Union Building and the MAAG Headquarters, this club always had folks visiting it's bar and restaurant from the various US military and civilian organizations.
What always seems to occur when office folks get together?

I read in a story, a few years ago, that talked about this building being a key "listening post" for those interested in what the US was up to.  I don't have the dates the club was operational. It's gone today.

"Loose lips sink ships"  - is an American idiom meaning "beware of unguarded talk".

If you're an old hand, you will remember, just about everyone "drank" back-in-the-day.  Drinking was part of our military social structure.  Clubs were everywhere. 

After a couple of drinks, you were happy, felt good and thoughts just slid out of your mouth along with information that should have remained locked-up in the office files.

More photos of celebrations in Taipei.

What's the name of this theater?  It's somewhere in Shihmen.

Most of us stopped for a bowl of hot noodles at least once during our Taiwan tour.
 Many of us made it a daily snack stop.

One of Ed's friends.  The passers-by are not amused.

Down the road where the bus is pointed, was the location of the US Embassy.

Behind, you can see the North Gate, just to the left, the Main Post Office.

To the photo back, the shopping arcade buildings.

Ed's friends stepping up onto the sidewalk to check-out the shops.

One of the shops in the arcade. 

 Everyone of us stopped to shop in one of these type of stores at least once during our Taiwan tour.

This owner offered a little bit of everything.

Here's the North Gate again.  Just to the right, the old Main Post Office building.

Straight ahead, up the road on the opposite side of the North Gate, stood Taipei Main Railroad Station, surrounded by more shopping areas.

The area around this photo looks to be close to the HSA area.

The pedicab driver is catching a nap, but always ready jump up and peddle a fare to their destination, after the argument on price.

Everyone is having a great time watching the giraffe feeding. 
 You can't feed the giraffe at the new Taipei zoo.

This was the old zoo,  located  on the left, at the top of Chung Shan North Road, just before the Keelung River bridge.

The new zoo is located quite a distance from downtown Taipei.  

There is a Taipei Metro Line that takes you right to the front entrance of the zoo, so it's easy to visit the new zoo.

This picture was taken on the Grand Hotel side (north side) of the Keelung River, down the street from Club 63,  looking west.

Notice the Children's Park just along the opposite side of the river.

The bridge in the distance, has been rebuilt, and it is now used exclusively by the Taipei Metro, on the line that carries travelers to Beitou and Tamsui toward the west.

If I'm wrong on this photo, please correct me.

Our last photo.  This one was taken from the top of the zoo hill.

In this photo, you can see the MAAG Officer's Club.I believe it's the building with the large water tank(s) just to the left of the black pole in the center of the photo.

Farther and just across Chung Shan North Road, is the Hostel many of us resided in.

You can just make out the NEX roof.

I don't know the name of the large multi-story building, I believe it was a new hotel.
  I'm wondering which hotel it was?  Anyone know?

Maybe you can identify other points of interest.  

Thank you to Ed Boyce for sending over his photographs.

If we don't document our time in Taiwan, it will be lost.

If you run across some old photos, please consider Emailing us.

These days, in photographs above, during 1965-1966 were great days for those assigned to Taiwan.

Hope you enjoyed the sites.

Hsi Gen my friends... 

UPDATE  -  5 July 2013

Double 10 Parade - 1965

When I opened my flatbed scanner today, I found this photograph.  I checked and discovered it had not been included in this story.

Looks like an important photograph.

Wonder who the folks on the balcony of this building are, probably the families of the higher ranking officers involved in the parade.

What building is this?

I'm guessing a building associated with the Taiwan Ministry of Defense?