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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tainan Air Base Photographs December 1959 - February 1961

An Email arrived last week from William (Bill) Cree with a number of photographs.

Bill's photos depict the base as it was just after the building program was completed.  

Many of you will remember these buildings, although their use through the years changed considerably.

The one thing that guides our recollection of the buildings, as they looked during our time at Tainan, are the Japanese Pill Boxes scattered around the base.
Below, Bill's photographs and his commentary...

My name is William "Bill" Cree.  I served in the USAF from Oct 58 to Oct 62.  

During that time I was assigned to 868th TMS, Tainan AB from Dec 59 to Feb 61.

My group provided radio-telephone communications from Tainan AB to Makung. 

Makung is located in the Penghu Islands off the coast of Taiwan.  

The radio transmissions were relayed via Kaohsiung.  

Following are pictures of the base as it was in 1959/61.  

They were taken as slides with Ektachrome film.  

Unfortunately after 53 years some of the slides developed a red tint.  When I scanned the slides I converted them to black and white.

January 1960 - From the main  gate toward Tainan AB looking left. Our tower can be seen at the end of the road.  The dark  object below the tower is a Japanese pillbox left over from WW ll.  Also the top of another pillbox can be seen in the right hand  side near the water tower.  The water tower was built in 1958 along with the other buildings.
January 1960 - This was also taken from the main gate looking right.  The tip of the pillbox along with the water tower can be seen again.  The chapel steeple can also be seen.  
January 1960 -  The building on the left is the base theater.  I spent many hours there.  In the center is the base chapel and the building on the right is the chow hall.
January 1960 - This is the base chow hall.  The food wasn't too bad except for the powdered milk.  The Chinese took care of KP which was nice.  There's that pillbox again.  Also the top of our tower can be seen.
December 1959 - This was our post office.  If you ever sent anything to APO 140 San Francisco this is where it ended up.

January 1960 - looking west from our radio area.  In the foreground you can see the shadows of our antenna's.
January 1960 - This was the old Airmen's mess.  Later it was the Airmen's Club.
January 1960 -  This was our barracks "home sweet home" which we called the "barn".  It was divided into cubicles.  It was very noisy at times.  It was a very short walk to work though.
February 1960 - This is my bunk in my cubicle in the barn.
December 1959 - This is the communication building taken from our barracks.  Our section was located in the end of the building.  The rest of the building contained the communication experts.  We didn't have high enough security clearance to go there.  Our's was only at a secret level.
March 1960 - This is me taking a break outside our radio shack. 

More Photographs from Bill Cree can be seen HERE.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Tainan Air Base Photographs from Bill Cree

Continuation of Bill Cree's photographs of Tainan Air Base 1959-1961

February 1960 - This is inside our radio shack.  I'm logging readings from the equipment. The equipment on the left are TRC-24 receivers transmitters and power supplies.  On the right is the TCC-7 carrier unit.  The equipment is all transportable and can be taken down quickly

January 1960 - We even had a parade one morning; too bad I had duty.  In fact the whole crew worked that morning.  It sounds a little fishy.  As you can tell from the pictures there weren't any trees around.  if you look at Google maps today there isn't anything left of the buildings and trees are everywhere.  The Japanese pillboxes and the water tower are still there. 
January 1960 - Here is a shot from our radio site toward our barracks on the left and the water tower.  As you can see it was a short walk to work.
December 1959 - This was the first of two Christmas's I spent in Taiwan.

January 1960 - This is the Maagambo  (Mogambo) club in Tainan.
January 1960 - Matador missiles ready to go.  They test fired one missile while I was at Tainan AB.  The base can be seen in the right hand side of the picture.
January 1960 - Crews ready for a launch.

January 1960 - Perfect launch except the chase plane was headed in the wrong direction and it never caught up.  The Missile ended up somewhere in  the south China sea. 

These are just some pictures of my brief stay at Tainan AB.  Later I spent 4 months at the Kaohsiung site and 4 months at Makung site. 

I will send some pictures of those two sites later. 

Many thanks Bill for sharing your old photos for everyone to enjoy.

Looking forward to seeing all of your photos from Taiwan.