Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kinmen

Sarj Bloom provided these photos of a trip that VADM Melson made to Kinmen. There's also a newspaper article describing the visit, possibly from the Stars and Stripes. Here's what he had to say:

Here are some pictures and a news clipping of Vice Admiral Melson visiting Kinmen Island. Our 3rd class PH Gallegher was assigned to go shoot the photos. When I first arrived I had always heard of Quemoy and Matsu the offshore Islands that were always in danger of getting overrun by the Red Chinese. Kinmen was not a name I was that familiar with until later and I always wondered what happened to Quemoy. Well, I checked out this site and found out it is just another name for Kinmen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinmen.

As you can see from the photographs propaganda balloons were sent over regularly and they said that loudspeakers would also pump out propaganda in both directions.

I remember hearing about those balloons and speakers when I was at USTDC in 1973-74. As I recall (no guarantee of accuracy these days, sad to say), the prevailing wind was from east to west, so the balloons could be launched from the Taiwan side but not from the other side.

I also remember a conversation that I had with a civilian friend one weekend at the Club 63 stag bar. He worked for some American corporation and used to drop by the stag bar from time to time because nobody ever asked for ID cards in there. Anyway, he mentioned that he'd just returned from a trip to Kinmen. During a previous trip there he noticed that only about half of their speakers were working. He did some troubleshooting, discovered the problem and fixed it. Now the speakers could really boom out toward the mainland again!

Well, on his latest trip he noticed that only about half the speakers were working again. He asked one of the Chinese soldiers what happened and the guy said, "Oh, we turned them off because they were just too noisy for us!"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting note - in the first photograph, there is an US Army fellow standing on the left of the Admiral. He is wearing the MAAG Taiwan patch on the left shoulder of his uniform. Until today, I had never seen the MAAG patch being worn by someone in a photograph. Looks Good!