Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Last Call: The 1958 Quemoy Crisis

I still have just a few copies of the book "The 1958 Quemoy Crisis" available.

On August 23, 1958, the People's Republic of China unleashed a bombardment against Kinmen (Quemoy) which began the artillery battle that continued until January 7th of the following year. During that time, more than 474,000 artillery shells rained down on Kinmen and its outlying islands. With the assistance of US troops, the ROC armed forces managed to withstand those attacks.

I recently received several copies of the book "The 1958 Quemoy Crisis," published during 2009 by the Ministry of National Defense, Republic of China. The book contains 391 pages of first-hand accounts of some of the personnel (16 ROC and 12 US) who participated in the defense of Quemoy. The book includes numerous photographs of people, places and mementos from that period.

These books retail for NT$400, or about $13.00 each, plus shipping, but I'll be happy to send out copies (US addresses only) for just US $7.00, cash or check, to help cover my costs. My supply is limited so I can provide just one copy per request and requests will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. My goal is simply to place these historical records into as many hands as possible.

If you would like a copy, just send an email to: USTDC[at] Include your name and mailing address. I'll respond with the address for your payment and I'll mail your book within one or two business days. Allow about ten business days for it to arrive.

1 comment:

The Marine Corps Corpsman said...

I never got to set foot on Taiwan
since the ship I was on in August
of 1958 never stopped. We were
close to a lot of other ships but
I thought nothing about it. We were
just a small aircraft carrier that
took new or refurbished jet planes
to different bases and carried those needing repairs or to be salvaged for parts back to the port
where their were facilities to do
what was necessary with them. We also carried Army and Marine Corps
troops and dropped them off at different bases throughout the far
East bases. I was on the fantail of
our ship late in the evening sitting where I could find some peace and quiet and practice my
harmonica. The fantail watch was the only person back there but he
had on sound powered earphones and
my "music" did not bother him. When the sky lit up with some kind
of munitions, I asked him what was going on and he heard from the bridge that Quemoy was under attack by Chinese rockets and these rockets were flying overhead.
I had no fear when I was told that there was no plan to return fire by
our ship or any of the others nearby since all of the ships in the area were there to show support for Taiwan. As it turned out, I was told that none of our
ships in the flotilla had to return fire since the rocket fire was far overhead and none of our ships were in danger. I was just a
19 year old sailor on my first shipboard duty and I actually felt safe knowing that none of the rockets ever came near any of our
ships. I did not consider this show of force to be hostile on our part but I was later assured that our ships were ready to take action if the shelling continued beyond a certain time or if we got the word that the rockets were
falling at or near Quemoy and were
causing damage to property or lives. I was on this ship: The USS Cape Esperance TCVU 88 until the
next January when she had to be scrapped due to so much damage done when we were hit by a heavy
typhoon that turned the ship on it's side causing many injuries
before it came back upright. That's the extent of my meager
knowledge of our Quemoy and Matsu
shelling. I first thought it was
some type of Chinese fireworks
celebration but was informed that
we were too far off the coast of China to see any fireworks.

Les Easley
HM1/USN/Medically Retired
A Disabled American Veteran
A former Fleet Marine Navy Corpsman