Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, September 6, 2010

U.S. Military Housing Restoration

Today I received this e-mail from Jenny Lee, who resides in what was once one of the U.S. military housing areas.  She and some volunteers are presently working on the restoration of a nearby house in the same area:

I have visited your web blog many, many times.  Since May 2009, I have rented  F205 from the Taiwan bank, and started to find out a lot of things about these houses.  And then, with great courage, I decided to do this:  [Click here for the link to her Picasa album of photographs].
Up to now, most of the work is being done by volunteers.  Why does the bank not maintain them?  It's a long and complicated story.
I wonder who lived in F205, where I live now.  It was remodeled -- nice but lacking the old flavor.  The one I am fixing now is F209, very original.   the family that lived in this house before must have been very happy.  I wish that they still remember this house and come back to see it.
My father was an air traffic controller who worked for Asia Airline.  He was sent to Laos from 1961 to 1972.  I was three years old when I joined him and I lived in Laos for almost 10 years.  The Vietnam War, to me....was a close contact.  Dad's office was located in the airport and sometimes he took me to his work place when he was on  night shift.  If any of you were pilots at the time and have been to Vienjen (capital city of Laos) we might have met.
My best wishes to all of you.

Jenny Lee
 She also provided a link to a very interesting website on the same subject -- Odie's Notebook -- which is about the "Yangmingshan Shanzaihou U.S. Military Housing" area.  I filtered the site through Babel Fish and you can find a rough English translation of it HERE.

I know these photographs will be of great interest to many of the folks here at the blog.  If you have more information about any of these structures, especially units F205 and F209, I'd love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Jenny Lee,

I am Scott Ellinger and live here in Taiwan (Tienmou area). I often go running up on Yangmingshan. I pass by these houses all the time. I just noticed that many units are getting restored on Aifu Road and see "rental" signs. I am very tempted to buy a house and have it restored. Please contact me at


Bou said...

We lived in F202, not far away. My entire family is wracking their brains trying to figure out who lived there. My brother thinks he remembers, but it's not ringing a bell with me.

I did just recently find another girlfriend who lived on an adjacent street nearby. I'm throwing this to her and see if she or her Dad remember.

Anonymous said...


I am LTC Scott Ellinger. Jenny Lee just contacted me. Please read on the USTDC site about the "American Footsteps in Taiwan" exhibition. Don will be posting it soon. Please contact me at

Photos of what the housing looked like back in the 60's and 70's would great for the exhibition.

Scott Ellinger

Jim said...

Good stuff here. I recognize many of the units depicted even though I lived in Tienmou. I am suprised so many have survived all these years, what with the progress and development the nation has experienced during the intervening decades
I am intrigued by the Reynolds incident that Jenny references in the translated version of her narrative. Anyone know any details about the incident?
Thanks in advance.

Don said...

Jim, the Reynolds case became known as the Liu Tzu-jan Incident and was the source of great unrest in the area. There is a 2006 article in Taiwan Panorama magazine that talks about the housing area and gives a brief overview of the incident. You can cut and past the following link to read the complete article:

From what I've read elsewhere, there was more to the story, but there is no question that it was a difficult time for all concerned.

Anonymous said...

Where would F209 be on the Google Map view?

Bou's bro

Anonymous said...

Bou's bro,

I will find it for you when I run up there this weekend.


DeLene said...


This is DeLene. My family ived in yangmingshan from '77-'79.
Looking at the aerial photo, if the yellow line on the right is the highway going up to the sulpher springs, then we lived on the first road to the left of that. Top right house (closest to the curve). We had a pool and a high wall between our backyard and the highway.
Across the street (and down 1 house?) was John & Jill McKin. Down and to the left one street, lived the Sandstromes.
To the left on the bottom horizontal street, lived Geoff Bumpas (air force?) Further left was a Catholic church and further still was out teen club.
Down the highway (off picture)was the beauty shop, resturant and market. Down an alley neer there lived twins, Robert and Richard. Their dad was a movie director or producer?? Somewhere further from that, we had a military (?) movie theater.

Anonymous said...

Jenny and DeLene:

Your posts sent me looking through an old 1977 US Forces Taiwan telephone directory I've kept all these years. Jenny, I couldn't find anyone listed at F209, but house F205B, BOT, Yang Ming Shan, was occupied by "Richardson, W. R., CW4, USACC." That means he was an Army chief warrant officer, and I assume the "B" indicates he occupied half a duplex. But I couldn't find a listing for anyone at F205A. And DeLene, I wasn't able to find a listing for a McKin (any chance it might have been McLain?), Sandstrome or Bumpas, but I knew Hugh Bumpas; he was a Marine Corps colonel with MAAG. Maybe he had departed by then but I did find a listing for him in a 1975 directory: Bumpas, H. R., Col, Sr MND Advisor, MAAG, and his residence at that time was "200 F Area, BOT, Grass Mountain." Note: Grass Mountain was often used erroneously by some of our folks to mean Yang Ming Shan, and the phone directory seems to use the two names interchangeably. I found a number of other names listed as living in "F" area but the list would be too long to post here. Instead I'll send it to Don as a separate e-mail.


Anonymous said...

To all:

I went walking up there this morning and took photos of most of the houses. Here are the lat/longs to the houses that were identifiable with a F-number.

F103: 25.138107,121.545769
F202: 25.139151,121.545538
F203: 25.139081,121.545297
F204A/B: 25.138921,121.544924
F205A/B: 25.138811,121.544433
F209: 25.139071,121.544328
F301B: 25.140016,121.545889
F302: 25.140135,121.545594

Vr, Scott Ellinger
P.S. whoever wants the photos please email me.

Quincy said...

I live there from 1952-54. My day was a career navy man. He was in naval attache. I have many memories and photos but no exact address. A nationalist army post was behind our area. I remember the guard post that "protected" our houses. I would like to communicate with others about this complex. I hope to return for a visit one day soon. Andy Gott Pensacola, FL

老屋傳奇 said...

Dear All former Yangminsan residence, many have happened and big progress since my last post.
please do keep on passing information to others that lived here before.
I will keep update info to following websites

老屋傳奇 said...

The house I live in know is F207B(not F205),
The one Volunteers worked on is F206(not F209).

The house I live in know is F207B(not F209),
The one Volunteers worked on is F206(not F).

DeLene, Andy:
I have made a map with house # on it,
following a map with out #s,
would you be so kind to help me mark on the map of the house you were in, and other's name that you mentioned. And stated the years.

Quincy (Andy Gott Pensacola):
Woo! 1952-54 then you would be the first round tenants,
is it possible to create a photo Album on Fliker, to share you pictures with us,

Do you think if it is possible that we can jointly create a album for all folks to upload pictures of the old Yangmingshan days, so that we don’t have to look all over the internet.
Something like this

Les (lsduffin):
your " old 1977 US Forces Taiwan telephone directory" would be a very important historical item now, please do keep it nicely and secured. if by any chance that you "come back home" could you bring it along with you, so we could admire it.
and can I have a copy of the name list that you mail to Don?
The TAS (Taipei American School) Alumni secretary Helen is also working on put together old times info. Please do contact me or her if you guys plan to come back.
Many Amas and myself look forward to this day of reunion.

Dear Dawn, Bou and Bou's brother:
Dawn was the first one I got contact through Don's website.
That encouraged me to go on searching for old info. look how far we have went through.
Local people and current residence are also united to try everything we could to restore this unique "village".
You folks can help too, …..I believe….some how! Maybe sent email to some of the Congressmen in the USA. Or right to our President Ma of Taiwan.
United, We can conserve this important historical village.

Anonymous said...

Thrilled to find you all and the link to your facebook page! My research on Yangmingshan started not long ago when my daughter visited Taiwan in Spring 2013 and I asked her to visit the house we lived in 1967-69. I am one of 6 siblings who accommpanied COL Donald S. and Mary Ann O'Neil (SJA) - we lived in section C-1, house #21 (sometimes identified as #19). I will be posting an album with photos (past, present, and research) related to Yangmingshan Shantzaihou (sp) US Military Housing in the facebook group 'Remembering Taiwan' in the near future. Thank you,
Rory O'Neil