Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taiwan Visit of USS Wasp in 1954

On 10 January 1954, Taiwan's Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek spent more than four hours on board the USS Wasp watching simulated air war maneuvers in Formosan waters.

USS Wasp (CV-18) in 1954
 The following are Kwei family photos of that event.  Note that Vice Admiral Alfred M. Pride was Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet and became the First Commander of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command.

Chiang Kai-shek is wearing the overcoat.  To his right is VADM Pride and to VADM Pride's right is GEN Kwei Yung-ching.  GEN Kwei was the Chief of the General Staff, highest ranking general below Chiang Kai-shek.
Ambassador Rankin and VADM Pride

VADM Pride and Taiwan VADM Soong

Major General Chase (MAAG Chief) and VADM Pride

Chiang Ching-kuo reviewing U.S. Marine guards aboard the USS Wasp

4 comments:

Mei-Sheng said...

Hi. This is Wang Chun. I use Google account of my wife Mei-Sheng.

Here I try to make a detaied description of the second photo.

As you can see, in this photo, an American general is talking to a Chinese official who's in a suit.

That man is George Yeh (葉公超),incumbent Minister of Foreign
Affairs then.

George Yeh (October 20th 1904-November 20th 1981) , Bachelor of Arts , University of Massachusetts Amherst USA, Master of Arts
Oxford University, Great Britain.

In 1956, he became the Chinese Ambassador to USA.

In 1961, President Chiang Kai-shek received a secret report said Yeh had a loyalty problem. President Chiang then called Yeh back to Taipei without telling him why.

Ambassador Yeh thought it was just an ordinary routine and would be back to Washington soon. After that he was not allowed to leave Taiwan and was under surveillance for many years.

This photo has a caption says 「to VADM Pride's right is GEN Kwei Yung-ching. GEN Kwei was the Chief of the General Staff, highest ranking general below Chiang Kai-shek.」

Evidently, this description is incorrect.

Kwei Yung-ching(桂永清)became Chief of the General Staff, highest ranking general below Chiang Kai-shek on June 24th 1954. And that was several months after this photo was shot.

General Kwei was in that position from June 24th 1954 to August 12nd 1954.

He was in that position only for one and a half months. Because he passed away on August 12nd 1954.

What a bad luck general.

Yes, there truely is a Chinese Chief of the General Staff in this photo. And he is the man between George Yeh and VADM Pride. The general staring at the camera, that's our Chief of the General Staff in that time.

This guy is Jou Ji Zoe (周至柔, Oct 28th 1898 --- Aug 29th 1986).
He was Chinese Chief of the General Staff from Mar 25th 1950 to June 24th 1954.

Kwei Yung-ching was the successor to Joe Ji Zoe for this job.

The interesting thing is when this picture was taken, General Jou was both
Chinese Chief of the General Staff and Commander of Chines Air Force.

There's a more interesting thing that General Jou is an Army General from the beginning to the end and he became the Commander of Air Force.

As you can see, there are four stars on General Jou's shoulder. In Republic of China, until now, only Chief of the General Staff has four stars on each shoulders.

Plus, he was standing in front of Navy General Kwei Yung-ching and much closer to the President. This also proves he's in a higher position than Kwei Yung-ching.

I'm very curious about one thing in this photo.

To Chiang Kai-shek's left is an American Navy officer with a glove in his hand. Behind this American Navy officer stands a short Chinese in black dress showing only half of his face. I believe that's Mr. Chen Chien (陳誠,Jan 4th 1898 --- Mar 5th 1965).

Mr. Chen was Premier of Excutive Yuan that time. That position is somthing like a prime minister. Later that year he would be nominated by President Chiang as Vice President. For the next ten years
he was both Vice President and Premier of Excutive Yuan.

What I'm curious about is why in this photo a high-ranking goverment official like Mr.Chen Chien is standing so far behind and so insignificant?

A question that will never get an answer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Mei-Sheng said...

This is Wang Chun again. I have something more to say about George Yeh.

He's the man represented Republic of China to sign Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty (中美共同防禦條約)with US State Secretary John Foster Dulles at Washingto DC in Dec 3rd 1954. That's eleven months after this photo was shot.

If you get on website 「http://km.cca.gov.tw/myphoto/gallery.asp?action=viewimage&categoryid=33&text=&imageid=779&box=&shownew=」
you will find a historic picture about this.

According to Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, you guys stationed in Taiwan at the peak of your energy and strength to help Taiwan prevent Communist China from invading.

Many thanks.

Victor said...

>As you can see, there are four stars on General Jou's shoulder. In Republic of China, until now, only Chief of the General Staff has four stars on each shoulders.

I believe there are quite a few exceptions, even after 1949.
http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!.KIr8_yUEQNNnVB41BD7ldG1/article?mid=2422&sc=1

http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/%E4%B8%AD%E8%8F%AF%E6%B0%91%E5%9C%8B%E5%9C%8B%E9%98%B2%E9%83%A8%E5%8F%83%E8%AC%80%E6%9C%AC%E9%83%A8

The following are the 4-star generals who were never in the position of Chief of General Staff. Hsu Yung-Chang(徐永昌), Hsue Yue(薜岳), Huang Chie(黃傑), Huang Chen-Chiu(黃鎮球), Yu Han-Mou(余漢謀), Liu Yu-Chang(劉玉章), Liu An-Chi(劉安祺), Hu Lian(胡璉), etc. Besides, Gu Chu-Tung(顧祝同) was promoted to a 4-star general in 1954, four years after he left the position of Chief of General Staff.

CG Lai said...

About why General Jou started as an army general and ended up as the commander of air force? He was assisting Madame Chiang in the 1930's in building the Chinese air force. Just like US, air force was the spinoff from the army air corps. As a matter of fact, General Kwei was also an army guy until he was appointed as the chief of navy.