Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, November 28, 2010

List of Military Assistance Advisory Group Chiefs

Scott Ellinger has assembled the complete list of MAAG Chiefs from 1951 to 1979.  At the end of the list are photographs of all of them.

There was a brief period in 1958 when USTDC and MAAG were combined, but it was ultimately determined that this structure was neither as efficient nor as effective as two separate entities.  The Communist Chinese artillery attacks on Quemoy and Matsu during August of that year were largely responsible for the return to the former command structure.

蔡斯 MG William C. Chase: May 1951 - Jun 1955
史邁斯 MG George W. Smythe: Jun 1955 - Sep 1956
鮑恩 MG Frank S. Bowen: Sep 1956 - Jul 1958
杜安 MG L. L. Doan: Jul 1958 - Aug 1960
戴倫 MG Chester A. Dahlen: Aug 1960 - Aug 1962
桑鵬 Maj Gen Kenneth O. Sanborn: Aug 1962 - Aug 1965 
江森 MG Dwight B. Johnson: Aug 1965 - Jun 1967
戚烈拉 MG Richard G. Ciccolella: Jun 1967 - Mar 1970
泰勒 MG Livingston N. Taylor: Mar 1970 - Dec 1971
巴恩斯 MG John W. Barnes: Dec 1971 - Dec 1973
那水德 MG Slade Nash: Dec 1973 - Jun 1976
馮納准將 BG Leslie R. Forney Jr.: Jun 1976 - Sep 1977
崔仕克上校 CAPT Ace F. Trask: Dec 1977 - Jul 1978
湯普遜上校 Col Hadley N. Thompson: Jun 1978 - Feb 1979

Thursday, November 25, 2010

TDC Chief of Staff Videos

Wang Chun has provided a lot of very interesting material for the blog in the past, and he just sent me two great videos showing Brigadier General William C. Burrows' arrival and departure from Taiwan (1972 and 1974) and a video of Brigadier General Clarence J. Douglas' departure from Taiwan in August, 1972.  Both of these generals served as the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command Chief of Staff.

Because I had no other photographs of either General Burrows or General Douglas, I added these videos to the blog entry for USTDC Chiefs of Staff.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

And to my friends in Taiwan and elsewhere around the world,  感恩節快樂

T - Turkeys, tablespreads, being together,
H - Happiness and homes to protect us from all weather,
A - Aunts and uncles, a reunion in Fall,
N - Nieces and nephews, family members all!
K - Kind-hearted kin coming over for dinner,
S - Surely you'll have fun, but you won't get thinner!
G - Gourds and pumpkins, mouths open wide.
I - Indians and Pilgrims we remember with pride.
V - Very special times-there could even be snow.
I - Imagine what it was like at Plymouth long ago.
N - Never forget how the settlers led the way,
G - Giving thanks and blessing this special day.
       - Author Unknown

I hope that you can enjoy Thanksgiving in the warm company of family and friends.  Despite all of life's ups and downs, we all have much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Photos of Admirals

Sarj Bloom, who was one of the USTDC photographers, has provided many great photos for the blog during the past couple of years or so.  He recently sent me these three, which were probably taken during May of 1962.

Major General Sanborn, USTDC Chief of Staff (left) and Vice Admiral Melson, USTDC Commander (second from right).  I don't know who the ROC officers are.

Vice Admiral and Mrs. Smoot departing Taiwan

 (l to r) Vice Admiral Smoot, probably the Chief of MAAG Taiwan, and Vice Admiral Melson

Saturday, November 13, 2010

USTDC Chiefs of Staff

I recently posted the complete list of all the admirals who served as USTDC Commander.   Historically, the Air Force assigned a brigadier general as Chief of Staff to each of the USTDC Commanders.  However, the very first Chief of Staff under the first USTDC Commander was Navy Rear Admiral Charles Cochran Kirkpatrick.   RADM Frank W. Fenno had been Commander of the Formosa Liaison Center in 1955 until it was renamed USTDC .

1955 - 1956

1956 - 1957

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Taiwanese Memory After World War II

In my memory while I was the student of the elementary school, some of my classmates, girls or boys, had no shoes to protect their feet when they went to school in the summer or in the winter, no matter rainy day or sunny day. But, I was lucky although my shoes were not new and they were my aunt's old shoes.
After WWII in Taiwan, not only US Aid from US government but also many aid items from American people that I could see in the church, including clothes, medicines, food ( milk powder, wheat groats), etc. In elementary schools, all the students could enjoy the milk about 500 cc every week. The younger girls and boys in nursery school of the church could enjoy the hot and sweet food of wheat groats. Some of the students in elementary school who had eyes illness could accept medicine treatment ( kind of ointment in tube) every day.

My grandfather who passed away about 20 years ago was a grower of pine trees in the mountains of the middle Taiwan when I was a little girl.

In my memory, he sent US Army a lot of pine trees before Christmas was coming in December every year and US Army gave my grandfather some bags of flour and wheat groats as gifts. At that time, my grandmother and mom used the flour to make many steamed buns and delicious dumplings for meals, sometimes, I could take some at home and shared with my friends happily when we were hungry after school. I knew the flour was from USA because I saw the US flag printed on the outside of the bag.

In my heart and feeling, the friendship between Taiwanese people and USA was warm and so kind. USA government was really friendly helping Taiwanese people to restore their living since WWII was over.

However, I hope that USA would never forget the relationship with Taiwan and the people of Taiwan island.

Written by a Taiwanese

Thursday, November 11, 2010

RADM Linder Photos and Items

Rear Admiral James B. Linder was the last Commander of the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command.  He served in that position from August 1977 until April 1979.

RADM Linder accomplished one of the most difficult missions bestowed upon any commander -- to terminate an official command and close down all subordinate commands as well.  He accomplished this mission under the most difficult and contentious circumstances imaginable.  The switching of diplomatic relations from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China evoked great anger and sadness from the people of Taiwan.  Despite major challenges from numerous sources, he accomplished his tasks skillfully and professionally and departed on the best of terms with his Taiwan counterparts and colleagues.

Official photo

RADM Linder receiving award from ADM Soong (MND CGS)
(NOTE:  This plaque and photo will be displayed at the American
Footsteps in Taiwan exhibition in December 2010 and January 2011)

(left to right) RADM Linder, Queenie Yao and
General Yao (Taiwan Air Force Commander)

Citation to accompany the award of RADM Linder's
Defense Superior Service Medal

RADM Linder's press release biography
prepared by the USTDC Public Affairs Office

Admiral Linder and his wife retired in the Southwestern United States.  He passed away on 23 April, 2009.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quarters "A" Interior Photos

Last September I wrote about Quarters A, the official residence of the admirals who commanded the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command.   Patricia Linder's husband, RADM James Linder, was the last USTDC Commander and she wrote extensively about the place in her excellent book, "The Lady and the Tiger."

Mrs. Linder has kindly provided these great photographs showing the interior of the house as it appeared during the late 1970s.  She wrote, "As the wife of the TDC Commander, I was privileged to live in Quarters A on Yangmingshan Mountain.  Not only was it architecturally beautiful, it provided the warmth of a real home.  Good friendships were formed during the many dinners that characterized the social aspect of my husband's command of TDC.  We left with cherished memories."

This last photo shows Hogo (the quarters houseboy) and a guard standing at the entrance gate to the residence.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sergeant Major Veasey

Christy Veasey, daughter of SGM Ronald E. Veasey, provided several items for the American Footsteps in Taiwan exhibition and has graciously consented to let me show them here as well.

SGM Ronald E. Veasey was assigned to the US MAAG with the Southern Advisory Team in Kaohsiung from 1968 to 1970.  SGM Veasey was a veteran of the Vietnam War and served at the US Military Assistance Advisory Group in Saigon.  He and his family lived in the Kaohsiung HSA housing area located just outside Tsoying Naval Base.

SGM Veasey is seen in the photos below going through the final Jump Master Personnel Inspection (JMPI) prior to a jump with a Taiwan Airborne unit.  Taiwan Army LTC Chang is performing the JMPI.

SGM Veasey's certificate of appreciation from the Taiwan 2nd Field Army, both in English and Chinese, signed by LTG Hou Cheng-ta.

SGM Veasey's certificate of appreciation from the US MAAG Army Section Chief, COL Clifford.
SGM Veasey is seen in the lower left-hand corner and in the OH-6 chopper seat in the "Taiwan Loyalty Newspaper," Fengshan Edition.  Fengshan is located east of Kaohsiung and home of the Taiwan Airborne Training Center.

After Taiwan, SGM Veasey was reassigned to Germany, where he was promoted to Command Sergeant Major.  He retired at Fort Benning, Georgia after 27 years of service.  He passed away in 1994 and he and his wife are interred at the Main Post Cemetery at Fort Benning.

Monday, November 8, 2010

List of USTDC Commanders

Many thanks to LTC Scott Ellinger for his research into the identities of all ten admirals who served as Commander, U.S. Taiwan Defense Command (COMUSTDC).  Following this list is a photograph of each admiral.

(殷格索中將) VADM Stuart H. Ingersoll: Nov 1955 - Jul 1957
(竇亦樂中將) VADM Austin K. Doyle: Jul 1957 - Jul 1958
(史慕德中將) VADM Roland N. Smoot: Jul 1958 - May 1962
(梅爾遜中將) VADM Charles L. Melson: May 1962 - Jul 1964
(耿特納中將) VADM William E. Gentner Jr.: Jul 1964 - Jul 1967
(邱約翰中將) VADM John L. Chew: Jul 1967 - Aug 1970
(包柏格中將) VADM Walter H. Baumberger: Aug 1970 - Sep 1972
(貝善誼中將) VADM Philip A. Beshany: Sep 1972 - Aug 1974
(史奈德中將) VADM Edwin K. Snyder: Aug 1974 - Aug 1977
(林德少) RADM James B. Linder: Aug 1977 - Apr 1979

Click on the image below to view the full-sized version.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

American Footsteps in Taiwan

Another find by TitoJohn:  This is a small portion of the American Footsteps in Taiwan exhibit being displayed this year in Taiwan.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Slides of Taiwan 1968-69

Titojohn found this YouTube presentation that was put together by a former Air Force guy who was stationed in Taipei during 1968-69.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bill Kling Memories

Some time ago I received a note from Bill Kling, who spent a lot of time in Taiwan during the 1970s.  He described his experiences in some detail and I'm pleased to post some of those comments here today.  Any errors or omissions are mine.

I first heard of Taipei when I was in Vietnam.  In March of 1971, I asked for Sydney, Australia, for my R and R (Rest and Recuperation) leave.  However, my orders came back for a week in Taipei, Taiwan, instead.  I was not happy, but since it was time away from Vietnam and my buddy got the same orders, I decided to go.  While on R and R I met some other GIs and they convinced me that I should try to get assigned to Grass Mountain Tech Control.

During that R and R I remember frequenting the Sea Dragon and 63 Clubs run by MAAG and really enjoyed myself.  I played golf at Tamsui, visited Green Lake, Wulai and generally left the island happy that the Army redirected my R&R to Taipei.

After my Vietnam tour I returned to the States.  Then one day I was told I would be on orders soon and it was suggested that I fill out a “dream sheet’ to improve my chances of a good assignment.  Of course I asked for Taiwan, Hawaii or Thailand,  and of course everyone laughed at me and said, “No one ever reads those things.”  In about a month I got orders for Taiwan -- very lucky for a young, married E-5 to get an accompanied, overseas assignment.

After receiving letters from my sponsor, I packed and shipped my furniture and away we flew to Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) airport to take a military charter flight to Sung Shan Air Base.  I got lucky at Sea-Tac as I met the Command Sergeant Major from MAAG who was returning from leave.  He was in charge of the 63 Club.  I do not remember his name now, but we ended up becoming good friends.  He helped me get into Bank of Taiwan housing in sixty days when the waiting list was normally nine months.  He  showed me how to manage my moving while living in a guest house upon arrival on the island.  My sponsor put me in the Formosa Guest House at what we thought was a good rate, however I was moved to the Taiwan Guest House, a bigger place and one third cheaper.

My next challenge was to buy a car, but I didn’t have much money.  I had to decide between a very small new car called a Daihatsu, or buy a used one from someone who was leaving Taiwan.  Two friends and I decided to buy the new one.  After two months on the island, I had a Chinese identification card, Chinese drivers license, ration cards for liquor and the PX and had been assigned a shift at Grass Mountain Tech Control.

I began taking college courses from the University of Maryland in September 1973 and took two courses per semester during my remaining time on Taiwan.  I'm not sure how I had time for all of this but I also joined a bowling team and played for the Grass Mountain “Outlaws” softball team.

During 1974 and until August 1975 in addition to my work, schooling, and sports some of the many highlights included being part of a Dragon Dance team, Chinese Dragon boat team, seeing a “Double Ten" nighttime celebration and a very large July 4th fireworks display at Taipei American school.  I took trips to Seoul, Korea, Clark Air Base in the Philippines, and I also volunteered to go to Vietnam to assist in communications support during the last days of our involvement there during March/April 1975.

But it was time to leave and I was extended for operational needs two months beyond the normal tour.  Our last several months consisted of learning what a “chop man” was, buying teakwood furniture, buying carpets, handicrafts, and saying good bye to the many American and Chinese friends we made during that time. I am still in contact with the family that ran the first guest house we stayed in when we arrived on the island.

So during by Taipei tour I got promoted to E-6, accumulated two years of college credits, a house full of furniture, put some money in the bank, and made new friends.  But now I was leaving for Ft. Huachuca, Arizona wondering what this assignment would bring.

After a year or so back in the States, I went to the USACC personnel department to see if I could get reassigned.  Again, I was very fortunate as the personnel sergeant was my former supervisor from Vietnam.  I asked him to find me an assignment where I could use my skills, of course asking for only the most popular locations and he said he would see what he could do.  Well, to my surprise, about a month later I called in to my company First Sergeant who wanted to know what friends I had in high places.  He then told me that I had been assigned back to USACC Taiwan.  With the troop level being reduced  to only a few hundred personnel how lucky was this for me?

In January 1977 I was headed back to the island I knew so well.  I could tell as soon as I arrived that things had changed.  Instead of over 7,000  U. S. military on Taiwan there were now less than 1,500.  There was no waiting list for Bank of Taiwan Housing, plenty of appliances to buy in the PX, the China Seas Club was never crowded, and the education center had reduced the number of classes they offered.  When I arrived at the Grass Mountain facility I was now a trick chief, but instead of 6 or 7 on a shift there was only 3.  While being very glad to be back, there was a sad feeling that only grew during my tour.
The good times with good friends were still there but the small things gradually changed the atmosphere.  Some of the changes were the morning briefing to the Commander of USACC was now done by voice order wire, not in person; the detachment at Grass Mountain moved downtown to the HSA compound; the Autovon switch was deactivated and shipped to Okinawa; the hours of the snack bar and PX were reduced; the Tien Mou swimming pool was empty;  I could go on and on.
By June of 1977 we were training local nationals to do the job previously performed by USACC.  This was difficult as I trained locals in Vietnam before we there in 1972.  I couldn’t help making the comparison.  I still think of Mr. Chen, Mr. Wu, and Mike Chiang often.  Many of my Chinese friends were now asking, When are ALL of you leaving,?  I just laughed it off saying that we will always be here, but the United States is reducing forces across Asia.

The tour continued as we accomplished our mission with fewer personnel.  We had a typhoon and an earthquake in 1977.  That, combined with a major submarine cable cut to Okinawa, made for a very fast year.

By the time 1978 rolled around our local national friends were doing the bulk of our work.  The Defense Communications Agency reduced our reporting requirements from every 8 hours to every 24 hours.  We really felt the end was near, as the amount of our normal work was greatly reduced.  We now disconnected equipment and packed it up to be shipped off the island.  It was now an effort to get enough guys to complete our softball teams, Shu Linkou Air Station was closed, Taipei Air Station was in caretaker status, and by July 1978 USACC was down to approximately 150 personnel.  Still, life went on.  I still went to the Tien Mou Mongolian Barbecue regularly, got video tapes to watch on my Sony Betamax, and of course I continued on with school.

In January 1979, we were living in the guest house and were concerned about riots and protests.  A friend had his car burned at the China Seas Club, another friend was attacked, but fortunately he just got a few bumps and bruises.  We were very cautious, but in a few days things calmed down.  Most of us now shared rides to work, or took a military shuttle.  I thought after all these years that the good duty stations were all going away.  Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Iran, and Ethiopia all closed for Tech Control personnel.  I was feted to a going away party by a few close military and Chinese friends. So, finally  my family and I left via the new CKS airport on January 28, 1979 and a few close Taiwanese families came to see us off.

Some time after I arrived at Ft. Huachuca (Arizona), I was told to report to a colonel who had a project for me:  I was to help coordinate the final departure of men and equipment from Taiwan.  It was an exciting and easy job.  I helped whenever there was information concerning disposition of equipment, assisted other solders if they had problems with assignments, household goods, etc.  I think we left Taiwan around April 28, 1979 and I left the Army on May 10, 1979.

Somehow Taiwan and I were destined to be linked.  It is truly amazing to me to realize that from 1971-79 Taiwan played such a major role in my life. To this day I still have USACC and Chinese friends from 30 years ago.   I have been back to the island three times since then, always on business, with the last trip in 2003.