Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vice Admiral Philip A. Beshany

I just learned of the passing of Vice Admiral Philip A. Beshany this past December.  VADM Beshany was the Commander of USTDC (COMUSTDC) during my time there.  It was his last assignment before retirement and he departed right around the same time I did in August, 1974.

A 1938 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Beshany served in the new light cruiser Philadelphia before going into submarines. After duty in the S-14, he was executive officer of the fleet boat Scamp from 1942 to 1944, participating in seven war patrols. He was then exec of the Quillback during the Okinawa campaign and the occupation of Japan. He later commanded the submarines Billfish, Burrfish, and Amberjack.

Shore tours included postgraduate instruction at Annapolis, repair officer at the submarine base in New London, and duty as head of the prospective commanding officers' course for submarines.  While on the ComSubLant staff, he worked closely with the Navy's first nuclear-powered submarines. After graduation from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Admiral Beshany had a tour as commanding officer of the fleet oiler Salamonie.

He commanded Submarine Squadron 4 in the early 1960s during the transition from diesel to nuclear powered subs, served as chief of staff to Deputy Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet during the tragic period when Thresher was lost, and directed the setting up of facilities for U.S. Polaris submarines in Rota, Spain.

Subsequent duties included a staff position with Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe in the mid-1960s and Director of Submarine Warfare during the development phases of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine. In this position Admiral Beshany was in the thick of the ongoing technical versus operational argument being waged within the OpNav staff. His next duty as an amphibious group commander gave him a new appreciation of the importance of this special type of warfare and the complexity of joint exercises.

The 1970s found Admiral Beshany back at the Pentagon, first as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Operations and Readiness) and then during the reorganization of the OpNav staff he was made the first Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Submarine Warfare) over the objections of Admiral Rickover.

VADM Beshany's final tour was as Commander, U.S. Taiwan Defense Command, from he which retired in August, 1974.

His obituary is shown below.

Philip A. Beshany (Age 97), Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) Passed away December 22, 2011 surrounded by his loving family. A true patriot and courageous leader - he embodied the best of the "greatest generation". He will be deeply missed, as he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1938, he served over 42 years as a submariner. He was married for 62 years to his dear wife, Natalie (Gigi) until her death in 2005.
He is survived by his wife of 4 years, Beatrice; daughter, Ann Braniff (Earl Crouch); son, CAPT Philip Beshany, USN (Sunshine); granddaughters, Christy O'Hare (Steve), Stephanie Borchers (LT Jake Borchers, USN), and Madison Beshany; grandson, LCDR Ryan Beshany (Amanda); great grandchildren, Meghan, Luke and Casey O'Hare, and Carter Beshany; stepsons, Ed Gray (Becky), Alan Gray (Betsy), Patrick Gray (Marcie), and Stephen Gray (Liza).
Funeral service will be held at 10:45 a.m., Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in the Ft. Myers Chapel of Arlington National Cemetery followed by interment with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Mayo Outpatient Dialysis Center in the Roger Main Building: 4203 Belfort Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32216.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Structure of Many Uses

Taiwan Scott sent me this photo of the building on Yang Ming Shan (which we often called "Grass Mountain") that some people at USTDC knew as Hostel #1.

The photograph was taken in 1931.  Scott says that the building was built by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation (of Japan).  That style of architecture is very similar to other buildings on YMS that were built in the early 1920's by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation.  The TSC was one of the Japanese monopolies (Other monopolies were lumber, rice, metals and coal).  The Japanese maintained full control of all those industries during the Japanese era on Taiwan.
A few years ago I posted these two photos that Stev Pitchford took of the Hostel #1 building when it was being used by the American military.  There was a lot more vegetation around the building by then but you can easily tell that the building looked basically the same as it did thirty years earlier.

Also back in 2008, I received additional information from George, who was kind enough to provide some links that show the building as it exists today:
The Grass Mountain Hostel #1 is now Taipei Teachers' In-Service Education Center.
I searched the web in English but found very little info. The two best blogs in Chinese I found are the following:

The above blog mentions the facility was used as dormitories by US military personnel until 1969.  The facility then was used by the Park Authority until 1981 when it became Taipei Teachers' In-service Education Center.
More photos including International Hotel and Chiang Ka- Sheik's summer villa: 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Civilian Employee Pamphlet

Just as at other military organizations around the world, Department of Defense civilians contributed greatly to the successful operation of USTDC.  In most cases, these folks were career civil servants who voluntarily relocated to Taiwan, bringing their families and household goods with them.

Moving to a new place is often a challenge, especially when that place is halfway around the world.  So in 1962, the Pacific Air Command (PACAF) published a pamphlet specifically for DOD civilians moving to Taiwan.  It was similar to the "Taiwan Report" brochure that USTDC published for incoming military personnel, but addressed some issues that were unique to civilian employees.

Scott in Taiwan was kind enough to provide me with images of every page from that document a while back.  I converted them to a single PDF (Adobe) document and I've made it available for download.  If you'd like to have a copy, just click HERE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Taipei Area Sports Car Club

Jim Sartor just alerted me to a great collection of photographs of a gathering of the Taipei Area Sports Car Club (TASCC).  The photos were taken during 1972 by Roger Inman and show several of the members' cars.  Jim says that the red 240Z was his.  By the way, Roger maintains the Shu Linkou Air Station website.

Back in 2009 I wrote about the time I rode to a meeting of the TASCC with my office mate, John Cranford, who was a member of the club.   John also drove a 240Z (like the wind!) and I believe it was burgundy in color.  I posted a short film clip that I took at the time.  I think it was probably taken a year or so after Roger's pictures.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Paul Kuo Christmas Book

Paul Kuo was a Taiwan artist who frequently drew cartoons under the heading "Formosan Vignette" for the China Post Newspaper.

Sharon Hyde sent me these images from a Paul Kuo Christmas book that was published in 1961.  Her parents purchased the book in Taipei sometime during the 1960s.

The first image is the foreword written by Joe Brooks of Armed Forces Radio Taiwan.  The next image is the cartoon that Joe referred to and the third image is an advertisement in the book for the China Post, which was the only English newspaper available at that time in Taiwan.