This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


One of the fortunate 16 who were picked to go to Taiwan was Marvin Faulkner.

From one week's graduating class at USASESS in Ft. Gordon, GA, the 16 of us had inside help, or were just lucky random computer picks.

Of the 16 assigned, 6 of us, including Marvin, were from Ohio. We all arrived in Fort Lewis, WA in late May of 1968 and flew to Tokyo for a night's stay. The next day, we touched down at Taipei International during a steady downpour.

We sat outside, wondering which side of the road they drove on. We were eventually transported to an enclosed area and stayed in the Navy barracks.

After a week of processing in, we took trucks and vans from the Signal Compound in Taipei to our barracks on Grass Mountain. From there it was off to the tape relay center.

A few months later, Marvin left us and wound up at the STRATCOM facility in Tsoying, near Kaohsiung. Along with him went a friend of mine from TTY repair.

Duty there was a constant 12-hour, 7 days a week grind. Facilities there were basic and time off was a rarity. The work site was understaffed, but the soldiers who manned the work area were quite competent.

Still, Marvin met people and made friends from Tsoying and Kaohsiung. Here are some pictures he sent.

 Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

Approaching the tower at Tsoying, this photo simply replaces the original.

 Photo courtesy of Scott Ellinger

In the early 1960s, the site at Tsoying was very similar looking as the picture below. 

 Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

This appears to be the inside of the Tsoying USASTRATCOM communications complex.

Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

This is either the entrance to, or exit from the Tsoying site. 

Here's Marvin with the Taiwan Strait in the background.

Sitting atop a WWII Japanese gun emplacement is a friend and Marvin. The friend's name is unknown.

This is a view of the front entrance to the Japanese gun emplacement.

From inside the fortified bunker, this would have been the panorama the Japanese had during WWII.

Home away from work was this hostel in Tsoying.

American soldiers lived in this hostel until they were bumped out by ROC Navy officers on TDY.

For the GIs, it was off to a hotel in Kaohsiung.

This was a nifty shortcut from the hostel to work, the bowling alley, and other places of interest.

Back for a visit in 1998, Marvin found his old hostel still standing.

The First Hotel in downtown Kaohsiung became home for the displaced U.S. servicemen.

Here's a street view of the First Hotel. At this time, pedicabs were still legal. They were phased out beginning July of 1969.

Small, but sufficient, the hotel's rooms were nicely furnished.

Big enough for a guest or two

The business card---Taiwan's life blood

This shot was taken in 1968 from a window in the hotel, several stories up. Kaohsiung looks less hectic than Taipei. 

This would be a photo taken about 30 years later than the previous picture. The position of the camera appears to be the same, but Kaohsiung had surely changed.

And here is Marvin at the front entrance of the First Hotel in 1998.

Another hotel's card

The hotel's prices and location

This site near Kaohsiung looks like a relay center. To the left appears to be a microwave tower. 

This looks to be part of the site in the previous picture.

I wonder if these signals went to and came from the Seven Star microwave site, the lead picture for this blog.

Kaohsiung harbor as it appeared in the 1960s. A lot of physical loading and unloading was involved.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kenting National Park, Taiwan

This blog has always welcomed pictures and stories from folks who lived and served in Taiwan. This would be south of Kaohsiung in this post.

 A picture from the late 1960s prompted some research in order to understand where this picture was taken, and what has become of it.

So, we start with a picture and proceed from there.

This statue of Chiang Kai-shek was located in a place called Oluampi Park. The picture was taken around 1968-69.

So, the question became where this park was and why is the statue there.

In the late 1960s, this was the main road to Oluampi (Eulanbi) Park.

Here is the same statue as in the picture above, but the photo was taken in 1998.

The characters say that here is one of Taiwan's eight magnificent sceneries. It is right there, near Chiang's statue.

Unfortunately, my romantic illusion that this was an old WWII Japanese gun emplacement was slightly off.

Actually it is a sign that  proclaims that this is Oluampi (Eluanbi) Park. 

Then, a reference was made regarding Kenting National Park.

It is the southernmost park in Taiwan. Within its boundaries is Eluanbi Park. To see a beautiful flyover of Kenting Park, click HERE

Near the end of the film, the plane flies over the Eluanbi Lighthouse.

Still  functioning, the Eluanbi Lighthouse is also a very famous tourist attraction. The light beam can be seen some 25 miles out.

To see a short film of the lighthouse and surrounding area, click HERE. 

So, here is the Oluampi Park that Marvin saw in 1968. It is now part of Kenting Park. Look closely and you can see the statue of Chiang Kai-shek.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tape Relay Connection

After wondering whether any other alums of the Grass Mountain tape relay would find this blog, one man did find us. 

SGT (at the time) Tom Browning was already there when the16 of us started pushing tape in June of 1968. He was in charge of our shift.

Tom had been in Taiwan before. Once was in 1965. Later, he served in Thailand before coming back to Taipei and Grass Mountain in 1968.

In April of 1969 until March of 1970, he and his family were down-island where Tom was the NCOIC at Kaohsiung's communications center.

Tom and his wife, Sandy, were kind enough to share some pictures of their time in Taiwan. Most of these were taken during island trips.

A shot of SSG Tom Browning in Thailand

The Great Budda in Changhua

The Buddhism Lion Statue, also in Changhua

To see a video of this entire place, click HERE

A Christian Cemetery

A fishing boat near Keelung

Formosa (Taiwan) Strait in the background

A charcoal factory

Bricks were made at this factory

Pagodas near Tsoying (Zuoying)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Sarj Bloom has been a supporter of this blog for some time now.

He was a career Navy man and worked as a photographer for decades. As such, he was privy to many people and events that are now part of some history books.

He is a blogger himself, and has made contributions to other blogs about Taiwan.

During his travels, Sarj made an acquaintance with a Taiwanese physician. This man has made a deep and lasting impression and is one of the most intriguing people Sarj has ever met.

To read about their relationship, click HERE.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Temple On The Corner, Taipei, Taiwan, 1968-69

Not far from the other east signal compound entrance on Min Tsu East Road once stood a small Buddhist Temple. Even though we must have passed it dozens of times, it didn't stand out in my mind.

Running this blog has made one fact very clear. What's important to you about Taipei and Taiwan may be meaningless to another. The converse is also true.

The temple stood at the corner of DeHui Street and LinSen North Road. It was orange and directly east of the old President Hotel.

After pictures of it kept cropping up on other Taiwan blogs and websites, my interest was stirred. So, here are some pictures of it then, and how that corner looks now.
Photo by C Jenkins; courtesy of

This is an excellent photo of the old temple. It stood at the corner of DeHui Street and LinSen North Road.
Photo by Misty; courtesy of, 01/22/2010

A closeup of the old temple
Photo by Jim Valkwitch; courtesy of

A front view of the temple.
Photo from

This is an excellent view looking down at the old temple beside the President Hotel.

This is a picture of the new temple on the corner. It was and still is called the Ching-Fu Temple. To see it in Mandarin context, click HERE 

Victor W. Cheng is my unimpeachable source for this info. The President Hotel was also leveled and now a large office building stands at that same address on DeHui Street.

Photo by John Quinn; courtesy of 01/22/2010

A front view of the temple

Just a small angle shot of the temple

A beautiful photo at night

In red is the intersection of DeHui Street and LinSen North Road. The business building surrounded in blue is the old President Hotel.

The temple shows up well here.

Finally, a closeup of the Ching-Fu Temple