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.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Grass Mountain Microwave, 1967-68, Taipei, Taiwan

 With this contribution to the blog by former USASTRATCOM alum, Larry Barton, we are now beginning to reach more and more of our initial target group.  Larry is the fourth microwave technician to contact us.

Larry and his wife were teenagers when they not only lived in an apartment on Grass Mountain, but also began their family there.  As in the case of many service families, their first child was "Made in Taiwan."

This posting should have been on the blog much sooner, but a few of Larry's pictures resulted in some research by regular contributors to the blog. 

Here is Larry outside his apartment in Yangmingshan. 

When one door closes, another often opens.

Here is the apartment building where the Bartons resided.  Living there without a car made them dependent on buses and cabs to get up and down the mountain.  

This apartment and other apartment buildings where Americans lived was close not only to the main highway, but also the Grass Mountain Theater and Smiley's Grille/Bowling Alley. 

My guess is that their apartment, as well as other apartment buildings, was quite near the Subway Restaurant of today. 

If anyone recognizes this serviceman and his family, please leave a comment or drop us an e-mail.  They lived near the Bartons, but the name has been forgotten. 

School buses made their way crisscrossing the Bank of Taiwan (BOT) housing areas in Grass Mountain as well as other areas near there where service families lived.  The unpaved road was the norm. 

Taipei American School was the destination. Children from non-military families often went to TAS as well. When we lived there, the school buses were stored in the rear area of the West Compound.

This was not a scheduled stop.  With so many buses overloaded and underserviced, it is surprising that there weren't more wrecks not only in Taipei, but in the areas surrounding it. 

Article from Pacific Stars and Stripes, 1969

The right side was chopped off, but the intent is clear.

This is the photo which sent several folks into the "then and now" mode of trying to figure out where on the Yangmingshan Road this picture was taken. 

The purpose of this picture when originally taken was to show the snow on the mountain tops in the winter of 1967-68.  What caught our attention was the sign at the left. 

Of importance also, to me, is the name of the street sign that cannot be seen clearly. 

Photo by and courtesy of Larry Barton

This side-by-side picture is a result of Larry going up on Google Earth Street View and estimating where the sign was in relation to Grass Mountain today. 

The McDonald's on the right is almost next to the road that took us to the Grass Mountain work complex. 

Original PowerPoint page courtesy of Scott Ellinger

Army LTC Ellinger helped us out again by using his assumptions as to the location of the sign leading to the Grass Mountain Community Center and Teen Club. 

The building in the original photograph, he deduced, is now a Subway shop.  Its location is south of the main road to work

Original PowerPoint page courtesy of Scott Ellinger

This composite does not contradict Larry Barton's guess

Original PowerPoint page courtesy of Scott Ellinger

This is Scott Ellinger's idea of where the Grass Mountain Community Center once stood.

Notice how the Chinese Culture University's campus has expanded into this Section "C" Housing area. The college is also creeping northward into the Section "F" Housing area.

Satellite photo courtesy of Scott Ellinger


The light blue line on this 1974 satellite photo is the main road through the Yangmingshan village. 

The darker blue line is the road to the front (main) gate of the Grass Mountain complex.  It is called Jingshan Road.
The red line is the road leading to the back gate of the complex. It is Jianye Road.

Somewhere on the main drag, between the front and back roads is where the sign indicating where the Grass Mountain Community Center was located.  

The Bartons lived near the entrance to the back road close to Jianye Road.  

To give you some perspective, the blue and red lines, indicating the two roads are about 250 yards apart. 

Again, this was taken to show the mountain tops.  Does anyone recognize the buildings? 

This one of my favorite pictures as it was taken inside the front gate on the road leading to the main building at the site. 

You can see that the road inches upward as one approaches the parking area and the microwave tower.

If the Grass Mountain ROC Army guards ever have reunions, many stories of midnight and later arrivals by US troopers are probably told. 

This is a downtown bus stop that the Bartons used frequently.  Neither the building nor the approximate location is known.  Again, we could use some help.

Because of the buses, this might be the West Compound.  However, no one is certain. 

Finally, this is a great picture of the Florida Bakery which is still in the same location today as it was in 1967.  This picture was taken before 1968 as pedicabs were outlawed by then. 

This angle of the Florida Bakery is similar to the one above.  Notice that a 7-Eleven is on the very corner of Nongan Street and Zhongshan Road North.


  1. About the 15th image, The 13th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists is held at the Ambassador Hotel Taipei on March 11, 1968.

    Ambassador Hotel, Taipei(台北國賓大飯店)

  2. The building with the signage, "International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists" is the Ambassador Hotel on Chung Shan North Road. Kent

  3. Request for your consideration to post some of these photos regarding Grass Mtn. on new facebook group Yangmingshan US Military Housing - Come Back to Grass Mountain. Members include Don Wiggins and Scott Ellinger. You are invited to join us Sir! Rory O'Neil