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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Church Where Two Alleys Meet

Kent Mathieu, who runs the Taipei Air Station blog has to be thanked twice for this post.

First, on one of his walking tours of Taipei, Kent began on the northeast corner of the "Golden Intersection" of Chung Shan and Min Chuan Roads and proceeded north toward the Florida Bakery.

Very shortly before walking, he panned around and showed what remained of the King's Hotel and 77 Club.

To us old connoisseurs of entertainment and lodging, this shot alone should awaken many memories.

Then, Kent began walking northward on the east side of Chung Shan.  Gradually, he turned right and took a shot down an alley. To see what he saw, click HERE.

I had seen this church in 1968-69 and remembered it as being Protestant and not as well-maintained as this one appeared.

One last thing about the video above is the approach to the Florida Bakery. From 1965-72, those little shops were set back from the street and were covered.

Directly next to the bakery were the two beacons of neon. They were the OK and Suzie Wong Bars.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Fortunately, Kent had recently been to Taipei. This picture of a map is near the MRT entrance on MinQuan West Road.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

The picture here shows the modern intersection of Zhongshan North Road and MinQuan East Road. The church is circled in blue.

The two alleys leading to the church are shown in yellow.

The church is visible down the alley which is off Chung Shan North Road.

Here is the view of the church as the alley dead ends near its front gate.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

This plaque explains the history of what is now the True Light Gospel Church.

Turning north off MinQuan East Road takes us down to the intersection.

This alley (lane) continues north for a considerable distance.

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Photo courtesy of Kent Mathieu

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grass Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan, 2012

A very good friend of this blog recently was in Taipei and decided to make the pilgrimage to the old Grass Mountain site. The pictures taken are outstanding.

Well, pilgrimage is actually meant in a secular manner. Still, if former USASTRATCOM and USACC soldiers made the trek up the mountainside to the site, they might recall fondly their days working at either the Grass or Gold  Mountain complexes.

Since this posting is being published slightly after our second year as an active blog, you might want to see the pictures of the place taken by Gary Roske and me during our tour of duty.

It was our first posting in August of 2010, and it can be seen by clicking HERE. 

Here is the overhead view of the site as it appears today.  The coordinates are on the picture, so if you have a GPS device, you should be able to find it easily.  Recalculating!

If you make it up the hill, turn right at the McDonald's and follow the blue line up another hill and around and around until finally reaching Grass Mountain.

This corner wasn't here in 1969 because there was no road to the right as shown here.  A new barracks building can be seen in the middle of the picture.  Back then, this is where the work station guards had their living quarters. 

Still climbing the road past the corner on the previous picture, we can almost see the main gate appearing a few hundred feet up and to the right. Notice that the road is still ascending.

Here is the main gate which is now more strongly constructed.  The wall around the complex replaced the chain link fence from 1960s

All this picture does is give a better angle into the site through and over the front gate. 

This is the road overlooking the site.  Most folks who have taken pictures recently find that there are very few clear shots of any buildings down below.

The long overgrowth is there for a purpose. This is still a military installation and not a tourist attraction. 

The guard house at the main gate can be seen above the tall grass.

Moving from right to left down the length of the complex, this picture is very similar in location as the one taken in 1969.

Another picture shows the water plant at the far right as well as the power plant and the main building.  Next to the water plant is the building which used to house classrooms, offices and teletype repair.

This photo is not much different than the previous one.  The power building and main building can be seen more easily. 

The main building, shown here, has been added onto and the new barracks at the far left is also shown.  These barracks replaced our old Day Room.

Finally, the original mess hall and two-story barracks are shown here.  Perpendicular to it is the new barracks building.