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, February 22, 2013

The Tropic Of Cancer, Taiwan

One of the frustrating features of blogging is the location of the posts.  Each post comes after the previous post until many are buried and begin collecting cyber dust.

For instance, this post is the 12th and last publishing of a series done with the photos taken by Tom Jones in 1957-58. 

After receiving Tom's permission, I picked groups of his pictures and tried to tie them together.

All of the photos not wanted were left to others, including Kent Mathieu of who comprised a solid journey Tom took through Matsu.

So, thank you, Tom,  for all of the wonderful pictures. If any of you would like to see the previous 11, or any other post,  just click "Older Posts" at the bottom of each page.

Our last posting in this series is about the Tropic of Cancer, an imaginary line, which passes through Taiwan.

Kent Mathieu and friends have been to the monument in Hualien County. To read Kent's post, click HERE.

With a flat world, the Tropic of Cancer location is indicated by the red line.

As it passes through Taiwan in a couple of locations, tourist attractions have been erected. About the lower 1/3 of Taiwan is considered to be tropical.

In the United States, the line passes through the Bermudas, but doesn't touch Florida. So, Miami is just a few miles north and is actually not considered officially tropical.

Cuba is just south of the line in the Florida Straits. So, Havana is considered to be in the tropics.

Out in the Pacific, the line comes close to Necker Island, northwest of Honolulu by over 400 miles. That puts the state of Hawaii firmly into the tropics.

South of the Tropic of Cancer is the Equator. South of the Equator is the corresponding area of the tropics in the southern hemisphere called the Tropic of Capricorn.

As indicated, the Tropic of Cancer coordinates put it out in the middle of some field, just as it was in 1958.
Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

Here is a picture of the Chiayi City square. The picture of President Chiang is clearly visible. As with the case of other villages, this area is now heavily populated.
Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

So, in 1958, Tom walked outside Chiayi City and took this picture. Later, the monument was moved when a railroad was built, but it is still in a township in Chiayi County.
Photo by Bernard Gagnon
Photo courtesy of

This plaque at the base of a monument gives the coordinates for the original monument which appear to be different to those used at the beginning of this post.

The Tropic of Cancer actually shifts positions as the years  pass. These other monuments add to the park's attractions.

What looks somewhat like a flying saucer is a very new addition to the Chiayi Monument Park. It attracts tourists and students.

This Tropic of Cancer monument is part of the Hualien County Park
Map from World Atlas

From top to bottom we have The Arctic Circle, The Tropic of Cancer, The Equator, The Tropic of Capricorn and The Antarctic Circle. These are major measurements for latitudes.

The Prime Meridian splits the world in half at 0 degrees longitude. It passes through Greenwich, England which gives us the world standard as to time.

Zulu time is, therefore, always the time it is in Greenwich, England which also goes by GMT or Greenwich Mean Time.

Not surprisingly, because of the earth's uneven rotation, all lines of longitude and latitude are not always exactly the same.


    The two monuments in the 9th image are the fifth and the sixth generations of the Tropic of Cancer Monument in Chiayi. The miniatures of the previous four generations are shown in the website. The first one was built in 1908 and destroyed by a typhoon in 1917. The second one was built in 1921 and replaced by the third one in 1926. The funny part is, according the website, the fourth one was built before WWII and destroyed in a huge earthquake in 1964, and the fifth one was built in 1968, which is not consistent with the photo taken by Tom in 1958?

  2. Thank you for your history of monuments. In Mexico, they actually show the various positions of The TOC over the decades. At Tampa airport, a runway was repainted as its position no longer coincided with the runway number. Pilots complained and the change was made.