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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

1965 Taipei Phone Book Section 1

These 2 sections of the 1965 Taipei Telephone Directory are being posted separately. Army Lieutenant Colonel Scott Ellinger found it for sale on E-Bay and scanned all 34 pages and sent them to this blog.

LTC Ellinger has been a contributor to this blog since its inception. He will be retiring shortly and we would like to acknowledge him for all of his time and effort on behalf of TSA. Without him, it's safe to say, the longevity of this blog would have been much shorter.

He personally found where we worked on Grass Mountain as well as discovering our old apartment as it appears today. One of his PowerPoint pages will be shown when we move outside Taipei City proper.

This 1965 phone book indicates that there were many more American Servicepeople and their families living in Taiwan than many of us thought. Of particular interest should be the number of families living in Tien Mou, PeiTou, Shihliin and Shantzohou (Grass Mountain).

1965 was the year in which President Johnson began the massive call up of troops for the Vietnam War.  For thousands of young men who were US citizens and at least 18 years old, a letter from your local Selective Service Draft Board might soon be in your mailbox inviting you to join the Armed Forces. "Greeting"

Being a sophomore in college that year, I'd used up 4 Student Deferments (2-S). Graduation was 1967, and being over 2 yeas away, many young guys my age were certain the war would be over.

Of course, it wasn't and that's how many of us became guests of the ROC for 15 months. The future phone books were much larger.

*Note: If any of you would like 3 razor-sharp pdf files of LTC Ellinger's phone book, just send me an e-mail. and I'll send you three.

If any of you know of the locations or points of interest of areas we don't cover in this posting and the next, please let us know.

CAT Airlines was always gracious enough to advertise in many publications.

The page number of Taipei as well as the suburbs are shown on this page

Overseas connections

Overseas connections continued . .

The next 15 telephone book pages are devoted to the intricacies of Taipei and its many sections and subsections as well as residential numbers.

The remainder of Taipei and its suburbs is continued on the next post.

1965 Taipei Phone Book Section 2

Starting with an advertisement from a local company, we continue with the 1965 Taipei Phone Book.

Does anyone need an ice cream scoop?

This is a modern map of Taipei County as well as much of Taoyuan County which is home to the new TPE International Airport, also know as Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The airport we knew from our time in Taipei is now called Songshan Airport, located downtown.

Underlined just north of Taipei are the areas in this phone book. Shilin, Tianmu, Beitou and the general Yangmingshan area which will be covered. The Shantzehou housing area is located in the village which houses the Chinese Culture University.

Peitou is first suburb in the phone book for us. To take the 2 cent tour from Taipei to Beitou, click HERE. It has certainly had more than a face lift.

Included in the Peitou section of the phone book are more than a few phone numbers from Wellington Heights.

Our good friend, Kent Mathieu, who runs the Taipei Air Station blog, rediscovered Wellington Heights in 2011, and took some attractive pictures of the place in 2012. To connect with his posting, click HERE.

Original PowerPoint picture courtesy of LTC Scott Ellinger via Don Wiggins blog at USTDC,com

This 1969 declassified photo was examined thoroughly by LTC Ellinger. He circled not only the 4 sections of Shantzehou, but also Tien Mou housing and the Navy Hospital.

Since our blog covered the remaining 3 areas of this BOT (Bank Of Taiwan)  housing, just click on the indicated area. For Section H Housing, click HERE.

To view what remains of the Section C housing, click HERE.  Finally, we still have Section F Housing, much of which is vacant or demolished.

Check here to see it as well as plans for the future in the last map..

So far, we have come across 3 different ways to spell "Shantzehou." What was of interest on the previous page were the phone numbers for the bowling alley and movie theater in 1965. They have both been leveled, but many of us remember them well.

On the other (west) side of the road was the Grass Mountain Community Center and Teen Club.  The Teen Club address is listed as Triumph Avenue. To see how it appears today, click HERE.

Section E Housing was taken down and now houses a training facility for the Bank of Taiwan.

Tien Mou also has listed the phone numbers for its bowling alley, movie theater, swimming pool and recreation center.

Besides the usual street names and numbers, some folks lived in Happiness Village. Too cool!

This ends the pages devoted to Tien Mou. To me, my shrink wrapped attempt at displaying the pages of the phone book was lame, to be kind to myself.

REMEMBER: Send me an e-mail, and I'll send you the sharper version of this phone book in 3 pdf sections in 3 separate e-mails.

Here's one last item shown on this page. Those of us who lived and worked on Grass Mountain often referred to it as Yangmingshan. That would include directions to cab drivers around midnight in Taipei.

This area shown above under "Yangmingshan" indicates that the many apartment buildings and private houses that we saw daily in 1968 had not yet been built in 1965. The area must have gotten very busy very quickly to house so many people who called Yangmingshan home.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teletype Repair on Grass Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan, 1968-69

"What seems to be the problem?"  I can still hear Eric say that every time he would show up to repair the teletype machinery.  The question was always the same.

Since my job was at the Taipei Terminal  (RUAGST), my position was closest to Eric as he entered the tape relay room. It was amusing, but not funny enough to laugh.

His eternal question may not have been heard by all since the place was so noisy from all the machines running all the time around the clock.

There was another part of his entrance. While Eric asked his question, he stood there with a screwdriver in his hand with the blade pointing straight up toward the ceiling. In other words, Eric had arrived.

That's my only attempt at humor when it came to teletype repair and the guys who, just like the tape relay shifts, had at least one guy on duty at all times. They kept us running and helped us avoid a severe backup.

We all got to know these guys as they had been trained to repair teletype machines, reporforators, printers, monitor machinery, sending and receiving machines, just to give you an idea of their importance.

Personally, I knew them all as sooner or later when this heavy-duty machinery went down. During the day shift we all went about our business as tape traffic was at its heaviest and officers and NCOs were lurking.

When the Univac computer went on-line and we broke into 4 shifts, some of us got to know them well. It was just small talk as they adjusted, replaced, repaired or removed the gray beasts.

Recently, the one man I knew the best contacted the blog. Bill Paden was a guy you could always count on. I'd seen him working under pressure as the NCOIC and other NCOs stood over him as he worked.

So, Bill has sent some pictures as well as some stories. I had comments from a couple of his cohorts, but Bill contacted me, which, I'm finding after 2 1/2 years, is rare. The only downside is that Bill had a large collection of pictures which were destroyed by a fire.

So, we salute Bill, Sam, John, Sammy, Eric and others who were there for "The Tape Apes."

Most of us prefer color pictures, but this black and white one finds young men learning their craft at Teletype Repair School---during WWII!

A young Sergeant named Arthur Burtis (Shown at Left) was at the Air Service Command located near Myrtle Beach, SC.

The teletype they are repairing was very similar to the ones used later during the  Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Photo by Jack Delano, 1938

This picture was just too cool to pass up. This young lady is shown preparing a teletype message to be sent on its way in 1938. She was working for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

It didn't run through Santa Fe, NM, but it is a snappy name for a railroad. The two clocks show Pacific and Mountain times. Note how similar the machine appears to those we used 30 years later.

If any of you are Judy Garland fans, (And how could you not be?)  you will remember the 1946 movie The Harvey Girls where she sings this Academy Award winning  song. She had so much talent and so many troubles. Daughter: Liza Minnelli.

Photo from Tung Mahamek, 1968

Here we are during the Vietnam War with a repairman stationed in Thailand. Those men from WWII shown above could probably have assisted in repairing these Kleinschmidts 20 years later.

Teletype communications were slow and arduous, but the various machines took a beating and still performed reliably but in a decreasing role until the 1980s.

They were replaced eventually by computers, but the fax machine initially put many of these machines in boxes.

Photo by Stephen Robinson, 1972

This sure looks like Vietnam, possibly Phu Lam. The number of machines in the background is an indication.

This guy certainly appears to have everything under control, with shelves full of teletype machines, ready to be put back on line.

Photo by

I've had this picture stored for over 2 years. The man shown here seems to have all of the most up-to-date equipment to finely tune these machines.

The number of parts in teletypes was phenomenal. Many times lack of parts halted repair.

Can you say "Oscilloscope?"

Photo by
Photo by
If this is a military photo, I'd be surprised. Stunts were always being pulled, but the chances of her being military are slight.

My first thought was WAC (Women's Army Corps) but I don't believe this was a proper summer uniform. Nor does  her desk have a privacy shield. She's probably a company employee.

We attended Signal School with WACs. Two lifers who were both SFC (E7) had a 15 month tour in Taiwan. They were all business as they may have been with Army Security.

Pictured here is a group of teletype repairmen with various ranks. The MOS was 31J, and the training center for them was Fort Gordon, GA at the USASESS.  

Standing in the middle, with his Garrison Cap cocked a little forward and a bit to the right, is PFC William Paden. Check your Urban Dictionary for the cap's nickname.

Photo from    

This is the entrance to Hostel number 1, just outside and north of the East Compound.  Bill and hundreds of others lived in here during their time in Taipei.  The price was right and many guys saved money for life back home.  

Back of this building was another hostel built at a later time.  Many of the men who lived here adjusted to the sound of the jets coming in for a landing at the nearby airport.  Then again, some couldn't stand the noise and moved to apartments.  

Bill lived in the hostel just outside the East Compound on Zhongshan (Chung Shan)  North Road in Taipei.

Somehow he could put up with the ground-shaking sound of jets coming in for a landing, almost directly over the hostel.

Taipei International Airport was right downtown, just a short distance east of the compounds and hostel.

Could that suit have been made at Mr. Loo's?

Here's Bill again at his hostel room. His stereo component system was hooked up including his Wharfedale speakers.

it was daylight and Bill played "Magic Carpet Ride" to show how little they vibrated. Not everyone in the hostel appreciated him making his point.

Ready for work in his fatigues, Bill shows off his new Sp4 (E4) patches after his promotion. The extra pay was welcomed as living in Taiwan was inexpensive and provided opportunities for saving and, of course, spending.

The bank we all used was American Express, located in the West Compound. Checking accounts that maintained a certain balance, paid an interest rate of 5%. The rate for savings accounts was 10%.

These next few photos were taken one day at the Grand Hotel, located above and behind Club 63. The glossy red paint is similar to that used on the Confucian Temple which is very near the hotel.

Until newer hotels were built in the 1960s and 1970s, this was THE hotel for tourists. The intricate paintings and tile roofs were unmatched.

Meeting rooms were available, and guest rooms were adequate. The view from atop the hill looking south showed downtown Taipei and the finely manicured grounds of the hotel.
Photo courtesy of

This is how the Grand Hotel looked when Bill took his tour.

Photo courtesy of Chris Snyder, 1973

In order to keep pace with the newer hotels being built, the group who ran the Grand Hotel added this huge addition.

With the addition, this is a present-day photo of the Grand Hotel

Here's Bill smiling after a long day of posing. My abilities and equipment aren't sufficient enough to restore this one. So, sepia tone was used.

In the background is the Keelung River.

Nobody until now has sent a picture of themselves as they look now.  Bill looks great!  Given a few minutes on a city street, I am sure I would approach him and say, "Aren't you Bill Paden?"  Most of us don't look as good as he.