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, April 7, 2014

We Laughed, We Cried, We Drank, We Didn't Re-Enlist: Taipei, Taiwan, 1969

Near the end of our 15 month standard tour of duty in Taiwan, we had to talk with the recruiter in case we  wanted to re-enlist for another go around, this time as Regular Army.

Honestly , my thoughts turned to staying in the Army and going to OCS school. I had talked with some officers who were thinking of making a career with the Army.

So, we filtered into the Signal Compound, east of the Commissary Compound. To his credit, the recruiting sergeant (E8) MSG respectfully went through the process of explaining re-enlisting. 

He knew the drill and may have been looking forward to his 20th year. So, to the Grass Mountain Hostel, with its graffitti filled walls we eventually gathered.

This again is the list of the sixteen of us who served their fifteen months in Taiwan.  Thinking back, a couple of them extended, but most of us left on a military contract flight with Northwest Orient on September 1, 1969.

There were advantages to us who worked the Taipei Terminal station.  One of them was proximity to the bulletin board where messages such as this became my property after a short length of time.  

I actually talked this guy who signed the form.  He lived in our apartment complex with his wife.  He had been a teacher, but indicated to me that remaining in the Army was financially more beneficial than teaching.  

Considering the subject matter, it is easy to see how short notes like this always reminded us how picky the military could be.  Check out his title.

This was the new military pay scale as it was revised in July of 1969. Including overseas pay, it was more than adequate for the single guys.

That is  Andy with his back to us. He was simply the best in every sense of the word. We all probably miss being around him, our leader and catalyst.

Photo by L. Andrew Savin

The guy holding the Schlitz bottle wasn't too jovial as word had not yet come down about the legal status of the incident where  he struck a woman with his car. THUMP!

Photo by L. Andrew Savin
As the crowd got smaller, things got a little raucous.  Who cared? We were "short!"

Photo by L. Andrew Savin

This would be about one week before we left Taiwan.  Most of the original sixteen who arrived in June of 1968 are pictured here. 


  1. Looks like you and your friends were having a great time, what an excuse to party!!

  2. Actually, we were so disbursed as to where we lived and shifts we worked, that this was an unusual and special event since many of us saw guys we hadn't seen in months.