USASTRATCOM

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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taipei Military Exchange

Just to show you how isolated we tape pushers were, we knew we had a microwave transmitter/receiver at the Grass Mountain site in 1968-69. We also knew of the Seven Star Microwave site north of us--hard to miss if you went to McCauley Beach.

Little did we know that there were microwave sites all over the island that Stratcom was operating. Marvin Faulkner sent photos of the Tsoying site, and now we move back to Taipei as the Vietnam War was winding down.

Sp.5, Chris Snyder, was assigned to Taipei from 1972-74. He and his wife lived in a place called Gin Town. It was located  just to the left after crossing over the bridge by the Taipei Zoo. Rent was cheap and the location was very close to what remained of the FSA  American East and West Compounds and the Club 63 (China Seas Club by then).

AFNT was still on Grass Mountain, but most communications equipment and tech personnel were located inside the downtown MAAG compound. The compound had been there for quite some time, but with other sites being mothballed, it became the center for Taipei communications along with USTDC.

Chris trained at Ft. Monmouth and his MOS was 26V20. The MAAG Compound also housed the military telephone exchange, microwave, and tech control along with other equipment.

Things changed quickly in Taipei. Chris had never heard of the Sugar Building and, Major Betty's didn't ring a bell. Maybe she was demoted and reassigned.
Map courtesy of Dawgflight.com


Here is a Taipei map with the south MAAG compound circled in green. Although a hike from East and West compounds, it is actually quite close to Taipei Air Station.


Expand this excellent shot of the MAAG Compound building with the microwave tower to the left. The dish was pointed toward Grass Mountain. Only four people worked the day shift and two at night. 

The military telephone exchange was staffed by ROC locals 24/7. The STRATCOM sign can be seen at the base of the tower.


Looking from a different angle, you can see how compact the building was considering all that was in it. Since Chris was here from 1972-74, you can see how the end of the Vietnam War was also the end of a large military presence in Taipei.



Here is Chris with Mr. Lo, one of the nationals who worked for Stratcom. You can see the letters for Stratcom behind them. Hoops anyone?


Inside the compound is a spirited volletball game between the TME microwavers and the MPs. The outcome is unknown, but the MPs are the tall guys.


Inside, we see some of the microwave equipment. The clock has a large Z for zulu time. Similar equipment can be seen on this blog's 10/21/2010 Gold Mountain posting.


This photo was described as a battery backup for the TME site.


This photo shows a temporary microwave setup to give ability to remove old Collins microwave and replace with a new Motorola.


There is an inside joke here. Chris said the winner was SFC Oshiro, the Site Chief.


A promotion to SP.5 (E-5) is being enjoyed both by Chris and his wife, Fae. By now all the ranks and unit patches were camouflaged.

 His group may have been the last Stratcom presence in Taipei.  Very shortly after Chris' tour was over, the USACC was in charge of communications.

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