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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grass Mountain Taipei, Taiwan, 1974

For this post, we have our friend, Kent Mathieu to thank.  First, he sent us two photos taken by George Lane who was part of USASTRACTOM and USACC in 1974.   

George Lane furnished Kent with pictures he had taken which were posted on on 01/25/2012 and 02/01/2012. 

The pictures shown on TAS were of Taipei and the surrounding area.  The two photos here are of the Grass Mountain complex as it appeared in 1974. 

Once again, thanks to Kent for Photoshopping all four pictures.  This includes the two pictures of mine from 1969. 

The following is George Lane's explanation as to why they were TDY from Ft. Huachuca, AZ.

The details of what was wrong may be over most of our heads, but the last paragraph should explain the irony and might even produce a smile. 


Yes, we were making a survey, but of the electromagnetic variety.  We were looking for leaking FR signals being emitted from the Communications Center. 

One of the reasons we had been dispatched from Ft. Huachuca is that the guys at the Grass Mountain site were reporting that the unused super groups on the transmissions coming in from the undersea cable from Okinawa had illegal traffic on them in a foreign language which even the Taiwanese workers could not understand. 

During our month on Okinawa, we found that the cables from the Communication Center in Futenma were not properly shielded when the signals were sent from the Communications Center to the nearby microwave tower. 

It turns out that the cable length run was exactly a half wave length of the AM radio Station in Naha.  As a result, the ground wave AM Signal was being picked by the cable and then sent to the microwave transmitters where it was modulated into the super groups. 

The signal was then sent via the undersea cable to Taiwan!  So the illegal entry into our secure communications system was our own fault and not the enemy.  "Chris" Christensen shown in some of my photos was a great engineer and a good friend.

This was a picture taken in 1969 of the main buildings in the Grass Mountain work station. The basketball court is still there. 

Photo courtesy of George Lane

Taken in 1974, this picture of the complex shows a really vivid green paint job on a very bright and sunny day. 

By this time, civilians were operating Seven Star Microwave and the American presence in Taiwan was decreasing rapidly due to the impending end of the Vietnam War. 

Kent did a nice job of making these 1969 photos as good as they can possibly look.  What you see here is the combination mess hall and day room with the road leading to the back gate.

By 1974, a new road had been constructed which lead to a different exit from the one we used.

Also, it appears that gear from the main building may be loading into these white trucks on the right. 

 Here is the entire Grass Mountain complex as it looks today.  Try entering the coordinates into Google Earth. 

Then, drag Oscar over for a Street View of the front gate and other parts of the work station.  


  1. I was NCOIC in QC on grass mountain retired there and went to 1Sig Bde Youngsan Korea Robert Hurst

  2. Thanks, Robert. Not sure of your time line, but it's always good to hear from Grass Mtn alums. John

  3. Worked in the Tech control section at Grass Mountain 1977-1979 when we closed it down and handed it over to the next group..Lived in Tienmu but a couple of the guys still lived at Grass mt. We have a yahoo group USACC_Taiwan if your interested.
    Headed to Taipei last of June hope to get some new pics and I'll send them to Don to post.


  4. Larry,
    Thanks for your comments. If you make it to Grass Mountain, I would be grateful if you would take a couple of pictures of the complex.

  5. Hi John,
    It's amazing to see these pictures. I lived in Grass Mountain for 10 months, and
    completed the military services one year ago. It's a good place, besides winter.
    Ching Chou

  6. Did you live in the Grass Mountain barracks? Welcome to the GM Alumni Association!

  7. Yes, I had lived in Grass Mountain, and left there 1 year ago. The back gate always close, but it still can be opened.

  8. I believe I was temporarily assigned to Grass Mountain to run the remote TV operations (from a trailer) for AFRTS around Jan - Mar of 1976 ... Navy JO3 at the time.

  9. Ryanku,
    We have been trying to find the exact location of AFNT on Grass Mountain since 1968. It sounds as though you were with the "cleaning out" crew during your time there. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Are you trying to find AFNT? I know there is a radio station near Grass Mountain. Do you want to find the AFNT office or radio station? We call ICRT for AFNT now, here is the website