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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Signal Corps In Taiwan, 1957-58

By the beginning of the Korean War, it became apparent to the U.S. that Taiwan was a major asset in the Western Pacific.  Thousands of Americans began to be assigned to Taiwan as part of our commitment to the future existence of the ROC.

The following posts are possible because an Army Signal Corps soldier took the time to chronicle his Taiwan tour of duty in 1957-58. By then the downtown area of Taipei and other major Taiwan cities were beginning to change. 

Tom Jones was with the Provisional Signal Detachment (PSD) which began linking various parts of Taiwan together.  He arrived from the U.S. as an E4 with an MOS of Fixed Station Transmitter Repair Instructor.  To me, that means he was trained at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. 

Tom has given our blog the privilege of using some of his 250+ pictures which he took during his deployment.  Fortunately for us, he used 35mm slides which make these old pictures look as though they had just been taken yesterday. 

My friend and TSA blog contributor, Gary Roske, sent me the link to these pictures.  Then I came across a posting by USTDC blogger, Don Wiggins.  It is the same link as Gary's and can be seen by clicking   HERE.  It can be found at Don's blog dated September 21, 2012.

Mr. Jones' photos have been sorted into groups by me which roughly follow Tom's tour of duty in Taiwan.  He has ultimate say over what is being published, so some of these may be changed. 

In this post, all of the photos were taken by Tom.They are being shown with the consent of Tom Jones.  They are protected by his copyrights. Any other photos that may be used will be identified accordingly. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones
This is The Oakland Army Base, also know as The Oakland Army Terminal.  It was a prime piece of real estate from which materials and military personnel were shipped to the Pacific starting in WWII, then Korea, and Viet Nam. 

Located near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the base began its mission in 1942 and continued as part of the military effort until its eventual closing in 1999.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones
This looks like the process in-process out building.  Imagine how many thousands passed through its doors throughout the decades. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones
Here is Tom during a Tokyo layover in 1957. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

This is the last view of Taipei that Tom took in 1958. We will just turn the plane around and call it the first view one would have of the Taipei skyline in 1957.
Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

 With the Keelung River in the middle of the picture, just look up from it and you will see Taipei International Airport in 1957.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

Taken from downtown and looking eastward, you can see the main runway of what was to us, Taipei International Airport.  

The IATA. letters were TPE which now belong to the new Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, south of Taipei. The new name of the airport in Taipei is Songshan Airport (TSA).

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

This one of many photos Tom took of the Keelung River which connects with the port city of Keelung.

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

Here is a 1958 shot of the mouth of the Tamsui River which flows south into Taipei from its northernmost location. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones

This is the same view in 2012 of the picture shown above. I don't believe Tom took this one. 


  1. >a major asset in the Eastern Pacific.

    Western Pacific, I believe.

    The last two photos were taken from GuanYin Mountain(觀音山), a hill south to Tamsui River.

  2. Thanks, Victor, as usual--Guess my thoughts were of the Far East.