Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

CCK - October 2010 Visit - UPDATED

During this past October, my friend Gene, by way of a third party, contacted CCK and asked if a small group of US Veterans could visit the base.  A few days later we received an approval.    

Typical protocol you find on any military base, same here.

We drove out from Taichung and begin our visit at the 427th Tactical Fighter Wing HQ Building, briefing room.  

We were warmly greeted and given a welcome briefing and video presentation of the base and units.   The Commanding General spoke with us a few minutes, we were served refreshments and provided brochures, a cap with the IDF logo and a few other items.

We were escorted to various locations. We stopped along the way for a few photographs of facilities before we visited the CCK Wing Museum which houses many historical documents and items from the ROCAF units and other CCK items.

After visiting the ROCAF CCK Wing Museum, we drove to the old Chapel. All of the inside was gutted. New rooms were being built inside the building.  The Chapel is more than 40 years old and was in need of repair. I believe the Chapel sat vacant since we left.

While most of our group was in the Chapel, I ran across the street and took a few photos.  We then drove to the old Mess Hall where we enjoyed a very large dinner meal with many many dishes including steak.  

The folks who conducted our tour were gracious, outgoing and honest. I was impressed by the professionalism of the military folks I talked with. It warmed my heart.  These folks are similar to you and me.  They are freedom loving people and stand ready to protect their country.  It kind of puts a smile on your face and a jump in your heart.  These folks love their freedom and way of life as much as you and I.

It's imperative that we continue our support of Taiwan.

I've seen a lot of Taiwan this year. I'm taken a number of videos in and around Taipei.  When you have time, take a look some of these videos.  You can't help but love Taiwan and the folks who live here.

Be sure to click on each of these pictures, you'll get a much better view

The 427th Tactical Fighter Wing Headquarters Building - New construction

 Old US Fire House

New ROCAF Base Ops

New paint from our days

Ramps looking toward north

Old photo of Officer's Club "Back in the Day"

Officer's Club today, sidewalk to front entrance

Above, inside the Officer's Club.  The kitchen is intact and it appears that the building is used on occasion.  Probably used for "Official" gatherings.

We drove toward the Chapel and past the area where there were many old single story barracks.

The water tower stands alone now.  It could use a paint job!

The Chapel, view from the left side.

 The Chapel, under renovation.

 Next month, January 2011, the Chapel will reopen.

In addition to being the old US Chapel, it will now also display items of history from the US period at CCK and become the CCK US Museum.

We have so much history here.  If you could give-up something from your tour at CCK, we could add it to the displays.  This base will be here for a long time and many Taiwan military and civilians will walk through it's doors.  Please consider giving something for display in the United States CCK Museum. Email us for more information.

Looking out the Chapel door, you can see three buildings.
Here's the old Base Theater.  Its still in use.

Another view of the theater.

The old Base Education Office, vacant and run-down, with the Bus Stop still standing. 

The Base Bowling Alley.  It looks like its still in use.

We're heading down toward the old Navy Exchange, not sure what these buildings were. Probably something to do with the NEX.

Gene told me this was the Post Office

Here it is.  You spent a lot of money here.
The Navy Exchange (NEX)
Hard to recognize with all the large trees today.

All of these type of trees, which were planted everywhere, are all top heavy and leaning one direction or another.

The NEX parking lot at sunset.  Empty today, but back in your days, it was crowded.
Is this the old Library or Tape Center?
American Express Bank and Embassy Shop
Here's the new ROCAF CCK Museum.  It is very large, beautifully laid out and has many exhibits and historical photographs.
The parking lot in front of the museum contains this memorial and 3 or 4 static aircraft displays.
This and the photo above were taken inside the old Mess Hall facility.  Our tour group was served a wonderful meal at the conclusion of our CCK visit.
In addition to the circular spread of dishes, each of us was served a double deck of the main course meal.

Here's the main course. A wonderful meal!  After dinner we were served a fresh fruit plate.

When I was out in front of the Base Theater, which is just behind, I walked over to the road and took this photo looking east toward Taichung.

I'm guessing many of you drove onto the base by the back gate just down this street.  The old metal barracks are gone now, but the roads are the same.

I would have taken more photos of our old area,  BUT, time ran short, it got dark and our meal was on-hold.  Next visit, we can walk the streets and photograph all the old stuff for a later up-to-date CCK post.

Please, let us hear from you, just click on the remarks and leave your thoughts and memories.
We'll have more from the Grand Opening of the CCK US Museum in January 2011.

More photographs coming.  

UPDATED 30 December 2010 

The invitation to the Grand Opening Ceremonies of the new US Museum on CCK

Here is the translation of the above invitation.

So, here it is, the Invitation to the Opening Ceremonies of the new US CCK Museum.

This invitation calls it the American Footprint Museum at CCK AFB.  

It describes what the new museum is about.  I like it.

We will have photos and possibly a video update on the Opening Ceremonies, sometime after 12 January 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Exchange photo courtesy of Ted Baxter

The sign says it all...  

Yes, it's the Taipei Exchange front door, a few days before Christmas in 1966.

I'd forgotten what the door area looked like.  Stars and Stripes newspaper racks, a scale, and the MAAG Taiwan shield prominently displayed on the wall.

Does anyone recognize either of these men?

Looking back at the calendar, Christmas Day, December 25th 1965
fell on Saturday, which is repeated this year.

Here's the 1965 Christmas Dinner Menu from Club 13, Taipei Air Station.

The Menu indicates Christmas 1964.  

The Christmas Dinner was a gift to Club 13 members.

Photographs in Taipei, December 2010

A few buildings in the area of Taipei 101 displaying the colors of Christmas.
Just to the left of the red color hanging lights is Taipei 101 poking high into the night, decked out in green and white.

The Taipei Grand Hyatt Hotel's beautiful Christmas Tree.
The illusion of lights hanging in the air are reflections from the marble floor.

Our last photo for Christmas captures what it's all about.

A small Christian Church in Taipei.

The Reason for the season!

Thank you for stopping by. 
  I wish the best to you and your family and,

May God richly bless you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Visions of Sugarplums

Visions of Sugarplums

     This has been a wonderful holiday season so far -- so wonderful in fact that it almost scares me.

     On Christmas Eve, when the lights of the city had died down and only the occasional merrymaker sped through the streets in car or pedicab, I wandered through the byways of Taipei and did some deep thinking.

     And as I wandered on and on, I noticed that a number of homes bore wreaths in the window and some had Christmas trees still lighted although the house otherwise was dark. And as I walked along I saw the tricks that the night could play with your eyes, for I seemed to find the whole world aglow with the strangest light.

     And it wasn’t until I had returned to my home and settled down for what was left of the night to sleep, that I realized that what I had seen – wasn’t seen at all, but had been felt.  Throughout the world that night there was a glow; a warming heat of friendship which lighted up the world with its being, and raised a halo of contentment.

     Tossing on my pillow I thought of all the Christmas stories I had heard, and read and in turn had told to others.  I remembered the songs and carols and poems without number, and hundreds of thousands of people who must be singing them throughout the world.  And Just before I dropped off to sleep myself, I thought of the thousands and thousands of restless little heads that tossed on pillows too, unable to wait for dawning to break to bring the climax of the Christmas into light.

     Those lucky, wonderful, beautiful kids – how long can we keep them believing in goodness, and happiness – and Christmas.

     And soon it will be New Year and right after that comes the Lunar New Year, and between them we have the long period of holiday spirit which will continue despite wars and conflict and hatreds that lie between men today.

    There may be a lot of things which serve to trouble us and to make us discontent with our lot, but somehow we should try to remember that our lot is a pretty easy affair compared to some people we have heard of.  How much of New Year or Christmas or anything else do those poor devils behind the Iron Curtain dare to have, or could have if they dared.

     Yes, I suppose that there are some, even in the darkest parts of the downtrodden land who continue to worship.  I can remember one of the returnees telling me the story of how they continue the Buddhist worship as well as Christian worship in the Northeast of China.  How the society or brotherhood of Christian and Buddhist worshipers are chained in secrecy – not even daring to pass the news of this opportunity of communion to their fellow men for fear of admitting a traitor into the tight little circle.

      There are many others who must “bootleg” their Christmas and New Year’s celebration, their prayers and their hopes.  But the days of such secrecy are gradually shortening, for with this year there seems to be more of hope and less of hopelessness, there seems to be more of daring to strive and less of  fearing to die, there seems to be more of encouragement and less of discouragement – there is more of faith and less of faithlessness.  That is why this year is bright, and why the New Year will seem happier.

     Those lucky, wonderful, beautiful memories – how long can they keep us believing in goodness, happiness and – the New Year.

Reprinted with permission

Joe Brooks writes of Taipei as it was in the mid 1950s when this article was written.   

Find more information about Joe Brooks and this series of articles HERE

Saturday, December 18, 2010

American Footsteps in Taiwan - Video Presentation

Here are two 10 minute videos I took inside the exhibition on Thursday afternoon.

Many things had not been completed when I walked around the area. Last minute things probably took place until the folks closed the doors and went home for the evening on Thursday. The "Opening" with President Ma of Taiwan in attendance took place at 10:00 AM on Friday.

Please forgive me for my casual descriptions of what I believe I am looking at. I made a couple of mistakes nothing serious.

The focus on my small camera goes in and out. I am in the process of purchasing a "Video" camera. When I return to Taipei, my videos will hopefully be more clear.

We can be proud of the exhibit. It is 1st Class!

1st Video

2d Video removed for editing

Thursday, December 16, 2010

American Footsteps in Taiwan Opens 17 December 2010

The Exhibition opens tomorrow (Friday, 17 December 2010) at 10:00 AM in the National Central Library, just across the street from the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei.

 The hall way leading to the main exhibition room

American Footsteps moved throughout Taiwan in many ways.  

The Exhibition touches on many examples of our support to the people of Taiwan.  

As you move toward the door to the main Footsteps Exhibition area, a display highlighting historic events is displayed on this exhibit board.

Just a few steps farther, you find this outstanding layout.

Many of you who shared photos on this blog and on the Taipei Air Station Web Site will find of your photos in this display.

 We're inside the main exhibition room now.

Let's move around the room.

A scale model of the new AIT complex, under construction.

We end back at the doorway into the exhibition room.

The military displays are scattered throughout the room.

I have two videos awaiting upload which should be up on Saturday.

I want to thank AIT and all involved in bringing forth this wonderful display of 
American Footsteps in Taiwan.

A "Special" THANK YOU to Scott Ellinger.  Scott has been involved with and working on this exhibit for a couple of years, first in the south of Taiwan, and now here in Taipei.  

The Exhibition is wonderful, first class in every respect.