John Hite: "I went to the location of the former Shulinkou airbase and took some photos of the ongoing construction. The government buildings are almost complete as is the outlet mall across the street. Buildings are on Zhongxiao 2nd Road between Wenhua 1 and Wenhua 2. The MRT is still not open. Building is continuing to proceed at an incredible pace. I can say for sure that at least 50 buildings at an average of 20 stories are being built within a 20 minute walk from the airbase." [15 Jan 16]
Note: Website contributor, John Hite (photo on left), is a regular visitor to the Linkou area. John has provided annual updates on the status of the Shulinkou Air Station site and the city of Linkou since 2010 (photos below).
John Hite: " I just took some photos of the Shulinkou Air Station area. There is some building going on at the site. There are two photos of a sign that has information that you might be interested in. The other photos show the location where the guard shack was at the entrance to the Shulinkou Air Station. You can tell that from photos that you had posted of the guard shack with that particular building in the background. My photos look unobstructed but the entire area is fenced and not really visible. I found an opening and took some shots, but security came to investigate what I was doing and I left." [06 Jan 2014]
(TOP ROW above)
(1.) January 2014 shot of Linkou, district of New Taipei City, city government administration buildings under construction on the previous site of the old Shulinkou Air Station. The Shulinkou Air Station site had previously been a vacant plot of land for many years (see photos below). The red brick apartment building in the center background is the same building shown in the photo taken in 2000 (photo on right) located directly behind the the old Main Gate and Guard Shack.
(Photo on Left-Click to Enlarge) 2000 photo by Ken Ashley (Dawg Flight: 1974-77) of Shulinkou Air Station's Main Gate and Guard Shack. The red brick building directly behind the Guard Shack in the 2000 photo is the same building in the previous Jan. 2014 photo.
(2., 3. & 4.) Three sequential Jan 2014 shots showing new government administration buildings under construction on the site of the old base and the station for the new MRT line (2015 completion).
(BOTTOM ROW above)   (1., 2., & 3.) Jan 2014 shots of the construction project sign outlining the new Linkou city government administration buildings being built on the site of the old base and the construction entrance.   (4.) Jan 2014 photo taken from the Linkou forest of the now completed highway project at Linkou.
(1.) December 26, 2012 shot of the just completed 10-year restoration of the Guanyin Temple, one of the oldest temples in Taiwan.   (2.) March 2010 of the Guanyin Temple during its restoration.   (3.) December 21, 2012 shot of Linkou's new MRT station still under construction and the open field (foreground), which was the previous site of Shulinkou Air Station.   (4.) March 2014 shot of the sprawling city of Linkou taken from the summit of nearby Guanyin Mountain.
NOTE: John Hite (John has visited Linkou annually since 2010 and has contributed several photos to this site.): "I mentioned during my visit to Linkou last year (Dec 2012) that the Guanyin Temple, one of the oldest temples in Taiwan, was supposed to open November 2012 after about 10 years of restoration. When I got here in November (2012) it wasn't finished. I did get to see a little bit of an outside wall. I went back today (26 Dec 2012) just to check the progress and was really surprised. The restoration is almost complete. The Temple was open and people were inside. At the same time they were rapidly demolishing the temporary building that housed the Temple during the reconstruction as shown in the photo (photo no. 1. above)." [26 Dec 2012]
(Photo no. 3 above.) John Hite: "The MRT station photo was taken Dec. 21, 2012. It shows the new MRT still under construction and the vacant lot in front of it where Shulinkou Air Station was located I heard that once the MRT is complete that they will build a big shopping center there, it would be a perfect location. The amount of new residential construction that is currently going on is hard to imagine. By the time the first person takes a ride on the new MRT, Linkou will be a big city." [22 Dec 2012]
Ken Ashley (Dawg Flight '74-'77): "There is a very popular Buddhist temple in Linkou, the Zhu Lin Shan Kuan Yin ("Guanyin") Temple (竹林山觀音寺 "Kuan Yin Bamboo Forest Mountain Temple"), that has grown over the years. My wife and I visited the temple last year (2007) and were told the following:
"During WWII when the Americans were bombing all the Japanese military installations in the Linkou area (photo on right), no bombs landed on or near the temple. Whenever the air raid siren went off, the local people would rush to the Linkou temple for protection. The local people knew the nearby airfield was the main target of the air attacks, however, they also knew that some of the bombs that missed their mark hit civilian areas. According to the locals, the American pilots used the temple as a navigation point for their attacks on the airfield.
Because no bombs fell on the temple, it became famous in the local area as having "divine protection". Therefore, over the years, people have gone to the temple to pray for protection and good fortune. When local people would become prosperous, they would donate large sums to the temple. As a result, the current expansion of the temple (see above) is due to the large numbers of donations." [27 July 2008]
(Photo on Left-Click to Enlarge) Guanyin Temple circa 2007 photo credit: unknown
(Photo on Right-Click to Enlarge) April, 14, 1945, WWII photo showing American B-25 bombers bombing and strafing the Japanese airfield and other military installations at Linkou. Multiple bomb explosions are visible in the background. Also visible in the distance is Guanyin Mountain (also "Kuan Yin Mountain" or "Mt. Kuanyin"). photo credit: US military archives
John Hite (John has visited Linkou in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013):
"I was told by a local resident that the population of Linkou in the somewhat recent past was 40,000 and it is projected to grow to 400,000. New condo developments in Linkou being built are priced at over $1 million US dollars per unit. I looked at one and not only is every unit over $1 million USD but that is just the "shell". To get it to look like the model, you need to spend another $65,000 USD on the interior plus you must buy a mandatory parking space at $35,000 USD." [03 Jan 2012]
Ken Ashley (Dawg Flight 1974-77): "...In my last visit to the area in August 2010, the local people who own shops near the old base site told me that they have been told the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense will begin to build a multi-story building on the vacant land that is to be completed by 2014. They were hopeful that the construction will bring them some business. The ownership of the land where the old Linkou site was is still Taiwan military land and has been since the US military left the site in 1977. The new light rail line (see photos below) that will run from Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Train Station will have two stations in Linkou. One station will be near the old Linkou site (see photo above)." [06 Nov 2011]
(Photo on Left-Click to Enlarge) Dec 24, 2011 shot of the vacant land (background) where the old base once stood. The new elevated MRT line is shown in the foreground above the car in the intersection. Dec 2011 photo by John Hite
1.) 2011 shot of the Linkou Exit sign. busy eight-lane freeway, and the smoggy metropolis of Linkou in the background.
2.) December 2011 shot of the freeway system and the new MRT lines (crossing over the freeway) at Linkou today. The new elevated expressway with two lanes in each direction is shown in the upper left of the photo and on the far right.
3.) December 2011 shot of the vacant land on the left where Shulinkou once stood. The new MRT line on the far right and the MRT station at Linkou is in the background. The street sign in the foreground reads: Bade Rd. (to the right) and Huimin St. (to the left).
4.) November 2010 view of the town of Bali (foreground), Tamshui River, and the city of Damsui (Tamshui) looking north from the summit of Guanyin Mountain (also "Kuan Yin Mountain" and "Mt. Kuanyin") located about five miles north of Linkou and the old Shulinkou Air Station. Damsui (Tamshui) was a small town like Linkou in 1971. (Taipei, Linkou, Mt. Kuanyin, Tamshui, and the Tamshui River are all shown on the 1971 map of northern Taiwan below.)
(Photo on Right-Click to Enlarge) Circa 1974 aerial photo of Shulinkou Air Station and surrounding area, which was only farmland and small villages at that time. The start of the North-South Highway (Freeway No. 1) construction is visible and labeled in the photo's background. The new highway skirted the base just to its south and was opened for use at Linkou in July or August (or earlier) 1976.
The Tamshui River and the town of Damsui (both shown in the 2010 photo no. 4. above), and the Taiwan Strait are in the distance in the upper right corner of the photo.
(1. & 2.) March 2011 shot of the Grand Hotel and freeway signs for the Taipei suburbs of ShuLin and BeiTou. The Martyrs' Shrine and American Club in China (formerly the MAAG 63 Club) are off to the right of the photo. (Click Here for American Club in China and 63 Club photos at bottom of page.)
(2. & 3.) March 2011 shots of a modern and pristine MRT station in Taipei similar to the one being built at Linkou (see photos above).
Linkou Then and Now (2011)
1.) 2000 photo of the remains of the Main Gate and Guard Shack at Shulinkou Air Station (see 2000 photos below). Modern apartment buildings are shown under construction right across the street from the Main Gate. Shown in the next photos are 2011 images of those red brick apartment buildings eleven years later.
2.) "Google Earth 2011" image of the same red brick apartment buildings today in downtown Linkou as shown in the previous 2000 photo. The building to its right is in the next photo.
The Main Gate and base were located in the field (photos below) on the opposite side of the street just off to the right of the white van (lower right corner).
3.) 2009 shot of the apartment building shown just to the right of the red brick building in the previous photo. The photos below were taken from the building shown just to its right.
(1.-above) 2009 shot of apartment buildings on the eastern side of the vacant field that was the former location of Shulinkou Air Station.
(2.-above) 2009 panoramic view of the field where Shulinkou was located. The street on the right was on the northern side of the base. The buildings in the background are also shown in the previous photo.
(3.-above) Another 2009 view of the field where Shulinkou was located. The Sun Yat Sen Freeway (North-South Highway) located on the southern side of the field is visible in the distance in the upper far left. The Taiwan Strait is in the distance on the horizon.
(4.-above) Circa 1974 aerial photo of Shulinkou and surrounding area that was farmland and small villages at that time. The start of the North-South Highway (Sun Yat Sen Freeway) construction is visible and labeled in the photo. The new highway skirted the base just to its south and opened for use at Linkou in mid to late 1976. The Tamshui River, town of Damsui (photos top of page), and Taiwan Strait are visible in the distance (upper right corner).
(Map on Left-Click to Enlarge) Bordering Shulinkou are: Wenhua N. Road (left), Zhongxiao Road (top), and Wenhua Yi Road (right).
(Diagram on Right-Click to Enlarge) Shulinkou Air Station 1969-1970.
(1. & 2.) "Location of Shu Linkou Air Station Found", A two-page narrative by Ron Mundwiller detailing his research and 2009 search for Shulinkou Air Station's location today.
(3.) Annotated map showing Taipei and surrounding areas, Taipei Linkou Club, old Linkou Road, Linkou, and Shulinkou Air Station ("SLK").
(4.) 1971 map of northern Taiwan. Linkou is shown northwest of Taipei. Mt. Kuanyin ("Ganyuin Mountain"), Tamshui, and the Tamshui River are shown just north of Linkou.
1.) The road into the Linkou Golf and Country Club.
2.) Driveway entrance to the club.
3.) 2005 shot of the Linkou Golf And Country Club's clubhouse.
4.) Then and Now. 1970 photo of the Linkou Golf and Country Club's clubhouse shown in the previous 2005 photo.
NOTE: As shown in the 2005 photo of the the clubhouse has been enlarged over the past 35 years. Since the 1970 photo above was taken, the front of the building was extended out beyond the stone wall shown on the right in both photos. Also, the covered driveway and entrance was added as shown in the 2005 photo.
2001 photos: 1.) Gate Shack. Theater in left background.   2.) Headquarters   3.) Headquarters, BOQ, Gate Shack and Theater (background) taken from outside of base. 4.) Looking East toward the Main Gate. Just beyond the red roof (left) is the roof outline of the base theater.   5.) Theater skeleton and the Fire Department right behind it on the right. An old three-story dormitory (barracks) is visible in the left background.
William Franklin (1959-62) "The Linkou remains photos (above) are shots I took on a visit to Taiwan in 2001. I was stationed there from Mar 59 to Mar 62, radio maintenance..." [10 Sep 2010]
1.) 2000 shot of the rear of Shulinkou's Main Gate Shack from inside the base looking out the Main Gate where high-rise buildings were being built for upscale apartments and condominiums. Today upscale high-rise apartments and condos surround the old base.
2.) 2000 shot the front of the Main Gate Shack looking back toward the base. Still standing were Headquarters (right background), BOQ (left of Gate Shack) and the Theater (large bldg.-left background).
3.) The remains of Shulinkou's Operations Building in 2000 showing its right side and rear.
L. Byler (SLK: NSG 1967-69): "I went back in 1998. Lin Kou has changed. The barracks are still there and the old work spaces buiding [Ops Center], but most of the other buildings are gone. ...The buildup around the outside of the base is phenomenol. Many, many high rise apartments just outside the gate. The main gate house is still there, as is the Admin Building [Headquarters]. The old winding road to Taipei has been replaced by a multi-lane freeway [Sun Yat-Sen Freeway, route 1]. What a sight to see, "Shu Lin Kou" on an exit sign off a freeway.!" [29 Apr 2001]