Trip to Taiwan
VAC HEADQUARTERS MEDAL AWARD AND DINNER (PM)
In Taipei a few blocks from one of the worlds tallest building titled Taipei 101 and near the World Trade Center the VAC has its own Headquarters located in a building constructed by the Retired Service Engineering Agency that has been part of the VAC for fifty years. It was here in the late afternoon that Minister Tung presented the Medal of Honor with Cravat of Veterans Affairs Commission to Commander Watson. This is considered a great honor bestowed on Commander Shawn Watson and is something that all Department Commanders that annually visit Taiwan will keep in their memories. The visit with the VAC expresses friendship and comradeship of this veterans organization and the VFW and lets you know it with honor.
OF HONOR AWARDED
VAC Minister Tung Congratulates VFW Commander Shawn Watson
Certificate Awarded to Commander Watson
Commander Watson congratulates Minister Tung for the work done by VAC
AND VFW DISTRICT IV MEMBERS
Seen in the photo above right to left are VAC Senior Counselor Hans Song,
Deputy Minister Chin, Quartermaster Tony Hu
(Post 9957), Deputy Minister Liu, Department Commander Shawn Watson, Minister Tung,
District IV Commander Jim Ascencio (Post 9957), Department JA Bill Wichmann (Post 727),
District IV SVC Bob Malinoski (Post 727), Secretary-General Lu and Senior Counselor Shih.
AWARDS DINNER SERVED
DIN TAI FUNG RESTAURANT
After the awards ceremony
VAC Senior Counselor Hans Song invited Department Commander Shawn Watson and VFW District
IV members and their guests to dinner at the Din Tai Fung Restaurant located in the Taipei
101 building. This restaurant, which is rated
as one of the top 10 gourmet restaurants in the world by the New York Times has the best
of the best when it comes to Chinese foods. The
below picture shows the smiles of enjoyment of the night out for a fine dinner.
Watson, Jim Ascencio (9957) and on right side front is Orville Humfleet (727), Bill Wichmann
(727), Han Song (VAC) and Bob Malinoski (727).
Prior VAC Honor Award Ceremonies
VAC HONOR AWARDS
National &Department Commanders
Commander-in-Chief Hamilton presented Certificateof Award and Medal of Honor with Cravat from VAC Minister General Tseng, Jing-Ling. Minister General Tseng, Jing-Ling.
Bob Malinoski (727), Bill Wichmann(727), CINC John Hamliton, VAC Minister Tseng, Tony Hu (9957), Minister General Tseng, and Adjutant General "Gunner" Kent.
With VAC are VFW members - Bob Malinoski (Post 727), Bill Wickmann (Post 727), CINC John Hamilton, VAC Minister Tseng, Tony Hu (Post 9957), and Adjutant General "Gunner" Kent.
2012, (photo link)
Welcome to Taiwan Commander Combs!
March 22 -26 2012,
We hope your visit in Taiwan was enjoyable!
) National President Ladies Auxilliary Mrs. Rankin with her spouse visited Taiwan in February.
October 8, 2012 VAC hosts dinner and awards for Commander Combs and Secretary Robson. Our thanks to General Tseng and his staff for an informative presentation and comradeship!
Bill Wichmann (Post 727), Commander Combs, Secretray Robson (RSL)
General Tseng and Commander Combs.
General Tseng and National Secretary Robson (Austrailia).
Bill Wichmann (post 727) Commander Combs, General Tseng, Ted Steppe (post
Our gratitude to General Tseng and his staff for hosting the dinner and the presentations; and most of all - the comradeship! Thank you!
"Click" to enlarge photos.
VFW Cmdr. Eubank checks out his Birthday Cake as Gunner Kent and Jim Ascencio (Post 9957 Commander) look on.
Our thanks to the VAC Ministers and their staff for hosting this affair!!!
Taiwan's Veterans Affairs Commission invited Taiwan's VFW post members to a Chinese New Year celebration party. Minister Tseng Jing-ling was our gracious host.
Photos from Feb. 15, 2011 party. Please "click" on photo to enlarge.
District IV Commander Orville Humfleet receiving New Year's greeting from Minister Tseng. Nice Class A's, Orville! We were expecting 'summer dress' khaki! Jim Ascencio (post 9957) also in attendance.
Comrade Bill Wichmann of Post 727 receiving New Year's greeting from Minister Tseng. Comrade Wichman is a Past All American Post Commander, Past District Commander, and past Department Commander! Many years of dedicated service!
Comrade Robert Malinoski of Post 727 receiving New Year's greeting from Minister Tseng. Bob, I understand you kept the hatches battened down and learned how to eat civilian chow - not bad for a Jarhead!
Many thanks to Minister Tseng Jing-ling for hosting this event for Taiwan's International Veterans.
January 31, 2012, VAC Minister Tseng Jing-ling again hosted a dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year with the International Veteran community in Taiwan. And again, Many Thanks to the minister and his staff for hosting this event!
Past VFW 727 member, Jim Wood, celebrates the wedding of his daughter, Jessica, to T.J.
Jim and Kin Sun Wood with daughter, Jessica, and T.J! Congratulations from your comrades in Taiwan!
Jim, Kin Sun, and Jonathan Wood watch the ceremony with obvious pride.
It is with great sadness that we have discovered that the Taiwan Hellships Memorial at Chijin Beach, Kaohshiung has been removed. Cmdr. Humfleet upon arriving there in January of 2013 found that it no longer exists! Inquiries resulted in being advised that the memorial was suffering from coastal storm damage requiring its removal and it would be relocated - when and where has yet to be announced and further inquiries have been meet with officialdom run-around."TAIWAN HELLSHIPS MEMORIAL" "Comrades, on January 26, 2006 I attended the "Taiwan Hellships Memorial" dedication ceremony at Chijin Beach, Kaohsiung Harbor to honor the thousands of prisoners who were transported by hellships into and out of Taiwan harbors during WWII. Without the devoted efforts of Michael Hurst MBE, the Director of the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society, I doubt that this event would have ever taken place. Through his tireless efforts of locating the former Taiwan POW camps and establishing memorials for the POWs in Taiwan over the past nine years, Mr. Hurst has been awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
I sincerely thank Michael for allowing me to publish this, which I have included in its entirety. The photos are courtesy of Michael Hurst and John Shively."
(Please visit the Taiwan POW - site link provided above.)
The Story of the Taiwan Hellships Memorial"During World War II from early 1942 to the spring of 1945, the Japanese moved their prisoners of war by sea from the areas they had conquered Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Java, and other places, and sent them to Japan, Taiwan, Burma, the Dutch East Indies and other areas to be used as slave labor.
Tens of thousands of prisoners were transported on dozens of Japanese "hellships", and the conditions aboard these ships were horrendous. POWs were crowded into holds with no room to sit or lie down. They were starved and beaten and given very little water to drink. Disease was rampant and no medical care was given to the POWs. Many thousands perished from starvation, sickness, neglect and murder or were killed when the unmarked ships were attacked by Allied forces.
Taiwan played a significant role in the story of the hellships. Being a Japanese colony and secure base, it served as a haven for many ships enroute to Japan as well as a prime destination for POWs being used as slave labour for the Japanese war effort. More than 4300 Allied POWs were brought to Taiwan by hellship to slave in the fifteen POW camps located on the island. Every POW who was on Taiwan came here by hellship, and many left the same way, later going Japan and Manchuria where they finished out the war. In total almost 26,000 POWs were transported to and from Taiwan ports during World War II."
* * * * * * *Following the memorial service held in January 2005 by the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society to commemorate the bombing of the hellship Enoura Maru in Kaohsiung Harbour, it was suggested that a memorial be built to remember the men who were transported on the ships that came to the Taiwan ports of Kaohsiung and Keelung, and those who suffered and died on them.
The location of the memorial within the boundaries of the new "War and Peace Park" at Chijin Beach, Kaohsiung Harbour, is especially significant as it lies just across the road from the site of the former mass grave where the men who died when the Enoura Maru was bombed were first buried. Later their remains were moved to the Punchbowl National War Cemetery in Hawaii.* * * * * * *
Please CLICK to enlarge photos
Captain Duane Heisinger has written a book titled "Father Found", which tells of his search for his father. If anyone would like to purchase a copy of the book, you can check out Amazon.com.Photos from the memorial dedication in 2006.
The Taiwan Hellships Memorial will serve as a permanent place of remembrance and tribute to the many POWs who died and also to those who survived the unparalleled atrocity of the hellships. We are pleased to have had a part on the design and construction of this beautiful POW memorial to the end that the men who suffered on the hellships will "never be forgotten".Yours in Comradeship,
VFW Commander, District IV, Taiwan
- - - - - - - - -
VFW Commander Humfleet pays homage at the Taiwan Hellships Memorial in 2012 to fallen comrades.
Thank you Orville!!
Thank you Comrade Humfleet for sharing your photos, and comments from the initial memorial dedication! Cmdr. Humfleet previously published the above article in "Around the Pacific" shortly after his trip for the dedication of the memorial. Cmdr. Humfleet has placed flowers as a Honor Guard on the memorial every year since, providing a yearly vigilance from Post 727 for all our Comrades world wide. A link to the site for the POW camps in Taiwan is provided within the article as well as here - I encourage you to read this history. It is often difficult today for us to remember that Taiwan had been peacefully governed for decades by Japan prior to December 7, 1941.
It should be noted that Taiwan has removed these memorials and has not announced a new location. Reason given: weather damage. A number of changes have been noted since the installation of a DPP president - this memorial, the VAC dinners, 10/10 ceremonies, historical statues removed, etc., may be coincidence.
AS we celebrate this memorial day, let us remember those that insured
our ability to enjoy our constitutional freedoms!
THANKS TO TODAYINHISTORY.COM AND