Satellite Images of Bakuai Airfield (八塊機場衛星照片)Posted on June 19th, 2010 4 comments
What you see here is not an ordinary highway overpass. This overpass, across the eastern end of Taiwan’s Freeway No. 2, is an integral part of the runway of the now abandoned Bakuai Airfield (ICAO code: RCUK).
Bakuai (literally “eight pieces”) Airfield was built in the Japanese colonial period. In the 1966 CORONA image below, there appeared to be two runways, the orientations being 17/35 and 06/24, respectively. However, they mostly likely had been abandoned by the time the image was taken.
The 1969 CORONA image does not look very different:
About two years later, the military initiated the process to appropriate the land nearby in order to build a new and longer runway. The airfield was also renamed Huaisheng (懷生) in memory of the first U-2 pilot shot down and killed in China.
The following Google Earth image was taken in 2002. By the time, the airfield had been abandoned again. However, this image shows that the “new” runway built in the 1970s has a slightly different orientation than that of the colonial-era 06/24 runway.
A good part of Bakuai Airfield has become the campus of National Defense University (the square construction area in the above image). The former 17/35 runway is barely visible in the image. Where it used to be is the long and narrow area between Yongjong Street (永忠街) and Alley 774 of Shingfeng Road (興豐路) and between Alley 781 and Alley 825 of Shingfeng Road. You may want to download the Google Earth kmz file to further explore the area around Bakuai Airfield.
I am an American GI Retired,63 years old. I lived in Taiwan 66-67, 69-74, Spending 40 years with the US AirForce and now live in Taichung. I enjoy studing Taiwan Military History and helped find the WWII POW site in Hualien. (http://www.powtaiwan.org/newsletters/2010%20Spring%20Summer/page_3.htm)
Since I am retired I do a lot of traveling and exploring in Taiwan. Right now I am in Las Vegas untill 1 September when I will be back in Taiwan. I would like to get together with you some time. Do you have a phone number, or e=mail address where I can reach you. I would loke to get together with one one with interest in Taiwans aviation history. I attended the EAA last year. I also fly in Taiwan.
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