• Bombing Byoritsu (Miaoli) Oil Refinery! 轟炸苗栗製油所

    Posted on January 5th, 2012 Administrator 6 comments


    Source: 中央研究院(Academia Sinica)美國空軍歷史研究部(AFHRA)徵集成果

    The photo and description above were found in Formosa Interim Report, prepared by the Office of The Assistant Chief Air Staff, Intelligence, in February 1944. The same photo was also used in Air Objective Folder – Taiwan, Intelligence Service, US Army Air Force, December 7 1942, in which Target No. 85 Byoritsu (Miaoli 苗栗) Refinery was described as “Gasoline, kerosene, and heavy oils. Capacity: 91,250 bbls a year.” It appeared that the US military had not been able to gain more additional intelligence on Byoritsu Refinery over the year that separated the two intelligence reports.
    上面的照片和說明來自美軍在1944年2月的一份情報分析報告,同樣的照片也用在1942年12月的另一份情報分析裡,兩份報告對照片中的苗栗製油所的說明大同小異,顯示美軍在這一年之間並沒有取得很多有關這座設施的新情報。

    Although the text describing Byoritsu Refinery in Air Target Intelligence Japanese War, Index Volume 1, Joint Target Group, July 15, 1945, changed very little, it did not matter any more, because the refinery had been bombed by the B-25 bombers from the 345th Bomb Group on May 26, 1945. During the bombing raid, the B-25J (s/n 43-36192) “Jaunty Jo” was hit by flak and then crashed near the refinery, killing all five crew members onboard. The next two photos showing the incident in sequence have been widely circulated. The caption of the first photo reads “North American B-25 No. 192 was hit by flak from a camouflaged battery and trails smoke. A gaping hole is visible on the pilot’s side.” In the second photo, the aircraft had plunged into ground and burst into flames.
    美軍在1945年7月的情報分析裡,對於苗栗製油所的敘述文字依然沒有多大變化,不過這也無關緊要了,因為來自第345轟炸大隊的B-25已經在同年5月26日轟炸過這裡。在過程中,序號43-36192的B-25J被日軍的地面砲火擊中後墜毀,機上五名乘員全部殉職。以下兩張連續照片顯示了這架B-25的最後一刻,在第一張照片裡,駕駛艙左邊破了一個大洞,在第二張照片裡就已經墜地爆炸起火。


    Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    In fact, the series contained at least three photos, the third of which was less dramatic and often ignored. In the third photo of the series, shown below, the wreckage of the B-25 was engulfed in flames setting some houses on fire. If this photo is viewed in isolation, it is easy to mistake the fire as the result of the bombing. Note that a train station was clearly visible. Which station was it?
    其實相關的連續照片至少有三張,但可能因為第三張照片比較缺乏張力,所以比較少見。在第三張照片(如下圖)中看不到飛機,只見幾座起火的建築物,如果沒有多加說明,很容易就會以為這是被炸彈炸中後引發的火勢。注意照片中有一座火車站,究竟是哪個車站?


    Source: NARA via Fold3.com

    Enlarging the lower right corner of the photo revealed the name of the station: 苗栗 (Byoritsu in Japanese or Miaoli in Mandarin). Thus we are able to identify not only the crash scene but also the location of Byoritsu Refiney.
    把上圖的右下角放大後可見「苗栗」兩字,所以這個事件正是在當年的苗栗火車站前上演!而這張二戰的照片也為舊苗栗車站留下了珍貴的影像。

    Byoritsu Refinery was located in the area indicated by the white rectangle in the March 1944 reconnaissance photo below. The third B-25 crash photo covers roughly the area in the yellow rectangle.
    在下面這張1944年的空照圖中,苗栗製油所大略就在白色方框裡,而上面連續照片的第三張所涵蓋的範圍差不多就是黃色框的區域。


    Source: 中央研究院(Academia Sinica)美國國家檔案館典藏臺灣舊航空照片 (F09377_090)

    The current view of the same area on Google Earth:

    The refinery is long gone. But the connection to the petroleum business remains. The Exploration & Production Division of CPC Corporation is currently located at the former refinery site as seen in the following Google Street View image. CPC’s Liquefied Natural Gas Division has a regional office on the next block.
    如今物換星移,苗栗製油所已經不在,但是中油在同一區域裡依然設有探採事業部(如下圖)和天然氣事業部北區營業處,說不定還有其他我不知道的中油單位也在這裡。

     

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