My father served on the USS Pictor (AF-54) during the Korean War. He passed away on June 1, 2007 and I put together, with the help of my son Jordan, a web site about the ship he served on.
The USS Pictor (AF-54) was completely scrapped on June 16, 1987 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan according to the Release of Contract and Surety letter from the U.S. Maritime Administration.
I am trying to obtain photos taken during the 1980s of Tajenkung Pier in Kaohsiung, Taiwan where the USS Pictor was scrapped. Any information regarding Tajenkung Pier, and the ship scrapping business in Kaohsiung, during the mid to late 1980s, would be most appreciated. I would like to add the information to the USS Pictor web site.
Shipbreaking in Taiwan peaked in the 1980s, when there were over 200 companies operating in Kaohsiung Harbor alone, at that time a world center for the industry. By 1988 this industry had basically passed its prime and the city phased it out:
In 1982, 65 percent of all the ships scrapped in the world came to their end in Taiwan. In 1986, ocean-going vessels totaling 3.69 million tons either sailed or were towed into Taiwan's "Old Ship Demolition Engineering Industry" wharves in Kaohsiung Harbor to be put to the cutting torch, a record year for the industry.That interesting article from 1988, more than twenty years ago, observes that Kaohsiung phased out the industry in order to expand its port facilities in the hope of overtaking Hong Kong by 1997, and that even then, industries were observed to be relocating away from Taiwan (this old article also tells the story of the transition away from shipbreaking).
Many steel manufacturing plants, such as Tungho, Haikwang, Chuntai and Lungching, got into the act by renting piers and other space from the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau, and began reaping big profits since 1965. The plates salvaged from the dismantled ships have been a vital source of cheap scrap metal for the ROC's steel mills, with about 30 percent of the island's domestic steel depending on the supply.
Things started turning sour for the southern port industry last year, however, when a scuttled oil tanker, the Canari, exploded in the harbor, killing 14 workers, injuring scores more and showering the city with red-hot chunks of steel.
Residents stayed close to the explosion and environmentalists began to take notice of the noise, pollution and potential danger of the operations at 24 of Kaohsiung's 37 shipbreaking wharves, and began calling the shipbreakers a "garbage industry" that was endangering and lowering the quality of life in the island port area.
A Google image search turns up a smattering of pics. Help?