US Naval F6F Hellcats began attacking Taiwan on Oct 12, 1944. The bombing continued into 1945. On May 31, 1945, Governor General Ando Rikichi's Office in Taipei was bombed and part of the building destroyed [the building was later repaired and became the Presidential Palace after 1949].
The pictures below are a record of the bombing of Takao [Kaohsiung] Harbor by a US plane on Nov 17, 1944:
The following show the "parafrag" (parachute-retarded fragmentation bombs) being dropped onto 豐原Toyohara Airbase by a Mitchell B-25, in one of the 1945 raids. The parachutes slowed the descent of the bombs allowing time for the low-flying bombers to escape before the detonation. The bombs exploded right above the ground, spraying fragments in every direction:
These bombings had caused an untold number of civilian casualties, totally forgotten to this day.
There is always the question of whether the civilians were targeted. Here are two photos, taken on Feb 20, 1945, when 潮州Choshu Township [Pin-tung] was bombed:
The intended target might have been the train station (top), the actual area bombed was clearly residential (bottom).
The same occurred to Tainan, in the chronology of the US Army Air Force, it was recorded thus:
"On March 1, 1945: SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: In Formosa, B-24s bomb the Takao aluminum plant, Tainan Airfield and nearby satellite field and fighters hit buildings at Keishu and storage tanks, railroad yards, and targets of opportunity."
Tainan Airfield was the main intended target. It was the "targets of opportunity" that had caused immense damage to the downtown area. The fire burned for three days. And "事後統計,那天被炸燒毀的建物多達一五二○戶,死亡九十人,傷者一四六人." - up to 1,520 buildings were destroyed with 90 dead and 146 wounded. In this case, it was a large-scale fire-bombing which might have been directed at the headquarters of the 2nd United Infantry Division (the garrison army of Taiwan); instead, most bombs ended up in the commercial district.
US Airmen were allowed to use on-the-spot judgment in picking targets. In many instances, pilots of the low-flying F6Fs and B-24s made eye contact with civilians on the ground (even smiling at each other as one elderly Taiwanese recalls). In the heat of the battle, some pilots might have gotten carried away and attacked anything that looked suspicious. However, some civilians were killed while running for cover and even more died inside bomb shelters that were deliberately hit. These were malicious acts.
At 9:30AM on Oct 8, 1884, five companies of French fusiliers marins landed on Sha-Lun Beach and began their ill-fated 4-hour assault on Tamsui. The defeat cost the French 17 lives and 49 wounded. [For more, see here.]
During the Japanese Colonial era (1895-1945), Sha-Lun beach was developed into 淡水海水浴場, a popular summer spot for both the visitors and the locals. There was a rest house as well as a concession stand, the latter run by Miss Asano Ta'z (originally from Hiroshima, repatriated in March, 1946):
[Source: http://taipics.com/taipei_danshui.php]The Phys Ed of Tansui Public School also included visits to the beach accompanied by the teachers (and sumo lessons):
This area was declared off-limits to the civilians under the martial law (1949-1987). In the 1950s, it was used as a training ground and launching point for agents sent to Mainland China to carry out secret missions. In 1959, part of the beach was also opened to American military advisers and their families.
In 1974, the beach was finally re-opened to the general public as 淡水沙崙海灘. Unfortunately, owing to poor management and worsening water pollution, it was closed for good in 1999. Direct access to the beach was also shut off with barriers erected and the gates locked. People, however, still find ways of entering the area. They wade or even swim in the polluted water despite warning signs posted everywhere. Because of the unpredictable tidal waves, rip currents, hidden undersea pitfalls, and a sharp drop of seabed off the beach, sometimes the unlucky ones got trapped and tragically drowned. There have been a number of drowning incidences resulting in 17 deaths since 1999, including two Shihpei middle school students only last year. The most recent incident occurred on July 13 when 8 of a group of 12 middle school students went into the water, one died of injuries and 3 were swept out to sea and perished. Yet another, who survived the ordeal, also passed away later in the hospital.
Even earlier, on Sept 26, 1982, two soldiers in training lost their lives while trying to rescue a swimmer who, tragically, was also lost. All for nothing. The soldiers received posthumous commendations of valor from the Gov't:
Posted by EyeDoc at 上午7:28