The USS Sarsfield is a WWII-era destroyer that has had a long and interesting career, ending up all the way across the Pacific on the west coast of Taiwan and renamed the ROCS Te Yang.
The Te Yang, as it's now known, has its own park. Of all the many museum ship tours I've done, this was by far the most crowded. I think there might have been more people here than all the people I've ever seen on every other museum ship combined.
The park, in Tainan City, also has some tanks, painted green from top to treads.
The Sarsfield/Te Yang was in service for 60 years.
In case of biological or nuclear attack, these pipes would spray the outside of the ship with a mist, using seawater, to help decontaminate the superstructure and deck.
Many of the 98 Gearing-class destroyers were sold to other countries, including Spain, Greece and South Korea. Most were decommissioned in the '70s.
Top speed was around 42 mph (68 km/h).
And don't ask me to explain the bear. I have no idea. But he's everywhere.
Though used for many roles, antisubmarine warfare was an important one.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Te Yang is that, due to its long service, it has gone through several refits with updated technology, like this helipad which was installed in the late '50s.
In a clever use of space, the former helicopter shed is now a cafe.
The hanger was too small for standard helicopters of the day, so instead it housed a QH-50C DASH, aka a Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter.
This bear is extremely popular.
From here, sailors would control the ASROC launcher's movement.
The bear sees all.
The Signal Station officers would send and receive signals between ships using semaphore. This was the their station.
The Sarsfield and crew received a battle star for a tour during the Vietnam War.
The bridge, or as the Taiwanese call it, the Rudder House.
Not surprisingly, this was one of the busiest spots on the ship.
The ship's wheel, updated a bit, with the engine control on the left. The dial above and to the right of the wheel shows the position of the rudder.
Two steam turbines generated 60,000 horsepower. Range was approximately 5,157 miles, or 8,300 kilometers.
One of my favorite aspects of exploring the Te Yang was seeing what had remained in English, and what had instead had been labeled in Chinese.
Essentially a big mixing board. Turn a knob, send sound to a specific place.
Checking out one of the last pieces of gear in the radio room.
This is the cutest "watch your head" sign I've ever seen.
Several rooms had been repurposed as a sort of museum-within-a-museum, documenting the history of the ship.
While with the US Navy the Sarsfield helped test new technologies, and was even a support ship during the Mercury space missions.
The captain had two quarters, here, and aft of the bridge. While under sail he'd spend most of his time in the latter.
These are Hsiung Feng I antiship missile launchers, which were based on an Israeli design.
In the late 50s the Sarsfield underwent an extensive modernization program. The superstructure was heavily modified, and throughout the ship modifications were made to convert it to primarily an antisubmarine ship.
If you've looked at these images and marveled at what good shape the ship is in, it's because it went through an extensive and elaborate cleanup before becoming a museum ship.
As part of Taiwan's modernization program, the landing pad and hangar were updated to be able to launch and land MD 500 Defenders.
This photo, from Naval History and Heritage Command via the National Archives, shows the Sarsfield using flags to signal during exercises in 1969.
Catalog #: NH 73859
The USS Epperson (center) and USS Sarsfield (right), dropping depth charges during antisubmarine warfare exercises.
Catalog #: 80-G-415520