With the Kuomintang government having been defeated in its war with the Chinese communists, at the end of 1949 over million party members, government officials, military personnel and civilians began pouring into Taiwan. With no clear explanation as to why, mainlanders suspected of past contact with the communists before the retreat from China were under a cloud of suspicion, some of them being executed as late as the early seventies.
Within the military, there were many “bandit spy” cases in the fifties. When Chiang Kai-shek fell to using Kui Yung-ching, who hailed from the army, to take over the naval command, a power struggle within ensued. It was especially the surrender of the ROCS Chungking, and the flight by Chu Chen-chih and Hsieh Hsueh-hung to China aboard naval craft after their return to Taiwan that provoked Chiang to such anger that he issued orders that the perpetrators would be harshly dealt with. In the name of “purging the bandits”, elements within the navy fell to wild accusations dissidents, with the result that several thousand officers and men went to prison. Many of the cases were in the Martial Law Section of naval headquarters. After trial they were sent to the Green Island New Life Correction Center to serve their sentences. Many of those involved mention the navy’s reception center at Shoushan in Kaohsiung as the place where interrogation and torture took place, with many shocking stories coming from behind the black veil.
In December 1949, 27 people were arrested in the ROCS Meisung–Mao Chueh-fei case. Chiang Kai-shek approved naval commander-in-chief Kui Yung-ching’s decision to carry out the execution of Mao Chueh-fei and Chang Chi-chun in advance; they were executed on grounds of having “turned over naval craft to the rebels.” In June 1950, Li Kao, captain of the ROCS Wufeng gunboat, was in like manner “first executed and then sentenced.” Hunan-born Peng Chu-hsiu, sentenced to fifteen years in the Mao Chueh-fei case, was sent to Green Island New Life Correction Center, but within a month got sick and died, on 31 May 1951, and was buried in the “Thirteenth Squadron”. (illustration provided by the National Archives Administration)