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Leo Soo Hoo - Army Air Force

Born in Detroit in 1922, Leo joined the Army Air Corps in early 1943. He rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant after training near Miami (basic); High Point, NC; Nashville, TN; Helena, AR and Spence Field in Moultrie, GA. By September 1944, Leo was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 312th Fighter Wing, 311th Fighter Group, 530th Fighter Squadron. Serving as a pilot in P-51A Mustangs, the 530th “Yellow Scorpions” became a highly decorated unit flying cargo-transport escort / support and ground attack missions in India. They were transferred to the 14th Air Force, performing similar duties in Burma and China. Leo was hospitalized twice for malaria in theater. At the same time, his brother, Henry, was serving as a navigator on a B-29 out of Saipan; sister, Marjorie, was enrolled in medical school at Wayne University in Detroit.

Declining a post-war promotion and assignment to train fighter pilots, Leo moved to Chicago after receiving a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. In 1949, he married Mae Lynn Jung of Philadelphia. They raised a son and three daughters while Leo worked at, and ultimately retired from, Illinois Tool Works. Passing away in 1998, Leo and Henry, along with other members of Amvets Post 85 (Chinese Americans), received the Distinguished Service Award from the City of Detroit in 2000.

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