Do S. Woo - Army Air Force
Like many immigrants seeking a better future, Do S. Woo, left his rural village in Kaiping (Hoiping), Guangdong Province (Canton), Guangzhou China and followed the footsteps taken earlier by his grandfather, father and uncles to the USA (Gum San). He arrived to the Port of Los Angeles via the USS Cleveland at age 16, in 1939. He attended San Fernando High School for a short time but later went to work in the restaurant business with friends. He was inducted to the Army Air Force in 1943 and received his basic training in Austin, Texas at Camp Swift. He was sent to Louisiana for advanced training as a motor gunner for the infantry. With the formation of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force while in Springfield, Illinois he volunteered and was sent to Venice Army Airfield in Florida for basic training for the 14th Air Force Group, also known as the famed Flying Tigers, under Major General Claire L. Chennault for the China Offensive. As part of the 1077th unit he was trained as a Supply Clerk to Asiatic-Pacific Theater which covered the area from Burma, India and China. He operated the gasoline service, kept records of supplies and equipment dispensed and kept daily inventory of supplies received and ordered. For his service he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged January 1946 at Camp Beal, CA. In 1947 he was able to bring his fiancée over after Congressional passage of the Fiancées Act of June 29, 1946 an extension of the War Brides Act of 1945. He married the young woman he met at the LuLiang Air Base, Yunnan Province, China during his service. They have been married 72 years and are still living independently in Los Angeles, CA. They were blessed with a daughter, son and daughter-in-law and two grandsons.
Lawrence Joe (aka Tong Bing Joe) - Army
Lawrence (Tong Bing Joe) who was just 8, along with his brother Bill, age 10, traveled to the US with dreams of attending school and a better life. Those dreams immediately disappeared upon arrival and were replaced with long hours learning the grocery business, cleaning for household and living in an environment where both were not welcomed or loved. After years of working for family, both brothers joined the military to fight in WW II. Lawrence served as mess sergeant in the Army and shared his love for cooking and creating an environment where soldiers, even in war time, could experience a sense of family. After his honorable discharge, Lawrence returned to Houston and married Barnette and was father to two amazing daughters. Lawrence and his brother partnered in numerous ventures to include a successful grocery business, real estate, and a dedication to welcoming other Chinese to Houston. Later in life, he married Eleanor and they spent time with family and enjoyed working with others in his church. One of his proudest accomplishments was always his love for his daughters and touching other’s lives with his unconditional love and compassion. At the time of his death at 89, Lawrence never forgot his patriotism or his love for family and community.
Raymond Yuen Lee - Army
Raymond Yuen Lee was born on March 6th, 1924 in San Francisco to Alvin and Mary Wong Lee. Ray volunteered for the Army in February, 1943 and received his MOS – 861 Surgical Technician Certification at William Beaumont General Hospital, El Paso in November. He took advanced training at Camp Swift Texas, amphibious training at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, and jungle training in Camp Polk, Louisiana. Ray served as a medic with the 97th Infantry Division, 322nd Medical Battalion, Company C. He deployed to Europe for 5 months and Japan for 8 months. Ray was honorably discharged in March, 1946 with a Good Conduct, American Campaign, Europe, Asiatic Pacific and Victory Occupation Medals. After the war, he moved to Fresno, California where he married his wife Marjorie, and had four kids. Ray opened a small watch repair shop, and later worked in the Traffic department for the City of Fresno. Ray retired after 25 years with the city, and in January 1992, Ray volunteered at the Legion of Valor Museum in Fresno where he served as the curator for 27 years. There he devoted countless hours arranging displays, framing photographs and artwork, and giving tours to visitors of the Museum. Ray still lives in Fresno and has 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.