Alfred Y. Soo - Army Air Force
Born in Berkeley, CA on 5/21/1922, son of Soo Bing Yue and Ivy Dang. Drafted into the Army 2/26/1943; Basic Training in Fresno, CA; Navigation Training and Commission to 2nd lieutenant at San Marcos Army Air Base, TX. Assigned to the Wayne Daniel’s crew in Gulfport, MS on a B-17, and subsequently assigned to the 388th Bombardment Group in Knettishall, UK. Shot down by flak on our 3rd mission over Hamm, Germany on 11/26/1944, one of 5 who survived out of a crew of 9.
“The morning I was shot down I overheard the supply clerk offer a tether to the airman in front of me. He explained that the tether attached the parachute to my harness and allowed me to remove the parachute during flight so I could perform my navigator duties without it getting in the way. I asked for a strap and it saved me when I got blown out of the plane.”
Became a POW for five months; 2 -3 months of that time at Eickelborn Lazarette Hospital recovering from surgery due to flak wounds. Transferred to POW camp, Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany. Patton’s troops liberated the camp on 4/29/1945. Sent to Camp Lucky Strike in Dieppe, France. Shipped home from Southampton, UK to New York. “On the ship, Chinese cooks befriended and invited me to eat Chinese food with them, which I did for the remaining 6 – 7 days at sea. They also offered ice cream to me and a few buddies after the movies in the evening.” Through the GI bill, graduated from UC Berkeley in Civil Engineering. Worked for Caltrans from 1951 – 1986. Married to Nettie Wong for 55 years, had 5 children and 4 grandchildren
Arnold Wo - Army Air Force
Arnold Wo was born in Benson, Arizona on February 27th, 1924. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force as a B-29 radar observer in World War II from March 23rd, 1943 until February 17th, 1945; and during the the Korean War from June 23rd, 1951 through December 23rd, 1952. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant and received the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and National Defense Medal. Arnold went on to graduate from the University of Southern California and spent his career in the grocery business with his brothers, including operating Bi-Lo Market. Arnold was a Post Commander for the American Legion Thomas Tang Post 50, and was a paid up for life member. He was married to his wife, Lani, for 70 years before she passed away in 2017.
Hem Loui - Army
Hem Loui enlisted on September 1, 1942 at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York in the Army Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, military rank private. His military occupational specialty was Medical Aidman, MOS 657. Seeing the many terrible things that wounded soldiers had to endure left an indelible impression throughout his life. Hem Loui's final duty station was in Panama with the 37th Coastal Artillery Battalion from May 18, 1945 to Jan 23, 1946. He was honorably discharged on Jan 30, 1946 with the military rank of Private First Class from the Fort George Meade Maryland separation center. He became a successful businessman in the NYC Chinese community and an influential pioneer of a fair living wage for Chinese laborers. Although, many of the civic leaders did not agree with his progressive ideas at the time, eventually many of these ideas came to fruition anyway. Much of his retirement years was spent traveling with friends and family to faraway places. Watching and spending time with his grandchildren was one of his favorite activities. He passed away in 2010.