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Francis Brown Wai - Army

Francis Brown Wai was a captain in the United States Army and received the Medal of Honor for actions during the recapture of the Philippines from Japan in 1944. On October 20, 1944, Wai landed on the Red Beach in the Philippines, he found the soldiers in the immediate area to be leaderless, disorganized, and pinned down on the open beach. Assuming command of the soldiers around him, his demeanor and example inspired the other men to follow him. With deliberate disregard for his own personal safety, he repeatedly advanced without cover to draw Japanese machine gun and rifle fire, thus exposing the locations of the entrenched Japanese forces. Systematically, the Japanese positions were assaulted and overcome. Wai was killed leading an assault against the last Japanese pillbox in the area. For his actions, Wai was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. After an extensive review of awards in 2000, his medal was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. To date, Wai is the only Chinese American and one of only two non-Japanese Asian American officers to receive the medal.

Editor’s Note: Chen is shown with his two boys, Bobby (left) and Billy (right). Bill grew up to became the first Chinese American to wear 2-star rank in the U.S. Army.

Editor’s Note: Chen is shown with his two boys, Bobby (left) and Billy (right). Bill grew up to became the first Chinese American to wear 2-star rank in the U.S. Army.

Moon Chen - Army Air Force

Captain Moon Chen was assigned to the China Air Task Force, and later the 14th Air Force, under Gen. Claire Chennault in the China Burma India Theater. He flew the Hump and also transported personnel, supplies and VIP’s within the theater. Later, he served as Chennault’s personal representative and liaison officer to the Chinese Air Force in Chungking. Prior to joining the China Air Task Force, Moon was a pilot for China National Aviation Corporation and later a pilot for the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), headed by William Pawley, the Curtiss Wright Corporation (manufacturer of P-40 aircraft) representative in China. CAMCO was the company of record for Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group (AVG), which became known as the Flying Tigers. Moon helped to establish the CAMCO factory at Loiwing on the China-Burma border for repair of the AVG P-40s. Post-World War II, Moon continued working for Gen. Chennault in the airline, Civil Air Transport, co-founded by Chennault, culminating as VP for Sales & Marketing. Later on, he worked for Northrop Aircraft Company as a manager on F-5E coproduction.


John C. Young - Army

Born on June 16, 1912 in San Jose, California, John C. Young enlisted in the Army ROTC at Stanford University on or around 1935. He received his 2nd Lieutenant commission in 1937 and was a reserve officer until 20 Feb 1942 when called to active duty. He served in the China Burma India campaign from Dec. 8, 1942 until June 18, 1945. He left for duty as a Captain, and returned stateside as a Major. He consistently served in combat zones along the Burma Road. He served under General Stilwell as an ordnance officer and in airdrop operations. He returned to the U.S. in June 1945 on rotation as a Major and separated from active duty in Dec 1945. Young was recalled to active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel during the Korean War and served from 14 April 1951 to 13 April 1953. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in on 25 May 1972 as a Full Colonel.

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