Chinese-American service in World War II

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Chinese-American soldier training at Fort Knox, Kentucky Halftrack-fort-knox-4.jpg
Chinese-American soldier training at Fort Knox, Kentucky

It has been estimated that between 12,000 [1] and 20,000 [2] Chinese-American men, representing up to 22 percent of the men in their portion of the U.S. population, served during World War II. [3] Unlike Japanese and Filipino Americans, 75 percent served in non-segregated units. [4] Chinese Americans distinguished themselves from Japanese Americans, and suffered less discrimination. [5]



A quarter of those would serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces, some of them were sent to the Chinese-Burma-India theater for service with the 14th Air Service Group [6] and the Chinese-American Composite Wing. [7] Another 70 percent would go on to serve in the U.S. Army in various units, including the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 32nd and 77th Infantry Divisions. [3] Prior to the war, the U.S. Navy had recruited Chinese Americans but they had been restricted to serve only as stewards; [7] this continued until May 1942, when restrictions ceased and they were allowed to serve in other ratings. [7] In 1943, Chinese-American women were accepted into the Women's Army Corps in the Military Intelligence Service. [8] They were also recruited for service in the Army Air Force, with a few later becoming civilian Women Airforce Service Pilots. [8] [9]

3rd Infantry Division (United States) United States Army infantry division

The 3rd Infantry Division is a combined arms and mechanized infantry division of the United States Army based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. It is a direct subordinate unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps and U.S. Army Forces Command. Its current organization includes one Infantry and two armored brigade combat teams, one aviation brigade, a division artillery and support elements. The division has a distinguished history, having seen active service in both World War I and World War II.

4th Infantry Division (United States) United States Army infantry division

The 4th Infantry Division is a division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado. It is composed of a Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, three brigade combat teams, a Combat Aviation Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, and a Division Artillery.

6th Infantry Division (United States) combat formation of the United States Army

The 6th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army active in World War I, World War II, and the last years of the Cold War. Known as "Red Star", and formerly called the "Sight Seein' Sixth".


Captain Francis Wai of the 34th Infantry was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions on the island of Leyte in late 1944; this awarding was later elevated to a Medal of Honor in the 2000 review. [6] Wilbur Carl Sze became the first Chinese-American officer commissioned in the Marine Corps. [10]

Francis B. Wai United States Army Medal of Honor recipient

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. As a youngster, Wai liked to surf and he played several sports in high school and college. He graduated from college with a degree in finance. Although he initially planned to work with his father, he joined the Hawaii National Guard, commissioned a lieutenant. Wai was sent with his unit to fight in World War II and he was killed during the U.S. amphibious assault on Leyte, Philippines.

The 34th Infantry Regiment is a Regular Army infantry regiment of the United States Army. It saw combat in World War I, in the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II, and was the first full American regiment deployed in combat in the Korean War. The 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 34th are now basic training formations attached to the 165th Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Battle of Leyte amphibious invasion of the Gulf of Leyte in the Philippines by American and Filipino guerrilla forces during WWII

The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the amphibious invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American forces and Filipino guerrillas under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. The operation, codenamed King Two, launched the Philippines campaign of 1944–45 for the recapture and liberation of the entire Philippine Archipelago and to end almost three years of Japanese occupation.

Congressional Gold Medal

On May 4, 2017, Senators Tammy Duckworth, Thad Cochran and Mazie Hirono introduce S.1050 Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act [11] and Representatives Ed Royce and Ted Lieu introduce companion bill H.R.2358. [12] Efforts to pass the bill were led by Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project. [13] The bill was passed in the Senate on September 12, 2018, [14] and in the House on December 12, 2018. [15] The President signed the bill enacting it into law on December 20, 2018. [16]

Tammy Duckworth United States Senator from Illinois

Ladda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who has served as the junior United States Senator for Illinois since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she represented Illinois's 8th district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017. Before election to office, she served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (2009–11) and Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (2006–09). Duckworth defeated Republican incumbent Mark Kirk in the 2016 election for his seat in the United States Senate.

Thad Cochran American politician

William Thad Cochran was an American attorney and politician who served as a United States Senator for Mississippi from 1978 to 2018. A Republican, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973 to 1978.

Mazie Hirono United States Senator from Hawaii

Mazie Keiko Hirono is a Japanese-born American politician serving since 2013 as the junior United States Senator from Hawaii. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Prior to her career in the Senate, Hirono served as a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1981 to 1995 and as Hawaii's ninth lieutenant governor from 1994 to 2002 under Ben Cayetano. The Democratic nominee for Governor of Hawaii in 2002, Hirono was defeated by Republican Linda Lingle. From 2007 to 2013, she served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district.

See also

Day of Remembrance (Japanese Americans) day commemorating the Japanese American internment during World War II

The Day of Remembrance is a day commemorating the Japanese American internment during World War II. Events in numerous U.S. states are held on or near February 19, the day in 1942 that Executive Order 9066 was signed, requiring internment of all Americans of Japanese ancestry.

Asian Americans, who are Americans of Asian descent, have fought and served on behalf of the United States since the War of 1812. During the American Civil War Asian Americans fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. Afterwards Asian Americans served primarily in the U.S. Navy until the Philippine–American War.

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The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs department of the United States government

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal Cabinet-level agency that provides near-comprehensive healthcare services to eligible military veterans at VA medical centers and outpatient clinics located throughout the country; several non-healthcare benefits including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, and life insurance; and provides burial and memorial benefits to eligible veterans and family members at 135 national cemeteries.

Veteran person who served in a countrys armed forces, especially those persons who served in a countrys armed forces during a period of war

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World War II Memorial Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The World War II Memorial is a memorial of national significance dedicated to Americans who served in the armed forces and as civilians during World War II. Consisting of 56 pillars and a pair of small triumphal arches surrounding a square and fountain, it sits on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

World War II Victory Medal (United States) military award of the United States

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Women Airforce Service Pilots U.S. Army Air Corps female auxiliary pilots

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Hispanic Americans in World War II

Hispanic Americans, also referred to as Latinos, served in all elements of the American armed forces in the war. They fought in every major American battle in the war. Between 400,000 and 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, out of a total of 16,000,000, constituting 3.1% to 3.2% of the U.S. Armed Forces. The exact number is unknown as, at the time, Hispanics were not tabulated separately, but were generally included in the general white population census count. Separate statistics were kept for African Americans and Asian Americans.

Lieutenant Colonel William Robert "Poppy" Dunn was the first American flying ace of World War II. Joining the Canadian Army at the outbreak of war in 1939, he was an infantryman until he transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in late 1940. After service in an RAF Eagle Squadron, he joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1943. Transferring to the newly established United States Air Force in 1947, he also participated in the Chinese Civil War, Cold War and the Vietnam War.

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American women in World War II Efforts of woman in World War ll

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Sidney Walton is one of America’s oldest living World War II veterans. He was inducted into the U.S. Army nine months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.


  1. Wong, Kevin Scott (2005). Americans first: Chinese Americans and the Second World War. Harvard University Press. p. 1. ISBN   978-0-674-01671-2 . Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  2. "One Fifth of Chinese Americans Fight Fascism in World War II". Xinhua News Agency. 28 May 2001. Retrieved 21 September 2009.[ dead link ]
  3. 1 2 "World War II/Post War Era". Timeline. Oakland Museum of California. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  4. Williams, Rudi (3 June 2005). "DoD's Personnel Chief Gives Asian-Pacific American History Lesson". American Forces Press Service. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  5. "Asian Americans:World War II". Calisphere. The Regents of The University of California. 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  6. 1 2 James C. McNaughton (3 August 2009). "Chinese-Americans in World War II". Center of Military History. United States Army . Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  7. 1 2 3 Wong, Kevin Scott (2005). Americans first: Chinese Americans and the Second World War. Harvard University Press. p. 61. ISBN   978-0-674-01671-2 . Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  8. 1 2 Rudi Williams (27 May 1999). "Asian Pacific American Women Served in World War II, Too". American Forces Press Service. United States Department of Defense . Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  9. McLellan, Dennis (23 October 2000). "Adding a Missing Piece to Masonic of American History". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  10. Major Karen J. Gregory, USAFR. "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month" (PDF). Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. On December 15, 1943, Wilbur Carl Sze was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and the first Chinese-American officer in the U.S. Marine Corps
    "apa-usmc02". Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2002. Department of Defense. 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  11. Duckworth, Tammy (2018-12-12). "S.1050 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act". Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  12. Royce, Edward (2017-05-04). "H.R.2358 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Chinese American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Act". Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  13. "Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project". Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  14. Yam, Kimberly (2018-09-17). "Senate Unanimously Passes Bill To Honor Forgotten Chinese-American WWII Veterans". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  15. "Rep. Royce Bill Honoring Chinese American WWII Veterans Heads to President's Desk". U.S. Representative Ed Royce. 2018-12-13. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  16. "Bill Announcement". The White House. Retrieved 2018-12-23.