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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 15:59, May 10, 2005
Meritorious overseas Chinese in World War II
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At the 60th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-Fascist war, we present you some historical stories about those overseas Chinese who devoted themselves to the war for justice. Their merits for peace and justice remain brilliant even today.

Lin Meiyu (Front 1st Left), the first female member of the Philippine Chinese Anti-Japanese Guerilla Force, which was established in May 1942, has photo taken with her fellows. The force fought against Japanese troops across 14 provinces in the Philippines and killed 2,020 enemies.
The victory of the World Anti-Fascist War 60 years ago was a paean played by all the just forces across the world.

The Red Army of the Soviet Union fought valiantly against Japanese invaders in northeast China; the children of Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong's and Liu Shaoqi's devoted themselves to the Great Patriotic War of the people of the Soviet Union; the combats during the Normandy Landing saw 21 Chinese overseas students as well as Chinese "Schindler" He Fengshan, a Chinese diplomat who risked his life granting "life-saving visas" to 2, 000 Austrian Jew refugees to China's Shanghai.

4, 000 Chinese in US forces fell in battle

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States immediately declared war against Japan and then against Germany and Italy. It is recorded that Chinese youngsters in the United States actively enlisted in the army and some of them even used their Chinese traditional nominal age (considering a person one year old at birth and adding a year each lunar new years). Nearly 20, 000 Chinese from over 40 American states joined American armies in the wars in Europe and Asia afar, and nearly 20 percent or 4, 000 of them died on battlefield.

Chinese youngsters who have long lived in the United States were deeply touched by war posters. They did not evade military services for the sufferings of their father generation's trudge across the ocean for survival, instead, they marched fearlessly to the frontiers.

Chinese Americans joined the third and fourth American infantry divisions in European, and the 6th, 32nd and 77th infantry divisions in Asia and the Pacific. There were even Chinese women in American armies, including a female pilot in American air force, who remained the pride of overseas Chinese.

In the World War II, Chinese officers and soldiers in Europe, though small in number, excelled in their performance therefore a number of them were awarded medals of honor by American armies. For example, a Chinese Captain surnamed Wei received the top-ranking Congressional Medal of Honor. He joined 34th American Infantry Division in 1941, fought in Europe and then in Asia. He fell in battle in the Philippines in October 1944. Then US president Clinton met with Wei's relatives 56 years later.

American warship named after Chinese rear admiral

In 2003, for the first time in history, American navy named its latest missile destroyer after Chinese Rear Admiral Gordon P. Chung-Hoon. The honor was for Chung's outstanding performance in the fights against Japan on the European battlefield in the World War II.

Born in 1910, Chung Hoon had one half of the blood of original Hawaii, one fourth Chinese and one fourth British. Before the end of the World War II in 1945, Chung was the Commanding Officer of the Destroyer USS Sigsbee DD-502. He was first under Atlantic Ocean escort mission in Europe, and then fought against Japan in Asia. In a sea battle, Japanese Kamikaze squadron launched attacks on Sigsbee. Under the instructions of Chung, who remained composed, the ship shot down 20 Japanese fighters, fought off Kamikaze and returned with its own power. Chung was awarded Navy Cross and Silver Star medals of honor by American navy. He retired in 1959 and died in 1979.

USS Chung-Hoon, a multi-function missile destroyer, was the 43rd among the 62 Burke-class destroyers. It costs US$ one billion.

Ms. Qian saved Belgian people's lives

Chinese heroine Qian Xiuling, who had settled in Belgium, saved nearly one hundred Belgians from the evil Nazi. Belgians respectfully call Ms. Qian "the Chinese woman at the gunpoint of Gestapo", "Chinese woman Schindler" and "Chinese mother in Belgium".

The World War II brought misfortune to Belgium and resistance started there in 1941. A young activist in Qian's village was sentenced to death for joining resistance campaign. Qian ventured to go to Brussels and persuaded German military officer Alexander von Falkenhausen, a best friend of her elder cousin, to change the sentence to hard labor.

In June 1944, Ms. Qian persuaded her husband and went to Falkenhausen's, regardless of her pregnancy. She at last saved 96 hostages of Belgium's Ecaussinnes city with her courage and wisdom as well as the help of Falkenhausen.

Falkenhausen was arrested by Gestapo after he returned to Germany and was about to be brought to court as dissident. In 1950, Falkenhausen was tried as Germany's top war criminal in Belgium.

Hearing the news, Qian went around appealing in support of Falkenhausen's righteous deed. She told Belgian reporters that although Falkenhausen was an invader, he also tried his best to free many Belgians from fatal disaster.

After the World War II, Ms. Qian was awarded "national hero" medal of honor by the Belgian government. Ecaussinnes city especially named a downtown avenue "Ms. Qian Road" to remember the heroic Chinese lady.

By People's Daily Online

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