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 THE CAVG, A CLARIFICATION (8 Replies, Read 22019 times)
klee
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A CLARIFICATION - 2015

Thank you all for reading this posting.  I hope the information has been enlightening.

The most important lesson I've learned while researching, organizing and presenting the information my father collected about his service with the AVG is the need to be clear and accurate about historical detail.  I have tried to keep faithful to the history of the AVG, but in my enthusiasm, I took the liberty to create an acronym that may have led to misunderstanding; the acronym is the 'CAVG'.  It was intended as my shorthand that stood for original 'Chinese of the American Volunteer Group'.  THERE IS NO SUCH GROUP AS THE CAVG.  THEY WERE PART OF THE ORIGINAL AVG.  On the official AVG roster, those Chinese were 7 engineering helpers and 1 flight surgeon.  They were AVG - Flying Tigers.

Apologies for the misrepresentation. 

EDIT OF THE ORIGINAL POSTING:

HAPPY 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WW II!

AS THE OFFICIAL ROSTER OF THE AVG SHOWS, THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT CHINESE LISTED.  LOOKING BACK, THEY WERE A SPECIAL GROUP.  I WOULD LIKE TO PUT THEIR PLACE IN THE AVG AND HISTORY INTO PERSPECTIVE.  THERE WAS A KINSHIP AMONG THESE  CHINESE WHO WERE DRAWN TOGETHER.  THIS GROUP BECAME  VERY SPECIAL AS THEY CAME TO UNDERSTAND AS THEY TRAINED AND AS THE WAR PROGRESSED.  I SENSED THIS IN MY FATHER, PAK ON LEE, AS HE RAISED HIS FAMILY.

IN MY RESEARCH AND INTERVIEWS WITH KEE J. PON, THERE WERE 11 CHINESE IN THE ORIGINAL AVG SHORTLY AFTER IT REACHED KUNMING.  MR. PON
INTIMATELY RECALLED AND REFERRED ONLY TO THE OTHER EIGHT WITH WHOM HE TRAINED AND SERVED FOR ALL OF THE AVG PERIOD.  I HOPE THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION WILL GIVE THE BACKGROUND FOR THE FINAL AVG ROSTER LISTING OF ONLY EIGHT CHINESE.

CAMCO RECRUITED CHINESE IN ALL THE MAJOR CHINATOWNS IN AMERICA IN 1941. MR. PON SAID FEWER THAN 30 RESPONDED.  13 QUALIFIED FOR TRAINING AT ALLISON ENGINE-WORKS IN INDIANAPOLIS.

BECAUSE OF THE LIMITED NUMBER OF CHINESE INVOLVED, I HAVE LISTED ALL OF THE CHINESE IN HOPES THAT OTHER FAMILIES MIGHT SEE THEIR PATRIARCHS ASSOCIATION WITH THE FORMATION OF THE AVG.

THERE IS A CLASS PHOTO OF THE GROUP TAKEN BY ALLISON WHICH I CANNOT UPLOAD WITH THIS POSTING.  ALL OF THE CHINESE AND THEIR ALLISON INSTRUCTORS SIGNED THE BACK OF THE PHOTOGRAPH.

THE CLASS PHOTO IS LABELED:

“CHINESE GROUP -CLASS OF MAY 19 TO 29, 1941 - ALLISON DIVISION GMC”


THE FIVE INSTRUCTORS:

LEEDS LEMEX

R.H. PIPER

FRED JENEL (SP?)

G.C. PEARCE

HARRY HARTZ


THE FOUR CHINESE WHO TRAINED BUT DID NOT BECOME PART OF THE AVG:

JACK LUM ENG – NEW YORK

LEO J. YEUNBOW

ALBERT GAM – COLUMBUS, OHIO

K.H.T. YE HOM – SAN
FRANCISCO

THE NINE CHINESE WHO BECAME PART OF THE AVG:

LAWRENCE L. CHOW – CHICAGO

BENNY FONG – SACRAMENTO

CHUN Y GEE - SEATTLE

GEORGE LEO (WINGSHEE) –
HOUSTON

PAK ON LEE – PORTLAND,
OREGON

GEORGE LUM (SUN GIT) – NEW
YORK

KEE (PHILIP) J. PON –
BOWERY, NEW YORK

FRED J. WONG – BOSTON

LEM FONG WU – NEW YORK

TWO OTHER CHINESE-AMERICANS WERE HIRED SHORTLY AFTER THE GROUP REACHED KUNMING:

JOSEPH LEE – PHYSICIAN /
FLIGHT SURGEON – SAN FRANCISCO

FRANCIS YEE – FORD TRUCK
SPECIALIST – HONOLULU

THESE 11 CHINESE FORMED THE ORIGINAL CHINESE OF THE AVG.  AN OFFICIAL CONTRACT FOR THE CHINESE OF THE AVG WAS SIGNED ON JAN. 20, 1942 IN SERVICE TO THE CAMCO GROUP.  (ALL WHO RETURNED TO AMERICA HAVE PASSED.)

ALSO INCLUDED IN THE
ALLISON CLASS PHOTO WAS A VERY IMPORTANT CHINESE:

NAI CHIEN LIU – CHINESE
EMBASSY CONSULATE – HE HIRED THE CHINESE FOR THE AVG; HE ACTUALLY TRAINED ALONG SIDE THE CHINESE CLASS; HE THEN FACILITATED THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK FOR THE CHINESE IN THEIR TRAVELS TO KUNMING;
HE REMAINED IN AMERICA TO FACILITATE THE SHIPPING OF SUPPLIES FOR THE AVG TO KUNMING DURING THE WAR; I HAVE TAKEN THE LIBERTY TO INCLUDE MR. LIU AS AN 'HONORARY AVG'; IT IS NOT OFFICIAL - IT IS MY DECISION; HE MAKES NUMBER 12 IN MY COUNT OF THE CHINESE CONNECTED WITH THE AVG.

AS JULY 4, 1942 APPROACHED,
THE FOLLOWING 3 CHINESE RESIGNED FROM THE CAMCO GROUP (AVG) BEFORE THE ACTUAL DISBANDING; REASONS UNKNOWN:

LAWRENCE CHOW – RETURNED TO AMERICA

BENNY FONG – REMAINED IN HONG KONG WITH CNAC

FRED WONG – REMAINED IN HONG KONG – CANNOT LOCATE

THUS THE FINAL COUNT OF 8 CHINESE ON THE ROSTER; THIS HAS BEEN VERIFIED BY KEE J. PON.

ANOTHER VERY SPECIAL CHINESE:

SINCE THE COMPLETION OF THE CHINESE AVG BIOGRAPHY, I MET MR. JOHN MA HERE IN AMERICA.  HE WAS A CODEMAN AND INTERPRETER FOR GEN. CHENNAULT.  HE WAS ONE OF EIGHT CHINESEUNIVERSITY ENGLISH STUDENTS HIRED FOR ONE YEAR SERVICE CONTRACTS WITH THE AVG BUT WERE NOT HIRED AS AVG.  BECAUSE OF HIS HISTORY, I INCLUDE MR. MA AS ANOTHER 'HONORARY MEMBER OF THE AVG'.  HE HAS A WONDERFUL HISTORY STILL AVAILABLE.

KEITH LEE



Edited by klee : June 4, 2015, 11:00 am
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THE CAVG
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
Thank you Keith! You are such an outstanding member and researcher of the Flying Tigers Association.
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THE CAVG
mindengmn
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Dear Klee,

I am so glad I can join this forum. I googled a few days ago and came across this thread that you mentioned NAI CHIEN LIU. There is another article about a mystery chinese buried in Arlington, see the link below:

http://www.scmp.com/article/503451/mystery-chinese-major-buried- us-war-hero-cemetery

The name is not exactly the same, but Liu Nai Chien and Liu Nia-Chien are so close maybe just simply a typo.

My wife's family name is Liu and from the stories told by the elder and some researches they did in the 80's, Liu Nia-Chien in Arlington is indeed her great granduncle. We have some info about Mr Liu and still need more info to connect the dots.

I am wondering if you have more info about Liu Nai Chien and we can share the info we have as well.

Me and my wife are both US citizen now and live in Dallas area. We will take our son to DC this spring break and pay tribute to Arlington. This year is also an important year for Chinese that fought along side with American. We just want to collect as much as info possible as part of the family history.

Hope you can consider and thank you for this great post.


ALSO INCLUDED IN THE
ALLISON CLASS PHOTO WAS A VERY IMPORTANT CHINESE:


NAI CHIEN LIU – CHINESE
EMBASSY CONSULATE – HE HIRED THE CAVG; HE ACTUALLY TRAINED ALONG SIDE THE CAVG CLASS; HE
THEN FACILITATED THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK FOR THE CAVG IN THEIR TRAVELS TO KUNMING;
HE REMAINED IN AMERICA TO FACILITATE THE SHIPPING OF SUPPLIES FOR THE AVG TO
KUNMING DURING THE WAR; I HAVE TAKEN THE LIBERTY TO INCLUDE MR. LIU AS AN HONORARY CAVG; IT IS
MY CHOICE; HE MAKES NUMBER 12 IN MY COUNT OF THE CAVG
IP: --   

THE CAVG
JackYao
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Dear Keith,

I am a new member of this group and have read your post with great interest - since I have a cover which was mailed by your father from China to Portland, OR in 1942. 

The attached cover (or envelope) shows the return address which reads: "Pak Lee, c/o American Volunteer Group, Chungking, Szechwan, China".

I collect AVG/Flying tiger covers and have several in my collection.  I purchased my covers either from stamp dealers or on ebay.  But these types of covers are not easy to come by and I do feel luck to have some.

Besides AVG items, I also collect the ones by the Chinese Airforce Cadets which were trained in the US during WWII - my father is one of them. 

Jack
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THE CAVG
klee
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Mr. Yao,

Very nice of you to post the envelop.  Do you have the back scanned?

Looks like my father's writing.

Where is the reference to Portland?

Thanks,

Keith Lee
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THE CAVG
JackYao
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Dear Keith,

Nice to hear from you.  Here is the front of the cover your father mailed from China to Oregon in 1942.

Jack
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THE CAVG
JackYao
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Keith, I am posting the other side of the cover again. 
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THE CAVG
JackYao
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Keith,

Here is the cover!
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THE CAVG
mranthonywong
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Hi Keith,

Hope you see this, I'll send you a message as well. I was only 10 before my paternal grandfather Fred Wong passed away in 2001, (young in a sense that I wasn't curious as I could have been about his past, nor would I probably understand it). One of the most fascinating facts I knew/learned about him as a kid was that he was in the Flying Tiger Group as a mechanic, with stories of Chennault and the rest of the guys.

In those days of the internet there was little I could find, and unfortunately there wasn't much I can remember to this date of the tales he told me. If I remember he had a plaque somewhere, but that is long lost somewhere in storage for me to find one day. Unfortunately my father passed away unsuspectedly last year, and so I assume, so did any chance of any stories of my grandfathers involvement with the Flying Tigers.

My grandfather Fred Wong, who I hope/anticipate, your initial post is about (one of the mechanics who left before the official disbandment), was originally from the Kunming/Canton area, and then moved to a number of places, in what chronologic order, I am not sure. I know he has lived in China, Hong Kong, Northern California Berkley area, Boston (my great grandparents owned a noodle shop there, one where my grandfather (Fred) would lose a finger at), Burbank, CA, and finally North Hollywood, CA, where he ended his career at the Burbank airport.

His name was Fred Yen-Sye Wong. I wonder, as you mention Fred "G" Wong, if that "G" could be mistaken for a "Y", I know you weren't able to post the picture, but I wonder how he signed it. "Yen-Sye" was his chinese name, and I don't think he had an english "G" middle name.  I would love to learn more and perhaps see this picture! Thanks for your help, and I hope I can learn a little more about this lost connection, thanks! You've done some great work!

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