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Wah Kau Kong

2nd Lieutenant Wah Kau Kong, born January 17, 1919 in Honolulu, Hawaii; was the first Chinese American fighter pilot. Kong became a chemist for the United States Government after graduating from the University of Hawaii. As a research chemist he could have avoided being called to combat duty. Instead, Kong chose to volunteer for the United States Army Air Forces after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. He recorded the highest national score in his entrance examination and was accepted into the aviation cadet training program. Kong graduated from flight school in May 1943, becoming the first Chinese American fighter pilot. On October 23,1943 Kong boarded a convoy for England. He was assigned to the 353rd Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group at RAF Boxted. He was assigned to flying a new and powerful aircraft, the P-51B Mustang, which he named "Chinaman's Chance" on one side and "No Tickee No Washee" on the other. On February 11, 1944, (his 12th mission) Kong claimed his first victory while returning from a bomber escort mission to Frankfurt. He claimed 1.5 victories before being killed in action on his 14th mission over Blomberg, Germany February 22, 1944. He was awarded the Air Medal for “meritorious achievement in combat” and is interned in the National Cemetery of the Pacific.


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