All about the Chinese Air Force of the Guomindang (Nationalist) government that resisted Japanese aggression from 1931 to 1945

Looking Back From Ninety

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ANNALS OF THE CHINESE AIR FORCE

Meet Flying Tiger Woo

Flying Tiger Woo at 98

Born 99 years ago this December, Ng Kok Yee later Americanized his Cantonese name to George Woo. As a 20-year-old, he was studying in Kunming when he joined the Chinese Air Force in March 1943, just as Claire Chennault was given command of the 14th Air Force, independent of his commander in India. Woo trained in Sichuan until December, when Chennault created the Chinese American Composite Wing with the idea that Chinese pilots would be more effective if they flew side by side with the Americans.

Assigned to the CACW, George and his classmates were sent to Karachi in what is now Pakistan to train in the North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber that was being supplied to the 14th Air Force. As a B-25 navigator, he was shot down twice, once landing in friendly territory, the second time behind Japanese lines, when he was rescued by a farmer and led to safety in August 1945. He heard about Japan's surrender on his way back to his base.

Postwar, George married and in 1964 emigrated with his family to the United States. He has 6 children, 14 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. His son Edward is shown standing behind him in the photo at right above; to their left is the young Ng Kok Yee as a navigator, probably in 1944. George now lives at a nursing home in Quincy, Mass.

It was his son Edward who told his story to Carl Samson for Yahoo!'s "Nextshark", from which this story and photo are taken. Blue skies! -- Daniel Ford

The CAF files