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Arthur Chin

Major Arthur Chin was an American pilot and a Second Sino-Japanese War fighter ace.

Chin was born in Portland, Oregon to a Chinese father of Cantonese origin and a Caucasian mother of Peruvian background. Motivated by the Japanese invasion of China, Chin enrolled in flight school in 1932. Along with 15 other Chinese Americans, he left for China and joined the Guangdong Provincial Air Force as the first and original group of American volunteer combat aviators, and ultimately integrated into the central government's air force under the KMT. After completion of additional aerial-gunnery training in Munich Germany, he returned to China for combat duty in which successfully destroyed nine enemy aircraft between 1937-1939. In 1939, while flying a Gloster Gladiator, the fighter in which he scored most of his aerial kills, he was hit by enemy fire and forced to bail out of his burning aircraft, and although he parachuted to safety, he suffered serious burn injuries. Nevertheless, after several years of surgery and recovery, he returned to China in 1944 to fly supplies over the Himalayas, a route known as the "Hump".

Chin is now recognized as America's first ace in World War II. A half-century after the war ended, the U.S. government recognized Chin as an American veteran by awarding him the Distinguished Flying Cross. About a month after Arthur Chin died, on October 4, 1997, he was immortalized at the Hall of Fame of the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland, Texas as the first American ace, and an officially recognized Chinese American World War II hero.

Related websites

Congress honors Chinese WWII Hero

GovTrack: H.R. 5220: Text of Legislation

White House News Release

Biplane Fighter Aces: China: Major 'Arthur' 'Art' Chin Shui-Tin

Major Shui-Tin "Arthur" Chin "First of the Tigers" Chinese-American Hero

Photo of Arthur Chin

Chinese American veterans' service often gets overlooked

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