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tv   Chinese American World War II Military Service  CSPAN  April 14, 2021 10:12pm-11:08pm EDT

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-- efforts to document more than 22,000 chinese americans who served in the u.s. armed forces during world war ii. speakers include an author of a book on the subject, to chinese american vietnam war veteran, and the daughter of one of the -- . the national world war ii museum provided the video. >> welcome, everyone. thank you for joining us this evening. >> thank you for having us.
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>> i want to begin by talking to samantha. how did your work on these stories of chinese american veterans begin? >> this actually stems from a documentary i did on the mississippi delta chinese. and i needed to find the right hook to tell the story of the chinese americans in the mississippi delta. chinese american history is not sexy, so it took me almost 20 years to find the right way to tell this story, compelling enough to bring it a full audience. and i had the good fortune of meeting doctor gwendolyn gong who did a tremendous amount of research on the veterans, service personnel from mississippi delta. and from there, we discussed and talked about how to create a three part series that aired on pbs on the chinese and mississippi
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delta, and that got me interested in the world war ii veterans. >> so, honor and duty is really a compendium that all 22,000 plus chinese americans that served in world war ii, is that correct? >> that's correct. this research was conducted over three years time. actually, just a bit more than three years. we have been able to identify 22,827 world war ii that's, we are able to verify their service through public domain sites, public information sites, the national archives, and through other primary source material. >> so, what is your eventual goal with this project? what's your hope for it? >> my hope is to have the service of chinese americans recorded in american history. that we are not passive
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americans, we are patriotic, as everyone else is. we are, as american as everyone else, and we look a little different, you know? we can't change what our face looks like, but in our hearts, we are still all americans. >> and this is such an important story to be told. i mean, chinese americans are just one of many ethnic groups that contributed. every american that served in world war ii deserves to be recognized for their service. you know, this was a massive project, as you said. it was, eventually, ended up over 1100 cages, is that right? >> yeah, exactly 1000 -- excuse, me 1098 pages. it's a huge roll call. thousand of those pages are a roll call based on state. it's separated by state, there's an index that you can, follow an index for what we call the main roll call, and there is an index for the
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desperate data roll call. you can find your family members that way. we also have aliases, that were known to us, so it's published in the --, and there is a lot of annotation and cross referencing. >> no doubt this will be a very valuable research for researchers as well. of course, he did not do this alone. i will turn to one of your partners on the project, frank. you provided research support on the project. i wanted to ask you how you became involved with this massive undertaking? >> samantha was referred to me by a retired army general who i had worked with on a different project, so she said she needed help identifying information about chinese american soldiers, and i said, all, right i can do that off line. and so i began
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doing that. she would send me snippets of information, a lot of photographs, some documents saying, okay, what does this document mean? what do these initials mean? he says he's in the army air force, but it looks like an army uniform. i had to explain, well, the army air force and army airport reported the army, and they wore the same uniform. it wasn't until 1947 that the air force became a separate organization, that they designed their own uniforms. and it just sort of grew from there. >> you raise a lot of important points, i think a lot of our viewers will find your world war ii research on your own, will come across the army of world war ii. they invented the
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achronims that are so abundant in our society today. was there ever a question beyond that proved challenging, to talk about what resources you may have used to discover these things? >> talk about the foot locker! >> that's what i was going to say! she said, okay, here is a picture of a foot locker. what can you tell me about it? i said, it's all a drab. it's got the guy's name, it's got his serial number, and i could trace back and say, okay, based upon this serial number, he went into the army at this general location. i think there was a path or two on it. i looked those up and said, okay, here is what's the patch. was it was such and such unit. it was an air corps unit. yeah, there was other things that, samantha, i've got no idea.
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>> it was quite an adventure, tyler. and it was truly a partnership, because it wasn't just frank. i mean, frank could speak to the amount of time that we spent at the american legion's, but let's not forget that this project also stems from the organization to advocate for service men and women to be honored and recognized by the congressional gold medal. so, it was very important for us to have a better understanding of the contribution of chinese americans in this war effort, and that helped us advocate with greater authority on the hill. i am proud to say,
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without your support of this bill in congress, and his diligence of him and his wife barbara coming down to washington on a regular basis, whenever i called and said, fang, i need, you is always there. this was a great community. elaine fung semrau, her father served in world war ii, and it was her story, and her father's story that compelled me to take this a whole other level further than just having them we featured in a documentary series. it was so important to realize that these chinese men and women served, they had no path to citizenship. yet, they serve anyway. they truly believe that they can contribute something to the united states of america, and they did so willingly, with great sacrifice to them and their families.
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>> and that's all the greater impetus to your project. frank provided his valuable research support, and you really had this bigger overarching goal in trying to force the project, and the personal aspect, the connections that you had to discover, you seem so important to this. i want to ask you about that so, fang, the american legion was founded after world war i, i think most people will recall world war ii veterans as well after returning home in 1945, 1946. could you speak a little bit about the contributions that chinese american veterans made to the legion, and also what role you played in this project? >> well, the legion membership reached an all-time high after world war ii. needless to say, we recognized over 20,000 chinese americans served not everyone joining american legion. the chinese american
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that joined and created the all american legion and of necessity after the war, especially in the larger cities like new york and san francisco, and so forth. they recognized that after you serve, you get offered many benefits that could help you, moving into mainstream things like health, educations, loans, and all the other good things. with that goes with it. if you asked me what's the biggest contribution of the chinese american world war ii veterans, i believe that their biggest contribution is outside of the american legion, because our number doesn't make any difference anywhere, except where the chinatown is located. those 20,000 returned chinese
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american veterans, they went back and utilized the benefit, the government offer, and they better themselves. by bettering themselves, most of the time, they served as a bridge between with the confines of the old chinatown towards the outside world, and because of the law, where the chinese exclusion act was put forward, they were allowed to start bringing the wife, all of a sudden you change from the chinatown community, chinese community from a single bachelor period, to a community that's actually resembling a normal society community. wife, young kids, all that, and because of the service with the u.s.
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government, their wife and children gets a better opportunity to go into school, education, jobs, and that's where all the china towns around united states, around big cities that flourished. it actually moved the chinese forward a lot quicker than we would have if we had to rely on ourselves to make it. >> he raised a great point there, thank, about the american legion. neutral twenties americans played in the legion, which was a local organization, as much as it was a national advocacy group. the legions role in helping the chinese americans come back after the war, and to that point i think it would be great to ask elaine about your father's service during the war. today we're talking about his military service to you? >> when we were growing, up in mississippi, none of my siblings nor i remember him
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talking about his service well we are growing up in mississippi. but that could be because we were so young, it could've been he was so busy with his own business, the jobs of raising a family. but he really didn't talk very much about the war itself. however, there was always war memorabilia at the house. there was a sword that he had gotten when he was in japan for the occupation, that hung in our house. he had memorabilia from the philippines, baskets, he kept the personal items, the personal effects, so we always knew that was part of his background. and we probably didn't really address it until we were older, young adults, as a matter of fact, i recently came across a letter that my
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dad had written me back in 1970, when my brother was also serving in vietnam at the time, and he did make reference to the comparison between my brother's years, or experiences, in vietnam, versus his experience in the south pacific during world war ii. so, he really didn't start talking about it until we were all young adults, and then he started talking more about it in earnest when he was probably closer towards retirement, and the grandchildren came along, he had four grandkids, and we, my sister and, i tried to make sure that we actively engaged the children with their grandfather, and asking him questions. we tried to recorded as best we could, and then in the mid 90s, dad decided to write his memoir, and so he did, and it was basically a string
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of conscious we, you know, a random thoughts. he did try to express some of his experiences. and he did devote a number of passages to his experiences during world war ii. >> it sounds like it was a really formative experience of his life, and he was really proud of it judging by how prominently he displayed those things in your home, and how he mentioned it to your brother later on. did -- how do you think it war experiences may be shaped his outlook on being an american later in life? >> well, i think ever since my father came to the states, which was in 1930, he was 13 years old, it was very excited about being american. his family sent him to america so that he would get an education, and he was eventually get a job,
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so he could support the family back in china. so, he always had a very strong feeling and patriotism about america, even as a young boy. he expressed that throughout his entire life. he talked about being an american, he talked about how americans are so ingenious, that they had lots of integrity. he was all 100% american and his thought, and even in his purchases. he refused to buy any car other than american car. all his appliances, everything was always american. he definitely had that kind of pride that transferred over to the family. >> and his war experienced help
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him meet your mother, is that correct? >> he did, yes. my mother was a war bride, and they met in china when my father went back after world war ii had ended. they went back to see his family, they were separated for 16 years, so that was a very big event, and as it turned out, a mutual -- it was my father's brother who introduced him, because they were working for -- i'm sorry, i can't remember what the organization would be, that it had to do with the relief and assistance to china after the war by the allies, and they met, and it wasn't too long they decided they would get married, so that was in fall of 1946, and they knew
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their life is going to be in america, there was no talk about staying in china. so, they arrived in san francisco in january, of 1947. >> that's really an incredible story. your own families story is just one of these stories behind the names that were included in samantha's book, so i wanted to ask samantha and frank, how much information was it your goal to include this? a book that includes the personal stories of each one would be beyond the scope of your abilities, i suppose, right? >> definitely beyond the scope of our ability. that would be impossible because there is very little information available at this juncture. many of our veterans have passed, so we provide win eight
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point game points, their name, frank, serial number, any alias, their branch of service. their place of birth, whether or not they were citizen, and what was the last one? i have to look. let me pull the book out. [laughs] my memory is tough. branch, service, number rank, dated in this meant, your birthplace, their race, because there was some interesting findings in our research that because chinese, because of the chinese exclusion act, chinese was not a category that you could check a box off in your enlistment form, so also intake is subjective. many of our veterans were called something
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other than chinese, and they were black, they were white, they were oriental, they were sinking in, which stymied, frank, 100%. what is the sink in? they were referred to everything else but chinese. it wasn't until the repeal of the chinese exclusion act in 1943 that they started to see the ethnicity of chinese mentioned in any of the service records. so. >> that act was appealed because lobbying from a lot of congressman and chinese americans, because china was such a ally of the united states during world war two. he's fighting the chinese forces in the pacific. >> it's like the shaming of madame shanghai to the congress. she addressed both houses of congress and shamed them for their horrible treatment of chinese, and they
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were allies. she pointed out going, what that is going on guys. we are allies, and you have no path for citizenship. you are treating chinese and chinese americans like second class citizens. so, that immediately gilded a lot of people into advocating for the repeal of the chinese exclusion act. but what's very curious here is that the chinese exclusion act itself, as a name, is still on the books. all the language within the bill has been -- has not disappeared, but doesn't appear. when you look at the congressional record because of what's repealed. however, the actual act itself in terms of name still is on the congressional marker. >> and speaking -- >> but kind of curious stuff that i sent you, and make you go through? >> the biggest thing was working through the full three information, the list based upon chinese sounding names, and trying to figure out if robert elie from virginia, and robert elite from california
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were chinese or english ancestry. and there is only a couple other names where the european name and chinese last name are the same. and that meant going in, searching, finding the person, and doing a genealogical search on them to find out who their parents were. >> the research aspect of this book was huge. they were very fortunate to have teams of young people who are paid, everybody was paid, no one worked for free. so, who helped support and research this effort we. >> it must have been especially challenging, because like a lot
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of immigrants, chinese americans did change their names sometimes willingly out of necessity and that would make tracking them down and doing their genealogy more challenging. >> it wasn't easy, but it was incredibly fulfilling. whenever we found something we, our expectations were zero. when you start from zero, and you hit 100, you are excited. we spent weeks upon weeks going to the national archives at the beginning of this project looking for data, and we would
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go to the college park and park ourselves where the military data as was as well as on the fourth floor where static images where we. couldn't find anything, when we looked under world war ii. when we looked under chinese, it kept giving us china as we the chinese with chinese american participating, but there are no chinese americans, they were all western. after weeks and weeks of research, we finally found to images that just brought us great joy and motivation to go forward. all these little nuggets of information. these treasures that we hold so clear -- dear and close to our heart that kept us motivated. picture behind me. this photograph was
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taken in 1943 in dayton, ohio. it's the army corps, marching, it's the 13th service group who are in a military base near dayton, ohio who are watching on july 4th. when we found this image we were like yay, we really did participate. we did exist. we found an image of two men, two soldiers, a boy and a wang who were being sworn in as citizens in cbi, in the china burma indian theater. finding that image was phenomenal. then finding the highest ranking service personnel who was a commissioned officer was a major amaretto yank finding his photograph in the national
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archives validated our research, and it was those little negatives that kept us going because trust me, it didn't come all at once. we have to continue to search and continue to search. it was painstaking but really rewarding. that's why getting this book published was huge. huge. >> so satisfying at the end of a long journey. part of this challenge must have been that china's americans rather than african americans didn't serve, so they really were in every branch of the service. >> yes they were. once they started this project, our advisor out of massachusetts, doctor juan had said to us there were only 12,000 chinese americans who served. we are
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scratching our heads going that's a pretty low number. we will take your word for, it as we searched more the numbers kept growing until we got to 22,827. that's the final count. since we published the book, there has been more. we are getting more service notifications. we've gotten at least a half dozen since we published. we've only been published for about two weeks now. so that is when we sent the document to our distributor. >> the 14th air support group, which is in the picture behind samantha, was a all chinese unit that was formed to deploy to china as part of the 14th air force under the theory of we have all these chinese american soldiers. they will speak the language. and thus, they can be over there and help
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integrate the american air group into the chinese units there. not integrate them into the units. but help them, just like americans who went to england, help them get to know the locals, some of the chinese that had been born here didn't know any chinese. two, where they were located, instead of speaking mandarin chinese, these folks spoke cantonese. over in china. >> or derivatives thereof. there was no common language amongst the chinese who are living in the united states, and the chinese who were
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serving in the chinese air force, for the chinese armed forces in china. they were centralized, in -- and what was the other area? my geography is a little bit off. nobody spoke the seam dialect. their whole vision of having this chinese american air support group to help facilitate language did not work. >> it might come as he surprise to many of our viewers as well, there was an american military presence during world war ii as part of the air force and strategic bombing campaign against japan. >> very few people know that for some reason. it's disturbing to me. it was a huge theater. gosh. >> people know only of the fallen tigers. american volunteer group who went on before the war started and then was active for six months. they
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became the centerpiece of what became the 14th air force that served in china. and then you had the bulk of the ground units units, we are actually in burma, and india. and the main american force within the boundaries of china itself was the army air corps, army air force. >> that's absolutely right. thank, i would like to add something to what we are talking about. having a whole chinese american gi's as a unit. yes it's true that originally, i guess the idea is that they speak the language and all of that. the language is the same, the dialect that kills everybody. the majority i would have to say, 90% of the
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year the chinese served in the war in the state even though they are born in the united states, chances are that their parents immigrated from the southern part of china. that is all that it is. so back then, mandarin and cantonese are not the main languages and chinatown. -- a local dialect and a small part of china. of course, when they went over to try to they were stationed in -- those are different dialects altogether. and mandarin is spoken among the unit deployed with the chinese army. so you have a lot of issues there. the other thing is that i found out from speaking to some of the seniors from my legion. a lot of them are traveling back and
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forth, a lot of them are truck drivers. they carry the supplies to the back. not to the front, the back, which is of the chucking area. so a lot of them were forced to be a translator and they learned as they go, because the dialect sometimes, you can pick up a little bit user if you have the background. so it's not a total failure, but it took a lot of effort to make it happen. >> i think for a lot of americans, world war ii is the first time out of the country. even if they were immigrants, when they came to the united states, they would stay in one general area whether it was mississippi or whether it was chi-town. and when they went overseas, there are great differences and local cultures was probably a shock to them. the same thing in germany. there are different dialects just like in china, or in switzerland, they speak german,
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but it is a lot different in northern germany. so think, with your experience as an alicia, did those networks, and the close ties that resulted from a lot of the chinese immigrants being from the same area help to locate any veterans for this project? yes. i didn't realize it when i joined the legion. i joined the legion accidentally because the legion did inform me when i was a little boy. when i was 15, i had gone to a chinese school to try to keep up with my chinese. summer graduation, these tall guys walked to the stage and he presented me with a check, you had a metal. he was from the legion. i had no idea what it was all about. as for the legion goes. then i learned you
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have to serve to earn the eligibility to join the legion. so i want to vietnam, come back, and i joined. my scope at that time was the legion, i thought that was the only one. after i got involved with it shortly after i found out that there were chinese legion post in san francisco, chicago, detroit, over the place. but sadly, because all of them were started by the world war ii veterans, and since the war not as many chinese joined the war. they have less and left membership. by the time i made my entry into the american legion, a lot of the posts were not active. but when i was getting ready to make my campaign stops that the united
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states i found out that the chinese had heard about it. they reached out, came to me, and said i belong to --, and we are glad to have you. finally we have someone who can make it to the top, and all of that. i was walking in -- working in phoenix, a group of chinese came out of nowhere, they grabbed ahold of me and they said they were a legion as well. they were not active, for whatever reason they weren't involved. they had to settle in their community and do their things. so they were happy. they said you are fancy. the national convention in phoenix, so therefore they came to phoenix. the year before i got elected, we had a national convention in milwaukee. i was walking around, speaking to different state delegates and all of that. and all of a sudden somebody from illinois
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said i want you to come over and introduce you to someone. i walked over, there a couple of elder chinese gentlemen, and they belong to the chinese american legion in chicago. i never heard of the chicago legion, but they said, so they were happy. los angeles, when i was campaigning, one of the seniors, he was world war ii definitely, he walked up and said, we used to have a post after the war, but then everybody got old. but now i would like to get it restarted. can you help me? i said sure. it took us awhile, but we were able to get that post started again in los angeles, chinatown. and we would actually get the same numbers awarded back to them. so by getting involved in the american legion, deeply involved in the legion, it
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definitely strike to some sort of interest from various corners. seattle. people just come out of nowhere. and before that, i didn't even know where to find. them so yeah, it helps. >> that's incredible. we should also note that it wasn't just -- we mostly talk about chinese men serving during world war ii, but samantha, there were chinese women that served in the military. is that correct? >> yeah. we were able to identify 61 chinese american women who served in world war ii. and we actually have a graphic that we can share with you that provides statistics of their service. if it comes up, that would be great. and if it doesn't, there it is. so it's a little bit hard to read. but out of nope, that's not at. that's not it. that's it. yes, women veterans. so you can see from this graphic that they
quote
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served from almost everywhere in the united states. although 22 of the 61 more undefined. the highest ranking was a first lieutenant. that was a single one. their citizenships were a little bit undefined. but we do know that most of them served in the women's army air corps. so it's the women's army corps. 47 of them served there. four of them were in the regular army. we have a couple of one offs in the air corps. in the air force. and the waves, the coast guard's were undefined. >> california was the highest
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number in terms of state of residents. and you can clearly see this in the infographic. and this is readily a billable to anybody who asks for these statistical data. thank you. thank you for putting it up. >> you mentioned that the chinese american women's are predominantly in the woman's air corps. -- >> no. women's army corps. excuse me. >> only two women served in the air corps. that was hazel ying hating lee, and maggie xi. >> which branch was the most popular for chinese americans as a whole? >> army. hands down it was the army. we had 16,000-plus served in the u.s. army. >> that's a phenomenal -- >> we have the statistics readily available as well. >> eventually is it your hope that the information in the book will be available
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digitally? >> that is our goal. we are now working to have this resource expand and be online. our intention is to work with several universities across the country. we don't want to keep this in one single universities repository. we'd like one in the east coast. one in the west coast. one in central u.s.. northern and one central u.s. southern. we are still working out all of those relationships. it is our intention that by the year 2023, 2024, this will be a online resource where that will kykbh more people to provide their information, make a query, be able to search for their loved ones or search for statistical data. this isn't just for scholars. it's not just for educators. it's for everyone.
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so hopefully all of the state of will become creative commons by 2024. >> that's fantastic. how many veterans do estimate or still with us? >> when we first started the project there were about 500. right now we are under 50. it is really sad because the chinese roadwork to, chinese american world war ii veterans recognition, congressional gold medal act passed on december 20th of 2018. and the coin still hasn't been invented. we are losing chinese american veterans every day. i mean, just last month alone we lost three that i know of. it usually comes to me much later. it is much after the fact. >> the same with all veterans. but especially a smaller group
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like the chinese americans. >> the attrition rate is pretty accurate. that comes from the chinese world war ii veterans in general. so when you break it down to the chinese americans, we really don't have many left at all. it is very sad. this bill was very important to the families and to myself because i am the daughter of former world war ii veterans. both my grandparents served. my father served and my great uncle served. and i knew of this growing up but it didn't become the impetus or my passion to make this happen. it just is a byproduct of. >> and hopefully your efforts will inspire others to rediscover their families past. to that end. >> i hope. so i hope so. this has been a incredibly rewarding project. it is my intention to change the line in history bucks. you know? if we get a sentence fragment. chinese
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americans served alongside everybody else. or you know, when you start mentioning the ethnic groups that are being recognized, like the -- the navajo code talkers. i want the rolled war to american vets to be recognized because they talk about the filipino scouts. they talk about the 100th battalion of the 442. they don't talk about the chinese americans. yet we were the largest number of minority to serve. 822,000 2020 and counting. that is a huge number. >> other than african americans of course. >> yes. >> to add to that, elaine, i want to ask is there anything that you have learned about your father service because of your involvement with this
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project that maybe encourage you to start digging into his past. did you discover things you didn't know? >> i think that with my siblings and myself we have found that there is a lot of commonality, especially for mississippi, the folks who served their, that we share an awful lot in common, and that underlying current that runs through all of them is the pride that they have and the responsibility that they felt in being able to serve in the military. in many cases, it has transferred over to the children, the heirs, and it has definitely lit a fire under me in terms of finding the rest of the family tree, and maybe compiling different documents that we have, or just personal things that we have and sharing it with the family. and
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definitely, we want to make sure that our children and our grand children will be able to look at these collections with a lot of pride and with understanding that this is part of the family, and who we are. >> that is absolutely wonderful. it's so great to hear as well. i think one of my big takeaways from just speaking with you all and reading about chinese americans is that their story is distinct, and yet it is part of the american story that they did a lot of the same -- they had experienced a lot of the same things during world war ii that other veterans did with coming back and leaving maybe their ethnic enclaves in china town or mississippi, and spreading out all over the country and achieving so many great things. them and their children. whether it was working with nasa or other you know development other major companies and things like that.
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was there anything else that you wanted to add samantha about your research or the communities that you studied? >> what is really interesting, and frank just pointed out something that we didn't talk about the chinese employee. okay. so that is a really interesting anecdote to a research. we were going, why are there so many chinese americans designated from the state of idaho? when we were advocating for the congressional gold medal act be kept popping into the representative offices of the senators, and the congress persons to say hi, you need to support this bill. we have x amount of chinese americans from idaho. and they are like, what? you have how many chinese
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people from idaho? and we showed them -- and they were like that is not possible. so we dug in a little bit more. and with the help of frank and some other historians involved in the project we realized that it was a very simple reason why there aren't that many chinese people in idaho designated from the state of idaho. it is because hawaii was not a state yet. it didn't become estate until 1959. yet there were so many chinese americans or chinese who were not yet citizens, who hail from the great state of hawaii. where do you put them? what's letter follows h? i, and the first i state was idaho. so we have -- from idaho but the relief from hawaii. that was a interesting anecdote. we have some really interesting data to share. this is a data driven book. it isn't
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something that we pulled out of our hat. we don't make up these numbers. this is hard core research. we are very proud of some of the stories that we were able to uncover and discover. >> that's fantastic. those experiences give color and explanations for a lot of the difficulties of doing this kind of research and the problems that you have to solve. really getting at the truth of the numbers. you can't always believe with you read off of the bat. >> that's true. we actually had a team of researchers in the state of hawaii. we went to the punchbowl cemetery and we took photographs of all of the headstones of the servicemen and women from that state, who
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were buried there, which is a national cemetery. we take that data and entered it into a giant spreadsheet, and in a cross reference with all of our primary sources, secondary source data. it was phenomenal. it was truly mind-blowing the number of chinese who served in world war ii from the state of hawaii. what else did you want to share frank? frank knows every name. he reviewed all of our research. he kept us honest. he wouldn't let us -- he wasn't very generous at times. >> it was like i need to explain that right. >> all of the quote born in china -- >> oh yes. we had to remove a lot of those. we had so many
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russians who were born in china and we were like they can't be chinese. and they weren't, because they were designated white. we had some really crazy names that we had to just removed from the roster, because at one point in time we had over 30,000 plus names in our data. and we were like that is not possible. you've been based on the census where -- which became a principal research point there was no way that we had 33,000 chinese americans who served. there was just no way. >> that is really fascinating as well. so many claim that they were from china. i wonder why that was. by the russians were born in china. maybe
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democrats -- diplomats or there was a advantage to claiming they were from china. >> they fled the communist revolution in 1917. they were the white russians. >> not the cocktail. >> yes. they fled into especially manchuria. >> he and tibet. that is where we got the tibetan nativity definition, which was a lot of fun. we had to scroll through that line by line, how they were designated and whether or not they were really chinese or were they another ethnic group. and i know that this book is about chinese americans, but we did find a lot of other nations
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asian ethnicities in our research that were categorized as chinese, but were not chinese. and they were clearly not chinese. and we couldn't remove them from the roster. it's under 150. we couldn't remove them from the rosters because according to the u.s. military they were chinese. so that was our default. if the u. s. military recognize them as a chinese person than we have to accept them as a chinese person. >> very interesting. >> with the exception of the russians. >> i want to thank you all so much for this work in this amazing product that you produced. i think for his future historians will be thanking you in perpetuity about this. thank you for your time tonight and sharing about your research. with that i think we are out of time. i want to turn it over to my
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colleague, abby. >> thank you tyler. thank you to our wonderful panel this evening for speaking to us about chinese american world war ii veterans. i also want to thank you those of you joining us from your homes. if enjoyed this program please check at our website on the national world war ii museum for upcoming programs. -- thank you all so much and have a lovely evening.
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next on american history tv. a look at the struggles and discriminations faced by chinese immigrants in 19th and early 20th century california. the california historical society in the chinese historical society of america

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