China's Only Normandy Survivor Awarded Legion d'Honneur

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I received this e-mail today. Quite interesting.

    China's Only Normandy Survivor Awarded Legion d'Honneur

    The only survivor of 24 Chinese naval officers, who participated in
    the Normandy D-Day landings 62 years ago, Huang Tingxin, received
    France's highest honor yesterday in recognition of his valor during
    World War II.

    Jean-Marin Schuh, French consul general in Shanghai, traveled to the
    veteran's home in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang
    Province, to present the award. Huang, 88, suffers from a heart
    complaint and Parkinson's disease.

    A native of Anhui Province he graduated from a naval school in
    Qingdao, Shandong Province, in the late 1930s. In 1942, during the
    War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), Huang and
    23 other naval officers, were chosen by the then Nationalist
    government to study at the Britannia Royal Naval College in
    Greenwich, Britain. They were then posted to fleets operating in
    different war theaters for internship in March 1944.

    Huang served on aircraft carrier "Searcher" and part of his duties
    included keeping watch over the angle of the vessel on the sea and
    its position in the fleet formation. "It was no small task as the
    smooth landing and take-off of aircraft depended on the tilt of the
    carrier," Huang recalled in earlier interviews.

    At midnight on June 5, 1944 the eve of D-Day his warship slipped her
    moorings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and sailed south. It wasn't
    until the next morning that Huang and fellow seamen heard on the BBC
    that the allied forces had landed at Normandy.

    "Only then did we know what our mission was that night," Huang
    said. "All of us were overjoyed at the news but we couldn't feel
    completely relieved until our escort mission ended." Huang also took
    part in the Toulon landing with French troops on August 15 the same
    year.

    "We will never forget that you and other Chinese people stood with
    us shoulder-to-shoulder when France was facing the most difficult
    situation during the war," Schuh said in Chinese at the
    ceremony. "It is our responsibility to remember this forever," he
    added.

    Huang's face lit up as Schuh presented him with the medal of the
    Legion d'Honneur which has been awarded to fewer than 200 Chinese.
    His family captured the moment on video cameras. The father of three
    made a short speech from his wheelchair while his nurse held an
    oxygen mask beside him.

    "It was a great honor to join the anti-Nazi war," he said. "After
    more than 60 years I am still very proud about it."

    "It (today's occasion) reminds me of other Chinese naval officers
    who took part in the operation," Huang added. "The honor is not only
    for me it belongs to all of them." The other 23 Chinese officers
    have died over the years.

    Huang joined the Navy of the People's Liberation Army in 1949. He
    moved to Zhejiang in 1958 and taught English at Zhejiang Science and
    Technology University for seven years before retiring in 1971.

    (China Daily July 6, 2006)
     
  2. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Too bad our relations with China are so uncomfortable these days......
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    :salute:

    Anyone who survived the beaches of Normandy deserves to be saluted.
     
  6. Twitch

    Twitch Member

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    Syscom3 you are the master of finding esoteric stuff. Good going!
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thanks Twitch!
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Hey P38 do you hate this guy too, hes Chinese?!
     
  9. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

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    Any man who fought and served on D-day I respect and salute.
     
  10. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    I'm part Chinese
    :salute:
     
  11. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    My goodness I didn't know there was any Chinese soldiers on the Beaches of Normandy...
     
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