By Victor Chen, bostonese.com
Boston, April 30, 2015, — “He was my best friend. He flew fighter plane in Southern France when I landed on Omaha Beach on D Day,” recalled Mr. Arthur Wong at a book release party for biography Late Glory at Empire Garden on April 24. Mr. Wong was speaking of his long-time friend and fellow WWII veteran Henry Oi.
Mr. Arthur Wong(2nd from right, front row) and friends at the book release party(photo by Victor Chen).
Mr. Arthur Wong, who turned 91 in March, mentioned that Henry Oi was a great friend and a leader in the community. “I felt sick myself when I heard the sad news this past winter,” said Mr. Wong with a smile.
The news of Mr. Henry Oi’s passing at start of this year didn’t make headline news as Boston was about to be buried by blizzards and snowstorms for the snowiest winter on record. Mr. Oi was only a handful of Chinese American WWII pilots who provided air support for ground troops during Invasion of Normandy by allied forces.
A dozen of Mr. Arthur Wong’s close friends gathered at the party, and got signed copies of Late Glory Chinese version published by Boston Bilingual Media and Publishing Inc. An English version of this book will be published later this year.
Immigrated to Boston in 1938, Arthur Wong was among the first groups of American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and was later seriously injured in November 1944 when the Allied Forces advanced into Germany.
Sixty-five years after he returned from WWII battlegrounds, Arthur Wong finally received nine U.S. military medals, including Purple Heart, Bronze Star, with the help from Senator John Kerry in 2010. This historical biography includes over 30 never published historical photos and first-hand interviews with WWII veteran Mr. Arthur Wong whose very first battle was the famous Invasion of Normandy on D-Day. This books documents Mr. Wong’s early life in Boston after he immigrated in 1938 from Taishan, Guangdong, China, his army life, Battles of Normandy, liberation of Paris, invasion of Germany and many other major historic events.
Arthur Wong(left), Henry Oi(right) and another WWII veteran pose for a picture after WWII(from book Late Glory).
Henry Oi age 97 of Canton passed away January 13 at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, MA. Born and raised in Taishan, Guangdong Province, China, he previously lived in Boston before moving to Canton in 1965. Henry was decorated Army Air Corp Veteran of WWII who flew 35 missions and received several military commendations including the Purple Heart.
Mr. Oi was the owner and operator of the South Seas Restaurant in Chinatown for many years before retiring. He was a member of the Chinatown American Legion, 8th Air Force Historical Society and a member of the China Town Merchants Assn. Beloved husband for 60 years of Yoko “Betty” Oi, Mr. Oi is father of Allen Oi, Marjorie Dixon, Loretta Capone, Henry Oi, Jr. and the late John Oi and Alan Brown, grandfather of Christina Dixon, and brother of Rhoda Lee. A private burial with full military honors was held at the VA National Cemetery in Bourne, MA.