Hazel Ying Lee

04 July 2019
Left:Hazel Ying Lee in her uniform with a WASP (Women\'s Airforce Service Pilot) pin, ca. 1943; Right:Hazel Ying
Lee (R) with fellow pilot Virginia Wong, ca. 1932, Courtesy of Frances M. Tong, Museum of Chinese in American
(MOCA) Hazel Ying Lee & Frances M. Tong Collection
Virginia Wong,大约1932年,Frances M. Tong捐赠,美国华人博物馆(MOCA)馆藏

Hazel Ying Lee (1912-1944) was the first Chinese American woman to fly for the U.S. military. Born in Portland, Oregon, Lee’s unquenchable thirst for flight began at age 19, when she first rode in a friend’s plane at an airshow. Within a year, she became one of the first Chinese American women to earn a pilot’s license, despite prevailing sexist and anti-Chinese norms. When Japan invaded China in 1933, Lee moved to China to join the Chinese Air Force but was rejected as a female pilot and forced into desk jobs there and upon her return to the States. But in 1943, Lee became one of the first women and one of two Chinese American women (alongside Maggie Gee) to join the groundbreaking Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program. While a part of the U.S. military during WWII, the WASPs were classified as civilians and not allowed to see combat, receive military benefits, or be buried in military funerals. Still, they flew critical, dangerous missions as they ferried new aircraft across the States and troubleshot malfunctions straight off the assembly line. Lee also became one of 132 female pilots trained to “fly pursuit,” or fast, high-powered fighters. Lee died in a crash due to control tower error at 32 years old, less than a month before the end of the WASP program. Throughout her career, Lee’s friends and colleagues would describe her as a “calm and fearless,” teaching them about Chinese culture without ever considering her race or gender as she destroyed historical barriers in the pursuit of her dreams. In 1977, the WASP pilots were finally recognized with military status. MOCA’s Hazel Ying Lee & Frances M. Tong Collection, donated by Hazel’s sister Frances M. Tong and filmmaker Alan H. Rosenberg, includes original personal photographs, family letters, documents, newspaper articles, and memorabilia.

李月英(1912-1944)是第一位为美国军队飞行的华裔美国女性。李月英出生于俄勒冈州波特兰市,19岁的她开始无法压抑对飞行的渴望,当时她参加航空展,第一次坐在朋友的飞机中。在一年之内,她不顾当时盛行的性别歧视和反华风潮,成为第一批获得飞行员执照的华裔美国女性之一。1933年日本入侵中国时,李月英前往中国想要加入中国空军,但却因为是女性而被拒绝了,她被迫在那做一些文书工作直到她回到美国。终于在1943年,李月英成为了第一批女飞行员,并作为仅有的两名华裔美国女飞行员(还有一位是朱美娇Maggie Gee)加入了一项新的美国女子航空勤务飞行队(WASP)计划。二战期间,尽管女子航空勤务飞行队也是美军的一部分,但是她们却被列为老百姓,不被允许参加战斗,获得军队福利或者被埋葬在军队墓地。尽管如此,当她们运送新飞机穿越美国,并在流水线上直接解决棘手的故障时,她们仍然执行着关键而危险的任务。李月英还成为132名接受过“飞行追击”,或者驾驶快速、高能力战斗机训练的女飞行员之一。在女子航空勤务飞行队(WASP)项目结束前不到一个月,32岁的李月英死于一次由控制塔的失误导致的事故。在她的整个职业生涯中,她的朋友和同事都把她描述成一个“冷静而无畏”的人,她教授给他们中国文化,却从不曾局限于自己的种族和性别,她在追求个人梦想的过程中勇于打破历史的藩篱。1977年,女子航空勤务飞行队的飞行员最终被承认其军人身份。MOCA的李月英和Frances M. Tong系列收藏由李月英的妹妹Frances M. Tong和电影制作人Alan H. Rosenberg捐赠,其中包括了原版个人照片、家族信件、文件、报纸文章和纪念品等。

Countdown to the TCS NYC Marathon on November 3, 2019: 216 Days.

2019年是美国第一条横贯大陆铁路建成150周年,为了纪念第一批华人来美建设这条铁路所做出的巨大贡献, MOCA将其2019 TCS NYC Marathon的活动命名为 MOCA Spike 150 – Running Forward With Our Stories! 鼓励大家通过马拉松公益跑,全国线上接力,以及一天一个故事的方式讲述150个华人的历史故事,敬请大家持续关注, 讲出华人自己的故事,回顾过去,立足现在,展望未来,共同书写美国历史,使之更加充实完整。

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