Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s veteran is Army Air Forces Veteran Art Wong, who was captured as a prisoner of war during a mission in Germany.
Art Wong grew up in Oakland, California to a commercial pilot father, who instilled in him a love of planes. He flew his first plane at the age of 16 and even had to land the plane in the Oakland Bay.
Wong became as member of the 359th Fighter Group of the Army Air Forces in March 1944. In December of that year, Wong flew his P-51 aircraft into the front lines in Germany and suffered engine damage, causing the engine to fail and forcing Wong to eject. Wong was able to release his parachute and make a safe landing, but was quickly captured by German soldiers.
He was interrogated and transferred to a prisoner of war camp, where he was able to keep a secret journal of writings and sketches during his time of imprisonment. On May 1st, 1945, Russian forces liberated Wong and his fellow prisoners.
When Wong returned home, he focused on his education, graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and from Harvard University with a Master’s of Business Administration. He then went on to have a successful career, including 20 years at Hewlett Packard and had four children with his wife, Wilma.
Wong retired in 1982 and moved to San Mateo County in California, where he still lives today. He spends his days sharing stories of his service and was even honored by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for his positive attitude and exceptional example of courage and service.
Thank you for your service!