Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul presented the daughter of U.S. Army nurse and World War II veteran Rebecca Chung with honorable discharge papers for her mother's service to this country.
"We have a responsibility to honor the brave men and women who served our nation and risked their lives for our country," Hochul said. "Rebecca Chung and her family waited nearly 70 years for the honor and recognition she earned, and I am pleased I could finally present Mrs. Chung's family with their mother's honorable discharge papers."
Mrs. Chung was recruited into the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. This group consisted of American Aviators commonly known as the "Flying Tigers" who fought against Japan. Once the U.S. entered the war, the group was organized into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. Mrs. Chung served in the U.S. Army until July 1943 when she joined the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). In 1993, CNAC air crew members were awarded veteran status; however, this recognition was not extended to Mrs. Chung.
After years of attempting to receive her discharge papers, Mrs. Chung passed away last month, days before Hochul's office was able to obtain the papers.
Hochul presented the discharge papers to Chung's daughter, Deborah Chung, a resident of Amherst.
"My mother dedicated her life to nursing and unconditional service," Deborah Chung said. "Though her veteran status is nearly seven decades overdue, I want to thank Congresswoman Hochul and her staff for finally giving my mother the honor that she rightfully deserves."
After the war, Mrs. Chung moved to Canada and wrote a memoir titled "Piloted to Serve." She passed away on Dec. 7, 2011.