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Wong Sun-sui file photo [24626]

Wong Sun-sui

Given NameSun-sui
Born15 Mar 1914
Died16 Mar 1941


ww2dbaseWong Sun-sui (Mandarin, Pinyin: Huang Xinrui; Mandarin, Wade-Giles: Hwang Hsin-jui) was born in Taishan County, Guangdong Province, China. At the age of nine, he emigrated to Los Angeles, California, United States with his family. In 1932, he enrolled in the Chinese aviation school at Los Angesles, and then attended another flight school in Oakland, California, United States. In the mid-1930s, he joined the Guangdong Provincial Air Force as a member of the 2nd Pursuit Squadron. During these early years in Guangdong, he acquired the nickname "Buffalo" in reference to his stocky stature and in comparison with the strong Asian water buffalo. When the Guangdong Provincial Air Force was merged into the Chinese Central Air Force, he became a member of the 17th Pursuit Squadron of the 3rd Pursuit Group. His first victory during the Second Sino-Japanese War took place on 15 Aug 1937 with the downing of a G3m bomber near Nanjing, China. On 19 Sep, while in combat over Nanjing, he observed several Japanese E8N seaplanes shooting at the parachute of Lieutenant Liu Lan-ching, who had just bailed out from his P-26 fighter; although successful, Wong was in turn shot down by Pilot Officer 2nd Class Harada, flying an A5M fighter. He was able to bail out, but he suffered injuries in the left hand which required some months to heal. In late 1937 or early 1938, he was given command of the 29th Pursuit Squadron of the 5th Pursuit Group, which flew Gladiator fighters. On 28 Feb, he shot down an E8N floatplane and claimed another as probable over Dongpu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. On 13 Apr, after shooting down multiple Japanese carrier aircraft from Kaga over Guangzhou, his Gladiator fighter was shot down by the A5M fighter piloted by Petty Officer 1st Class Jiro Chono; although he successfully bailed out, he lost the small finger on his left hand and was put out of action for an extended amount of time. In Nov 1940, he was promoted to the rank of major to command the 5th Pursuit Group. In Dec 1940 or Jan 1941, he was put in the cockpit of Soviet-built I-15III fighter. On 14 Mar, he was shot down by an A6M Zero fighter in the southern suburbs of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He passed away in a hospital in Sumatou district of Chengdu from the head wound sustained in the downing two days later. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

ww2dbaseSource: Raymond Cheung, Aces of the Republic of China Air Force

Last Major Revision: Nov 2015

Wong Sun-sui Interactive Map

Wong Sun-sui Timeline

15 Mar 1914 Wong Sun-sui was born in Taishan County, Guangdong Province, China.
15 Aug 1937 Wong Sun-sui, flying a P-26 fighter, shot down a Japanese G3M bomber over Nanjing, China; this was his first victory.
16 Aug 1937 Wong Sun-sui, flying a P-26 fighter, damaged a Japanese G3M bomber between Nanjing and Suzhou, China, but could not finish off the bomber due to electrical failures that rendered his weapons useless.
23 Aug 1937 Japanese A4N biplanes from carrier Ryujo attacked a group of Chinese Hawk III biplanes over Baoshan District of Shanghai, China; Masaichi Kondo claimed two victory, while other pilots in his air group claimed an additional eight. On the Chinese side, Liu Cuigang claimed one victory at 0730 hours, Yuan Baokang claimed one damaged over Liuhe in Jiangsu Province, and Wong Sun-sui claimed one victory near Chongming Island north of Shanghai.
19 Sep 1937 Wong Sun-sui, flying a P-26 fighter, attempted to attack multiple Japanese E8N aircraft which were shooting Lieutenant Liu Lan-ching who was descending to grounds near Nanjing, China via a parachute. Wong was in turn attacked by Pilot Officer 2nd Class Harada, flying an A5M fighter. Wong suffered fragment wounds to the left hand but was able to bail out safely.
23 Feb 1938 Chinese 29th Pursuit Squadron, commanded by Wong Sun-sui, was relocated to Nanxiong, Guangdong Province, China.
24 Feb 1938 Wong Sun-sui, flying a Gladiator fighter, damaged three Japanese E7K seaplanes and damaged a fourth aircraft of uncertain type (E7K or E8N) over Nanxiong, Guangdong Province, China; he was given 2.25 victories.
28 Feb 1938 Wong Sun-sui, flying a Gladiator fighter out of Tianhe (Postal Map: Tien Ho) Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, shot down a Japanese E8N floatplane at about 0830 hours and claimed another as probable.
13 Apr 1938 Kaga launched 18 D1A2 bombers at 0830 hours, with 6 fighters in escort, to attack Tienhe airfield near Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China; Gladiator fighters of Chinese 28th Pursuit Squadron and 29th Pursuit Squadron intercepted the group, shooting down 2 A4N1 fighters and 2 D1A2 bombers; 4 Chinese fighters were also lost in combat.
14 Mar 1941 Wong Sun-sui, flying an I-15III fighter, was shot down by a Japanese A6M Zero fighter over Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He made a successful crash landing, but sustained fatal injuries.
16 Mar 1941 Wong Sun-sui passed away from wounds sustained during the aerial engagement two days prior at in Sumatou district, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Bobby Chen says:
3 Aug 2020 10:51:10 PM

Thank you for this excellent account and historic memorial of this unsung hero, Wong Sun-shui... often confused with another air force hero Wong Pan-Yang.

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