Wednesday, 11 May 2005

Singaporeans in World War II

Seeing that the 60th anniversary of V-E Day is just over, I thought I'd post this intriguing bit about a Singaporean who flew in World War II over Normandy:
Singapore-born Wing Commander Tan Kay Hai was the first Straits Chinese to fly with the Royal Air Force and to win the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew with 2 Squadron RAF on photo-recon missions in Mustangs over the D-Day beaches in June 1944.

Wing Commander Tan was one of the 114 Singapore wartime pilots who were sent to Canada under the Commonwealth Training Scheme. Shot down over France in June 1944 after the Normandy D-Day Landings, he was captured but escaped within eight months and made his way to England. His operations with the RAF won him the DFC. (From the eHangar.com Forums)
You don't really hear about things like this that often, which is too bad, although I'm told this might've been in the Straits Times - the very improbability of a Singaporean Chinese man being in the RAF is interesting enough, but to learn that he flew over Normandy as well as escaped from capture - that's one heck of a story there. I wonder if there are any more stories from the other 113 pilots?

Edit: My math was atrocious.



His has got to be one of the best war stories I've read. The other being the story of Operations Jaywick and Rimau.


Wow. I would never have imagined that could possibly happen. Singaporean. Normandy. Wow!
Very interesting indeed. I am an avid fan of WW2 war stories:)


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Hi Daryl, glad you picked up on this inspiring story of Wing Commander Tan Kay Hai and thank you for providing the link to my website eHangar.com.

Just a slight correction in your blog - we actually celebrated the 60th anniversary of VE Day, not the 50th.

Yes, it would be a most interesting project to find out about the other 113 Singapore pilots. Anyone care to take this on? :)

eHangar.com - the Aviation Art Directory & Portal for Aviation Art enthusiasts, artists, dealers and publishers


I'm really interested in people who set up sites on hobbies they're passionate about, like your aviation art one.

And yes, my math was bad! Will correct.


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