Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ceiling 500 feet, intermittent drizzle

In 2004, I approached Moon Chin with great trepidation. My experiences at the CNAC reunion made it obvious that he had incredible standing and “face” among the company’s veterans, and I suspected I wouldn’t be able to write the story … Continue reading

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Moon Chin photo, 1941

Next: Interviewing Moon Chin

Posted in Aviation photos, China's Wings, Moon Chin | Tagged | 6 Comments

Moon Chin Learns to Fly

Moon Chin finished the mechanics course and thought he might be able to catch on as an airline mechanic. He cast around for openings, but the recession was slipping into a much more serious depression, and nobody was hiring. There … Continue reading

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Lindbergh’s crossing captivates Moon Chin

A month after Moon Chin’s thirteenth birthday, on May 21 and 22, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic, a feat that catapulted Lindbergh to the absolute apogee of American fame and sparked a mania for everything aviation. Lindbergh … Continue reading

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The Economic Opportunities in a place called Baltimore

Moon Chin crossed North America in a train, sitting upright on a wooden bench with his face glued to the window, full of wonder at the sights of the new land. After five days in transit, father and son reached … Continue reading

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Moon Chin languishes in an INS gulag

Joe Chin wasn’t alone in having his citizenship minted in the San Francisco earthquake. Thousands of other Chinese had seized the same opportunity, and like Joe Chin, at long intervals those men returned to the villages, wives, and families they’d … Continue reading

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Moon Chin immigrates — and goes to jail

Moon Chin and his father lugged a single suitcase out of Wing-Wa village one humid morning in the summer of 1924. Sweat trickled from their short black hair and soaked their shirts. Dust trailed from their feet in the two-rut … Continue reading

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Moon Chin finally gets to meet his father — at age 10

In Wing-Wa Village, Moon Chin grew up with his mother, sister, and brother behind the dingy, sun-seared, windowless exterior walls of a single-story, mud-brick house slowly crumbling back into the earth from which it had been raised. Crunchy lichens sprouted … Continue reading

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How the SF earthquake made Moon Chin a citizen, Part III

Continued from yesterday, part 3 of 3… At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, the San Andreas Fault ruptured off the coast southwest of San Francisco, triggering a monstrous earthquake that hammered the city for 45 seconds, collapsing and toppling … Continue reading

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How the SF earthquake made Moon Chin a citizen, Part II

Continued from yesterday. Predictably, the Chinese suffered a backlash. Working-class whites felt that disciplined Chinese toil forced them to work harder for less pay. In 1871, a dozen Chinese were killed in a Los Angeles race riot – including a … Continue reading

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