Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Hua Huang

General I Hua Huang , originally named Shian, was born in Yizhang county, Hunan province. During his youth, the country was in turmoil and suffered from civil war and warlord-ism. After graduating from high school, I Hua joined the military and spent the next 10 years studying and applying military science. The general sentiment of relatives at the time was that joining the army was a bad decision. Despite the negative opinions of others, Huang never regretted his decision.


World War II and Anti-Japanese War 1937-1945

Huang participated in the following battles:
Battle of Shanghai : The opening battle of the Anti-Japanese War.

Battle of Nanjing : Huang was a Colonel at this time. On Dec. 13, Nanjing fell. The Japanese army massacred the populace of Nanjing and Huang was almost captured by the Japanese during their attack on the city.

Battle of Wuhan : The battle involved areas of four provinces, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan. The battle lasted approximately six months and was especially difficult. Casualties of the Japanese forces were estimated at 200,000. Wuhan was abandoned in November and the Nationalist army withdrew to regroup and prepare for subsequent battles.

Battle of Xian-bei : The goal of the Japanese army was to advance toward Changsha, the capital of the Hunan province. At this time, Huang was promoted to major general and stationed to the 9th military region at Nanyu, Hunan as a staff officer. Huang's appointment to Major General was noteworthy in that he was only 30 years old at the time and became one of the youngest generals in the country. General Chen Chen, Huang's superior commander, highly regarded Huang's skills and praised him frequently. Huang drafted many of the directives and orders for General Chen and frequently represented him in meetings. It was during this campaign that Huang's second child, Yue Shiou, was born.

Battle of Zhao Yi : The battle was marked by its ferocity. During the battle, one of the high ranking nationalist army generals, General Zhang Zhi Zhong, was lost. General Zhang was a 3-star general and the highest ranked officer to lose his life during the Anti-Japanese war. During the Battle, Huang's units were overrun by the Japanese and escaped to the safety through enemy lines. During the escape, they hid in farm fields and only moved at night. With the assistance of the local population and militia, they were able to make their way to safety after seven days. Many people at the time thought that Huang had perished.

Huang's third child, Ling Shiou, was born when he was with the stationed at Ensi, Hubei.

December 7th, 1941: Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese and America entered the war. The Japanese advance in China halted at Yichang, Hubei. General Huang was promoted to deputy division command of the 4th division and stationed in Shangdouping, Hubei for about three years. Shandouping is in Yichang, Hubei and is near the present day 3 Gorge's Dam.

Huang's fourth child, Ying Sheng, was born.

1944: General Huang was promoted as division commander of the 16th division at age 36. It was at this time that the Japanese began their attack towards Chongquing from occupied Guilin and Vietnam. The 16th division was redeployed to the southern area of Sichuan to prepare for the Japanese attack. However, since the Japanese advance was defeated by another Chinese unit, the 16th was redeployed back to Shandouping. It was at this time that Huang's fifth child, Cheng Sheng, was born.

1945: The Japanese surrender after the bombing of Hiroshima and . The 16th division was ordered to receive the Japanese surrender at Yichang, Hubei. Th 16th division received the surrender of the 132th division of the Japanese army at Tianmen, Hubei. By President Chiang Kai Shek's order, the Chinese army did not mistreat the surrendering Japanese.

Civil War Years

In the subsequent years after World War II, General Huang participated in the Civil War against the Communist forces from 1947-49 and engaged in many battles. Hann Sheng and Shian Sheng were born. Huang became the 103rd Corp Deputy Commander in 1948. The 103rd consisted of 3 divisions (347th, 234th, and a third division. The 103rd Corp was lost in battle in Guangxi near the Vietnamese border. General Huang escaped through Communist lines to safety.

Life in Taiwan

1950- General Huang arrived in Taiwan and was appointed Chief of staff of the Eastern Defense military Region headquartered at Hualien. Afterwards, General Huang became the head of the 8th and 3rd Army Officer Fighting Regiments and eventually retired from the army in 1955. After the army, Huang worked in the Bureau of National Property as a regional director. At the age of 65, I Hua retired from public office.

Life in the United States

I Hua came to the United States in 1975 and lived in Elmhurst, Queens, New York with his family. General Huang and his wife, Lee Yuen were both born in the countryside of Hunan. They married early and their marriage lasted over 72 years. Lee Yuen lived until 1998. All of his seven children are currently in the United States. Of the seven, four attained PhD Degrees and one attained a Master's Degree. Two of his children were left behind in China after the civil war and were not able to rejoin him in the United States until the 1980s. The two sibling left behind didn't have the same opportunities as the other five and suffered greatly from Communist persecution. I Hua and Lee Yuen always regretted stranding of their two children in China and were moved to tears whenever the incident was mentioned.


For his entire life, Huang I Hua was characterized as a very gentle person. He seldom got angry and demanded little. He enjoyed reading, writing, walking, and moderate amounts of drinking. He drank a lot of water/tea every day. He quit smoking after reaching 50 years old. Walking was his favorite hobby. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he enjoyed the company of friends and family and frequently engaged in mahjong. After the death of his wife , he grieved for a long time and seldom engaged in social activities. Instead, he asked Ning Sheng or Yi Sheng to represent him at the veteran association events.

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