Mom Chung and the Fair-Haired Bastards: A Documentary about the First Chinese American Female Doctor that Recruited the WWII Flying Tigers and Lobbied for the Navy WAVES

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Bamboo Productions announces a crowd-funding project on indiegogo.com to create a documentary on Dr. Margaret "Mom" Chung, the first Chinese American female physician in U.S., who "adopted" 1000's WWII Navy pilots, the self-proclaimed "Fair-Haired Bastards", helped recruit the Flying Tigers, and lobbied for the establishment of the Navy WAVES.

Mom Chung was featured in Real Heroes comic book series (February/March 1943)

Mom Chung was featured in Real Heroes comic book series (February/March 1943)

Dr. Margaret "Mom" Chung, the first Chinese American female physician in U.S., who "adopted" 1000's WWII Navy pilots, the self-proclaimed "Fair-Haired Bastards", helped recruit the Flying Tigers, and lobbied for the establishment of Navy WAVES.

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Bamboo Productions announces a crowd funding project on indiegogo.com to create a documentary on Dr. Margaret "Mom" Chung, the first Chinese American female physician in U.S., who "adopted" 1000's WWII Navy pilots, the self-proclaimed "Fair-Haired Bastards", helped recruit the Flying Tigers, and lobbied for the establishment of Navy WAVES. This documentary will give much deserved recognition to a true pioneer and patriot.

The oldest of eleven children, born in 1889 to poor Chinese immigrants in California, Margaret Chung became the first known Chinese-American female physician and the only woman in her graduating class at the University of Southern California's School of Medicine. If this tale of stubborn determination to succeed were the end of it, then Margaret Chung would have been like many other Americans who found a road where there seemed to be only obstacles. But this multi-faceted woman did much more than succeed in her career.

When asked to conduct medical examinations on seven Navy reserve pilots in San Francisco, Margaret did so and then treated them to a home-cooked meal. These self-described “Fair-Haired Bastards” became the core of a large family that was able to identify one another by the jade Buddha's given to them by their "Mom Chung."

"Margaret Chung's story was fascinating to read because of her tremendous achievements in the face of societal norms. In becoming a physician, she was the Chinese Sally Ride and Jackie Robinson of the medical profession", said Ryan Yip, producer at Bamboo Productions.

In addition to the personal legacy she left with so many servicemen, she also made a mark on the greater world stage. When Japan invaded China in 1937, she volunteered to be a front-line surgeon. After being deterred, she took an unofficial assignment recruiting pilots to help defend China as part of the American volunteer group known as the Flying Tigers, led by Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault. She also lobbied her Congress to expand women's wartime role by establishing the Navy WAVES, and used her contacts with her "adopted sons" to push through the legislation. "For these achievements in the latter part of her life, Mom Chung was the Chinese Martha Raye in San Francisco", Yip stated.

Her fame during the war landed her in the Real Heroes comic book series along with FDR and the Texas Rangers. In addition, the lead female character of a movie, King of Chinatown, starring Anna May Wong, was based on Dr. Chung.

In the decade after the war, she retired from medical practice, and her devoted "sons" pitched in and bought her a house in Marin County, where—still unmarried—she died of cancer in 1959. World War II naval hero Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, a Golden Dolphin, and George Christopher, the Mayor of San Francisco during that time, were pallbearers.

Margaret Chung rose above sexism, racism and even the social protocol of her times. For that, she pioneered for herself an incredibly rich life that touched thousands.

For more information on the Mom Chung and the Fair-Haired Bastards documentary, please see our website and project on indiegogo.com.

About Bamboo Productions

Ryan Yip is the principal of Bamboo Productions, a multimedia company dedicated to bringing recognition to those who have come before us and overcome the obstacles of their time to make significant contributions to our world. Our previous project focused on the Hong Wah Kues, the first and only professional Chinese American basketball team that barnstormed around the Midwest in 1939-1941, playing teams such as the Harlem Globetrotters. Our efforts resulted in an exhibit, awards and proclamations, several newspaper and magazine articles, and an Emmy-winning television segment.

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