Tung-Sheng Liu - (Tom Liu)
Honorary Doolittle Raider
Born December 3, 1917, Wei-Tying, Kiangsi, China
Died May 3rd, 2009 Los Angeles California
Tung-Sheng Liu, who risked his life to help American pilots in China during WWII, died of pneumonia in Monterey Park on May 3, 2009. He was 92.
Born to a merchant family in China, Mr. Liu experienced a defining moment in his life when he helped rescue members of a U.S. B-25 crew which had crash-landed near the Chinese coast in April 1942. They were members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, daring U.S. airmen whose planes had taken off from an aircraft carrier to bomb Japanese military targets. Acting as interpreter and guide, Mr. Liu helped lead the Americans through Japanese-occupied areas to a dusty landing strip where they flew to safety. "During our whole trip under Liu's guidance, our treatment was superb," navigator Lt. Carl Wildner was quoted as saying in 'Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders', a book written by Lt.
Col. Carroll V. Glines about the attack. "He had risked his neck for us."
After WWII ended, Mr. Liu fulfilled his youthful dream of traveling to the U.S. to study aeronautical engineering at the University of Minnesota. Through a lucky coincidence, he met up again with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, led by the legendary Gen. James H. "Jimmy"
Doolittle. Mr. Liu was extremely proud to be named an honorary member of the Raiders; he maintained lifelong friendships with the airmen he'd helped in China and eagerly took part in most of the Raiders'
yearly reunions.(He was too ill to make the most recent gathering in late April when just four Raiders -- out of the original 80 -- took part.)
Mr. Liu became a U.S. citizen in 1954. Four years later he began work as a civilian aeronautical engineer at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, where he helped develop the C5 military transport aircraft. After retiring, he moved to California in 1981. He was active in Chinese-American community groups such as the Dayton Association of Chinese-Americans, the Tsinghua University Alumni in South California, and the Chinese Committee on Aging in Los Angeles.
Mr. Liu also was an avid fan of Chinese opera.
Mr. Liu was married for 58 years to Man-Ming Wang Liu, who passed away in 1999. Mr. Liu is survived by his sister Shii-Sheng and four children -- Guangyuan, Tom, Melinda and Sheridan -- as well as three grand-children and two great-grandchildren. He is dearly missed.
The funeral is Friday, May 8 at 1:00 pm at The Rainbow Chapel, Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Rd. Whittier, CA Tel:
562-699-0921. A short reception will be held afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Communities Foundation of Texas for the James H. Doolittle Scholarship Fund, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, TX 75225.