Overlooked No More: When Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee Soared the Skies

二战中鲜为人知的美军华裔女飞行员

纽约时报双语版-二战中鲜为人知的美军华裔女飞行员

朱美娇是二战女子空军飞行队1074名成员之一。
via Wings Across America

Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. This latest installment is from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series by The Times that documents lesser-known stories from the war.

“被遗漏的”是一系列杰出人物的讣告,自1851年以来,他们的死讯未被时报报道。最新一辑来自“我们所知的二战之外”,这是时报的一个系列,记录二战中鲜为人知的故事。

They never met, but their early lives ran a strikingly similar course. They were both Chinese-American women who thwarted layers of prejudice and preconception to become World War II pilots. One died young, while transporting a fighter plane. The other lived to 89 and went on to become a scientist.

她们从未谋面,但她们的早年生活却有着惊人的相似之处。她们都是华裔美国女性,克服了种种偏见和成见,成为二战飞行员。其中一位在运送战斗机时英年早逝。另一位后来成为一名科学家,活到了89岁。

Their names were Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee, and they were WASPs, or Women Airforce Service Pilots.

她们的名字是李月英(Hazel Ying Lee)和朱美娇(Maggie Gee),她们是妇女空军服务飞行队(Women Airforce Service Pilots,简称WASP)的成员。

In 1942, as the Air Force faced a dearth of male pilots to sustain the war effort at home, the pilot Jacqueline Cochran persuaded the chief of the U.S. Army Air Force to recruit female pilots. More than 25,000 women applied. Only 1,830 were accepted into flight training. Of those, 1,074 completed the training.

1942年,美国空军面临男飞行员短缺的局面,无法满足国内的战争需要,飞行员杰奎琳·科克伦(Jacqueline Cochran)说服美国陆军航空军司令招募女飞行员。超过2.5万名女性申请。只有1830人被录取接受飞行训练。其中有1074人完成培训。

For two years, these pilots flew nearly every type of aircraft. Their principal job was to ferry planes between bases. They also tested new planes, trained male pilots and flew damaged planes back to base for repair. They traveled in inclement weather and landed on unlighted runways at night. Thirty-eight of the women died in service.

两年时间里,这些飞行员几乎驾驶了所有类型的飞机。她们的主要工作是在基地之间运送飞机,还负责测试新飞机,培训男性飞行员,并将受损的飞机飞回基地进行维修。她们在恶劣的天气下航行,夜间在没有照明的跑道上降落。其中38名女性在服役期间身亡。

Gee, a third-generation Chinese American, was born Gee Mei Gue on Aug. 5, 1923, in Berkeley, Calif., one of six children. Her mother was Jung An Yoke, whose parents moved to California from a village in Guangzhou, China, in the 1870s. Her grandfather, Jung Sun Choy, settled on the Monterey Peninsula south of San Francisco and became a pioneer in the abalone business.

朱美娇是第三代华裔美国人,1923年8月5日生于加州伯克利,有五个兄弟姊妹。她的母亲名叫荣安玉(Jung An Yoke,音),其父母于1870年代从中国广州的一个村庄移民加州。她的外祖父荣生财(Jung Sun Choy,音)在旧金山以南的蒙特雷半岛定居,并成为鲍鱼经销行业的一位先驱人物。

The family moved to San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1906, then to Berkeley.

1906年,这家人搬到了旧金山唐人街,然后又搬到了伯克利。

The year after Gee was born, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted immigration from Asia. Animosity toward the Chinese was growing, and the sentiments sometimes pervaded Gee’s childhood.

朱美娇出生后第二年,国会通过了限制亚洲移民的1924年移民法。对华人的仇恨在增长,朱美娇的童年不时感受到这种情绪。

She found a haven in the family’s Sunday outings to the Oakland airport to watch planes take off. “I loved how the vibrations echoed in my bones,” she told Marissa Moss, a children’s book author who wrote about Gee in “Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee” (2009). “Just being there, being part of it all, made me feel big and powerful.”

周日全家去往奥克兰机场看飞机起飞的活动,给她带去了慰藉。“我喜欢那种钻进骨头里的震颤,”她对儿童读物作家玛丽莎·莫斯(Marissa Moss)说,后者的《高空——朱美娇的真实故事》(Sky High: the True Story of Maggie Gee)一书于2009年出版。“光是待在那里,成为这一切的一部分,就让我觉得自己很强大。”

Gee would scan the skies for Amelia Earhart, who frequently flew into Oakland. And once, Gee spotted her. “When I waved, she saw me and waved back,” Gee said.

朱美娇会仰望天空,寻找经常飞往奥克兰的阿米莉亚·埃尔哈特(Amelia Earhart)。有一次,朱美娇看到了她。“我向她挥手,她看见了我,也向我挥手,”朱美娇说。

In 1941, when she was 18, Gee enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, to study physics, but she dropped out a few months later when the United States entered World War II to work at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, in Vallejo, Calif., near San Francisco. Her mother was a welder there, and Gee worked in the drafting department.

1941年,18岁的朱美娇就读于加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校,攻读物理学,但几个月后美国加入第二次世界大战,她旋即辍学,在旧金山附近的瓦列霍的马雷岛海军造船厂工作。她的母亲是那里的焊工,朱美娇在制图部门工作。

Aviation soon beckoned. Gee and two co-workers pooled their funds, bought a car for $25 and drove to Texas for six months of training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, 40 miles west of Abilene.

她很快开始了飞行的生涯。朱美娇和两名同事凑了25美元买了一辆汽车,开车前往得克萨斯州,在阿比林以西40英里的斯威特沃特的复仇者机场进行了6个月的培训。

“I learned to parachute and make emergency landings, Gee said. “We did the same intense work the male pilots had to do.”

“我学会了使用降落伞以及紧急降落,”朱美娇说。“男飞行员必须要做的艰巨工作,我们也一样在做。”

Gee was occasionally mistaken for the Japanese enemy. She knew she stood out. “I felt like an exhibit at the country fair, a two-headed cow, the amazing Chinese-American WASP,” she said.

朱美娇偶尔被误认为是日本敌人。她知道自己和别人不一样。她说:“我感觉就像是一头在乡下集会上展览的双头牛,那个非凡的华裔美国人女子飞行员。”

The only other Chinese-American woman in the program was Lee.

该计划只有两名华裔美国人女子飞行员,另一名是李月英。

Ah Ying Lee was born on Aug. 25, 1912, in Portland, Ore. Her father, Lee Yuet, was a businessman who owned an import-export business. Her mother, Wong Sau Lan, was a homemaker.

李月英于1912年8月25日出生于俄勒冈州波特兰,父亲李悦(Lee Yuet,音)是一位进出口商。她的母亲黄秀兰(Wong Sau Lan,音)是家庭主妇。

After graduating from high school in 1929, Lee got a job as an elevator operator at H. Liebes & Company, a department store in Portland, where she also did stockroom work.

1929年高中毕业后,李月英在波特兰的H·列比斯百货公司担任电梯司机,并在那里的库房工作。

She joined the Chinese Flying Club of Portland and in 1932 graduated from aviation school with her pilot’s license.

她加入了波特兰华人飞行俱乐部,并于1932年从航空学校毕业,取得飞行员执照。

“I think that for Hazel, flying a plane symbolized not just flight but a freedom she didn’t have on the ground,” said Alan Rosenberg, a filmmaker who made “A Brief Flight” (2002), a documentary about Lee.

电影制片人艾伦·罗森伯格(Alan Rosenberg)制作了一部关于李月英的纪录片《短暂的飞行》(A Brief Flight, 2002),他说:“我认为,对于李月英来说,驾驶飞机不仅象征着飞行,还象征着她在地面上所没有的自由。”

In Portland, while learning to fly, she met Louie Yen-chung, a student from China who was training as a cadet. Their romance endured for more than a decade, even with long stretches of time spent miles — sometimes continents — apart.

在波特兰学习飞行的同时,她遇到了正在接受军事训练的中国学生雷炎均。尽管长期相隔两地——甚至有时相距两个大洲,他们的爱情坚守了十多年。

In 1933, in the buildup to the Second Sino-Japanese war, Lee hoped to fly for the Chinese Air Force. But the Chinese government turned her down, saying women were too “unstable” to fly, her sister Frances Tong told The Portland Oregonian in 2003. Instead, Lee flew commercial and private flights.

1933年,在第二次中日战争前夕,李月英希望效力于中国空军。但是她的姐姐弗朗西斯·唐(Frances Tong,音)在2003年告诉波特兰的《俄勒冈人报》(The Oregonian),中国政府拒绝了她,说女人太过“不稳定”,不适合飞行。李月英转而去驾驶商业和私人航班。

Lee returned to the United States in December 1938, living in New York. She graduated from the WASP training program in 1943 and was sent to Romulus, Mich.

李月英于1938年12月回到美国,住在纽约。她于1943年从女子飞行队员培训计划毕业,并被派往密歇根州罗穆卢斯。

Because WASPs were Civil Service employees and not military personnel, they had to pay for their food and lodging. There were no flight suits for women, and Lee’s frame, at 5’3” and 115 pounds, was overwhelmed by even the smallest of the men’s uniforms.

由于女子飞行队员属于公务员,不是军事人员,因此他们的伙食住宿必须自费。没有女性可穿的飞行服,李月英身高5英寸3英寸、重115磅,即使是最小号的男性飞行服也还是太大。

On Oct. 9, 1943, she married Louie, whom she called “Cliff,” by then a major in the Chinese Air Force. “KNOT TIED TODAY,” she wrote in a telegram to another pilot. “CAVU FOR CLIFF AND ME.” CAVU, an acronym used by pilots, stands for “ceiling and visibility unlimited.”

1943年10月9日,她与雷炎均结婚了,她管他叫“克里夫”,那时他是一名中国空军少校。“今日喜结连理,”她在电报中写给另一位飞行员。“克里夫和我CAVU。”CAVU是飞行员使用的首字母缩写,代表“天空视野无垠”(ceiling and visibility unlimited)。

After their wedding, Louie returned to China, and Lee did not hear from her husband for six months. “She said she was sure that he was either dead or captured,” said Virginia Luttrell Krahn, another WASP, in a 1997 oral history interview.

结婚后,雷炎均回到中国,李月英有六个月没有听到丈夫的消息。另一名女子飞行队员弗吉尼亚·卢特雷尔·克拉恩(Virginia Luttrell Krahn)在1997年的一次口述历史采访中说:“她说她确信他已经死了,或被俘虏了。”

Glimpses of the racial prism through which Lee was viewed are sprinkled through archives maintained at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. Another pilot, for instance, referred to Lee as “the little Chinese girl” in a letter she wrote to family.

从德克萨斯州丹顿市德州女子大学(Texas Woman’s University)保存的档案中,可以瞥见种族棱镜下的李月英。例如,另一位飞行员在给家人的一封信中称李为“那个中国小姑娘”。

Like Gee, Lee was mistaken for Japanese. In her 1997 interview, Krahn said Lee had been flying one day in Texas when her engine failed and she landed in a field. When Lee got out of the plane, “here is this farmer coming at her with a pitchfork,” Krahn recounted.

像朱美娇一样,李月英曾被误认为日本人。克拉恩在1997年的一次采访中说,李月英有一天在德克萨斯州飞行,当时她的发动机发生了故障,她降落在一片农田里。当李月英从飞机上下来时,“一个农夫抄起干草叉向她冲过来,”克拉恩回忆道。

“He said, ‘The Japs have landed, the Japs have landed.’ And Hazel said, ‘No, I am an American, I am an American,’” Krahn said. “This was too much for these farmers. There was no way that they were going to believe that Hazel was a Chinese, not only a Chinese, but a woman Chinese pilot.”

“他说,‘日本人降落了,日本人降落了。’而李月英说,‘不,我是美国人,我是美国人,’”克拉恩说。“对于这些农民来说,这太难理解了。他们无法相信李月英是中国人,不仅是华人,还是华裔女飞行员。”

In recounting the incident that night over dinner in the mess hall, Lee “had the whole line in hysterics,” Krahn added.

克莱恩还说,当晚在食堂吃晚饭时她说起这件事,李月英“让所有人都捧腹大笑”。

Lee was one of 132 pilots chosen to fly so-called “pursuit” planes, now known as fighter aircraft. Among her duties was to fly new Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighters from the manufacturing plant in Buffalo to Great Falls, Mont., for eventual delivery to the Soviet Union.

李月英是132名被选中驾驶所谓的“追击”机——现在叫做战斗机——的飞行员之一。她的职责之一是将新的贝尔P-63眼镜王蛇战斗机从布法罗的制造厂飞到蒙大拿州的大瀑布城,最终交付给苏联。

In November 1944, Lee was on one such mission with a group of pilots on Thanksgiving Day, the first clear day in a while.

1944年11月,李月英在感恩节那天——很久以来的第一个晴天——与一群飞行员一起执行了这样的任务。

Krahn, who also flew that day, recounted the chain of events.

当天也执行了飞行任务的克拉恩回忆了那天发生的一系列事件。

“Shortly after we took off, Jeff moved over close to me and pointed to his earphone and raised his hand,” she said, referring to Jeff Russell, another pilot. “His radio was out.”

“起飞后不久,杰夫飞得离我很近,指着他的耳机,举起了手。”她指的是另一位飞行员杰夫·拉塞尔(Jeff Russell)。她说:“他的无线电坏了。”

The crew stopped in Bismarck, N.D., hoping to have Russell’s radio fixed, but since it was a holiday, they were out of luck; the group continued on to Montana.

机组去了北达科他州俾斯麦,希望在那里修理拉塞尔的无线电,结果运气不好,那天正好是节假日。机组继续前往蒙大拿州。

“By this time there were so many planes circling at Great Falls and ready to land,” Krahn said. “The air was just filled with P-63’s.”

“这一次,大瀑布上空盘旋了很多准备降落的飞机,”克拉恩说“天上全是P-63。”

After landing safely, Krahn saw, to her horror, that at the end of the runway two planes were too close together, one above the other.

安全着陆后,克拉恩惊恐地看到,在跑道尽头有两架飞机靠得太近了,一架在另一架上方。

“When the tower saw what was happening they said ‘pull up, pull up.’ And the only plane that could hear it was Hazel,” Krahn recalled. “And she pulled up right into Jeff, who heard nothing.”

“塔台看到后直喊‘拉升,拉升’。只有李月英听到了警告,”克拉恩回忆道。“她便拉升,直接撞上了杰夫。杰夫什么都没听到。”

Both aircraft burst into flames over the runway.

两架飞机都在跑道上起火。

Russell survived with minor injuries. Lee was trapped in her plane and was badly burned. She died two days later, on Nov. 25, 1944. She was 32.

拉塞尔捡回一条命,只受了轻伤。李月英困在了飞机上,被严重烧伤。两天后,即1944年11月25日,她去世了,享年32岁。

“She was conscious the entire time,” Krahn said. “She never complained. The doctor said they had never seen anyone so brave.”

“她一直都是清醒的,”克拉恩说。“她从不抱怨。医生说,他们从未见过如此勇敢的人。”

Lee’s husband, it turned out, was still alive. He died in 1999 in Taipei, Taiwan.

后来人们得知,李月英的丈夫还活着。他于1999年在台湾台北去世。

Lee was the 38th — and the last — WASP to die in the line of duty.

李月英是第38位,也是最后一位殉职的女子飞行队员。

The program was disbanded on Dec. 20, 1944, in anticipation of the end of the war, and the pilots faded into the housewifery and child rearing that defined the role of women in the 1950s.

由于预期的战争将结束,该计划于1944年12月20日被取消,女飞行员们的形象在相夫教子的生活中逐渐淡漠——那是1950年代女性的角色定义。

Gee was an exception. She returned to Berkeley, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics, then worked on weapons systems at the Lawrence Livermore Berkeley National Laboratory.

朱美娇是一个例外。她回到伯克利,获得物理学学士学位,然后在劳伦斯·利弗莫尔·伯克利国家实验室(Lawrence Livermore Berkeley National Laboratory)研究武器系统。

“She was that generation of Chinese-American women who broke out of the confines of isolation in the community,” said Harvey Dong, a lecturer in Asian-American and Asian diaspora studies at Berkeley.

伯克利分校的亚裔美国人和亚裔侨民研究讲师哈维·董(Harvey Dong,音)说:“她就是那一代摆脱了社群孤立界限的华裔美国女性。”

Gee died on Feb. 1, 2013. She was 89. Warren Heckrotte, her partner of nearly 50 years, died in 2019.

朱美娇于2013年2月1日去世,享年89岁。和她厮守近50年的伴侣沃伦·赫克罗特(Warren Heckrotte)于2019年去世。

In 1977, after years of fighting for recognition, WASPs were granted veteran status with full benefits. In 2010 around 200 of the surviving pilots were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal by President Barack Obama. Gee was one of them.

经过多年的争取,女子飞行队员在1977年被授予退伍军人身份,享受全额津贴。2010年,贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统向大约200名尚在世的飞行员颁发国会金质奖章。朱美娇就是其中之一。