Hawaii WWII Hero and Punahou Graduate Francis Brown Wai to Be Honored by Chinese Chamber of Commerce

Francis Wai Brown
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Francis Wai Brown

HONOLULU: DECEMBER 1, 2010 — The Chinese Chamber of Commerce will host an event remembering and honoring Medal of Honor recipient, the late Francis Brown Wai, at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 4th, 2010. Captain Francis Brown Wai was killed in action on October 20, 1944, the first day of the invasion of Leyte Island in the Visayas group of the Philippines.

In 1996, amid allegations of prejudicial treatment of Asian-Americans in uniform in World War II, Congress directed Louis Caldera, then-Secretary of the Army, to conduct a full review of military records.  The review concluded that 22 Asian-Americans, including Francis Brown Wai, of Honolulu, did not receive full consideration for the Medal of Honor. In 2000, Wai’s Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Of those whose medals were upgraded, Wai was one of only two who did not belong to the predominantly Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion, the other being Rudolph B. Davila of the 7th Infantry Regiment.


At a White House ceremony on June 20, 2000, President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor to seven of the 22 Asian-Americans who were still alive or to their families.

While most Honolulu residents would not recognize his name, some of our older residents may remember Francis Brown Wai, who was a multiple-sport letterman at Punahou School, Sacramento Junior College, and UCLA.  Those attending the Chamber’s presentation featuring his two brothers will have an opportunity to learn more about this largely unknown Chinese-American hero, born, raised, and educated in Hawai`i.

Read a brief biography of Captain Francis Brown Wai with photos Here.

Seating is limited.  Light refreshments will be provided.  If you plan to attend, please contact the Chamber:  Tel: (808) 533-3181 ~ Fax: (808) 537-6767  ~ E-mail:  gchan@chinesechamber.com