“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Kimlau Square

0.092 acre

Kimlau Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, November 3, 2018
1. Kimlau Square Marker
Located at the intersection of Oliver Street, East Broadway, the Bowery, and Park Row, Kimlau Square stands at the center of Chatham Square. In 1961, a local law named this island within Chatham Square in recognition of the contributions of Lt. Kimlau and the Lt. B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291, founded by Chinese-American World War II veterans in 1945.

Second Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau (1918-1944) was a Chinese-American bomber pilot who died serving his country in World War II. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Kimlau moved to New York City with his parents when he was fourteen. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1937, Kimlau first traveled to China, where he witnessed firsthand Japanese military aggression. The next year, he returned to the United States and entered the Pennsylvania Military College (Now the United States Army War College). Kimlau graduated with honors, earning a commission in the United States Army Field Artillery.

Interested in airborne defense, Kimlau transferred from the Field Artillery to the United States Army Air Force. Following flight school, he was assigned to the
Kimlau Square image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 2006
2. Kimlau Square
After a 2006 rebuilding
“Flying Circus”, the 380th Bombardment Group of the Fifth Air Force in Australia. Beginning on February 27, 1944, along with four other pilots, Kimlau embarked on a mission to bomb Japanese airbases around New Guinea. On March 4, 1944, Kimlau and his fellow pilots were ordered to attack the Japanese near Los Negros, an island adjacent to New Guinea. During the attack, the Japanese defenders shot down the attacking U.S. bombers, killing Kimlau and the other pilots. For their heroism and devotion to duty on this occasion and several others, the members of the 380th Bombardment Group earned two Presidential Unit Citations.

The Post gifted the Lt. Kimlau monument in 1961 with the renaming of the park. This memorial, designed by architect Poy G. Lee (1900-1968), is located at the head of Oliver Street and is reminiscent of a triumphal arch. The memorial stands eighteen feet nine inches in height and is sixteen feet wide. Inscribed on the memorial is a dedication in both English and Chinese: "In memory of the Americans of Chinese Ancestry who lost their Lives in Defense of Freedom and Democracy.”

The largest in New York City, the Post continues to promote numerous patriotic programs and community service initiatives within Chinatown. They have established and contributed to a capital fund for the construction of a recreation center at the Chinese Community
Chinese Veterans Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 1999
3. Chinese Veterans Memorial
Center, published the American Legion’s first bilingual newsletter, and teach new immigrants basic English.

NYC Parks

Erected by NYC parks.
Location. 40° 42.806′ N, 73° 59.882′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Oliver Street and Bowery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10038, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lin Ze Xu (a few steps from this marker); Americans of Chinese Ancestry (a few steps from this marker); The First Jewish Cemetery in the United States (within shouting distance of this marker); First Shearith Israel Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Gateway to Old Chinatown (within shouting distance of this marker); Barnum's First Big Bamboozle (within shouting distance of this marker); St. James Square (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alfred E. Smith House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Categories. Asian AmericansWar, World II
Lin Ze Xu at Kimlau Square image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 1999
4. Lin Ze Xu at Kimlau Square

More. Search the internet for Kimlau Square.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 5, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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