"We Served with Pride"
Chinese americans from the 1940's to the 1970's
While Chinese Americans had served in the military of the United States before World War II (23), it is estimated that during World War II somewhere between 12,000 (24) to 20,000 (25) men of Chinese descent living in America during this time served in the armed services. This represented approximately one-fifth of the total male Chinese population in America. Of those who served, approximately 40 percent of them were non-citizens (26). Military service by Chinese did not only include men, but also many Chinese women who held ranks in both the Women's Army Corps and the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (27). All served their adopted country with pride.
With China as an ally to the United States during World War II, a change in attitude towards Chinese Americans took place beginning with the passage of the Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, being signed into law on December 17, 1943. Under the Magnuson Act, Chinese Americans already residing in the country were able to become naturalized citizens, and for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a limited quota of visas were issued to Chinese who wished to immigrate to the United States. Still, this Act continued to ban any Chinese from owning his/her own property or business, a practice which only ended in some states after the repeal of the Magnuson Act itself in 1965 (28).
After the war, the dream of Chinese Americans to become American citizens began to unfold. Despite existing prejudices in some areas of the United States, Chinese Americans began to take on jobs and professions, get married, have families, go to school and church, open family businesses in states where it was allowed, buy homes, etc. Although there were still many first generation and older Chinese who preferred life in a "Chinatown", many younger Chinese began moving their families into suburban neighborhoods. As a result, Chinese began blending into the landscape of American life.
During the 1950's, the number of Chinese immigrating to America began to increase. At first, the largest numbers of immigrants were from Taiwan, as the United States only recognized the Republic of China on Taiwan as the official government of all of China between 1949 and 1979. Hong Kong, which at this time was still under British rule, and other areas outside of mainland China contributed a smaller number of immigrants coming to America. Many new immigrants were college students and professionals (29).
After the United States government recognized the People's Republic of China in the 1970's, more and more people from the mainland started immigrating to the United States of America, and it once again became a new horizon for the Chinese.