Peter Choi, the veteran who had participated in the Defense of Hong Kong, or commonly known as Battle of Hong Kong War in World War II. He was born in August 1922, is a veteran of the Battle of Hong Kong War. He passed away on August 7, 2020, and missed the big day of 75-year surrender of the Japanese army.
The battle to defend Hong Kong that Peter Choi participated in broke out on December 8, 1941. At around 6 o’clock in the morning in the same day, 26 Japanese bombers came under the cover of fighter jets to the sky over Kai Tak Airport. Due to the weak defense of the defenders, the Japanese easily destroyed the passenger planes on the runway and the remaining RAF fighters, kicking off the defense war for 18 days.
During the war, Peter Choi and his teammates were stationed in Kellett Bay on Hong Kong Island. They shot down a Japanese Type 94 reconnaissance jet with anti-aircraft artillery. The Japanese army did not dare to send planes over the area until the end of the war. After the defenders surrendered, Peter Choi became the informer of the British Army Service Corps at the Admiralty Naval Dockyard, and then went to China to join the National Army.
The Hong Kong Government had learned from the Prime Minister of Thailand on December 3, that the Pacific War had a chance to break out. When the Japanese army assembled in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam on December 5. Christopher Michael Maltby, the commander-in-chief of the Hong Kong, had already ordered the assembly of the British troops in Hong Kong.
On December 8, 1941, the Japanese army invaded Hong Kong formally. At about 6 am, 26 Japanese bombers took off from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, and under the cover of fighter jets, they reached the sky above Kai Tak Airport. The Japanese army captured Kowloon on December 13 and landed on Hong Kong Island on the night of December 18, but encountered strong resistance from the British Troops.
From the 19th, the two sides broke out fierce fighting in Wong Nai Chung Gap, Repulse Bay and Stanley. On the 24th, the British army was exhausted under isolation and helplessness. Many counterattacks failed to match the Japanese army, which was clearly superior in force and firepower, and was unable to reverse the defeat.
The Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Aitchison Young, decided to surrender on December 25. The British troops stopped fighting and surrendered on December 26, and the war was over. Hong Kong entered the Japanese occupation period which lasted for “three years and eight months“, until Japan was defeated and surrendered on August 15, 1945, and Hong Kong was reborn on August 30 in the same year.
Like many veterans, Peter Choi contributed his youth, and even his life to the freedom and peace of Hong Kong, so that we can enjoy stability and prosperity. Rest In Peace. Lest We Forget.