Harry Chun was born in Canton, China in 1919. He was studying and working in his parent’s Chinese café in Little Bourke St, Melbourne, when he applied to enlist in the RAAF in 1942. As a Chinese subject – his parents were not naturalised British subjects - his application was subject to review by the Police Special Branch, who found no issues, and the Airboard’s Director of Recruiting.
Chun enrolled for training as an aircraft Fitter, but despite his previous studies in engineering at Melbourne Technical College and ‘trying hard’, was deemed unsuitable for technical work. He was enlisted as a labourer, but his ‘very good’ work saw him upgraded to general hand.
He served at airfields across Victoria and New South Wales, and for a time on Bougainville, which entitled him to the award of the Pacific Star. He discharged in 1945 with the rank of Leading Aircraftman.
Reproduced courtesy of National Archives of Australia
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Reviewed 24 April 2023