CITY ARTS : They Had Something to Prove

The wartime memories of Chinese American veterans will be represented through photographs and memorabilia in the exhibit "L.A. Chinese American Veterans of WW II," at Cathay Bank in Chinatown through March 3.

Photographs, medals, badges and other items gathered from Los Angeles veterans will be displayed, including a pin replica of the Chinese flag worn by those of Chinese descent to avoid being mistaken for Japanese.

Suellen Cheng of the Friends of the Museum of Chinese American History, which is sponsoring the exhibit, said an estimated 20,000 Chinese Americans served during the war. Many Chinese Americans, who had faced discrimination and had been segregated from mainstream society, wanted to prove their patriotism, she said.

One of those was Albert Leu, who served six years in the Navy on ships in the North and South Pacific. Leu, 71, plans to display copies of logs from the hospital ship Bountiful.

Gerald Jann, 70, served in the Air Force as an aerial gunner. Both men enlisted at the age of 18.

"It's very nostalgic for me," Jann said. "I think it's a special point in life for people of my age. We will always remember, whether it's good times or bad times. But, hopefully, we will all learn from it."

Cathay Bank is at 777 N. Broadway, Los Angeles. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Information: (213) 680-2525.

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