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Kimlau Square

Chatham Sq., Oliver St. and E. Broadway


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This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.
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 as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Field Artillery. Interested in airborne defense, Kimlau transferred from Field Artillery to the United States Army Air Force, and, following flight school, he was assigned to the “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 bo

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