Kimlau War Memorial
This granite ceremonial gateway with a peaked roof stands at the confluence of several streets in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown, and honors Chinese-American soldiers who died during World War II. Dedicated April 28, 1962, this monument designed by Poy G. Lee (1900-1968) was a gift of the Lieutenant B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291. The post’s headquarters are located nearby at 191-193 Canal Street. The monument and post are named after Second Lieutenant Benjamin Ralph Kimlau (1918–1944), a Chinese-American bomber pilot who died while attacking Japanese installations near New Guinea.
The memorial’s Asian-inspired architecture reflects the character of the area, in the center of Manhattan’s Chinese community. Inscribed on the nearly 19-foot-high arch is a dedication in both English and Chinese to the memory of Chinese-Americans who died while serving during World War II. The arch serves as the site of an annual celebration to honor war veterans. In 1999 it was restored in conjunction with the reconstruction of Chatham Square. The Kimlau Memorial was rededicated in 2000 in honor of Post 1291’s 55th anniversary.