Trailblazing Chinese American WWII hero and Philly police commander dies at 93

Philadelphia PD Anthony Wong

Anthony Wong, a trailblazing retired Philadelphia Police Department commander, died last week at 93 years old.

The details: Wong, a World War II and Korean War hero who was the son of Chinese immigrants, passed peacefully surrounded by family on Sept. 8, according to his obituary on Stretch Funeral Home.

  • He was the highest-ranking Chinese American in the history of the Philadelphia Police Department,” Jim Trainor, Wong’s son-in-law who is also a member of the department, told CBS Philadelphia. “I would say he broke all barriers when it came to Asians coming into the police department.”
  • Wong joined the Philadelphia PD in 1953 after serving in the United States Army in two wars. He was the only Chinese American officer in the department at the time.
  • He mentored thousands of cadets in the department and attained the rank of Chief Inspector before his retirement 18 years ago.
  • What a terrific father figure for me, friend, mentor,” Trainor said. “My 33rd year in the police department, he’s guided me the whole way. He’s been with me the whole way.”

His services: Wong had served in various areas of policing, including Narcotics and Vice Enforcement. He was a two-time commanding officer of the Training Bureau and also commanded the Patrol Bureau, Emergency Planning and Community Relations Division during his service. 

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  • He endured so much to be able to kick the door open for so many and keep it open,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. “What an amazing accomplishment and we thank him for his service.”
  • Wong joined the police department to serve as a bridge between the authorities and the Asian community in order to help Asians gain access to government and agency services.
  • “[Being a police officer] provides the opportunity to prevent suffering,” Wong said in his speech at the Students for Asian Affairs in 1993, Daily Pennsylvania reported. “I also wanted to [reach out] to the Asian community. They don’t always have the access they need to government agencies and services.”
  • Wong had also served on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), which he was also a co-founder of, and On Lok House, a senior citizen center in Philadelphia.

Featured Image via Stretch Funeral Home

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