Tan-Hua Wu was born in a small village in Jiangsu, China in 1924. He was a young student when the Japanese first invaded China, and as a result, he enlisted in the military. He completed his training in Chengdu, Chongqing and was assigned to the 205th platoon, also known as the Youth Army, due to his stellar grades, and worked under General Liu Anqi for the duration of the Second Sino-Japanese War. After the war, he followed General Liu to Shenyang where he fought in the Nationalist Army against the People’s Liberation Army. He shared stories about why the Nationalist Army had to fall back after many bitter standoffs with the opposition. After the Communist Party took control of the government in mainland China, Mr. Wu went to Taiwan with the rest of the Nationalist Army. There, he began working as a translator in the Army, learning English.
Wu also traveled to the United States for military training before returning to Taiwan once more. He made multiple trips between the United States and Taiwan for military pursuits, working on a major missile project. Then, he finally immigrated to the United States in 1975 after earning a Master’s Degree from a United States Army Management School in Fort Lee, Virginia. Mr. Wu later moved to Houston to pursue a PhD and worked in selling municipal bonds until retirement at the company John & Moody to support his family. He later returned to China and Taiwan to teach for a few years before returning to the United States and moving to live with his son in Minnesota. He worked for a library as a librarian before he gave up his position to take care of his ailing wife. Mrs. Wu passed away in May of 2020 due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their nursing home. Mr. Wu was not infected, but two months after the recording of this oral history, Mr. Tan-Hua Wu passed away peacefully in his nursing home.
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