Yenangaung Rescue Mission

Almost 7000 British soldiers and reporters were encircled by equal number of Japanese soldiers at Yenangyaung (an oil field), Burma. Rescue request came over the phone from Major General Scott (British) to General Sun soon after the New 38th Division entered Burma from China. General Sun requested to lead the entire New 38th Division to the rescue mission, but the Chinese Field Commander Gen. C.Y. Lo refused. General Sun led the 1300-man 113th Regiment successfully accomplished the mission.

The reporters were grateful, and they told the world of the great Chinese military art of wars demonstrated by General Sun and his men. This mission became the well-known the Yenangyaung Rescue Mission. King George VI awarded him with the BCE, and honored the Regiment Commander F.W. Liu and some other offers medals.

This photograph was taken in 1943 soon after General Sun received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) Medal.

The First Chinese Commander of British Empire

During the Yenangaung Rescue Mission, a squadron of the British 2nd Royal Tanks, with the guns of the Essex Yeomanry and remnants of Yorkshirs were place under command of General Sun Li-Jen. This is the first time that a British Army unit had ever been commanded by a Chinese General.

The captain, Jack Nash, of one of the Essex Yeomanry group felt honoured, and he described the situation in an article published in the News Letter of the Burma Star Association as shown below.