Pilots came from 25 countries around the world to fly for ATA. It is Chinese New Year on Monday 8th February, when the Year of the Monkey begins, so it is appropriate to record details of the one Chinese pilot who worked for ATA for 8 months in 1941. His name was Raymond Lu Yu Chang and he joined ATA as a second officer on 18 February 1941. In the diary of Arnold Watson we find two entries about Chang. On 6 March 1941, when Watson was a teaching navigation to his students, he wrote: “Today I passed out my first Chinese pupil – Chang “B” license son of the Chinese Generalissimo Chang Kai Sheck. Another pupil was flying the mail from Cologne to London in 1919. But he had never seen a modern compass or directional gyro”
Almost 5 months later there is another diary entry on 30 July 1941, when Watson wrote: “Chang, our only Chinese pilot, came in too fst and about 100 feet high over the boundary in a new Spitfire. He might have got away with it on dry ground, but his wheels locked and skidded on the sodden turf and he was still doing about 20mph when we went down a gun pit and over on his nose at the far end of the field. Then a school Hurricane had to land with the wheels stuck up; it only came out from repairs in the hangar this morning”.
For unknown reasons Chang left ATA on 6 October 1941.