Wen Bon: A Naval Air Intelligence Officer behind Japanese Lines in China in WWII

google preview

You are about to leave the UNT Press website.
Please select from one of the following:

Hardcover Price: $29.95

You are about to leave the UNT Press website. Please select from one of the following:

Buy this book from Texas A&M University Press Consortium .
(Distributor for UNT Press books)

Buy this book from Amazon
Buy this book from Barnes & Noble
Buy this book from IndieBound

Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780929398778
Hardcover ISBN-10: 929398777
Physical Description: 253 pp. 25 b&w photos. maps. gloss. Index
Publication Date: November 1994
Series: War and the Southwest Series | Volume: 3

"Highly recommended for its rich adventurous story."— Reader’s Review, The Bookseller’s Network

"Winborn does not limit his story to hunting for wrecked aircraft. He includes anecdotes about his frequent wanderings, . . . how he adapted to local customs, food and changing political situations. He took many excellent photographs . . . a suave writer and stylish raconteur."—Associated Press

Winborn was a Naval lieutenant attached to the 14th Army Air Force to serve as a Technical Air Intelligence inspector. Learning that an enemy plane was down, a team of one or two Americans plus a Chinese interpreter would sally forth to wherever the plane might be, bringing back intelligence of the capabilities of enemy airplanes. Compilations of this data made it possible to keep tabs on Japanese manufacturing plants, indicating which were the most suitable bombing targets. Winborn tells his story in an informal, understated, conversational style that ranges from the humorous to the poignantly tragic.

Each American was given a Chinese name, i.e. a transliteration in Chinese characters which when spoken sounded something like his name in English. Winborn's was "Wen bon," typically pronounced "Wunbun." The best interpretation of its meaning is "the pen is mightier than the sword." A small neat stone "chop," or stamp, with "Wen bon" and characters for "his chop" carved in it, served as Winborn's legal signature anywhere in China.

At the end of World War II, Winborn was ordered to Shanghai, where he and other junior officers steeped in the unconventional ways of southeastern China contributed their "can-do" talents to the Naval Air Priorities Office.

About Author:

BYRON WINBORN received his engineering degree from Cornell University. He worked as a development engineer for Carrier Corporation, for General Electric Company in the aircraft gas turbine industry and for Chance Vought Aircraft on advanced aeronautical systems.

LLOYD LYMAN is the retired Director of Texas A&M University Press, who also served in this theater of World War II.