Nav Search

War hero who dedicated his life to serving people awarded highest honor in CPC

Source: People's Daily Online Updated: 2021-08-03


Chai Yunzhen (1R) [File photo/Xinhua]

"We are now looking for the war hero Chai Yunzhen!" read a notice for missing persons published in a newspaper in September 1984. The hero, whose whereabouts were unknown at the time, was recently awarded the July 1 Medal, the highest honor in the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Chai, a deceased award recipient, also a war hero who fought in the War of Liberation and the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, dedicated his life to serving the people and fighting against enemies.

After joining the CPC in 1949, Chai participated in the Blocking Action on Mount Puda two years later. As the squad leader, Chai fought fiercely against the enemy, never thinking about his own life.

Once, when grappling valiantly with an enemy soldier, he was repeatedly hit on the head with a rock, and then had his right index finger bitten off. Despite these awful injuries, he still gritted his teeth to pick up a gun on the ground and fired at the enemy, before collapsing in a dead faint.

"It is a miracle that you survived.” This was the first sentence that Chai, who had suffered multiple severe wounds, heard from his doctor after regaining consciousness. After one month of rehabilitation in hospital, Chai wanted to return to the battlefield.

However, given Chai's serious head injuries, the doctor turned down Chai's request, saying that the patient was no longer suitable for battle.

In the face of the doctor's medical decision and filled with an overwhelming sense of loss, Chai finally decided to return to his hometown to do farm work and make his due contribution to the country, instead of spending time recuperating at the hospital.

"I will live for my deceased comrades-in-arms, and I want to serve the people," said Chai, who was conferred the title of "first-class combat hero" in May 1952, in recognition of his contribution to leading his squad in killing over 200 enemy troops in the Blocking Action and demolishing an enemy command post.

After Chai returned to his hometown, he lost contact with the army. Since then, he has lived a down-to-earth life, working in agriculture, once serving as production leader and deputy secretary of the people's commune.

In 1984, a veteran who had been with Chai briefly in the battlefield wrote a letter to some army leaders, recalling that "Chai's accent sounded like someone from southwest China." After receiving this piece of information, the army staff members immediately made contact with major newspapers situated in southwest China and published the missing person's notice.

Thanks to this notice, Chai finally managed to visit the army as a veteran, since his son Chai Bingrong, who worked as a tractor driver at the time, happened to come across the poster after reading the local newspaper during a break.

Due to Chai's contribution to the country, the old man was recruited as a member of the county-level Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) standing committee and a member of the CPPCC provincial committee, and was elected as a deputy to the Seventh National People's Congress.

During those years, he submitted more than 200 motions and proposals after thorough research in order to help solve difficulties concerning people's livelihood.