Seletar Boy

This is Stan Peirce’s story about a Chinese boy. As it’s such a moving story I have included it on our website as part of the history of RAF Seletar.

Stan went to Singapore at the end of 1947 and was posted first of all to RAF Paya Lebar, a small signals centre.

Two men who were in the RAF with him at that time found a young Chinese boy who was having a struggle to survive. Remember this was 1948, not long after the Japanese had left the island. He was suffering from malnutrition and was very thin. They thought he was of above average intelligence and put him in hospital for a nutrition course. When he came out of hospital they sent him to the American boarding school in Paya Lebar.

At the end of Stan’s last year of tour he was given married quarters. After a lot of negotiation Stan and his wife Molly had the l5year old Chinese boy known as Kuangi, with his own pass for RAF Seletar staying for weekends and holidays with them in the married quarters and using the NAAFI and going to the swimming pool.

When Stan finished his tour he signed on for 18 months and moved to Serangoon, to Rosythe Road, opposite the old transmitting station where Kuangi would spend his holidays and weekends for the 18 months until Stan’s tour came to an end.

After much hugging and saying goodbyes, Kuangi was left in Singapore when Stan and Molly returned to England.

Stan kept in touch for about 4 years after he came back to this country and than lost touch completely. Letters were returned unknown. Stan tried to trace Kuangi through the Singapore High Commission and his address in Singapore with no luck, so he gave up thinking something had happened to him.

About 30-35 years later Stan was doing a part time job at weekends in a garage in Croydon, when one Sunday he got a phone call from Molly telling him she had just heard from Kuangi and that in an hours time he would be arriving in East Croydon and wanted Stan to meet him. He was over hem on holiday with his wife Joyce, and daughter Aileen.

After a tearful reunion one of the first questions Stan asked Kuangi was what he doing now, but Kuangi refused to tell Stan as he thought Stan wouldn’t believe him.

They went home and after dinner Stan asked Kuangi again what he was doing. Kuangi asked Stan to sit down because he would get a shock. Kuangi then told him that he was now Major Yeo Kuan Joo of the Singapore Army and for 8 years he had been C.O. of RAF. Seletar.