Chiang Ying Wu, the Chinese Giant
by Joel Aronson
One day in 1961, I had a bright idea to do a photograph of Taiwan/China's best known giant person, Chiang Ying Wu, posing with the tallest Americans I knew on Taiwan. I talked Captain Dick Webb and Airman Tom Davidson, both stationed at Shu Linkou Air Force Station, to come with me to the hospital in Taipei where the big fellow was residing. Chiang suffered from many ailments - heart, lung, fungus, etc., all the more serious because of his size, but he was well taken care of by the Chinese Nationalist government because of his unique status as the biggest Chinese person.
I brought my photograph to Min Zu Wan Bao (People's Evening Newspaper), discussed the event with an editor, and the story was published. I even received photo credit in my Chinese name.
Click here to view the scanned image of the published article.
It's in Chinese, and will open in a separate, resizeable window.

Left to right, Captain Webb (6'8"), Chiang Ying Wu (7'2"), Tom Davidson (6'6"), Chiang's normal size doctor (5'9").

The three of us freaked when we entered Chiang's hospital room, and saw his giant shoes under his bed. The bathroom door then opened and he lumbered out after his shower, offering a hand the size of a baseball mitt. A glance into the bathroom showed no showerhead in the wall, only a high pipe that ended with a faucet. His deep voice boomed out perfect Mandarin.

In his healthier days, Chiang had been the lead flagbearer in important national parades. There was a story that he once walked by Club 63, the American NCO club in Taipei. Seeing so many GIs hanging around outside, he was curious to see what was happening inside. Without any objections from anyone there, Chiang walked into the club, took a seat and spent a leisurely time eating, drinking and chatting with the waitresses. Who would dare tell this 400 pound giant that maybe he didn't belong in that place!

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