Chung Ching Yee

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Chung Ching Yee
Founded byJoe Fong
Founding locationChinatown, San Francisco, California, United States
Years active1969–1977
TerritoryUnited States
EthnicityChinese American, Asian American
Criminal activitiesDrug trafficking, fireworks trafficking, extortion, robbery, murder, burglary, theft
AlliesSuey Sing Tong
RivalsWah Ching, Hop Sing Tong

The Joe Boys, or JBS (also known as Chung Ching Yee, traditional Chinese: 忠精義; simplified Chinese: 忠精义; Jyutping: Zung1 Zing1 Ji6), was a Chinese American youth gang founded in the 1960s in San Francisco's Chinatown. The Joe Boys were originally known as Joe Fong Boys, after its founder Joe Fong, a former member of the Wah Ching. Most of their members were born in Hong Kong or were of Hong Kongese descent.[1]


The {American-born Chinese} called us FOBs—Fresh Off the Boat—or China Bugs. Even the American-born Chinese referred to us as 'Chinese'—as though they were not.

 — Joe Fong, quoted by Bill Cardoso, 1977[2]: 820 

Joe Fong emigrated to San Francisco from Macau with his family in 1963, when he was eight years old.[2]: 820  The Wah Ching were a youth gang formed in Chinatown in 1964 to protect newly-arrived immigrants from China against bullying by Chinese-Americans who had been born and raised in America. In the wake of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Wah Ching recruited many new members.[3] Initially, the Wah Ching advocated for protection for new immigrants to their elders in the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, but they were rebuffed.[2]: 820 

Instead, the Wah Ching developed into a street gang: some members were hired to serve first as lookouts, then as protection for illegal gambling parlors in Chinatown;[2]: 812  as they gained experience with gambling operations, they began demanding a cut of the profits.[3] In addition, existing Chinatown leadership, with ties to the Kuomintang in Taiwan, were staunchly anti-Communist and would pay the youth gangs to break up Red Guard rallies and beat them.[2]: 820 

By approximately 1968, the Wah Ching were absorbed into the Hop Sing Tong,[3] or, as Bill Cardoso reported, the Hop Sing began using the Wah Ching name for their youth organization.[2]: 820  The Yau Lai (also known as the Yo Le or Yau Lay, meaning "good fortune") split from the Wah Ching in 1969, founded by members unhappy with the gang's merger into the Hop Sing,[3] which was then one of the two prominent traditional gangs in Chinatown. Their rivals, the Suey Sing Tong, extended their fight to the Wah Ching. In March 1970, Joe Fong's older brother Glen was gunned down by the Suey Sing. In retaliation, Wah Ching members beat the Suey Sing leader Tom Tom so badly he was hospitalized; the Suey Sing made peace and moved to Oakland. Undaunted, Joe Fong pressed the fight and would often venture to the East Bay to beat Suey Sing members, and in spring 1971, Fong was sentenced to six months in a reformatory for his continued violence.[2]: 821 

Joe Fong's group had splintered from the main Yau Lai in early 1971,[4] and claimed to be independent of any existing Chinatown organizations.[3] After Fong was sent to the reformatory, his splinter group was re-absorbed into the Yau Lai; upon his return, he broke a group off again with a trusted lieutenant, Raymond Leung, on October 1. Leung was shot and killed the next day. Joe Fong moved his operations to the Richmond District on the western edge of San Francisco and renamed his group the Chung Ching Yee (after the heroes of the Water Margin) in early 1972.[2]: 821  Fong attempted to meet with San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto in September to either provide inside information about criminal activity in Chinatown[2]: 821  or to draw attention to police corruption and missing social programs;[5] the meeting was rejected, police raided Fong's headquarters that night, and the Joe Boys were harassed by the rival Wah Ching and police.[2]: 821 

By 1973, the struggle between the Chung Ching Yee and the Wah Ching had erupted into a war that had claimed 13 lives since 1969; Joe Fong had been arrested on October 2, 1972 and began serving a life sentence for an attempted murder on February 4, 1973.[6] After Fong was jailed, the Chung Ching Yee eventually became the Joe Fong Boys, and then simply the Joe Boys.[2]: 822 

An escalating series of retaliation and murder between the Joe Boys and Wah Ching culminated in the Golden Dragon Massacre of September 1977, which occurred as a direct result of an ambush during the sale of firecrackers in Chinatown's Ping Yuen public housing complex on July 4 that left Felix "Tiger" Huey (a Joe Boy) dead. The Joe Boys were targeting Wah Ching leadership, who were present that night at the Golden Dragon; the massacre left 5 people dead, and 11 others injured, but none of them were gang members. The perpetrators were arrested in 1978, convicted, and sentenced to prison.[7][8]

After the Golden Dragon Massacre, the Wah Ching were ascendant in Chinatown and the Joe Boys were largely shut down under pressure from the San Francisco Police Asian gang task force, which was formed as a direct result of the events at the Golden Dragon.

Murder victims of the Wah Ching–Joe Boys War
Victim Date Perpetrator Location Notes Ref.
Name Age Gang Name Gang
Armado Legardo 29 ? April 1969 ? ? Washington & Grant [6]
Glen Fong 19 Wah Ching March 1, 1970 ? Suey Sing 927 Jackson Older brother of Joe Fong [6]
Teddy Tam 19 Yau Lai June 13, 1970 ? ? 633 O'Farrell Stabbed during a CCSF dance [6]
Larry Miyata 16 ? September 9, 1970 ? ? 727 Washington [6]
Richard Leung 18 Yau Lai October 2, 1971 Danny Wong Wah Ching Grant & Jackson aka Raymond Leung, a top lieutenant of Yau Lai [6]
George Yun 21 Yau Lai November 5, 1971 ? Suey Sing Presidio Strangled and hogtied [6]
Kenneth Chan 15 ? November 7, 1971 ? ? 8th & Geary [6]
Allen Hom 22 Yau Lai November 19, 1971 ? Suey Sing San Francisco Bay (near Hayward) aka "The Monster". Strangled and hogtied, same rope as Lee. [6]
James Lee 22 Yau Lai November 20, 1971 ? Suey Sing SF Bay (near Redwood City) Strangled and hogtied, same rope as Hom. [6]
Harry Quan 14 Wah Ching March 9, 1972 David Wong Chung Ching Yee 851 Stockton aka Harry Kwan. shot in front of the Police Athletic League. [6]
Harry Ng 60 Wah Ching March 13, 1972 David Wong Chung Ching Yee 1230 Powell aka "The Professor". Called the "Fagin" of the Chinese underworld, served as Wah Ching mentor. [6][9]
Poole Leong 22 Wah Ching June 14, 1972 Richard Lee Joe Boys 895 Pacific aka Poole Yit Leong [6][9] [10]
Barry Fong-Torres 29 June 26, 1972 ? ? 1434 16th Ave Brother of Ben Fong-Torres. Youth worker who reputedly "knew too much", according to police. [6][9] [11][12]
William Hackney 41 None March 23, 1973 ? ? Geary & Arguello Probable innocent victim. [6]
Anton Wong 24 Wah Ching May 24, 1973 Chung Wai Fong Joe Boys Powell & Jackson Wong was the leader of the Wah Ching; Fong was the younger brother of Joe Fong. [6][13]
Yip Yee Tak 32 ? June 3, 1973 ? ? Pacific & Grant Chol Soo Lee was initially convicted for the murder of Tak, an advisor. [6]
Wayne Fung 19 Wah Ching August 12, 1973 ? Joe Boys 19th & Irving [6]
William N. Hoo 40 Joe Boys August 17, 1973 ? Wah Ching Auburn Alley Advisor to Joe Boys. [6]
Gene Fong 26 Chung Ching Yee April 29, 1974 ? Wah Ching Stockton & Pacific Older brother of Joe Fong [14]
Lincoln Louie 15 Joe Boys May 4, 1974 Michael "Hot Dog" Louie Wah Ching Crocker & Bellevue, Daly City 8 arrested for torture-murder, including Michael "Hot Dog" Louie [15][16] [17]
Kin Chuen Louie 20 Wah Ching May 31, 1977 ? ? Green & Kearny Michael McClure wrote a poem entitled The Death of Kin Chuen Louie [18]
Felix Huie 17 Joe Boys July 4, 1977 ? ? Ping Yuen aka "Tiger"; shot during fireworks sales at Ping Yuen [19]
Michael Lee 18 Joe Boys September 11, 1977 ? ? Richmond District [20]


The gang can also be identified by its numbers 1028, J=10, B=2, S=8. They adopted grey and black as their main colors for clothing. They may use the color navy blue.

Prominent members[edit]

Author Bill Lee, an author and a former gang affiliate, wrote extensively of the life involvement in the Chinese criminal underworld and the gang's history in his book Chinese Playground: A Memoir.[21]


  1. ^ "Make First Arrest in Golden Dragon Massacre of 1977". The Hour. UPI. March 24, 1978.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cardoso, Bill (October 28, 1977). "The Golden Dragon Labor Day Massacre: They shoot tourists, don't they?". New Times., reprinted in "Appendix 13". Unemployment and Crime: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary (Report). House of Representatives, Ninety-fifth Congress. 1977–1978. pp. 810–822. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chin, Ko-lin (1990). "5: The Development of Chinese Gangs". Chinese Subculture and Criminality: Non-traditional Crime Groups in America. New York: Greenwood Press. p. 68. ISBN 9780313272622.
  4. ^ Muller, Baron (October 22, 1972). "Cops Get Tough in Chinatown". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  5. ^ Weir, David (June 1977). "Turning Reporters into Orphans". Mother Jones. pp. 33–36, 60. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Emch, Tom (August 19, 1973). "Will Chinatown Killing End?". San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle. Retrieved 9 April 2020. Part 1 | Part 2
  7. ^ Mullen, Kevin J. "The Golden Dragon Restaurant Massacre".
  8. ^ People v. Szeto, 29 Cal.3d 20 (Cal. 1981).
  9. ^ a b c "Gang Slayings In Chinatown Reminiscent Of Chicago". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. June 28, 1972. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Chinatown Gang War Continues". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. June 14, 1972. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  11. ^ Olson, Lynne (June 28, 1972). "Chinese Thugs Spread Terror In Chinatown". San Bernardino Sun. AP. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Chinatown Gang War Probed". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. June 30, 1972. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Alioto Orders Police To Halt Gangland Wars In Chinatown". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. June 5, 1973. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Gang Leader's Brother Slain". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. April 30, 1974. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  15. ^ "8 Youths Held In S.F. Gang Killing". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. May 6, 1974. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  16. ^ "8 Youths Jailed In D.C. Slaying". The Times. San Mateo. May 6, 1974. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Gang wars erupt in Chinatown". San Bernardino Sun. UPI. June 21, 1974. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Youth Is Slain Trying To Flee His Assailant". Santa Cruz Sentinel. AP. June 1, 1977. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Tape Details Planning For Chinatown Raid". Santa Cruz Sentinel. May 4, 1978. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Two shot in gang reprisal". San Bernardino Sun. AP. September 12, 1977. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  21. ^ Wallace, Bill (April 10, 1999). "Fallout From Gang Life Memoir / Ex-member says he was threatened at book-signing of 'Chinese Playground'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 7 April 2020.

External links[edit]