Wang Hai

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This article is about the air force commander. For the admiral, see Wang Hai (admiral).
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wang.
Wang Hai
Wang Hai in Korean War.jpg
Wang Hai in the Korean War
5th Commander of the PLA Air Force
In office
July 1985 – November 1992
Preceded by Zhang Tingfa
Succeeded by Cao Shuangming
Personal details
Born (1926-01-19) January 19, 1926 (age 89)
Yantai, Shandong, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Military service
Allegiance  China
Service/branch People's Liberation Army Air Force
Years of service 1944–92
Rank PLAGeneral r.svg.png General
Battles/wars Korean War

Wang Hai (Chinese: 王海; born January 19, 1926) was a Chinese ace pilot during the Korean War, and the first aviator to become Commander of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), in 1985. He was awarded the rank of general (shang jiang) in 1988, and retired in 1992.


Wang Hai was born on January 19, 1926 in Yantai, Shandong Province. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in September 1945 when he was a student at Weihai High School, and studied at Linyi People's Revolutionary University in Shandong. In June 1946 he entered Mudanjiang Aviator School, the first aviator training school of the CPC. In May 1950, he graduated from the training program to become a fighter pilot.[1][2]

During the Korean War (1950–53), Wang was a pilot of the 3rd Fighter Aviation Division. He shot down or damaged 9 American aircraft, with his own air group scoring 29. The MiG fighter he flew is exhibited in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in Beijing.[1]

After the war, he was promoted to command an air division, and later Commander of the Guangzhou Military Region Air Force. In 1985, he was the first aviator to become Commander of the People's Liberation Army Air Force. When the PLA re-instituted military ranks, he was awarded the rank of general (shang jiang) in September 1988. He retired in 1992. Starting with him all PLAAF commanders have been career aviators.[3][2]

Wang Hai was a member of the 13th and 14th Central Committees of the Communist Party of China.[1]

On 19 October 2010 he led a Chinese delegation to Pyongyang to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the entry of the Chinese People's Volunteers into the Korean War.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Wang Hai" (in Chinese). Xinhua. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b 王海: 从朝鲜战场飞出来的空军司令员. Netease (in Chinese). 2008-06-11. 
  3. ^ David L. Shambaugh (2002). Modernizing China's Military: Progress, Problems, and Prospects. University of California Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-520-22507-7.