Charles Chow-Leong was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ling Chow-Leong of Lethbridge. He was born in 1922. Charles enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in May 1942. He received his “wings” as a pilot from Number 7 Service Flying Training School, Fort MacLeod. In so doing he became the first Chinese Canadian to join the RCAF as a pilot. He then went overseas to Britain in March 1944. Almost immediately after his arrival in Britain he was posted to the Far East. His duties in India were completed by August 1945 and he was posted to Brussels, Belgium as a member of the occupation forces in Europe.
Following World War II he became a pilot for the Chinese National Airline and flew many thousands of miles ferrying planes from North America to China. In Lethbridge he became owner of the city block housing the Rex Fruit store and several other businesses. As well, he owned some property in Edmonton. He rejoined the RCAF in July of 1951 and held the rank of Flying Officer at the time of his death due to a flying accident near Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1952. During his military service he had been awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Burma Star, the War Medal 1939-1945 and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal. He is buried in the Mountain View Cemetary.