Ahn Susan, the eldest daughter of Korean independence activist Ahn Chang-ho, has been described as an American hero on a website run by the U.S. State Department, Voice of America reported on Thursday (local time).
Share America, the U.S. Department of State’s platform for communicating American foreign policy worldwide, posted a video clip on last Wednesday featuring Ahn Susan being an American hero as well as Asian American trailblazer. The website shares stories and cases that are associated with important American values such as religious freedom, rule of law, economic prosperity, human dignity and sovereignty.
As explained in the footage on the website, Ahn Susan was the first Asian American woman to join the U.S. Navy. Afterwards, she became the first female gunnery officer in the U.S. armed forces and the first Asian American to acquire the rank of lieutenant in the Navy. The eldest daughter of Ahn Chang-ho and his wife Lee Hye-ryeon served the country and dedicated herself to the Korean-American community after retirement, the website said. “Trailblazer, brave officer and community leader, Korean American, Susan Ahn Cuddy is an American hero.”
Born in 1915 when her father Ahn Chang-ho lived in exile in the United States, Susan joined the U.S. Navy in 1942, in the middle of World War II. After failing to join the Navy because she was of Asian descent, Susan made it on a second try. Being discharged from the Navy, she worked as an agent at the National Security Agency (NSA). Being the first Asian intelligence analyst at the NSA, she led around 300 agents in charge of collecting intelligence regarding the Soviet Union.
U.S. President Donald Trump paid tribute to the late Ahn Susan in a statement where he proclaimed May 2018 as the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. "She was the daughter of the first Korean couple to immigrate to the United States, also uplifted the Nation through strong work ethic, an unwavering love of country, and a steadfast devotion to her life mission, even in the face of great adversity," Trump highly commended her in the statement.