Chelang Point and Tungku Island

Submitted by ssuni86 on Wed, 10/15/2014 - 02:45

I am trying to identify and locate two geographical references referred to in U.S. Army Air Forces after-action reports written in 1945.

The first is Chelang Point, which is apparently on the south China coast.  Does anyone know where this is, and what the contemporary name might be?

The second is Tungku Island, said to be in the mouth of the Canton River.  Again, does anyone know where this particular island is, and what its contemporary name might be?

I'll be greatly appreciative of any help with this puzzle. 


Steve Bailey

ISJ has sent a 1945 map of the area ( It shows that Chi-lang point was further east than Daya Bay:

[gmap markers=big red::22.652472483662162,115.57283311150968 |zoom=8 |center=22.604502741764787,114.72816467285156 |width=480px |height=350px |control=Small |type=Map]

Regards, David

Thanks to IDJ for the US Air Force map, with its definitive identification of Chilang Point.

As for the elusive Tungku Island (the spelling used by U.S. pilots in 1945), I am still at a loss.  Alternative spellings I've come across in texts from the 1800s include Tongku and Toon-koo, but alas, these texts have no maps.  According to these texts, Tong-ku Harbour is another name for Urmston Road off of Castle Peak.  So, could Tungku be an alternate name for one of the small islands offshore from Castle Peak?  Lung Kwu Chau, perhaps?   



I am trying, slowly, to sort out all the significant aids to navigation that existed in Hong Kong before 1941. I have happily sorted out Tathong Point, which was put in place in 1921 down near where the Marine Dept service jetty now is. It was a 21' high concrete column bearing a light visible at 12 miles, so a category 3-4 light and no mere beacon. I have all its characteristics and arcs if anyone is interested. The remains of the light still exist - just the base of the column - and there's a Panoramio photo on Google Earth. This of course argues that the Japanese gun emplacement out of which today's light has been created was built from new during the occupation.

The outstanding puzzle is the light on the SW tip of Lantau, known today as Fan Lau. In the past this location has also been Kai Yik Kok (the most common pre-British name), Sun Kai Shan, Shek Sun and Yuen To Shan. I can find absolutely no trace of this in any pre-1941 government document. However, one of the more exhaustive lighthouse sources (Russ Rowlett at the University of North Carolina) notes that a light there MAY have been around at least since 1920. So there's a puzzle.

All I have been able to stumble on so far is a reference in early December 1941 to a "Lantau Island Light", noting that it and Tung Ku Island Light had been extinguished (Notice 293/1941). I have a probe out with the UKHO archives to see if they can cast any light from their complete holdings of the Admiralty List of Lights, Fog Signals and Visual Time Signals. Meanwhile, if any of you astute mavens of HK recondita have come across anything - especially an image, I would be overjoyed.

As a nice little out, when the old Blackhead Point Light was decommissioned at 1830hrs on 28th Novemer 1970 (and the building barbarously destroyed for no good reason to build an ugly little pagodette) its lantern - a post-war replacement for the old Cape Collinson light lantern sported since 1909 - was shifted to Fan Lau, which is where it is still.


As Dr Davies has previously stated on the HK Industrial History site, the Lung Kwu Chau light was established in 1921. However, the current structure is not the original one. Some sources stated that the light was moved further west and a radar station built at the original location when Chek Lap Kok airport was being built in the 90's. This was probably also when the light was changed from acetylene to battery operation as the current structure is similar to other battery-operated beacons around HK and too small to house acetylene cylinders. US Lists of Lights stated that the original structure was a square granite tower. A photo of the original structure is available, but I cannot post it here due to copright. Looking for NTMs or other sources to confirm this event.

The original AGA lantern for the Lung Kwu Chau light is on display at Belcher Bay Park in the Western District, albeit painted grey instead of the original red.