Memory of Flying Tigers honored
Updated: 2015-05-08 10:59
By Li Yang(China Daily)
Nell Calloway (second from right), a granddaughter of Lieutenant General Claire Chennault, and Chen Lihua, deputy mayor of Guilin city, pay tribute to those who died in the fight against the Japanese invasion of China at a newly opened heritage park in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on March 28. Huo Yan / China Daily
The American Volunteer Group has legendary status in China, and the US pilots who flew as members of the Chinese air force have now been honored in the town that was their main center of operations, as LI YANG reports from Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
China has paid tribute to the 1st American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, a team of US pilots who assisted the fight against Japanese occupation during World War II, by opening a heritage park in Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Vice-Premier Liu Yandong hosted the opening ceremony with Guangxi Party chief Peng Qinghua, and representatives from the United States.
The park - which covers an area of 17 hectares, and comprises a museum, a cave command post on a nearby mountain, barracks, hangars and flight strips - was funded by the Flying Tigers Historical Organization, a nonprofit group in Groveland, California. It was constructed on the site of the former Yangtang airport, which was built by the locals and the US volunteers in 1942 under extremely dangerous conditions.
Local villagers, governments and the FTHO have donated hundreds of relics related to the Flying Tigers to the museum, and Florence Lee Fang, the FTHO's honorary president, will donate a C-40 transport plane, the dominant model used by the US army air forces in the Pacific theater, which will soon go on permanent display.
Liu's presence at the ceremony demonstrated the significance China attaches to the Flying Tigers' legacy in the 70th anniversary year of the victory over the axis powers.