Flying Tigers show in New York

Updated: 2015-08-03 11:55

By REN QI in New York(China Daily USA)

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Flying Tigers show in New York

Chinese and American audiences were watching the show. REN QI/CHINA DAILY

An exhibition about beautiful Yunnan and the Flying Tigers provides a boost to cultural exchange between China and America, and helps us remember the days when American volunteers helped China flight the Japanese invaders, said a senior official of the Chinese Consulate General in New York on Sunday.

A large-scale picture and cultural relics exhibition about the beauty of Yunnan province and the US Flying Tigers was presented to audiences in New York's Chinatown to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism along with the anniversary of the Flying Tigers.

Li Liyan, cultural counselor of the Chinese Consulate General, said by holding the exhibition, both Americans and Chinese can look back into that part of history and treasure the happy lives we are living now.

In December of 1941, American volunteer pilots known as the Flying Tigers started to help China repulse the Japanese invasion. Starting in 1943, the Flying Tigers also assisted flying over the Himalayas, helping to ship strategic materials from India to China to break through the Japanese line of defense. The Flying Tigers left China in 1944.

Dan Petach, a 71-year-old American came to the exhibition with a Flying Tigers jacket. He said his uncle, Johnnie Petach, joined the Navy during World War II, became a member of the Flying Tigers and went to China.

Johnnie Petach was born on July 15, 1918, during the closing months of World War I. He was a high-ranking ace among the Flying Tigers and shot down three enemy bombers on Jan 23,1942.

"Actually thanks to this extraordinary adventure my uncle met his wife on the way to China, as my aunt worked as a nurse in China, and soon they got married," said Petach. "To commemorate what my uncle did in China, I decided to donate this jacket to China."

The exhibition showed some old gear the army used during the war, including telephones, military equipment and some personal belongings.

The organizer of the exhibition said the Flying Tigers were a splendid example of America aiding China during wartime.

"We are holding the exhibition to display the blood-forged military friendship between the Flying Tigers and Chinese soldiers and civilians, to emphasize the power of Sino-American cooperation," said the organizer in a statement.

The show was also supported by the Yunnan government, as the southwestern province was called the second hometown of America's Flying Tigers.

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