China / Society

Flying Tigers Museum opens in central China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-19 00:12

CHANGSHA - A museum commemorating the Flying Tigers, a US air squadron that helped the Chinese fight the Japanese in World War II, opened to the public in central China's Hunan Province on Tuesday.

The Flying Tigers Museum, located at the Zhijiang Airport in Zhijiang County, houses 1,387 pieces of historical artifacts from the Flying Tigers, which are on public display for the first time.

The Zhijiang Airport was an important base for the Flying Tigers under the leadership of Claire Lee Chennault, a retired US Army Air Corps officer who started working in China in 1937.

Construction of the museum took five years. During this time, the museum received precious items from living members of the Flying Tigers and their families, including Anna Chan Chennault, wife of Claire Lee Chennault, said Wu Jianhong, curator of the museum.

The cultural relics in the museum will help younger generations remember the glorious history of the Flying Tigers and cherish the peace that did not come easy, said Chen Canpei, who contributed items to the museum.

The 1st American Volunteer Group, which the Chinese nicknamed the Flying Tigers for their courage, was formed in 1941 to help China drive out invading Japanese troops.

An estimated 2,264 Flying Tigers and more than 900 Chinese airmen who fought alongside them died in the war.

Hot Topics