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Friends and allies in war and peace

By Zhai Xiang, Xu Xiaoqing and Wang Cong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-13 07:14

Keeping memories alive

"I was glad to serve the Chinese people," Jay Vinyard said.

Vinyard joined the US Army Air Forces in 1942. In 1944, he was assigned to fly the Hump, ultimately completing 87 successful missions. Prior to the 2015 Victory Day parade in Beijing, President Xi Jinping awarded Vinyard a medal for his service.

"With several other WWII veterans, I was seated on the same level as President Xi to watch the parade," Vinyard said. "I am deeply impressed by what China has achieved."

All these years later, it is clear that the pilots' contributions were not made in vain.

"The Chinese people and the American people can work together to make the world a better place," Vinyard said.

Losonsky added, "China's role was instrumental in the Allied victory in WWII."

Although China's contribution to WWII has often been undervalued, a growing number of people are pointing out the huge sacrifices that were made and will not be forgotten.

"Memories of WWII have faded," said Rana Mitter, professor of history and director of the China Center at the University of Oxford in England.

"But let's not forget that China held off the Japanese forces. If China had surrendered, WWII would have ended differently."

 

Friends and allies in war and peace

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