World / War heroes

Memory of Flying Tigers burns bright

By Cang Wei (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-03 07:48

Memory of Flying Tigers burns bright
In 2005, 15 former pilots from the "Flying Tigers", the nickname of the American Volunteer Group, visited the Nanjing Anti-Japanese Aviation Memorial Hall to lay wreathes and honor their fallen comrades.

Between August 1941 and July 1942, the Flying Tigers, led by General Claire Chennault, harassed the Japanese forces from the air. The pilots were all former members of the US Army Air, Navy or Marine Corps.

On Dec 20, 1941, the AVG saw action for the first time, shooting down three Japanese bombers and destroying a further six on the ground, according to the Flying Tigers Museumin Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, where much of the aerial combat took place. People in Kunming set off firecrackers to celebrate the victory.

The Chinese air force was severely depleted and the Soviet Union had withdrawn its aircrews, so the AVG represented China's only real aerial resistance to the Japanese.

The Flying Tigers participated in more than 100 battles, shooting down 272 Japanese aircraft and destroying another 225 on the ground, according to the museum.

The group was formally absorbed into the US military in 1942 as the 14th Air Force, but the three newly formed squadrons-named "Adam and Eves", "Panda Bears" and "Hell's Angels"-remained under Chennault's command.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics