Fri, Aug 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Air force to inaugurate Flying Tigers memorial

By Yu Tai-lang  /  STAFF REPORTER IN HUALIEN

The insignia of the American Volunteer Group can be seen in the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing's museum in Hualien. The group, better known as the Flying Tigers, joined the ROC Air Force in 1941.

PHOTO: YU TAI-LANG, TAIPEI TIMES

A statue of US General Claire Chennault, who gained renown as the leader of the "Flying Tigers" during World War II, will be soon moved from a park in Taipei to an air force base in Hualien.

The Flying Tigers were a group of US volunteer fighter pilots based in China's Kunming, Yunnan Province, who fought against the Japanese and helped to train the fledgling air force of the Republic of China.

The air force will establish the "Flying Tigers Squadron Memorial Hall" dedicated to Chennault and his squadron in Hualien for Air Force Day on Aug. 12.

Chennault, a captain in the US Army Air Corps, resigned his commission in 1937 and traveled to China at the invitation of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). In early 1941, before the US had declared war on Japan, Chennault organized the American Volunteer Group -- popularly known as the Flying Tigers -- to fight alongside the Chinese against the Japanese invaders. Chennault died in 1958.

The general's wife, Anna Chan Chennault (陳香梅), is scheduled to attend the ceremony to unveil the statue, which will be moved to Hualien from Taipei's Xinsheng Park.

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