The son of a war hero in the Sino-Japanese war (1937 to 1945) yesterday announced that he intends to establish a museum in his father’s name in Taiwan to help preserve the memory of that period in history.
Kao Yao-han (高耀漢) made the announcement in Taipei during the inauguration of an association dedicated to the memory of Kao Chih-hang (高志航), who led the Republic of China’s (ROC) first successful air battle against Japan in 1937.
Former Taiwan Civil Aeronautics Administration director-general Billy Chang (張國政) and Veterans Association chairman Kuo Chung-yuan (高仲源) attended the gathering.
The Aug. 14, 1937, air battle near Hangzhou, China, was a setback for Japan’s military, which had been considered invincible at the time.
Kao Chih-hang died during a Japanese attack on Nov. 21, 1937.
The ROC designated Aug. 14 Air Force Day to mark the victory. The battle was also made into a film by the Central Pictures Corp in 1977 and a 30-episode TV series that was broadcast in China last year.
However, the plan to broadcast the TV series in Taiwan was rejected by the government. Commenting on the decision — blamed on historical inaccuracies — Kao Yao-han said the series was not a documentary, but it did highlight the contribution made by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) and the ROC Air Force during the war against Japan.
Kao Yao-han said that museums exhibiting his father’s achievements had been established in Beijing, Nanjing and his hometown of Tonghua in Jilin Province, adding that he hoped to do the same in Taiwan.
Chou Shan-tse (周善擇), a retired Air Force lieutenant general and co-founder of the association, said efforts had been made to secure funding for the museum project from the Ministry of National Defense, the Air Force and Chiayi City Government.