Civilians and government officials yesterday paid tribute to former Air Force pilot Chen Huai (陳懷) on the 50th anniversary of his death. Chen died when the Chinese military shot down the U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft he was flying.
The ceremony held by civilians including Roger Hsi (習賢德), a professor of journalism at Fu Jen Catholic University, Yang Hua-kun, a younger cousin of Chen, and three former members of the Black Cat Squadron took place at the Air Force’s martyrs tomb in Sindian District (新店), New Taipei City (新北市).
National Security Council Secretary-General Hu Wei-jen (胡為真) and the chief of the air force’s political warfare department, Lieutenant General Wu Wan-chiao (吳萬教), represented the government and military in their tributes to Chen.
Hsi said because Chen did not marry and his direct relatives live in Fuzhou, in China’s Fujian Province, they have been unable to go to Taiwan to apply to the government for compensation and have not received any compensation for his death in 50 years.
He said compensation for Chen’s sacrifice for the country is a matter of morality and justice and he hoped the government could find a way to compensate the family.
Yang said Chen’s parents suffered oppression in China after Chen’s death. The military later said in a press statement that according to the Act Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Chinese nationals who are family members of martyrs could receive compensation but because Chen’s parents have died, no one could apply for compensation.
Before Chen was killed above Jiangxi Province, he had flown three other operational missions in the U-2.
The Black Cat squadron flew U-2 surveillance planes and collected intelligence information from 1961 to 1974.