U.S. "Flying Tigers" to have memorial park in SW China
www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-02 19:54:39   Print

    KUNMING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- A park to commemorate the Chinese soldiers and members of the U.S. "Flying Tigers" air squadron who fought in the Second World War is to be set up in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

    The wooded park will cover 167 hectares and boast a peace gate, a friendship monument, a memorial wall and memorials to wartime figures.

    The park would be near an abandoned military airport that hosted American planes during WWII, about 20 kilometers from downtown Kunming, capital of Yunnan, said Wang Chengzhong of the park's construction administration committee.

    Detailed construction designs would be submitted to local authorities for ratification after workers finish surveying the site.

    Yunnan has established a foundation to raise funds for the project, which is estimated to cost four billion yuan (540 million U.S. dollars).

    A joint venture registered by firms from China, Australia and Thailand will be in charge of the development.

    American and Chinese foundations and organizations have already pledged support. The Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation, whose members are mostly World War II veterans, has promised to donate hundreds of WWII documents and objects.

    The American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers by Chinese for their courage, was formed in 1941 under the leadership of U.S. General Claire Lee Chenaults to help China drive out invading Japanese troops.

    An estimated 2,264 U.S. "Flying Tigers" members and more than 900 Chinese airmen who fought along with them died in the war.

    From December 1941 to September 1945, the Flying Tigers shot down 2,600 Japanese military planes, destroyed 44 warships and killed 66,700 Japanese soldiers.

    Chinese and American air forces also opened the famous Camel Peak Aviation Route across the Himalayas, the so-called "death route," to deliver urgently needed military supplies to support China's war effort.

    Many monuments, memorial architectures and cemeteries for members of the "Flying Tigers" have been established across China.

Editor: Yao Siyan
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