Taiwan Exhibit Commemorates Flying Tigers Squadron

(Left) The Flying Tigers in action during WWII; (Right) The flight simulator in the Flying Tigers exhibit in Taipei tried by an ex-Flying Tiger pilot, 93-year-old Chen Hung-chuan.
(Left) The Flying Tigers in action during WWII; (Right) The flight simulator in the Flying Tigers exhibit in Taipei tried by an ex-Flying Tiger pilot, 93-year-old Chen Hung-chuan.

The Flying Tigers, formally known as the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), was a WWII air squadron composed of US pilots from the USAAF (United States’ Army Air Forces), USN (Navy) and the USMC (Marine Corps) along with Chinese airmen. The said military unit, headed by US Captain Claire Chennault, was instrumental in China’s defense against Japanese assault during the said war.

The honor the memory and the bond that the Flying Tigers Squadron forged between the US and the Republic of China, an exhibit devoted to the unit was put up in Taipei marking the 70th year the air fleet’s establishment.

The said fair features photographs, relics and other mementos along with a flight simulator – all commemorating the war contributions did by the US and Chinese pilots and bringing back memories of WWII.

“As soon as I stepped into this room, I felt 30 years younger,” said Chen Hung-chuan, 93, and was a former Flying Tigers Squadron pilot during WWII.

Minister of National Defense Yen Ming was the honored speaker during the opening of the Taipei exhibit last November 22 and in his speech, he praised the the Flying Tigers for playing an important role in cutting Japan’s supply lines in China. He also spoke about how through the squadron a friendship between China and America was formed as well as how the unit aided in laying down the foundations of the republic’s present Air Force.

Present during the opening ceremony was Chennault’s granddaughter, Nell Calloway, who also is the head of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in the US.

“I am overwhelmed and grateful to the people of the ROC for taking the time to bring this memory and to keep this memory alive,” she pronounced clearly impressed with the said fair.

The said exhibit, housed in the Armed Forces Museum, will be open to the public for free starting March 31, 2014.

– Taipei Times reports