October 26, 2014 salute to China Veterans
The Flying Tiger Historical Organization (FTHO) just held an event honoring WW II Veterans of the China-India-Burma Theater at the San Francisco People’s Republic of China Consulate hosted by Consul General Yuan Nansheng. Five veterans from our area were in attendance. Wes Ament, Roy Dillon, Hank DeGraaf- all Hump pilots. Bill Behrns, P-38 Ace and Bob Hong 15 AAF Italy veteran.
Each veteran was presented with a certificate of recognition for their service by Consul General Yuan Nansheng and a plaque honoring them by FTHO President Larry Jobe.
The Chinese have never forgotten what the American serviceman did for them during the war and to this day honor each and every one of them, thanking the “Flying Tigers” for saving them from the brutality of the Japanese invader. In China any American who served in China in WW II is a Flying Tiger.
On March 28, 2015 the Chinese in Lingui County will hold the grand opening of the Flying Tiger Heritage Park Museum. Six years in the making it will be the largest museum honoring and recording for history the record of the “Flying Tigers”.
The FTHO was presented with a check for $175,000 by the Florence Fang Family Foundation to purchase a DC-3 (C-47) to re-create a Hump flight on the 70th anniversary of the ending of hostilities in China.
The war against Japan in China was kept supplied by these flights. The FTHO will fly from one of the old air fields in Burma to Guilin, China landing in front of the museum where the plane will be left for permanent display. USAF Academy graduate Dale Mueller of Groveland will be the pilot. Just a little history here—the Hump flying was the most dangerous flying you could do in WW II. In the CBI Theater more Hump pilots were killed than Bomber and Fighter pilots combined. The route over the Himalaya Mountains was called the Aluminum Trail due to all the downed aircraft scattered along it.
Few know that the Berlin Air Lift was patterned after the Hump operations.
NOTE: Click on a photo to enlarge, and click on the letter “i” at the bottom of each photo (in gallery mode) for information listed on each photo.