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Guilin And Flying Tigers

The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942, famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of volunteer pilots from the US and recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault who was a retired US Army Air Corps officer and had worked in China since 1937. The group first trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II with the mission of defending China against Japanese Air Force. Then in July 1942, the AVG was replaced by the US Army 23rd Fighter Group, which was later absorbed into the US 14th Air Force with General Chennault as the commander. 

As the eastern regions of China were under Japanese occupation, so all of the foreign material destined for China’s arm forces were transported via Burma Road which's leading to China. In order to protect this route and also in order to break Japanese’s water transportation in the sea; Flying Tigers came and based in Kunming of Yunnan Province, Guilin and Liuzhou of Guangxi Province in 1942 until 1944.

Flying Tigers came to Guilin on June 11, 1942 and garrisoned in YangTang airport which is a flat place among the limestone mountains and 8 kilometers away from Guilin city proper. At the beginning, Flying Tigers had only 12 fighters and bombers in Guilin, but in 1944, more than 200 different planes garrisoning here. During the war, Flying Tigers was bombing the Japanese Army's bases in south and east China and Japanese water transportation in the sea; it helped Chinese army get back the air control and made the locals avoid the Japanese bombing. During their stay in Guilin and China, Flying Tigers pilots shot down more than 2000 Japanese planes and shot dead more than 67000 Japanese soldiers. Flying Tigers did great contribution and won great honor in the War of Anti-Fascism. Due to its great contribution, Flying Tigers has been always highly respected by all the Chinese people and sure, will be remembered by Chinese generation to generation.

The local farmer in Guilin assists the U.S. representative to search the wreckages.

Remains of Flying Tigers' Crashed bomber in Xing’an County, Guilin
Xing'an County, a famous tourist county of Guilin and famous for its Ling Cannel, is 66 kilometers to the north of Guilin city proper. The Ling Cannel is a well-known old water conservancy project with a highly skilled workmanship. It is one of the oldest cannels that are still preserved well in the world. The Ling Cannel, the Great Wall and the DuJiangYan Dam in Sichuan Province of China are known as the three great constructions of Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. to 206 B.C.)

In 1996, Xing'an County became a hot point place in the world again because of the remains of one Flying Tigers' crashing bomber.

Parts of wreckage of a Flying Tigers found in xingan county, Guilin

On October 2 1996, a crashing Flying Tigers' bomber remains were discovered by two local farmers when they were adopting herbs in Mao’er Mountain in Xing’an County. The two governments of both China and US paid high attention to this, searching were started to be handling the circumstances of the remains, and these four times searching lasted totally 3 years. Finally all the remains like radar, short wave radio, machine guns, etc were all found and the ten American bomber crews were identified.

Parts of wreckage of a Flying Tigers found in xingan county, Guilin

According to the battle report of US Ministry of National Defense, this B-24 bomber belonged to the Flying Tigers "Special Duty Unit", in 1944, it took off from Liuzhou base of Guangxi province at 16:30 on August 31, 1944, but on the way back after completing bombing a fleet of Japanese Army in Taiwan, the pilot was told that the Liuzhou base was raided by Japanese Army. So this bomber had to change loading in Guilin base. But it lost contact with ground thereafter.

The detection of two local farmers uncovers the suspense today. The remains spreading in Mao’er Mountain relates us an act that occurred in this areas without navigation mark that year.

Parts of wreckage of a Flying Tigers airplane are exhibited at the Memorial of the Eighth Route Army Guilin offices.

Guilin Flying Tigers Relics Park
The Guilin Flying Tigers Relics Park, undergoing several years construction and renovation, is recently inaugurated in Guilin, Guangxi zhuang autonomous region of China and open to the public for free.

This is the site of the command posts of Flying Tigers at the piedmont of Jigong Mountain, Guilin, China's Guangxi.

The AVG, short for American Volunteer Group, also called Flying Tigers, is an world-renowned American air force that was formed by the pre-American lieutenant-general Claire Lee Chennault and was funded by KMT government. notably, all parts of this park interpret the heart-rending combat against the Japanese aggression during the world war , which will in turn show the friendship of China and America.

An official shows the site of former command posts of the Flying Tigers in Guilin on Aug. 13, 2014.

The theme of this park is to unfold before eyes the struggling scenes happened on the members of the Flying Tigers and to remind us of the inseparable relationship between the army and the people, all of which can be found on the following spots, the memorial museum, the command post of the Flying Tigers, the rock on which Chennault stood toward air combat, the sculpted reliefs and so on.

An official with local tourist administration introduces history of the Flying Tigers in front of a stone with calligraphy of Anna Chennault (Chen Xiangmei), the wife of Claire Lee Chennault on Aug. 8, 2014

Stepping into the entrance door, tourists will see the magnificent memorial museum, which displays historical relics staffs inside. Thanks to the relatives of the Flying Tigers’ members and some collectors, many precious articles have been successively sent here, including uniforms, medals, maps, newspapers and a plane. The shape of this museum is modeled from one of the fighter planes steered by the pilots.

While the upper part of the museum is changed into two shaking hands, implying the abiding friendship of the two countries and their people. Once being stay in the museum, one can truly feel the arduous life of the wartime, and cannot refrain from showing solemn attributes to these heroes.

The handover ceremony of the flying tigers' wreckage was held in Xingan county, Guilin.

Halfway up the Jigong hill, located the command post. It is in fact a cave. On a huge stone of its entrance, carving 8 Chinese characters, written by the famous calligrapher Wu Chundao, mean "the site of the command post of the Flying Tigers" in English. Inside of the cave, tourists can read materials of the history when the Flying Tigers lived in Guilin. In a whole, this cave remains almost the original state.

A rough stone, on which written several Chinese characters by Mrs. Chen Xiangmei (lieutenant-general Chennault’s wife), is set to commemorate Chennault. It is said that he often sat on this stone, with a cigarette on his mouth, watching his companions steering the fighter planes, flying back and forth. Time flies! But this story will be remembered forever.

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