The visit of the 36-strong delegation of Flying Tigers veterans, their relatives, and members of the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation to various Chinese cities is a touching example of the enduring friendship between the United States and China. The Flying Tigers, a group of American and Chinese pilots led by General Claire Lee Chennault during World War II, played a crucial role in transporting arms and materials to support China’s fight against Japanese invaders. This spirit of cooperation and sacrifice is celebrated by both nations to this day.
The emotional journey of Robin Olney, the daughter of a Flying Tigers airman, to see her father’s photos and the places where he once fought is a testament to the deep connection between the two countries. Despite her father never returning to China after the war, he shared stories and cherished memories of his time in China with his family, demonstrating his profound love for the country.
Nell Chennault Calloway, the granddaughter of General Claire Lee Chennault, expressed her appreciation for the museum and the honor bestowed upon those who sacrificed for the common cause. The Flying Tigers‘ story and their contributions to defeating the Japanese invaders continue to serve as an inspiration.
The visit also included notable veterans such as Harry Moyer and Melvin McMullen, who are aged 103 and 98, respectively. These veterans paid their respects at various historical sites and participated in events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the U.S. 14th Air Force’s participation in China’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression. Their presence and interactions with Chinese students and the public serve as a bridge between the two nations, highlighting the importance of people-to-people communication.
The Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation plays a significant role in promoting the Flying Tigers’ legacy in both China and the United States. This shared history has led to mutual understanding and exchange between the two countries, with American youth being inspired by the heroic spirit of the Flying Tigers.
The friendship between China and the United States that began over eight decades ago, forged through sacrifice and cooperation during World War II, remains a cornerstone of the friendly relationship between the two nations. It’s a testament to the enduring bonds between people and the profound impact that historical events and individuals can have on international relations.