Vice President Xie Yuan Attending Flying Tiger C-47 Dedication Ceremony
C-47 Dedication Ceremony was held at the Flying Tigers Guilin Heritage Park on March 25, 2017. Vice President Xie Yuan of Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Director General Zhang Jianqing of the Overseas Department of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, Secretary Zhao Leqin of CPC Guilin Municipal Committee, Chairman James Whitehead of the Flying Tigers Historical Organization(FTHO), FTHO President Larry Jobe, FTHO Honorary Chair Florence Fang, U.S. Consul General Charles Bennett to Guangzhou, U.S. Air Force Attache Colonel Mark Swentkofske from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and General Claire Lee Chennault’s granddaughter Nell Calloway were among the over 300 Chinese and U.S. guests participating in the event.
Vice President Xie read the message delivered by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, in which she extended her sincere welcome and best wishes to the family of General Claire Lee Chennault, Flying Tiger veterans and their families, members of Flying Tigers Historical Organization and people from all walks of life in the U.S. who have dedicated themselves to China-U.S. friendship. She also offered her warm congratulations on the dedication of the C-47 to Guilin, its last place of residence. She said, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the issuance of the Shanghai Communique. History exemplifies that a sound China-U.S. relationship serves the common good of peoples from both countries and around the world. She also expected more ordinary participants to commit themselves to promoting China-U.S. friendship with enthusiasm for the benefit of peoples of both countries, and peace and prosperity of the whole world.
FTHO President Larry Jobe touched the hearts of the audience by narrating every detail of the Hump Flight Reenactment. He said, this flight has three purposes: one, promote friendship and understanding between people and nations; two, honor the people who have saved the world from a brutal enemy; and three, record history so future generations will know what transpired here. He also thanked the CPAFFC and Lingui District Government for their strong supports, hoping the display of the C-47 at the Flying Tigers Guilin Heritage Park will help more people from both China and the U.S. remember the history about China and the U.S. being allies during the World War II.
C-47 was the major type of cargo planes used in the Hump Flight by the Flying Tigers in the World War II. The CPAFFC and FTHO started working on the Hump Flight Reenactment in early 2015. In October 2015, the FTHO purchased a C-47 in Australia, which served in the World War II. After restoration, the plane took off from Bathurst, Australia, on August 15, 2016. After making stopovers at airports in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma, it finally landed at Guilin Liangjiang Airport on November 19, 2016, drawing a wonderful conclusion to the Reenactment.