Southwest China's Yunnan province began an exhibition tour of the United States on July 4, to honor American Volunteer Group, commonly known as the "Flying Tigers", as part of commemorations for the 70th anniversary of World War II. [Special coverage]
Titled Welcome Home, Flying Tigers — Cultural Exhibition from Beautiful Yunnan, the Second Hometown of Heroes, the mobile exhibition will travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Washington and New York through Aug 6.
On display are about 300 items that were once used by members of AVG such as telephones, bags and clothes, and letters written by their pilots and around 20 aircraft models used by them.
In 1941, Claire Lee Chennault, a retired US military officer, formed AVG in Kunming, capital city of Yunnan. It recruited pilots from the U.S. Army Air Corps, Navy and Marine Corps.
They helped Chinese people fight Japanese occupational forces during WWII. Most of their combats took place in Yunnan.
"Yunnan was like a second hometown to the Flying Tigers. We are grateful to the heroes. It is a shared memory of China and the U.S.," Huang Ruowei, who is in charge of the tour, said.
After the U.S. tour, the show will return to China, and it will be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and three other cities from Aug 15. Once this tour ends, another project — involving the salvaging of a plane from Dianchi Lake in Yunnan, will start.
The event is jointly held by U.S. Aviation History Heritage Foundation, American Camellia Cultural and Educational Tour Company, Yunnan Flying Tigers Research Institute and Hong Kong War History Research Association.