Question by We Never Left!!: Has anyone read the accounts of the Flying Tigers and Civil Air Transport?
Some here may wonder about the “avatar” I use. Have you ever read an account of its history?
If you have time to check out some of the links, then please offer your comments.
I suggest you do some research on the Flying Tigers, General Chennault, his wife Chen Xiangmei (now residing in Washington, D.C.), and the Civil Air Transport origins of a little thing called “Air America”. Even though, it was an ugly time in the 20th century, noble motives were being carried out by honorable people.
[Note: The statue in the photo is now located at the ROCAF base in Hualien where I work.]
Kind regards to all,
WNL (aka Col. “FOG”, ROCAF)
@Matt – No USA forces landed in Taiwan until after the war ended. But, we were the only ones bombing the Japanese military facilities here during the war. Immediately at the end of the war, we ferried the ROC personnel here to accept the Japanese surrender. Later on, we even had to point guns at the ROC personnel just to get them to disembark in Taiwan, as they were afraid of the Japs which were still on the island. But, we were ferrying them back to Japan. This is the true meaning of “Peacekeeping”. That was in 1945, and the CCP had yet to overtake the ROC with its military coup. The PRC deserves NO respect for its minimal effort in routing the Japanese from China; indeed, they kept attacking the ROC who were trying to defend China. The ROC won WW2 on the mainland with the help of US forces, and the CCP stole it from a weakened ROC. I’ll bet THAT FACT isn’t in the history books in China today. They wouldn’t even HAVE a country now, if we hadn’t come to help.
The movie “Air America” is a light-hearted look at the strange idiosyncrasies involved in trying to bridge the gap between Asians whose only priority is protecting their own rice bowl and Americans who have lived a life of priviledges. I recommend it.
I have some beautiful USAAF reconnaissance photos of bombed out facilities and buildings on fire in Hualien taken in January 1945. Not a vehicle can be seen on the roads here, except a Japanese convoy headed north on the main road out of the city.
Answer by matt_of_asia
Interesting history. Wow. I vauguely remember watching Robert Downy Jr.’s film “Air America”, that might be worth a download to check out again, if I can find a torrent.
I remember seeing the iconic shark-faced P-40 in books I read on avionics when I was a kid, I think I had a couple ‘hot wheels’ planes like that my friends were jealous of, back in the early 80’s. I think I lost em somewhere in a dirty old sandbox, though. That was one of my favorite planes. Interesting history.
Was the same group providing any air support during the Midway or Okinawa campaigns? I probably should go look that crap up at some point myself..
I had no idea the P-40 plane group operated out of Taiwan, however. I knew long range air support bombers were out in Taichung during the Vietnam war, I figured there might have been some bases here from the 40’s, I am not sure if Taiwan was taken by the US before assaulting Okinawa during WW2 pacific campaign or not, I am not much of a historian I admit. Was Taiwan ever officially occupied/secured by American forces in the last months of the Pacific campaign?
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