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Memorials within the Jianchuan Museum Cluster:
The Hall of the Heros of the 'Flying Tigers' (Tiger Jones Hall) includes the two outdoor Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault Memorials, Wreckage of Aircraft No. 6286, B-24 Bomber Number 40783, Relics of Robert Rineer, & Chinese Heros.
The largest private museum in China, Chengdu Jianchuan Museum, devotes a wing in its military section to the history of the Flying Tigers, including a tribute wall featuring a thousand porcelain photos of members of the Flying Tigers as well as many historical artifacts from the era.
The Jianchuan Museum Cluster is located in Anren, a national-class historical and cultural town in Dayi, part of Chengdu, Sichuan China with a total footage of 500 acres about a one hour drive from downtown Chengdu. It consists of 15 museums which showcase China's largest private collection of artifacts amassed during the last 70 years.
It has a rich repository of over 8 million pieces of artifacts, with 121 of them classified as Class-One National Treasures. This is also the largest museum cluster in China.
The complex features more than two million historical and cultural artifacts mainly from the founder, Dr. Fan Jianchuan's personal collection, and has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as an example of "the increasing openness about the way recent history is viewed in China."
The museums are organized by four major themes: Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the ‘Red era', the Wenchuan Earthquake, and Folklore & Culture. Exhibit items from the war promote peace; present teachings from the past to develop a better future; recreate scenes of natural disasters to remember the past and prepare for the future; collection of items of folklore and traditions to reflect the soul of the people.
The Jianchuan Museum Cluster espouses the philosophy of "viewing artifacts at leisure, thus appeasing both mind and body".
Tiger Jones Hall
After the Pacific war broke out, the U.S. declared war on Japan and formerly joined the worldwide anti-fascist camp. In order to defeat the common enemy, China and the U.S. coordinated their attacks and, while so doing, forged a deep friendship. The war of resistance in China, an important component of the worldwide anti-fascist campaign had great strategic significance for the U.S. war effort in the Far East and large scale aid from the U.S. to China helped bring victory in China's and Japanese War and promoted the improvement of China's international status. In particular, the American 'Flying Tigers' crewmen who fought in China's air war carried out heroic deeds of a lifetime and, at the same time came to deeply love the Chinese land. They were the heroes in the hearts of the Chinese people and China became their second homeland. This history of U.S. aid for China in the Anti-Japanese ar should be commemorated as a part of the history of friendship between China and America.
The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) dubbed the "The Flying Tigers" by its Washington support group, called China Defense Supplies of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942 were pilots from the United States Army, US Navy, and Marine Corps commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.
The group was a private military contractor and for that reason are considered mercenaries and earning roughly 3x's more than regular military personnel.
The group first saw combat on 20 December 1941, 12 days after Pearl Harbor.
The group consisted of three fighter squadrons with about 20 aircraft each. It trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II with the mission of defending China against Japanese forces.
The Tigers' shark-faced fighters remain among the most recognizable of any individual combat aircraft of World War II painted with a large shark face on the front of the aircraft. This was done after pilots saw a photograph of a P-40 of No. 112 Squadron RAF in North Africa, which in turn had adopted the shark face from German pilots of the Luftwaffe's ZG 76 heavy fighter wing, flying Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters in Crete.
There are also several memorials to the AVG in Asia. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, a marble obelisk was dedicated on 11 November 2003, inscribed to Chennault; to Jack Newkirk, who was killed in North Thailand on 24 March 1942; and to Charles Mott and William McGarry, who were shot down and captured in Thailand.
In Taiwan, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek requested a statue of Chennault in the New Park of Taipei to commemorate this wartime friend after his death (the statue has since been relocated to Hualian AFB).
A Flying Tigers Memorial is located in the village of Zhijiang, Hunan Province, China and is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the Flying Tigers. The building is a steel and marble structure, with wide sweeping steps leading up to a platform with columns holding up the memorial's sweeping roof; on its back wall, etched in black marble, are the names of all members of the AVG, 75th Fighter Squadron, and 14th Air Force who died in China. In 2005, the city of Kunming held a ceremony memorializing the history of the Flying Tigers in China.
The Memorial Cemetery to Anti-Japanese Aviator Martyrs in Nanjing, China features a wall listing the names of Flying Tiger pilots and other pilots who defended China in World War II, and has several unmarked graves for such American pilots.
There are several museum displays in the United States honoring the Flying Tigers. The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, has an extensive display dedicated to the AVG, including an A-2 jacket worn by an AVG pilot in China, a banner presented to the AAF by the Chinese government, and a P-40E.
The National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida also has a Flying Tiger display. The AVG monument in the National Museum of the United States Air Force Memorial Garden features a marble sculpture of a pagoda crowned with a brass model of a P-40; the monument stands nearly 14 feet tall.
The Palm Springs Air Museum has a display of memorabilia inside a mockup of AVG ground facilities, with a P-40N painted in AVG markings.
Finally, a memorial to the AVG and 14th AF is located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, depicting a P-40 in AVG markings with a bronze plaque describing the unit's history and Vandenberg's role as headquarters for the 14th AF.
Bronze of Claire Chennault outside the Flying Tiger Building One of the many photos from within the flying tiger Building.