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May 23, 2017

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Flying Tigers' 70th anniversary exhibition kicks off in Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan military yesterday kicked off an exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW) in commemoration of this joint organization that represents one of the strongest examples of the R.O.C.-U.S. alliance during World War II.

The CACW was a unit established jointly between the U.S. Army Air Force and the R.O.C. Air Force in Oct. 1943 in India to fend off invading Japanese forces during World War II.

During his address at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Defense Minister Yen Ming (嚴明) said the R.O.C government is holding the exhibition so that people can relive the memorable historic moments in which American and R.O.C. forces fought alongside each other during WWII.

"With this exhibition, we also want to commemorate the CACW, which is concrete evidence of a longtime friendship between the R.O.C. and U.S.," Yen added.

Nell Calloway, a granddaughter of American aviation hero Claire Lee Chennault, who founded the Aviation Volunteer Group (AVG) that was later to become the CACW, also attended yesterday's ceremony as a special guest. The AVG and CACW were later known as the "Flying Tigers."

"Chennault will be proud to know that the accomplishments of the CACW are still remembered and celebrated 70 years later," Calloway said.

She is also the Museum Director of the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum based in Los Angeles.

Calloway thanked the R.O.C government for launching the event to keep alive the memory and history of the joint military operation in which Chinese and Americans fought side-by-side to protect the Chinese people against Japanese forces.

Chen Hung-chuan (陳鴻銓), 95-years-old and a founding member of the CACW, also joined in yesterda's ceremony.

An ex-R.O.C. Air Force Commander, Chen said he was proud to be a member of the CACW. He also thanked Chennault for his assistance to the R.O.C. Air Force during World War II.

Aside from Chen, another five former members of the CACW, two American and three R.O.C. nationals, were in attendance: Robert Lee, Hal Javitt, Tou Kai-mu (都凱牧), Lee Chi-hsien (李繼賢), and Chen Ping-ching (陳炳靖).   

The exhibition, entitled "The Immortal Flying Tigers: Chinese-American Composite Wing 70th Anniversary Exhibition," features hundreds of historical images from the U.S. National Archives.

The headgear, goggles, and flight jackets worn by pilots, along with a P-40 fighter combat simulator that allows exhibition-goers to experience air combat in a mock-up cockpit, are also on display at the exhibition.

The event staged in the Armed Forces Museum in Taipei will run until March 31, 2014.

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