OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
HISTORY PRESENTATION: The story of the Flying Tigers by Pedro Chan on Saturday, May 21st, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Pedro Chan has been collecting Flying Tigers artifacts since 2007. He fought against the disappearance of a legacy: a brave group that saved so many Chinese lives and brought down the Japanese. Chan remembers learning about some 325 heroic Flying Tigers as a child in Macau, China. But here in the United States, students have no idea, he said. "We all learned ... how they helped China to fight the Japanese (in the Second Sino-Japanese War)," said Chan. "In my heart, it already planted the seed that we looked at the Flying Tiger as national heroes. With the coming of the 70th anniversary of the second world war I thought I wanted to do something."
Chan, a longtime collector and donor of Flying Tigers memorabilia, created an exhibit entitled "Salute to WWII Flying Tigers in China," which debuted at the Capitol Hill Rayburn Foyer in Washington, D.C. Although his private collection contains thousands of items, Chan picked 177 prized photos and printed them on 48 free-standing banners.Pedro has collected pictures, documents and memorabilia about the Flying Tigers over the years.
Flying Tigers is the popular name for the American Volunteer Group (AVG), China Air Task Force and the Fourteenth Army Air Force. U.S. Army Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault commanded the Flying Tigers to support Chiang Kai-Shek's China fight against the invading Japanese. The team started out with 325 AVGs. One hundred were meant to become fighter pilots, but only 60 became combat-ready, Chan said. The rest quit or became part of the ground crew. While the Flying Tigers were paid from $250 to $750 a month, they were also given an oral promise of a $500 bonus for any Japanese plane they obliterated, according to the Flying Tigers Association website.
We needed to reschedule the time of Pedro's presentation from 5:30 PM as originally scheduled to 11:00 AM.
Come and hear more about the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers on May 21 at 11:00 AM a the museum.