Representatives of the U.S. Army’s Flying Tigers, also known as the 1st American Volunteer Group (1 AVG), will join China’s Victory Day events on Sept. 3. The Tigers played a key role in China’s victory, and are highly respected in China.
On Thursday, Larry Jobe is set to lead a group of Flying Tiger veterans in Beijing. Jobe is a retired civilian pilot who learned about the Flying Tigers’ history during a trip to China in the 1990s and established the Flying Tigers Historical Organization.
“They went to the war not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had to. They are very proud of what they did, and they are extremely pleased that people recognize and remember them today. It makes them feel good about what they did,” he told CCTV News.
Jobe learned that in the regions occupied by Japan, Chinese people did everything they could to save Flying Tiger pilots that were shot down. He found that pilots taken in by local Chinese families had a 95 percent chance of getting back to their brothers-in-arms.
Jobe spoke of one U.S. pilot sheltered by a Chinese community. When Japan invaded, the villagers didn’t reveal any information on the pilot, even when tortured. The invaders finally left after finding footprints of U.S. boots that led outside the village. However those footprints were made by a Chinese villager leaving a false trail.
Story by CCTV News