Flying Tigers

This week was a holiday in China due to National Day celebrations and as part of our day tripping around Kunming we visited the Flying Tigers museum which is inside Kunming City Museum.

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited underpresidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The ground crew and headquarters staff were likewise mostly recruited from the U.S. military, along with some civilians.

The Tigers’ shark-faced fighters remain among the most recognizable of any individual combat aircraft and combat unit of World War II, and they demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces.

The rest of Kunming Museum included traditional Chinese fans, pottery and artwork. I especially enjoyed walking around the painting and photography sections. This painting in particular caught my eye:



What was interesting was some of the everyday photographs that showed Kunming before the cars, the skyscrapers and urbanisation. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo but there was one black and white print that was marked with the year 1994 that showed a main street in Kunming full of donkeys, people working by the side of the road and not a trace of the modern world.


The Kunming Museum is free to enter and when we visited it was almost empty of people so it was nice to take our time wondering around the various exhibits. One disappointment was that the signs inside mention a dinosaur exhibit but the room we assume it was in was locked and barricaded. However, I really enjoyed walking the many halls of paintings and photographs and have decided to take my adult class out for a field trip there when I get the chance.

To get there I copied down the Mandarin from GoKunming and after we left we had worked out the buses from there that would get us home so it was a nice half-day that didn’t require a lot of money.



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One thought on “Flying Tigers

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