User profile: fthpo

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Forums > Living in Kunming > 1 Yuan Bill - Interesting!

Know I missed something here... but I have a sizeable collections of 1- yuan bills dating back to the 1930s. They are anything but rare at flea-markets... not at all like the various denominations of CBC Shanghai 1930 Customs Gold Notes, now being counterfeited...

Forums > Living in Kunming > Instruments on planes..and Chinese airlines

If it'll fit in an overhead bin, get one early and place it in the one closest your seat. My experience was sad... I was bringing a new one for my step-daughter. Stu's could find no up-right bin wide enough, so it went overhead. Unfortunately not close. In the rush to deplane someone pulled out a briefcase from below... it fell on the floor after striking the passenger below. No one bothered to pick it up, they just walked on it; some ran their pull-on luggage over the soft cased unit and I could not get out of my widow seat because the aisle-guy refused. No yelling helped! The flight was loaded, and we were amid-ships on a 737. This was a few years back on Yunnan Air - the days when passengers rushed from their seats before the wheels smoked the tarmac, grabbed their stuff letting the bin-doors hang open & blocked the aisles completely all the way to the gate.

The guitar was non-repairable even in China at prices then. I admit a hard case would have helped, but all the way from the US Stu's had taken care of the unit in closets on the 747. The daughter never learned to play any guitar, nor to play tennis, though I got her a nice racquet - so 8-years later she's older, the broken guitar and tennis gear is ready for trash or Salvation Army pick-up back here in USA!


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Due to the effects of the Pacific El Nino on extending the Monsoon season, un-rest in Myanmar and their military air actions agaist the Kokang rebels, FTHO has had to adjust the scedule for our HUMP re-enactment flight to mid-October. Altough we will miss the 70th. Anniversary of the end of the War Against Japanese Aggression & WW II celebrations by a month, plans are still underway to fly our C-47 from India to Kunming over the HUMP. We will keep Go-Kunming informed with better dates as time nears.

I was at the site in 2008; then known as "Puzhao Woods"... just happened upon an elderly couple who said they had been coming to pay familial respect since he cemetery was moved in the '50s. Before then hundreds of visitors had come to the site and it was always bedecked with floral arranements on holidays - mind you, this was during the Mao Regime days! My Chinese is very poor, but my wife, LiWei, translated what the couple said as: 'they no call these men Guomingdan, but Chinese Flying Tigers and all revere as such'.
What we found were 7 open or sunk-in graves, human bones amongst the tree and shrub roots; the single new marker and trash! No attempt had been made to otherwise designate or preserve a cemetery!

On a 1994 visit I found a stelle marking the area along the road from the old airport where the 1st. Squadron maintenance 'hangars in the woods' were in 1941 (until the airbase was finished with such edificies) and I have several B & W photos taken in those days; including te first actual work hangars and a P-40 named: YUNNAN WHORE soutside of one. We also visited what remained of Camp Scheil, he former Flying Tigers R & R area along the lake.
BTW - there is NO photo (to my knowledge) which shows the entire group of AVG (3 squadrons) of the Flying Tigers... however media continually use the photo seen in this article - which, other than the aircraft has no AVG airmen in it - this is the US Army Air Corps (after July 4th. 1942) who assumed the name by Chennault's choice; best known at the CATF or Chinese-American Task Force (Tiger jumping thru the Chinese Sunstar and shredding a Japanese 'meatball' flag). Only a handful (5 pilots & 23 crewman from the AVG's 311-member staff) joined the USAAC at the time with a couple American civilians who also remained employed. The CATF was an interim group formed around the 23rd. Fighter Group with Robert Scott their leader (GOD IS MY COPILOT fame) that lasted a mere 10-months until March 10. 1943 when Chennault first displayed the US 14th. Airforce emblem - most often synonymous with the "Flying Tigers". Today - it seems the name covers anyone (and anything) whichever flew the HUMP, or over any part of China between 1931 and 1949... ie: American Airlines conract pilots & crews; CNAC pilots & crews; CAT (China Air Transport) employees who evacuated 150,000 KMT families & China's Gold reserves to Taiwan, which then became "Air America" in the mid-'60s); the Russian pilots, crews and a few from Korea during 1938-'40; Indian Scouts, the US Airborne Cavalry who rode mules in China & Burma (yes - both parachuted) & anyone who 'flew' and landed via WACO gliders... the list is almost endless.
Today with an ever increasing number of so-called 'Flying Tiger museums' being built in China there is a real scramble for artifacts from the USA, because they came to America as 'souvenirs' and were closeted away many years while in China they were destroyed; crashed aircraft aluminum salvaged and beat into pots & pans, and some items were even buried, deliberately sunk in marshes & small lakes. etc!
Construction companies are continually building on former crushed stone and mud runways... and will do so untl there is no vistage of any WW II bases visible - photos are all that we shall ever have if war-dead cemeteries are forgotten... it's called: PROGRESS

One of Zheng He's 7 Voyages? Wonder if they will have a 300-meter long treasure-ship (Junk) built for the great exploration & tribute trip in Nanjing? Most researchers of this period, believe that after Zheng He passed away, some captains took a few of these vessels on a full circumnavigation. Artifacts left in the Azores, the Med. and an old, but accurate sketch of a Caribbean island on a map, as well as places along the E. coast of South America, indicate they may have crossed the Atlantic; visited the "New World" along both continents, then rounded Cape Horn and proceeded up the Pacific side. There is even evidence on a mountain slope in New Zeeland of a possible Treasure Fleet ship of immense size that was driven there by a Tsunami. As I recall the year of the first voyage was 1421 and there is a book by that name from a UK author, as well as a follow up about visits to Italy, and islands in the Med. I hope some day the Zheng He park in Xilin will feature this additional information, but for now it is a nice day-trip from Kunming - a good place to start an adventure, since as a boy, Zheng He learned to sail on then beautiful Lake Dianchi.

This is a worthwhile few hours... it's too bad that the original site was not used, but the Kunming museum had a really great heart in lending the exhibits the space. Los Angeles native, Dr. Pedro Chan brought the grand-daughter of Chennault, Nell Calloway, who directs the Chennault Museum in Monroe, LA USA as honored guest. Would have liked to had Debbie Huang, the youngest daughter of Kunming's famous Jen Lin Huang, aka China's "Meeter & Greeter" who stood by the Chiangs at hundreds of wartime events and owned a home outside the city where many AVG Flying Tigers visited... however, she was ill at the time. J.L. Huang was director of the Wartime Services Commission, responsible for all housing and feeding America airmen & soldiers; previously he had been affiliated with the YMCA programs, and was selected to arrange the honors for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's masoleum memorial ceremony. He also ran a series of officer & enlisted men's clubs around Kunming for the Americans, and became a great friend of Chennault.
There were bags of 'goodies on' opening day, the 20th. I came away with Flying Tiger T-shirts; camo museum logo cap; DVDs and a nice pen set as well as booklets in Chinese & English on the Flying Tigers - in a museum Logo'd sturdy shopping bag. Gotta Luv It!

I see no one has mentioned the Dec. 20th opening of the Kunming Flying Tigers Museum, which was cancelled for a year due to construction problems. It should have opened last year on the 70th. anniversary of the AVG Flying Tiger's first air-combat in the skies near the city, which was determined the last time the Japanese wantonly bombed the city, killing hundreds of its wartime inhabitants.
It would be nice to see someone cover the museum opening event as well as they did that of the Flying Tigers restaurant last year.



It gets 4-stars even before my visit...
This is what Kunming needs, with the upcoming 70th. anniversary of the AVG's first battle near the city Dec. 20, 1941. The new Flying Tiger museum is scheduled to open then also.
Hope to see you there...