Two of the 85 US veterans invited to China by the Chinese
People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to
commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII spoke of their
experiences to the press on Thursday in Beijing.
"I appreciate the Chinese government's invitation for us to come
back to China again, said 90-year-old John R. Rossi, one of the 20
Flying Tigers aces and president of the Flying Tigers Association.
He made a record 750 flights over the Hump Route and shot down
seven Japanese aircraft.
David Hayward, 83, who was once a bomber fighter in the 10th and
14th Air Force, said "During the wartime, we depended highly on the
Chinese people. They built our airfields, supplied us with food and
stood guard for our airplanes. They even built a warning system
called 'Chinese net" to help warn of Japanese aircraft."
"The Chinese people were also very grateful for our fighting
against the Japanese troops on their side. They came to us with
fruit and flowers which were hard to get at that time and offered
their thanks to us," said Rossi.
"Chinese and American people are friendly to each other. We are
smart enough to avoid wars in the future," said Hayward.
He said China and the US have been getting along well in recent
years and trade and visits such as this would help further enhance
"Peace is above all. People can cooperate regardless of their
backgrounds. Goals should and can be achieved by peaceful means,"
Both Rossi and Hayward expressed their amazement at China's
The veterans came to China over sixty years ago to help the Chinese
people fight the Japanese invasion.
Some are members of the renowned American Volunteer Group,
nicknamed the Flying Tigers, and flew over the Hump Route to carry
military and civilian materials to the Chinese army and people.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Yuan Fang, September 3,