Chinese historians and researchers have identified more than 900
aviation martyrs who died in China during World War II, including
404 American pilots.
"The names of the martyrs were discovered during the information
collection process ahead of the establishment of a memorial hall
for the deceased aviators," said Wang Jian, vice president of the
Nanjing Aviation Association, which is based in the eastern
province of Jiangsu.
"These include 404 Americans and more than 500 Chinese," Wang
said. "Their identities have been verified by Chinese and American
On Aug. 1, 1941, the American Volunteer Group, which later came
to be known as the Flying Tigers, was formed under the leadership
of U.S. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault to help China drive out invading
In August 1995, to commemorate the heroes, China built the
Monument to the Aviator Martyrs in the War of Resistance Against
Japanese Aggression in Nanjing. The names of more than 3,000
martyrs, including 870 Chinese, 2,186 Americans and 236 soldiers of
the former Soviet Union, were inscribed on the monument in Chinese,
English and Russian.
Wang said the newly-discovered names were expected to be added
to the inscription next year.
According to government plans, construction on the memorial hall
will start in Nanjing in April, 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2007)