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Missing US World War II Planes Discovered in China

Remains of three US planes which crashed during World War II have been discovered in the border area between southwest China and Myanmar.

Six pieces of wreckage were found in Yingjiang County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, neighboring Myanmar.

Jia Po, secretary of the Communist Party of China's Zhina Township Committee, led a search party after hearing that wreckage of an American plane had been sighted on Mount Erniang, near Lushan village.

The searchers found that the plane had caused an extensive fire when it crashed.

Wreckage from the two other planes was found less than 30 kilometres (20 miles) away across the border in Myanmar.

It has been determined that the three planes were members of the Flying Tigers, which made great contributions to the Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

Former US Air Corps Major Claire L. Chennault formed the American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, to protect the Burma Road supply route to China during the the war against Japan.

The Tigers consisted of about 100 volunteer pilots and 200 groundcrew, according to the US Air Force Museum website.

Despite their aging P-40B aircraft, the Tigers inflicted heavy losses on Japanese bombers attempting to attack the provincial capital Kunming in December 1941. Wreckage from other US wartime crashes has been discovered in Yunnan.

Elderly people in Lushan Village recall seeing a plane crash in 1943.

(China Daily January 4, 2002)

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