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American WWII Veterans Visit Chongqing

More than 50 American veterans of the Second World War and their relatives arrived in Chongqing Municipality, southwest China, Thursday to revisit their "second hometown".

They are among 262 American veterans and their relatives who came to China to attend activities marking the 60th anniversary of China's victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the victory of the world's anti-Fascist war.

Among the American veterans visiting Chongqing are members of the then American Volunteer Group that fought in China as the prestigious "Flying Tigers" and US pilots who steered transport planes from southern India to southwestern China via the Himalayas, known as the 500-mile "Hump" route.

Most of the visiting American veterans did not live in Chongqing during the wartime, but they love Chongqing very much as they flew over Chongqing frequently.

John Wolfshorndl, the first president of the Hump Pilots Association, said that, during the Second World War, his duty was surveying and mapping and later to be a shooter on a fighter plane.

Wofshorndl said this was the second time he visited Chongqing because he deeply loved the city and people here. Talking about the 60th anniversary of the victory in the world's anti-Fascist war, he expressed hope that the world could be in peace forever.

William Jackson, the 17th president of the association, said that he had never been in Chongqing before, but he has a special relationship with the city, as his grandson is studying at a university in Chongqing and his girlfriend is a native of Chongqing.

The American veterans visited Chongqing Stilwell Museum, Eling Park and some other sites related to WWII.

The visiting American veterans left Chongqing for Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, late Thursday. After a short stopover, they will fly to Beijing for grand celebrations.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2005)

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