Chinese group attempting to raise sunken Flying Tiger’s P-40 off lakebed

| September 6, 2020

Flying Tigers in action

During the early days of WWII, before the US officially entered the war, volunteers from the US military went to China to help our then-ally in their fight against the Japanese. Officially, these Americans would be enlisted with the Chinese, but they were flying American aircraft crewed and serviced by Americans. They became known as the Flying Tigers.

From December 1941 until mid-1942, the Flying Tigers brought much needed help to our Chinese allies. At the time, all of their aircraft were outclassed by the Japanese invaders. The arrival of the Americans and their P-40 Warhawks was a boon to the defense of the country.

There is now a group of Chinese outdoor enthusiasts that are attempting to raise the wreck of one of those warbirds from the bottom of a lake.

The Curtiss P-40 crashed in 1942 in Dianchi Lake near Kunming, the southwestern city that was the Tigers’ base.

“We hope the project of salvaging the P-40 can be a warm current in the cold wave and ease people’s worries about Chinese-U.S. ties,” said Han Bo, chairman of the China Adventure Association, a nongovernment group that promotes outdoor activities and historical monuments.

The article linked below says that they recovered a shoe insole from the plane, buried in silt. That would make me hopeful that it has been preserved in a low oxygen environment.

I look forward to the results of their effort. I don’t think the recovery of the aircraft will really help China-US relations, so they will probably not get the result they hoped for. With any luck though, another fantastic war machine will be returned to its proper glory.

Thanks to the King of Battle for the link.

Source; ABC News

Category: Air Force, China, Guest Link, Historical

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. 2banana says:

    Isn’t it a bad thing when a cold war goes warm or hot?

    “We hope the project of salvaging the P-40 can be a warm current in the cold wave and ease people’s worries about Chinese-U.S. ties,”

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Tanks for the post Mason, not always sure what y’all see or think may be of interest to the Troops. I don’t have a prescription to all of the Military Related Publications and just kinda hunt around to see what I can find. Lawd knows what I could do if I had some actual ‘putor training. Prolly be writing code or sich. But, again, I digress.

    With all the wingwiping Aviators here I thought this would be of some interest, even if it was about ARMY AIR CORPS. I keyed in on it for the connections that the Flying Tigers Group and the Nationalist Chinese have to my home area. BG Robert Lee Scott Jr. (y’all know who he is, if you don’t read the linky I provide below) was a GA Boy, did business and had connections in his Hometown of Waynesboro GA, and met him on many occasions during his work with the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins GA. I had found a FIRST Edition Copy of his book, “God is My Co-Pilot” at a second hand store in Wayne NE for $2. Thing was prolly worth real money but I donated it to the Museum for a fund raiser in Honor of my wingwiping retired CMS. As a lad, attended a number of different Church Services where Gnrl Scott spoke of his war experiences, very humbly. Additionally, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, attended the girls college, Wesleyan, met her too, in my youth when she came to visit. A lot of folks here supported the Nationalist Chinese on Formosa/Taiwan because of those 2.

    Would be nice if this recovered aircraft is put on display and the true story of how America tried to help the Chinese People. I doubt if the Chi-Coms will allow the true story of the history to be told. As we are seeing here and now, Commies/Marxists/Socialists/Fascists have a tendency to either bend history to suit their agenda, or to destroy what they don’t agree with.

    Again, get a chance to visit the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins Georgia, you need to go. Even a visit to their website is worthwhile.

    ps and yes Robert Lee Scott (and his Daddy) were named for THAT Robert Lee. The section of highway and other public references locally have had the Lee part changed to either omission of the Lee or just as L.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      I doubt the ChiComs admit anything about the Flying Tigers, or the C-46 crews flying “Over the Hump” supply runs, or anything else.

      They still claim that they actually fought the japs, instead of collaborating with them while the Nationalist ROC spilled its blood to defend China.

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        ^Word^ TOW. Seems like I remember that Gnrl Scott had made mention at one of the programs I attended, if we ever did go to war with the Chinese Communists, the good news for him was he would not be fighting against any of the Good Chinese Folks that he had fought with during WWII.

        I think there are some that come here don’t realize your Family has seen up close and personal the results of Communist atrocities.

        Hey Eggs, did you work on the Jolly during its reconstruction or during its active duty days? Either way, BZ and Thank You Good Sir. The Volunteers that have done the restorations there are ALL FIRST Class in my book. I always make at least one or two trips a year to visit and more if out of town guests arrive. It never gets old. We had a trip scheduled back in May but the facility was closed because of the Chicom bug!

        • Eggs says:

          I worked on them at my reserve unit (71st SOS) from 87-92ish. If you look close in one of the photos near the bottom right of the side cabin door, there are two connectors that were used for the FLIR system we attached to the refueling probe prior to Desert Storm. We transitioned to MH/HH-60Gs 92-93.

          • 5th/77th FA says:

            Cool beaners, Thanks for sharing. I soak this kinda sh^t up as an Historian. My Lady Friends tell me it’s a disease I suffer from. I tell them I enjoy the suffering. Linky for those interested in the 71st SOS


            • Eggs says:

              I’d like to fill in some info with the wiki history – The 71st (during my gig) came about when the 302d SOS at Luke AFB was deactivated, aircraft and personnel stood up as the 71st at Davis-Monthan just as I was joining the reserves. The 71st @ DMAFB then was deactivated in 1994 and became the 305th Rescue Squadron (RQS). The 305th is still flying under the 943rd Rescue Group at DM.

              I believe most of the HH/CH-3s were sold to Tunisia, others went to museums. Not sure if any made it next door to “The Boneyard”.

              • 5th/77th FA says:

                Tanks! Add that to the Wiki. Wingwiping Brother took a number of BUFFs Bones and Herky Birds to the Boneyard at DM. Got a Compatriot (Former AF now CS @ RAFB) that has also took some stuff there and of late, gone “shopping for parts” and has even lit some fires and kicked some tires on a few. He tells me that some of those that have been sitting out there for decades could basically be filled with POL product and flown out.