Fly­ing Tigers livery marks US-ROC pact

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Two R. O. C. Air Force fighter jets painted with the fa­mous shark- face nose art of the “Fly­ing Tigers” yes­ter­day were un­veiled at the north­ern Hs­inchu Air Base to com­mem­o­rate R. O. C.- U. S. al­liance dur­ing World War II.

The In­dige­nous De­fense Fighter ( IDF) jet be­longs to the Air Force’s 427th Tac­ti­cal Fighter Wing and was painted with the shark teeth nose, a trade­mark of the P- 40 fighter jets used by the Avi­a­tion Vol­un­teer Group ( AVG) dur­ing WWII.

An­other F- 16 A/ B jet of the Air Force’s 401st Tac­ti­cal Fighter Wing was painted with the shark teeth nose as well as a logo of the Fly­ing Tigers, ac­cord­ing to the Air Force Com­mand.

The jet is also painted with 16 small Ja­panese flags to de­note the num­ber of vic­to­ries over en­emy planes by Amer­i­can AVG pi­lot Robert Neale, who was cred­ited with shoot­ing down 16 Ja­panese planes dur­ing WWII.

The com­mand said the liveries were painted onto the craft to com­mem­o­rate the joint co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the R. O. C. Air Force and the U. S. Air Force in fend­ing off in­vad­ing Ja­panese forces dur­ing the war.

Sim­i­lar liveries will soon be painted onto other R. O. C. Air Force fighter jets as part of a mil­i­tary cel­e­bra­tion to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of the R. O. C.’ s victory over Ja­pan in the Sec­ond Sino- Ja­panese War.

Th­ese air­craft will be join­ing an up­com­ing public mil­i­tary dis­play to be staged on July 4 at a mil­i­tary pa­rade ground in Hs­inchu County to show­case mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties as part of the cel­e­bra­tions, the com­mand said.

Aside from the IDFs and F- 16s, other stal­warts of the R. O. C. Air Force, in­clud­ing Mi­rage 2000s, OH- 58D scout he­li­copters, AH- 1W Su­per Co­bra attack he­li­copters and CH- 47 Chi­nook trans­port he­li­copters, as well as E- 2K air­borne early warn­ing air­craft and C- 130 trans­port air­craft, will also take part in the dis­play.

Other than th­ese air­craft and he­li­copters the R. O. C. ac­quired from the U. S. in re­cent years, the mil­i­tary pre­vi­ously said weapons sys­tems de­vel­oped in­dige­nously, in­clud­ing Un­manned Air­craft Sys­tems, Hsi­ung Feng III “Brave Wind” sur­face- to­sur­face su­per­sonic anti- ship mis­siles and CM- 32 Clouded Leop­ard eight- wheeled ar­mored ve­hi­cles will also par­tic­i­pate in the public dis­play.

The AVG, founded by Amer­i­can avi­a­tion hero Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chen­nault in Oct. 1943, later be­came the Chi­nese- Amer­i­can Com­pos­ite Wing ( CACW).

The AVG and CACW were later known as the “Fly­ing Tigers.”

The Fly­ing Tigers are seen by the R. O. C. gov­ern­ment as one of the strong­est ex­am­ples of the R. O. C.- U. S. al­liance dur­ing World War II.

CNA

A view of a F-16 A/B jet of the Air Force’s 401st Tac­ti­cal Fighter Wing painted with the fa­mous shark-face nose livery of the “Fly­ing Tigers” is seen in this pho­to­graph taken yes­ter­day at Hs­inchu Air Base.

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