New airport for US pilots Hump in China

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sometimes, words get lost in translation.

And admittedly, along the way, words sometimes lose their meanings.

So for this article in a Chinese newspaper, I think the words 'Camel Peak' refer to what we know better as 'The Hump' - a term used by US volunteer pilot flying the vital supply line between war-torn south-west China and India.

China to open airport associated with U.S. pilots' fight against Japanese

TENGCHONG, Yunan, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Construction at an airport famed as the home of The Flying Tigers, American pilots who fought for China against the Japanese invaders during World War II, is set to be completed in time for trials to start at the beginning of 2009.

The airport is scheduled to open for public service in time for the May 1 public holiday, said Jiang Wenzhong, vice board chairman of Yunan Airport Group Co, Ltd.

Located in Camel Peak Village, about 12 kilometers from Tengchong county seat, southwest China's Yunnan Province, the airport is named Camel Peak, to commemorate the Tigers and the famous Camel Peak Aviation Route across the Himalayas, through which urgently needed military supplies were delivered for the war against the Japanese more than 60 years ago.

The major part of the airport will be finished by the end of this year and it will be tested during the Spring Festival in January, 2009,

The construction work began in 2005 and is expected to be fully completed in 2015, Jiang said.

After completion, travel time to the provincial capital Kunming from Tengchong will be reduced to 50 minutes. It currently takes 10 hours by road, said Jiang.

Jointly funded by Yunnan Airport Group, Yunnan Guanfang Group and the Tengchong county government, the 433-million-yuan (58 million U.S. dollars) regional airport would be able to handle 480,000 passengers a year, he said.

Tengchong County, a famed scenic spot with lots of hot springs and home to many Chinese minority nationalities, received more than 2.6 million tourists in 2007.

The Tigers were a band of volunteer U.S. military men sent in secret to Asia by President Franklin D. Roosevelt before the United States entered World War II. They joined an air force organized for China by Claire Lee Chennault, a retired U.S. Army colonel.

An estimated 1,500 Flying Tigers members and 900 Chinese airmen who fought along with them reportedly died in the war.

From December 1941 to September 1945, the Flying Tigers shot down 2,600 Japanese military aircraft, destroyed 44 warships and killed an estimated66,700 Japanese soldiers.
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