It is ironic that in the 1940s we were fighting with the Chinese against the Japanese. Then in 1950, China and the US fought against each other in North Korea and Chinese advisers were sent to assist North Vietnam to fight the US in the 1960s.
Then, after Nixon arrived in China in the 1970s, we were friends again—sort of.
In February 2010, I had an instant message chat with Ian Carter, an Australian expatriate living in Southeast China, and learned from him that during World War II in 1944 an American B-24 Liberator bomber vanished without a trace in Southeast China.
Fifty-two years later in 1996, farmers discovered the bomber’s wreck and the remains of the ten-man crew on Mao’er Shan (Little Cat Mountain), Southern China’s highest peak . The name of the B-24 bomber was Tough Titi.
These Americans are considered heroes—click link to learn more about this story—to the Chinese, and the remains of the crew were returned to the United States for burial.
There’s a memorial stone near the crash site and Chinese tourists pay honor to these Americans by leaving flowers and other gifts.
To honor these heroes further, the Chinese recovered some of the bomber’s parts and used them as a centerpiece for a museum in Xing’an, about four hours from the crash site.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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