Northwest China Council Exhibition “Flying Tigers: Chinese American Aviators in Oregon, 1918-1945”

Flying Tigers: Chinese American Aviators in Oregon, 1918-1945″ an exhibition opened September 2012 at Multnomah County Library Collins Gallery. The exhibition sponsored by Northwest China Council recognizes Chinese American aviators in Oregon from the early 1900s through the end of  WWII and showcases their participation in the early aviation history of Oregon. I had the pleasure of playing a small role on the NWCC planning committee and I provided for the exhibit a P-51B Mustang model plane that is a replica of the fighter flown in 1944-45 by my sister’s late father-in-law Lt. Col. Walter Ferris a member of the 16th Fighter Squadron under General Claire Chennault. The plane represents the aircraft technology flown by Oregon pilots in China at the end of the war.

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The exhibition is the remarkable work of co-curators Dr. Ann Wetherell of Portland State University and Board Member of Northwest China Council and Jim Carmin Curator of John Wilson Special Collections at Multnomah County Library. See http://www.nwchina.org/programs/120830FT.htm for more information about the exhibit that runs until October 28, 2012.

At the opening reception held on September 5 I had the great pleasure of visiting with Keith Lee author of “Chinese in the AVG: The Story of Ng Bak Lim (aka Pak On Lee) in the American Volunteer Group, The China Air Task Force, the US 14th Air Force and the United States Air Force.” (January 2010) and his brother Fay Lee who had studied at Washington High School in the 1950s when my father taught, counseled, and coached at Washington High School. The book is about their father Ng Bak Lim and his work with the Flying Tigers in China and also their mother Sun Ying Lee whose journey together reveals a Chinese American story that has rarely been shared with a wider audience and it was an honor to meet Mrs. Sun Ying Lee who was able to attend the reception too.

My wife Cheryl and I were both happy that her cousins Carol Sue Rogers of Multnomah County Library and Dr. Dale Johnson who recently returned from two years of teaching at Chongqing University were able to join us at the reception too.

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