PLEASE see www.FlyingTigerHistoricalOrganization.com for the FULL and current story!

So much has happened these past several years and what follows below is now OLD information.




Click on the image below to view photos from the surprise ground-breaking ceremony at the park site on our March 2009 tour:

Flying Tigers Heritage Park - Groundbreaking Ceremony Highlights



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Travel Aire
(CST #2070111-40)
21133 Jimmersall Lane Groveland, CA 95321
(209)-962-5588

Call Us Toll Free at:
1-866-669-2288

E-mail us: ChinaVIPTour@aol.com


Walk to the Cave
Cave Entrance
Mountain Carving
outside Cave
Cave Inscription
Airfield
Airfield
Airfield
Peasant who built Airfield
Chennault Rock
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Media

SAVING CHENNAULT”S CAVE

Proposed Permanent Name:

The Flying Tiger Guilin Memorial Site

Travel Aire is currently working with official representatives of historical preservation in China to ensure permanent access to the site of the headquarters cave in Guilin, China, which was used by Gen. Claire Chennault and his Flying Tigers (both AVG and 14th AAF). We finally received authorization for our certification in the fall of 2008 (after two years of diligent effort and then sadly in time to witness the fall of our economy at the same time) as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the US to administer and oversee the collection of now tax-deductible donations (large and small) from interested individuals and organizations. Many of our past tour participants have indicated a desire to contribute now that the collection method is in place. We have added a PayPal button to that website for your convenience. Please explore the following website for all the details: www.FlyingTigerHistoricalOrganization.com .

The Chinese delegation from Beijing has worked on artist’s renderings and architectural drawings of proposed improvements to the access road which currently crosses a private chicken farm. They also will make improvements to the pathway leading up the hill and into the cave itself. China has increased this project from their original 15-acre site proposal to a full 300 acres and a much more elaborate park to honor these heroes. They have also increased their monetary participation to a full $3 million USD to make this a world-class visitors' spot and will end with the addition of a 5-star hotel in Phase III bring the total park expenditure to $23.4 million USD. We believe this will be a significant addition to the already wonderful list of places to visit in the Guilin area (the famous garden spot of China). This cave site at the old airfield remains the only place in China one can visit and still envision what the airfield was like during WW II.

Volunteers on our end, including a retired 2-star General, a CPA, and a retired judge (all of whom were on the 2006 or 2007 VIP tour), have helped us obtain a legal non-profit status for the safe collection of funds. A very professional prospectus has been put together to solicit donations from American businesses who also have a presence in China and/or a connection to advertising and products offered during WW II. Many are working to collect memorabilia to donate to the future museum at the park site. Others are working on researching our US archives for photos of the interior of the cave as it appeared during WW II when occupied by Chennault and the Flying Tigers and was used at one time as headquarters for the airfield and operations in China. This is the only WW II site left in China which can be partially reconstructed to look as it did when in use then. We do not want to lose this site.

Both we and the Chinese would like to see the interior of the cave restored to its general appearance during that period or to a more visitor-friendly environment. To date, ours is the only tour which schedules a regular visit to this site on our annual VIP tour (as well as to the huge Aviation Museum outside of Beijing), and we also visit both the Stilwell Museum and the new Flying Tigers Museum in Chongqing each year. But we believe, as do the Chinese officials, that both Americans and Chinese want to see this important airfield and cave site preserved for future visitors to experience.

We are using our web page www.FlyingTigerHistoricalOrganization.com to keep all of you up-to-date with our progress. Drop us an E-mail from either from that web site or to us from this wen site at ChinaVIPTour@aol.com if you wish to become involved in any way so that you, too, can contribute to helping save a remarkable part of our WW II history.

Once we have collected our $400,000 USA contribution, we will schedule a ceremony at the park site for the official presentation of our funds. High-ranking officials will present our delegation with official documentation to ensure the proper use of our funds.
Once the project has been completed, there will be a Grand Opening and Dedication ceremony at the cave site to coordinate with our annual tour there. The 2009 tour experienced a fantastic surprise groundbreaking ceremony at the future park site and we eagerly anticipate its completion.

The following article appeared in the July 2006 issue of “ In Flight USA” - and it and several other Aviation publications have been printing articles each year since then. The English version of "NewsChina" magazine featured the Flying Tigers in their May 5,2009 issue with many articles including one by Larry Jobe, and Larry also wrote an article appearing in the July 2009 "Oshkosh" edition of "Warbirds" magazine.

Annual "Aviators VIP Tour to China" Focuses on Saving Chennault's Cave

When Larry Jobe retired from United Airlines in early 2001, he never dreamed he would soon become so involved with taking Aviation enthusiasts, WW II history buffs and Flying Tigers from WW II on VIP tours of China. During his last years as captain of a B747-400 flying to the Far East, he had discovered the incredible changes occurring in China and had become enraptured also with their history, culture and the wonderful Chinese people. At first, he and his wife Nina would accompany friends and family on tours of China as personal tour guides. Soon they found themselves caught up in leading larger groups there on an annual low-cost, high-end VIP tour that Larry was able to have specially tailored to also include sights of interest to aviators and those with a passion for WW II history and the Flying Tigers in particular – all in addition to the fabulous normal touring of China’s wide-spread highlights.

During the 2005 (2nd annual) VIP tour, the group was visiting (as usual) the famous site of the Flying Tigers operations in Guilin (formerly called “Kwelin”) and exploring the large inside of the cave that was used for operations by Gen. Claire Chennault during WW II. As they stood on the mountainside and viewed the large, limestone-peak-rimmed valley that had been turned into a temporary WW II airfield from rice paddies by 90,000 volunteer peasants (a story repeated throughout China), they also viewed the development now appearing in that valley in the form of new high-rises and highways being built as part of the explosion of development occurring all over China. The Chinese representatives with them disclosed that access to this historical site, the only one left in China like it, could soon be impassable and inaccessible.

The Jobes consulted with the Mayor of Guilin during the VIP banquet that evening and began a quest to launch an effort to “Save Chennault’s Cave.” All of the many aviators on the tour were soon talking about how they could all help and get involved to make sure access is never lost. A retired two-star general and a retired judge on the tour are now helping with the actual formation of a non-profit group and information will be posted to this web site: www.TravelAireTours.com

Representatives of the official historical preservation organization in Beijing have already flown to Guilin and have examined and approved of this effort and will collaborate with the US group on this venture. Currently, they are having artists’ renderings and architectural drawings made to show improvements to the pathway leading up the short hill to the cave’s entrance. They are looking to the US group to do the research so that the interior of the cave could be outfitted in the same manner in which it was set up during the WW II operations there.

The Chinese people have never forgotten what Gen. Chennault and his Flying Tigers (both the original AVG and the 14th AAF groups) did for them in helping to save them from the Japanese invaders. They are eager to assist concerned Americans in preserving this history both for their people and ours. The Jobes and their tour friends are delighted to help open the doors for this history-saving venture as a side highlight to their annual American Aviators’ VIP Tour to China - [toll-free (866) 669-2288].

    10/1/06 Update - Soon we expect to receive from the Chinese officials collaborating with us on this project their artists' renderings and architectural drawings, along with a cost estimate, so that we may establish our goals and begin soliciting donations towards the successful completion of this effort to not only preserve Chennalluts cave, but to restore it to its original appearance inside.

    12/21/06 Update - We have just received the following letter and depictions (SEE BELOW) of what is planned for development at the site of the old Yang Tang airfield outside Guilin which was used by the Flying Tigers in China during WW II (both the original AVG group and those that followed from the 23rd FG and the 14th AAF, all under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault.

This page last updated June 10, 2013
Webmaster - Tori Armstrong

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