Historical Marker Honoring World War II Hero to Be Unveiled - News and Events for Texas A&M University-Commerce in East Texas
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Historical Marker Honoring World War II Hero to Be Unveiled

Historical Marker Honoring World War II Hero to Be Unveiled

Join us on Wednesday, October 14 at 10 a.m. at the corner of Monroe and Ash Streets in Commerce, Texas for the Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers Memorial Dedication.

A ceremony honoring Lt. General Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group will take place on Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Chennault’s birthplace, 1509 Monroe Street in Commerce, Texas.  A new historical marker in Mandarin will be unveiled at that time.  The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dan Jones, Commerce Mayor John Ballotti and Chennault’s granddaughter, Nell Calloway, are scheduled to attend the event.

This marker will be a way to celebrate this Commerce native’s heroic actions during WWII and his assistance to the people of China in the legendary fight to defend their homeland.

“I am extraordinarily proud of the role that Texas A&M University-Commerce has played in ensuring that the legacy of this native son of Commerce is properly recognized and celebrated,” said President Jones.

A marker in English was placed at this location in 1968; the new marker in Mandarin translates the original to make it accessible to a wider international audience. This historical marker in Mandarin is the first of its kind in the state of Texas.

Chennault was the organizer and commander of the famous “Flying Tigers” of the China–Burma–India theater in WWII. An outstanding air strategist, Chennault had retired from a pioneer flying career when, in 1937, he was asked by Gen. Chaing Kai-Shek to help China develop an air force to combat threatening raids by Japan.

The heroic action of Chennault and the Flying Tigers is believed to have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Chinese during the Japanese invasion of China.

  • James C. Deatherage
    Posted at 13:26h, 02 October Reply

    Great idea.

  • J. Ronald Moser
    Posted at 16:03h, 05 October Reply

    We toured the Flying Tiger Museum in Shanghai, China (I think it was) on our last visit to China in 2010. It was an impressive tribute to Lieutenant General Claire Chennault’s team of contract soldiers in the 1937 time frame. ( However, it was one of the only spaces in buildings in China that was NOT crowded with Chinese visitors). Tribute was given in that museum to the top commander of the Flying Tigers (I forgot his name at the moment) with the only statue in the museum area being of him. Clearly most of the credit for great leadership goes to General Chennault. Most likely it was that positive experience that the Chinese experienced prior to the start of WWII that enabled some of our US Army flyers to abort their return flights back to their aircraft carriers after air bombing attacks on Japanese targets left the airplanes with insufficient fuel to return to their carriers. I am guessing that the gift that the Flying Tigers gave to the country of China is a gift that will keep on giving. Their museum is proof of that. And I am pleased to see that we here in the USA are taking steps to honor Lieutenant General Claire Chennault for his role in that important world event in China almost 80 years ago. .

  • Andrew Beecham
    Posted at 23:12h, 11 October Reply

    A true patriot backed up by some very gutsy people
    Before the world was even aware of what was going on.
    Pappy boyington was one of his aces

  • Ted R. Crim
    Posted at 08:36h, 09 January Reply

    Mr. Moser,
    I read your comments regarding the Flying Tigers Museum in Shanghai, China and was impressed with the interesting information you shared regarding your visits to China. The General Chennault historical marker in Commerce, Texas preexisted the recent marker that was placed at the birthplace of General Chennault in Commerce by a number of years. The new marker for General Chennault is essentially a replication of the original marker but now depicted in Chinese as well as the original marker in English.

    Ted R. Crim
    Class of 1970

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