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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
susan_jimison
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This is indeed great news. Can't wait to hear more.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
susan_jimison
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Wow, I am a year late with that reply.Sorry! Too early on a Sunday morning... 
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
Lincoln
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You can subscribe to a thread and when there are updates too it, you will get an email notifying you.

You should be sure to post about your upcoming book release on this website and it can be added to the bibliography of reference material.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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I think I posted that the new DPAA had scheduled a search of John Dean's wreck site looking for remains, but on July 7 it was postponed. The reason was that all their PLA search people are tied up with the Celebration of the 70th anniversary of WWII.

So actually, I'm partially to blame since my son and I are going to the Celebration.

Ironic. No date for the next attempt.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
We are eagerly awaiting reports by Bob Willett on his trip to China with his son to honor the memory of his relative co-pilot James Browne, who crashed with AVG pilot John Dean on Cangshan Mtn. near Dali, China on Nov. 17, 1942.

Is there a chance that Bob's presence in China and possible encounters with Chinese officials could lead to a heightened interest in promoting the DPAA expedition to the crash site (at 13,000 ft.) to document the site and possibly recover remains of the two pilots and the Chinese crew member?

Bob, we're standing by for some news......

Tripp


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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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Actually, I'm still on my way home, attending the CNAC reunion in San Francisco. I will be home late tomorrow and give you a full briefing. A brief brief, don't get your hopes up for an effort by DPAA.

I saw there was a large group of AVGs in Beijing, but did not get a chance to visit with any.

They did send us to Dali and we took the cable car up Malong Peak in the Cang Shan mountains then we went on to Nanjing to the Aviation Martyrs Monument and Museum where cousin Jim Browne and John Dean are engraved on black marble, then took the bullet train to Shanghai and flew here to SF.

Very interesting trip but doesn't seem to change the political stalemate in our case.

Bob
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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A quick report about the Chinese 70th anniversary of WWII's end. I got home Sunday the 13th after 8 days in China and 4 at the CNAC reunion in SF. On July 7 DPAA cancelled the search scheduled for that month for CNAC #60, pilot John Dean. Three days later I got an invitation to go to Beijing for the 70th with my son Tom. Then they flew me to Dali where we spent two days, the highlight was a cable car ride to 9,400 feet up Cang Shan Mountain where the plane wreckage is located. Locals joined me with flowers dedicated to the plane's crew which we placed on the cable car station. A really significant moment with the locals very much a part.

Then on to Nanjing to the Aviation Martyrs Monument with John Dean's name inscribed. Then home from Shanghai. Chinese government paid for everything - even postcards and stamps. 

At this point there is no discussion of renewing the request to the Chinese for a search.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
susan_jimison
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Bob, I am new to this and wonder what relation John Dean is to you? Thank you for your post as it is heartwarming that the Chinese are respectful of the loss of an American who came to their aid.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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John Dean was the pilot of a C-47 that crashed on Cang Shan mountain near Dali, China on Nov 17, 1942. My cousin Jim Browne, was co-pilot of the plane with a Chinese radioman, K L Yang. All were killed in the crash.

The plane was a China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) plane which was owned jointly by the Chinese and Pan Am and was contracted to the Air Corps  to fly the Hump.

Our family and CNAC Association went to China in Sept. 2010 and found transmissions from the last moments of their flight and with funds raised we sent MIA Recoveries, Inc. to a site determined to be the wreck location. The wreckage was found and identified by the construction number on a piece of wreckage. Since that time we have pressed JPAC, DPMO, DPAA and the State Department and the Chinese MFA, PLA and Yunnan Province officials with the DC Chinese Embassy, for permission to enter Yunnan to search for remains, but have been unsuccesful.
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Bob,

Thanks very much for your report on your trip to China.  It must have been a very moving moment for you and your son to be so close to the crash site of CNAC #60 with your cousin, co-pilot James Browne aboard.

You mentioned placing flowers at the cable car station at the 9,400 ft. level.  We always thought that the wreckage lies at approx 11,000 ft.  Is this the closest you could come to the site?  How far is it from the cable car station to the actual crash site?  Did any of the Chinese with you indicate any opening of the door for DPAA to conduct a recovery?  Do the Chinese view these as sacred sites, not to be desecrated?  Please help us to understand the situation a little more.

Any photos which you can share with us?  Many thanks.

Tripp


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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
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AVG Flying Tigers Association
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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The report to JPAC stated the wreckage was at 13,400 feet on the south slope of Malong Peak. Impact may have been a little higher but the reported height of the peak is only 13,541 feet. The cable car is on the north side of Malong Peak so the wreckage is over the top and down the other side, but if the cable car is at 9,400 feet it is about 4,000 feet vertically to the wreck, and over the top of the peak.

I talked to several people involved with the PLA and they said the PLA is all for a search and has investigated the area and recommend we do a search. But the final approval has to come from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and they tell me it is not likely that the government will approve any search by an American Army unit.

At the CNAC reunion I met a man who has been researching the wreck for a documentary, and he claims most of the plane was cut up by locals and made into utensils or sold. He also said that villagers he talked to said the bodies of the three were buried near the wreckage; first I had heard about that.

There seems to be no real sanctity of such sites, although markers do point out locations.

This photo was taken at the cable car station with flowers given by the locals. I'll send more when I get them sorted.

Bob
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
susan_jimison
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Wow, Bob, what an amazing journey you have been on. I wish you could have reached the crash site. Tripp, you asked many great questions.

I think it is a shame the Chinese will not allow JPAC to come in and try to do a recovery.

Thank you for sharing your trip with us Bob. I look forward to the pictures when you get them sorted.
Susan Jimison
Cousin of John Donovan
3rd Squadron
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
If the local villagers did cut up the wreckage for utilitarian purposes, this would not surprise me as it parallels what was done in the town of Toungoo, Myanmar (Burma).  When the Anglican cemetery which formerly contained the graves of the first three AVG training fatalities (Armstrong, Hammer & Atkinson) was bulldozed in order to build a housing project, many gravestones were removed for use by the locals.  This favored use is....as washboards since the marble is hard/smooth/clean
with no apparent concern that this was someone's gravestone...different cultures!

Thanks, Bob, for the photos.  We await more of your story.....

Tripp


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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
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AVG Flying Tigers Association
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
mayor
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If I agreed with you, then we'd both be wrong
In reference to Bob Willett's post about the trip to Bejing, he says there were a large group of AVGs there. Since there are only 4 AVG members living, I'm not sure who these other people are, but I can guess they are 14th AF, masquerading as AVG, as usual.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/20/china-gives-soli d-gold-medals-to-5-surviving-flyin/

Edited by mayor : September 21, 2015, 9:51 pm
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4 Tigers Found!! 3 AVG in Toungoo could be coming Home!
RLWillett
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Mayor-

I don't know anything about the AVG group in Beijing except that I was told there were about 35 in the group which was led by Jeff Greene. The only one I talked to very briefly was Lydia Rossi whose husband was both an AVG pilot and a CNAC pilot like John Dean.
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