U.S.-China Cooperation During World War II

During the Second World War, the United States and China fought together as allies with great success. This period of history saw American soldiers, Chinese soldiers and Chinese civilians living and working together to overcome daunting challenges. Much of the fighting and many historic achievements took place throughout Southwest China.

The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, working with many partners, has compiled the following information, excerpts of personal histories, and photo galleries illuminating this historic period. Though certainly not comprehensive, we hope this sampling of the historical record  will help more people to understand this vital period of U.S.-China cooperation, and inspire us with a vision of what can  potentially be accomplished when our countries come together to face global challenges today.

Guarded by a Chinese soldier, a squadron of Curtiss P-40 fighter planes, decorated with the typical shark face of the famed Flying Tigers, are lined up at an unknown airbase in China in 1943. (AP Photo)

Sources are provided for the pictures and stories included here so that those who are interested in learning more can seek out some of the fascinating larger collections of memories from the Second World War period. We have also included brief introductions to key memorial sites around Southwest China.

Bishop, Donald M. The United States and China During WWII: An Operational Outline.

Romanus, Charles F. and Riley Sunderland. “Stilwell’s Mission to China.” The United States Army in World War II: China-Burma-India Theater. Ed. Greenfield, Kent Roberts. Washington D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army. 1987. PDF. http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/009/9-1/CMH_Pub_9-1.pdf (PDF 18.5 MB)

Scott, Robert Lee. Flying Tiger: Chennault of China. Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1959.

Yu, Maochun. The Dragon’s War: Allied Operations and the Fate of China, 1937-1947. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. 2006.

Extensive research and writing for this project was conducted by Logan Ma, University of California, San Diego.

This project would not have been possible without assistance and cooperation from the following individuals and organizations. We extend them our greatest thanks.

69th Flying Tigers Association

Mr. Bob Bergin

Chennault Aviation and Military Museum

China National Memory – 国家记忆

Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York

Gregory Crouch

Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum and Historical Foundation

Charlene Fontaine

Professor Germaine Hoston

J.L. Johnson

Kunming Municipal Museum

The Staff of the Library of Congress

Merrill’s Marauders Association

The family of CNAC pilot Joe Michiels

The Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration

The Pan Am Historical Foundation

Robert Passanisi

杨奇威 – Prof. Yang Qiwei,Flying Tigers Association in Kunming

Mrs. Astrid Rosset

San Diego Air and Space Museum

Sino American Aviation Heritage Foundation & Jeff Greene

State Department Office of the Historian, Dr. Joseph Wicentowski

Al Valdes

Major Laurence Van Der Oord, 14th Air Force

Bingru Wang, Phoenix TV

A special thanks to the following Chinese World War II veterans for sharing their stories with us:

杨毓骧 – Yang Yuxiang

王权 – Wang Quan

陆建航 – Lu Jianhang

刘华 – Liu Hua

李正义 – Li Zhengyi