More Chinese, US pilots killed in anti-Japanese invasion war identified

Updated: 2015-04-04 17:28


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NANJING - Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the World War II victory, 990 newly identified aviation martyrs will have their names and stories engraved for commemoration.

Among them, 586 were Chinese and 404 were Americans, according to the Nanjing Anti-Japanese Aviation Martyrs Memorial Hall in east China's Jiangsu Province.

The addition brings the number of martyrs honored in the museum to 4,295. They include 2,601 Americans, who account for more than 6 out of 10 of known martyrs, while 1,456 were Chinese, 236 were Russian, and two were Korean.

During World War II, air forces from China, the United States, and the Soviet Union fought together against the Japanese invaders in China. They made outstanding contributions to the victories in the Anti-Japanese Aggression War and the world Anti-Fascist War.

The museum has been collecting information about the martyrs, including their names, ranks or titles, places of origin, dates of birth and death, military exploits, and cause of death.

The memorial hall, first built as a public cemetery for aviation martyrs in 1932, has received more than 600,000 visitors since it was opened to the public in 2009.

Chi Pang-yuan from Taiwan, author of Great-Flowing River, a lengthy autobiography published in 2009, visited the public cemetery in 1999 while traveling in Nanjing. On one of the black marble tablets, she found the name of her first love, Zhang Dafei, 56 years after they last saw each other.

The museum will continue looking for more martyrs and will set up archives for each of them.