|Tigers Over Kweilin
|by Thomas Van Stein 78"x92" oil on Canvas 2009 On display at the Commerative Air Force Museum, Camarillo California
70 years ago today, young Americans answered the call after the U.S. 6th Fleet was devastated at Pearl Harbor Some who were paying attention to world events made tremendous sacrifices in their own lives to get involved; and though America wasn't at war as of yet, they volunteered as mercenaries to help stem the tide of evil growing on the planet.
These young Americans and their small contingent of aircraft, were already in place; flying as American Expatriates for the Chinese Air Force. The Americans earned the name, "Fei Hu" (Tigers of the Air), but more popularly known as, "The Flying Tigers".
When Pearl Harbor took place, these brave airmen took to the skies in Indochina to stop the advance of the Japanese into Burma, (Now called Myanmar)
This skeleton crew, exhausted and down to the last few men and planes held out for six months, they gave their all and did halt the advancement of the Japanese Brutal Imperial War Machine.
Every Vet who answered the call that day, were willing to put their personal lives on hold and signed up to protect our country in its time of need, is to be congratulated, and appreciated. I try to remember them with every brush stroke, on every canvas. Their dedication and Spirit of Freedom inspires me.
My Father was one of these who answered the call as a U.S. Merchant Marine. This is his flag; a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capital on December 7, 1941. It is flown almost every holiday, with great pride and remembrance.
Long may these colors wave. Remember Pearl Harbor!!