An official Texas State Historical Marker - the first of its kind in Chinese - was unveiled at the birthplace of Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault at 1509 Monroe St. in Commerce on Oct. 14. About 300 people attended the dedication ceremony, which was broadcast live on KETR.
Chennault organized and commanded the famous Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group 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 are believed to have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Chinese during the Japanese invasion of China.
The marker, written in both traditional and contemporary Mandarin Chinese, celebrates this Commerce native’s heroic actions during WWII and his assistance to the people of China.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dan Jones and Chennault’s granddaughter, Nell Calloway, were among those who delivered remarks at the event.
"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,” Jones said.
The new marker stands beside a marker in English that was placed at the location in 1968.